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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pricing, Crossbows and Costs of Different Things

How does pricing work and what is the value of a purchase?
This past weekend, we spent a few minutes thinking about "cost." It began with travel to Penn State University to attend a graduation ceremony. After checking the internet, we found a nice room for $99.00. We called the same hotel directly to ask a few questions and they mentioned they had a "Special Graduation Room Rate" for this weekend. Well that sounded even better until the young lady said the special rate was $132.00 -- same room. Yes - a bit deceptive. That is 33% higher for the same product. We could only laugh and the young lady did as well. The internet is a great tool for information sharing and we felt good about our $99 purchase.
A graduation ceremony can be a long affair as a few hundred students are called to the stage one after the other -- and really, most family attendees have travelled a long way only to hear one name called and see that student walk, get a handshake and rightfully smile. There was plenty of free time to think about the economics of education. College is an expensive proposition. Again, the wheels began to turn and we noted the student we came to support graduated in 3.5 years vs. a national average of 4.7 years to receive a Bachelors Degree. The cost of moving slower vs graduating earlier cost 34 % more. (That difference could buy a lot of Kodabows.) We felt good a second time. What does this have to do with crossbows? When we make and sell crossbows at Kodabow, we look at value in an unconventional manner. We dig deep. In the past week, we spoke with a consumer who had purchased a competitive crossbow only to give up on that product and buy a Kodabow. It was an extreme case. After the 5th time his crossbow failed and after numerous replacements, he just totally gave up on his initial choice and bought a Kodabow. Initially, he placed a lot of value on this first bow and the warranty that came with it but he became flat "worn out" shipping his bow back and forth and dealing with customer service and it all became worthless. It was a 100% loss. Same for the man who bought a crossbow that came with a cheap scope that required replacement before he could confidently head to the woods. Another gent stopped by and described how he had just spent $100.00 to replace his cables and strings on another relatively newly purchased brand and that math calculation showed about a 15% cost penalty if he could have avoided that event. In today's economy, value is very important. There is also a lot of misinformation and a consumer needs to be smart. At Kodabow, we think we measure up and we will always give you straight answers and not be deceptive. Many of our customers are serious hunters and hardworking people who do not toss their discretionary income around casually. Buying a Kodabow is a big decision. We appreciate that viewpoint because we look at value the same way and believe the long term cost of Kodabow ownership is low. We know crossbows are complex products and things can go awry from time to time ...... but we will also tell you that we make a maximum effort to deliver honest to goodness value without cutting any corners and we hope that if you handle a Kodabow, own a Kodabow, shoot a Kodabow or ever visit with us, you can clearly see the value in our product. We feel good about that - third time in a weekend.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hunting, Crossbows and the Funny Stuff

Success --- you have taken a nice animal and it's picture time. Some of the best memories are the funny things and the funny people you meet along the way before the photos are taken. When in Africa and being introduced to my PH (professional hunter) by the Head PH, he said you will enjoy hunting with Frans - we call him the "human bush." That was a strange name. It was a few days later before I realized the significance of the nickname. When Frans was leading the way, he was such a big man that no one could see past him - hence, the "human bush" moniker. Missing a shot always involves mysterious forces that magically appear to disrupt perfect execution. "Tetonka" as he is affectionately known at Kodabow still hunts Indian style with a pull back bow and arrows with feathers. He stalks quietly through the woods and when he sees deer, he can get very close. It doesn't mean that the shot will go as intended. Just as the arrow is released, a strange force can surface that pulls a sleeve into the string path and the arrow is pulled far left. The story may begin with the phrase, "You are not going to believe this" and can end with something as unusual as "if you see a big 8 point with a broadhead stuck in his antler, let me know." The most common supernatural force is the dramatic appearance of a small sapling between the archer and the intended target that sucks an arrow directly into its wooden trap. Many a deer walks today saved by a tree. The two most important words in the crossbow hunting world are PAY ATTENTION. When a hunter pays attention, he/she has the best chance of circumventing a disaster in the field, earning a nickname, and avoiding mental anguish. Yes -- last Saturday, a hunter we all know quite well sat for two hours without realizing that there was no arrow on his crossbow rail.Thankfully, Mr. Big did not show up. And then later, our good friend who stopped by Kodabow in full camo describing the excitement of his morning hunt with his Kodabow until we advised him that deer season closed two days earlier. He narrowly escaped a major problem. Opening day of Deer Season one year was very memorable for an old friend named Jim who had high anticipation for sunrise the next morning. The cabin decided to turn in at midnight to get a good nights sleep. As Jim dozed off, the alarm clocks were set back to ring at 12:45 AM instead of 5:30 AM. As the bells rang, the rest of the cabin quickly jumped out of bed with high Opening Day spirit and began getting dressed acting as if 6:00 AM had just arrived. Yes ...it was 5 hours early but Jim didn't know. Every hunter had eyes on Jim. For some reason, his quiet remark loosely quoted as "Gee, I feel like I just went to sleep" brought boisterous laughter across the mountainside. Then we all went to bed. (I guess you had to be there!) The nice pictures are great but all the stuff that happens before the camera goes off are equally memorable and often the reason we enjoy being in the field so much.
Wishing you a good, safe and funny winter hunting season!
Your Friends at Kodabow

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ground Stands vs. Tree Stands

Imagine a deer glancing in the brush looking for the deadly serious Kodabow hunter.
When it's hard to pick out the human shape --- you have unlocked the secret of selecting a high performance ground stand.
It is official. You can get a lot closer to deer on the ground than you ever will from being up in a tree. Close is 3 feet ---- probably too close but when everything works, be prepared for many memorable close encounters. After spending hours in both trees and natural ground blinds, it is evident that ground blinds offer many advantages that are often overlooked. After the leaves have fallen in late fall, treestand hunters can be seen hanging exposed at great distances. Give me a good ground blind or deadfall instead.
1- It is easier to shoot more accurately from a ground blind. Notice how this hunter is using the tree trunk as a natural rest. Any shot will not be at a severe downward angle. Unfortunately, many treestand shooters (who only practice on level ground) do not make the required correction for shooting from an elevated position. They miss until they learn the hard way that "practice" means shooting under expected field conditions.
2 - In the picture, the hunter is set up overlooking a field and several deer paths but his feet and hands are well hidden and slight movement is undetected. He can make minor adjustments during the day without detection. His position is comfortable and he can remain alert for hours. He made very little noise when he silently slipped into position in the morning.
3 - Tree stands have their place and always use proper safety precautions when you go up but the point of this article is that you do not need to hunt in a treestand 100% of the time. A crossbow provides many options. And some days, it is just not attractive to haul in the climber and finally get up 25 feet only to accidentally drop your backpack, release or grunt call. Note: The stand in this picture would be less useful for a vertical bowhunter because there is simply no room to draw the vertical bow in the deadfall. Conversely, it is an ideal crossbow stand.
4 - Using an aerosol like "Buck Bomb" or equivalent (selling for about $9.00) to lightly spray leaves and bushes in the immediate vicinity of the ground stand can help mask human scent. A few sprays will knock down human odor significantly and deer will travel on the nearby established routes without alarm.
5 - The hunter has selected this stand for an early morning hunt with the sun at his back which helps him hide in the shadows. A face mask is a key component of his hunting gear.
Enjoy your Kodabow .... and use the flexibility of your Kodabow to explore new hunting methods that you might may have not fully considered.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Whitetail Deer - Admirable in Every Way

Whitetail deer are impressive in every way. Look closely at this 8 point buck taken a few years ago. This style of mount is called a "European Mount" and displays the exposed and whitened deer skull on a oak board. This style has become popular and now plastic replica skulls can be purchased that allow the antlers to be easily attached. Its a nice shortcut but I like the real thing -- the real skull -- even if it means more cost and time. We know archery hunting requires ethical shot palcement. Here is a story about the other side of the coin. One afternoon, a phone call from the taxidermist gave me background and information about a deer that I never realized. He said, "Did you know there is a broken off arrow and the remnants of a broadhead in the skull of the deer I am preparing for you? The bone has grown over the aluminum shaft." Upon close inspection, you can see the pointed end of the broadhead still exposed. The transverse length of the shaft and broadhead combined is 4 1/2 inches and it runs completely though hard bone from one side of the skull to another. The brand of the broadhead was a NAP Thunderhead and the 3 blades were destroyed by bone at impact. The full story about this deer requires the use of one's imagination. Did a hunter make a bad shot and hit the deer poorly? Was a poacher hunting at night and attempting to take this good animal illegally a few months earlier? That is my guess. There were reports of illegal night hunting taking place in the area at the time. The bone growth indicated the event was not recent. When the animal was being field dressed, I felt a sharp point as I handled the deer but thought nothing of it at the time. When the animal was killed, he was feeding with a doe and exhibited no unusual behavior. Just an unusual story and an unusual deer. One can only admire the toughness of a mature whitetail deer --- tough winters, hunting pressure, illegal hunting activities .....and once in awhile, the story can get more interesting long after the hunt.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Crossbows and Tree Stands

Just finished a phone call with a gentleman in the hospital. He fell 30 feet from his treestand and I agree with his surgeon that he is "lucky to be alive." Lots of broken bones but he will walk again. 30 feet is a long way. The odds must be something like a 1% survival rate for a 30 foot fall.
We will call him Fred. I asked him how it happened.
Fred told me had climbing sticks attached to a tree. As he reached the top rung and was swinging over to the platform stand, the top restraining strap broke holding the climbing sticks to the tree and he was headed down fast. (In the picture, it would be the yellow strap.)
Fred was wearing a harness but planned to connect once he was on the platform. He had no chance when the strap broke. Does it make you think about your own practices? Yes -- I bet most of us sometimes will take a calculated risk thinking we have everything under control.
I have the same stand setup. It is only about 15 feet high but we all know that a fall of any height can do you in. It would have been better to use multiple straps on the climbing sticks. It would have been better to clip in with the harness before swinging over to the hang on stand. I often do that but I sometimes don't. As hunters, we can get so excited about "the hunt" that we can lose sight of reasonable safe practices. "Sun is rising. Need to get in the stand. Let's cut a corner."
We have all been there.
Hindsight is 20/20.
Equipment can fail so be careful.
Don't take chances and become careless for one moment. Plan your tree stand ascent and have everything organized from hand placement to foot placement.
Look at every piece of gear and think about the outcome should that ratchet strap fail or nylon strap tear.
I count among my best friends others who were not as lucky as Fred. They fell far less distance and were hurt a lot more. Sometimes, a helicopter medivac is your trip home as another freind related his 22 foot fall and compound leg fracture. Mike was going to crawl back to his vehicle. He only made it about 4 feet before the pain became unbearable.
Hindsight is 20/20.
Keep in mind that a crossbow can provide very decent ground hunting opportunities and your hunting season will not end prematurely with both feet on the ground. It is something to consider.
Be safe.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Why I fell out of love with Mechanical Broadheads

Mechanical Broadheads vs. "Cut - on - Contact"

Those mechanicals look cool and a lot of hunters love them but I will take a cut-on-contact broadhead always as my first choice. There is a nice looking "one piece" cut on contact broadhead pictured.

I tallied reviews at a large sporting goods store for a popular mechanical broadhead and most folks couldn't say enough good things about mechanical broadheads. There were 157 reviews but I worried about the 19 folks who didn't enjoy good results and didn't have good things to say. They gave this particular brand very low marks. That is about 12% of the survey audience who weren't very happy. The problems come in three categories. First, the unhappy 12% reported that the mechanical can open on the way to the target and fly off like it was part of an air show. Second, the broadhead might not function correctly when it initially comes into contact with the intended or unintended object. There were reports of ricochet shots off the animal with no penetration. I remember one hunter saying it was like a "pole vaulter" as he watched the arrow glance off the deer hide.(Probably an active imagination.) And finally, there were reports that the mechanical didn't open at impact and behaved like a field point on pass through shots. That is a lot going on. It's only 12%. You figure that some people are unhappy with anything they buy and never have a good thing to say. So maybe its really only 5%. Heck, it might just be 1%. Still a high percentage when the monster of the big woods makes an appearance. 99% isn't good enough then. I fell out of love at last light and the buck was 20 yards away. I was experimenting with the mechanical types just to see for myself. I messed up. There was a small vine between the buck and my shooting position that I forgot about as the sun set below the horizon. Maybe the mechanical deployed from the force of the release. Maybe I pulled the shot. I let the arrow fly and heard a metallic click instead of the expect "thump". I will never know what really happened. I have seen deflections before with broadheads but my guess is that the mechanical snagged a leaf, opened and headed off somewhere else....or it just opened. It was my fault. I just knew that my trusty cut-on-contact would have powered through that little vine and would have found its mark one way or another. It was the "click" that bothered me. I joined the unhappy 5% - 12%. I know I can't talk you out of your mechanical broadhead. They do fly like a field point - right? I can just tell you about the evening that I fell out of love with mechanicals.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Crossbow Hunting - Learning from Experience

Who is the wiser hunter? When you are out in the field, your skills will likely improve if you pay attention to the older, wiser hunter as shown in this photo.
The keyword is "wiser."
Dumb folks won't teach you much and can be dangerous especially around things that shoot bullets or arrows.
Here are four items learned from "wiser hunters" over the years that will prove meaningful in the field.

1. Deer can be very active in the rain.
That means you should be in the woods on a cloudy, rainy day when everyone else is watching the football game. An intermittent rain is ideal. Now a heavy downpour will likely stop all game movement as the animals head for cover --- but a nice "off and on" drizzle could mean a cruising buck dropping by your stand.

2. Consider the routes animals will take. This doesn't mean setting up right on their expected path. It means allowing for an area for the younger deer and does to move into range and not become alarmed by your presence. The larger animals will move in later. If the first animals become alarmed and move off, the whole situation is busted up. Last year, following this advice, I set up on a travel route but always 25 yards on either side of the expected path depending on the wind. A nice buck moved routinely on the same trail each evening like he was following a bus schedule.

3. Study your game target carefully before taking the shot. The message here is "don't rush your shot." THINK. Have I ever taken a bad shot? Yes. In each case, the shot was rushed and not evaluated properly. Both shots were taken from tree stands and the shots were high. The animals survived and no vital areas were hit.

The reason behind the two misses was simply taking the shot too quickly and not thinking the shot through. In one case, I aimed at a center of mass instead of the vitals in the excitement of the moment. In the second instance, I neglected to compensate for the downward angle from the tree stand. At a distance of 30 yards with a 30 degree downward angle, a shooter taking a modern crossbow or compound bow shot should use an aim point 3.8" lower versus taking the same 30 yard shot on level ground. Rush the shot and neglect to do the mental computation and you will shoot high every time.

4. Don't silhouette yourself. Whether on the ground or in a tree stand, you can't be just hanging out there like you don't belong. A good treestand will have cover behind and around your position. Going up a solo tree out in the middle of the woods like a telephone lineman will have deer wondering what is hanging out there from 100 yards away. Conversely, even a hunter on the ground can be very effective with favorable wind conditions and minimal silouette. Consider the hunter with his back against a large oak tree trunk where the tree width is wider than the hunter. Add in a few ground bushes that provide additional cover and with no hunter movement to alarm an approaching deer, the good sized buck passes by at distance of 6 yards. Farfetched -- not really. That happened just last year. Stay safe out there and Good Luck !

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Little Leap of Faith

"Little Leap of Faith" might be required to select Kodabow amidst the numerous crossbow options that exist. We haven't been around forever .... but if it makes you feel better, know that a good percentage of our customers are very experienced and have been shooting brands in the past that have been around longer ---- but they choose us. A Kodabow is made to hunt with plain and simple. We ship them in a box that isn't real pretty. If we put a $3.00 label on the box, it won't help you hunt any better and it is $3.00 less value that goes into the crossbow. We won't change that plain brown box. There is one more thing we will never change. We will always have the time to speak with you and we will never rush through a conversation. A crossbow is investment and when you are spending a significant amount of dollars, you deserve answers. Kodabow is a business but it is also something more than that. We make products that hunters will take to the field and use to kill game animals. No other way to put it. We have a deep respect for that activity and we build a product that is worthy and equal to that task. Hopefully, you can see it and feel it in our crossbows. So when a guy like Richard who runs the Archery Department at Clyde's Sport Shop in Baltimore, Maryland tells us we make "one awesome crossbow" and chooses that product to take his game animal like he did this past Friday, we are rewarded on multiple levels. Rich was extremely happy with his success and the performance of our product. At Kodabow, we were just as happy as Richard knowing that one of our plain brown wrapper crossbows "born" in l'il ole West Chester, PA went out and did its job.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Kodabow Crossbows - Pt. 2 The Exotic Conclusion

Part 2 - The Exotic Conclusion
The picture is Brad, the Kodabow CFO, with his Kodabow Koda-Express 185 and a large Mountain Sheep. More about Brad in a minute.
As previously reported, my Corsican Ram was on the ground, I went to get some transport help for hauling the animal back to camp. It was mid-afternoon when I rejoined the hunters who had been successful earlier in the day. There were plenty of stories to catch up on. Most notable was the 12 year old young hunter, Stan, who made an exceptional offhand 40 yard shot with his crossbow on a extremely large "walking" boar. The boar dropped on the spot and later examination showed that the shot was straight in the heart. 40 yards is a long distance archery shot. Practice apparently makes perfect because the man and mentor behind the scenes was Grandad, Stan Rush, President of the Pennsylvania Crossbow Federation, who trained this young man very well in the proper handling of a crossbow. The guides are still talking about young Stan .... and while "Grandad Stan" took a nice 275 feral hog with his Kodabow, the impressive event of the day was young Stan's coolness and stellar performance under the pressure of the moment. Well done.
We all know that some older vertical compound bow shooters will eventually put down their bow in favor of transitioning to the crossbow. It is an emotional moment. Whether its getting in the field with a traditional longbow, compound or crossbow - it's all good and "Young Stan" is a great example. My bet is that he will likely pick up a vertical compound bow one day and put away his crossbow for a few years. Today however, a crossbow was the tool that provided this young man with a very memorable hunting experience. Some hunters never go all the way to 100% crossbow and find themselves in the limbo status of making a partial transition. They use both vertical bows and crossbows. (That is my category.) This whole area is very sensitive for some reason and discussed in hushed tones. It is extremely rare to actually witness a hunter making the "vertical to horizontal" (VTH) transition in person. While the VTH transition to a crosbow is not so unusual, it normally occurs only at closing time at the local archery shop. A ground blind and a camera with fast film is needed to capture a hunter making the VTH transition for recording purposes. Blink at the wrong time and you can miss the whole event. I will report that I did observe a "full scale" VTH transition during this hunt as a compound bow hunter quietly put down his compound and picked up a Kodabow as the day progressed and proceeded to take a nice Ram with the crossbow. WARNING: All Kodabow crossbows have a strong attractive force field. If you intend to remain a vertical bow shooter or even want to remain satisfied with your present crossbow, do not ever pick up and shoot a Kodabow. Naturally, no one in camp dared to bring much attention to the VTH transition that was occurring in our immediate presence. I made a note to not make a big deal about it.
I spent a few minutes catching up on the events of the day including Kodabow Mark's Russian Boar that simply proved that these big hogs can be real tough customers. After a short tracking episode, all was well that ends well and I am pleased to report that a large ham is in now in the oven at 350 degrees F. thanks to Mark. (We are all still trying to understand the secret behind young Stan's Boar hunting techniques that can drop these large beasts on the spot.)
By now, it was getting late in the day and Kodabow Brad was still out in the wilds. By the process of elimination with 12 hunters now in camp, Brad was going to be "the last man in" and I headed out to see what he was up to. When the guide says, "stay in your stand", Brad is the kind of first class guy to get totally on board with the concept. It should be mentioned that the Hunter's Code absolutely demands that you never leave your stand but it was now time to make a retrieve and bring Brad in. While he related that he was seeing a few animals at the edge of archery range, he did not have the opportunity to take a good shot. The truth is that Brad was prematurely entertaining visions of bacon, smoked ham and pork loins in his head. With a high hog focus, Brad might have even nodded off a few times dreaming af barbecued pork ribs. Now the big boars and huge hogs roaming the land were detecting all this bad pig karma and decided to stay clear of Brad's position. Consequently - no pigs around for miles. Late in the day, a different plan was needed. Brad led the way as we walked a few side hills together seeing absolutely nothing. The Kodabow El-2 sling is a huge benefit in this type of situation. With no lunch, we were both running on empty. We conferred and decided to double back along another route and then quickly made a very timely sighting of a large sheep bedded down on a rock outcropping. In a straightforward manner, Brad worked to get in crossbow range and made a great shot on the big curly horned critter using his Koda-Express 185 Kodabow equipped with 100 gr. Muzzy broadheads. At the shot, the animal disappeared over the ledge. We looked at each other hoping that the large animal did not drop into the large rock abyss below that would have resulted in a monumental amount of late day work. To our surprise, the animal was just over the edge and had not traveled more than 5 yards. Good job Brad.
So ended the hunt.
The conclusion was simply a gathering of good friends ----some who traveled a long way ---- an appreciation for making and taking only acceptable and proper shots ----plenty of Kodabow crossbow action ----- a bunch of stories packed into a tight little package ---- and of course, the rare VTH conversion right before our eyes----- plus the notable achievement by a young man with many hunts ahead ---- reflection by older men who recognize themselves in the starry eyes of the boy standing tall for doing it all too well ---- yes, this experience was just fine. And right now there is a big ham covered in brown sugar that needs checking.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Kodabow Crossbows Chase the Exotics

Part I - The Setup

Late Dinner. The meal is pan butter fried Corsican Ram harvested just yesterday. Yes....it is the middle of August. Nightime temperatures are dropping to the 60's in Central Pennsylvania and the regular fall hunting season is still several weeks out. Listen to me ..... I avoided those crazy "high fence" hunts for years but finally broke down and said "can't be too critical about something I don't know that much about." I made the decision and then watched the weekend party slowly expand to 13 archery hunters carrying both crossbows and vertical bows. In the group, there were folks from the Pennsylvania Crossbow Federation including a 11 year old young man named Stan who harvested his first huge boar. To be honest, I ended up having a great time. From Texas to Pennsylvania, these exotic hunting opportunities exist and can be very reasonable. We hunted at North Mountain Outfitters with a gent named Rocky. Granted, the discussion begins by knowing that this type of hunt is something different. But every hunt is that way. I calculated that if I was heading on this local safari --- the more folks involved the better so I asked our friend Rob (pictured with his Black Hawaiian Ram) if he was interested. Rob holds the honor of being the first Kodabow owner in New Jersey. He was a believer in Kodabow in the early days. Rob said he was in and for the record, it should be noted that long before this picture was taken,Rob said he would really like to make a good shot on a Black Hawaiian Ram. I said OK .... but it sure sounded like Rob was ordering a cocktail. So I said, "I will have a White Russian and a Black Hawaiian for my friend." All hunts have stories and enjoyable moments when we can sit around and pass time in conversation with friends. As the day progressed, there was always action as successful hunters in our group returned to the lodge and told their stories. Rob was back early. He uses a 225 Kodabow Big Rhino and confidently took a shot on the Ram in the photo at 37 yards. After the shot, the animal dropped 5 yards away. With his mobile rail setup, Rob has a steady platform and used the midpoint balance and solid trigger of his Kodabow to his full advantage. To be candid, I was struggling. Thoughts began to surface that I would not make it back to camp with an animal. I was close to some hogs all morning but never saw them in the thick cover. As the sun arced overhead and morning turned into afternoon, there was some very serious hunting going on from my viewpoint. Everyone said this was supposed to be easy. Brad (who also works at Kodabow) was having the same thoughts. We were both scoreless and not partaking in any of the good times back at base camp. Finally, I saw a group of Corsican Rams after I abandoned my stand and began a mile hike across the property. I proceeded to make a successful stalk and took the larger of the two animals. From a prone position, it was a 40 yard shot with my Koda-Express 185, Gold Tip Arrows equipped with 125 gr. large unpopular cut-on-contact broadheads ----- but they sure do fly straight for me. I had a Ram on the ground. Coming soon ....... Part II The Conclusion

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Crossbow Secrets Revealed !

So you want to buy a crossbow?
Pictured is a Kodabow Crossbow hanging amidst the hundreds of items available at a typical archery shop.
Based on research, here is what we found to be important in making your purchase:
1 - Shoot the crossbow: sounds simple but its not and most crossbows are sold without being shot at all or only discharged at 5 or 10 yards. Shoot at a distance of 30 yards or greater because that is a real world hunting distance. Feel the trigger function, cock the crossbow and shoot the bow more than just once or twice. You will own your crossbow for years and making a judgement based only on appearance, the fancy label on a box, or after 1 shot is unwise. At Kodabow, we like to shoot at 40-50 yards with crossbow consumers and go "head to head" with other brands. We like to compete on the range and not on the shelf. That tells the story. As a good friend said, the "outdoor industry is filled with biased viewpoints." There is a bias towards compound crossbows for example. There are always tradeoffs and we see many consumers buy Kodabow after travelling that path and then choosing Kodabow after recognizing the design merits. Yes --- Kodabow has biased views as well ---we believe we make the best "hunting" crossbow when multiple performance factors are weighed together - not just a few elements. Accuracy, durability and reliability are key factors when you are far from town. Kodabow excels in these categories. For a Kodabow, you will likely be spending around $899. Yes --- plenty of money. Only one trip to replace worn cables and strings on a compound and avoidance of all the related hassle will make the Kodabow choice even look smarter. After $150 hunting boots and a $300 treestand, spending $899 for a crossbow tool that will be still standing tall years down the road makes sense so that is why we build to that level of quality.
2 - Inspect the Crossbow: Most items on a crossbow should not move. Wiggle the arrow hold down back and forth and side to side. If it moves, that is sloppy workmanship. Same holds true if the scope is not mounted correctly perpendicular to the flat plane of the string path. The bow will never shoot well at distance. At Kodabow, we are very focused on locking everything down tight for optimal accuracy. We even prefer scopes that are 3 power "fixed" and that cannot move or adjust where vibration can change impact points.
If your crossbow appears complicated, it may require more attention to various components especially when these items are permanently attached to the crossbow.
At Kodabow, we like to keep extraneous items off the bow to keep the lines clean.
The bow will hunt better that way.
3 - Look at the Details: The bowstring should be square and at a right angle to the rail and at a nominal position on the rail. The same model crossbow can't be made "right" if one has the string floating 1/8" above the rail and the next has the string resting on the rail with hard pressure -- both settings can't be correct.
4 - Listen to Actual Experience: But even then, there may be an agenda. Here are the scenarios that mean something to us. A young man purchases a Kodabow the other day. He simply said his Dad was a crossbow enthusiast and owned 5 different crossbows and Dad said that the Kodabow was the best crossbow he owned. The same week, a gent reveals that he works at a big chain that sells crossbows but doesn't carry Kodabow. While he said he has easy access to many different brands, he said he bought a Kodabow for himself. Neither of these folks had any incentive to promote our product -- they just purchased what they evaluated as the best crossbow for themselves based on significant shooting experience. Find a Kodabow shooter and ask them what they think. look for shooters that do not have any commercial reason to choose a Kodabow other than the simple merits of the crossbow. Keep in mind that "satisfaction" is a relative term.
See # 5 below.
5 - Satisfaction Depends on Viewpoint: One customer will be perfectly satisfied with a crossbow that has a problem and it only takes 3 weeks for the parts to arrive to get the bow fixed. In fact, the customer may proudly brag about ther terrific customer service received. The next customer will be extremely upset when anything goes wrong and waiting 3 weeks to get back into the field would be viewed as total failure. We build crossbows for this type of consumer. We don't anticipate downtime for our customers.
A dealer asked us two questions one day as we were introducing Kodabow. Neither question was about bow performance or features that distinguish Kodabow from other crossbows. The first was "how fast can I get parts?" The second was "if you are going to shoot that bow in here, will the limbs break and fail?"
It seems the dealer has lots of experience with parts replacement issues and bows failing --- from the Kodabow perspective, we thought we were on another planet....Jupiter, Mars.....maybe Venus.
6- Crossbows are New: Crossbows are still new. While people generally mean well, if the folks selling you a crossbow don't have the time to answer your questions or only seem oriented to selling what is "in stock" and exhibit no willingness to deliver other options, that is not desirable. Often, it is not the dealership - just your bad luck getting paired up with an inexperienced sales person that might know the fishing department better than archery. Crossbows are still new to many dealer organizations. We were at a recent show and another factory representative confided to me that he "learned about the crossbow he was selling last night."
Ask the tough questions and see if the answers make logical sense. We like tough questions.
7 - Be Smart: Organizations should stand behind their product but don't expect the same pricing structure from Dealer A to get your crossbow back together and help you out of a jam when you shopped at Dealer B several states away to get your crossbow at Cut Rate Freddy's Discount Emporium. Sure you saved $50 but it costs money to maintain a service level. Dealer A would likely get you straightened out at no charge if you had purchased the crossbow there but expect to pay to get back on track when the bow was purchased elsewhere. Elsewhere and low cost often means service levels are "zero."
8 - Don't Rush into a Decision: Some items (like string supressors standard on a Kodabow) are sold as aftermarket kits on other crossbows. The kit could easily be $60. The numbers begin to add up on the discount $599 "crossbow special" when accessories are added or the "package scope" was not really what you were after to begin with and another $90 is out the door. Mix in a few cheaper arrows and you can find yourself in the position of buying twice instead of quality once. Quality scopes are standard on every Kodabow along with AR-15 quality components.
Kodabow also sells a SuperPak for $100 that includes 6 premium carbon fiber arrows ($40), a well made quiver ($35), a spare bowstring ($30), Silicone Bowstring Wax ($6), an EL-2 Sling ($15), Bowjax Limb Dampeners ($22) .... bought individually, nearly $150 in value of quality high performance items that are solid or we wouldn't sell them.
The internet can be helpful but there is also plenty of bad information as well. Look for trends of reporting similar information from multiple sources to get the best picture. At Kodabow, we are not following the pack.
We have considerable hunting experience. If it was as simple as buying the cheapest bow or the fastest bow or the lightest/heaviest bow or the bow with the best looking box or the most colorful bow, or the bow with the most gizmos, or the bow that looks best in a magazine ad, we would never sell a single crossbow. That is not what we are about.
We make hunting crossbows that work ---- crossbows that can be depended upon to shoot straight ---- ones that hold up to hard hunting and bring home game.
Be safe out there ..... and check out Kodabow.
Our best,
The Kodabow Team

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Kodabow Crossbow Review on a Bear Hunt

A gentleman and writer named Daniel James Hendricks recently went on a Bear hunting trip and wrote a nice review of our product. He successfully took a Black Bear but equally important (at least to us folks at Kodabow) is that this man really "got it" when it came to understanding the Kodabow crossbow. You can see the whole article with multiple pictures at bowhunting.com but here for your reading pleasure are some excerpts from the article and only one of the many pictures. Enjoy !

"My recent trip to Canada for spring bear provided me with an opportunity to begin development of a personal relationship with one of the new kids on the block of the rapidly expanding crossbow world – the Kodabow. Kodabow is an American made crossbow distributed out of Pennsylvania. It is of recurve configuration and is an extremely well made piece of equipment."

"The Koda-Express from Kodabow is every bit as good as it looks."

"On this particular mission I was using the Koda-Express, which has a 185 lb draw weight and is rated at up to 305 fps in the speed category depending on arrow weight. That’s a lot of power as far as crossbows go, but Kodabow has two more models that are even more powerful than the Koda-Express. I have always been a proponent of “it’s not how fast your arrow goes, but where you put the broadhead that counts!” Shot placement is critical and the first thing that I learned about the Koda-Express is that it is an extremely accurate shooting bow. Confidence, which in my humble opinion is the most important asset a hunter can possess, is quickly acquired with this crossbow and from that point on the rest is just plain fun."

"Easy to assemble, the Koda-Express comes complete with a rope cocker, a destringing aid and several optic options. My bow is topped off with a Hawke HK3244, which is perhaps my favorite Hawke scope. Choosing my favorite Hawke is a tough call, but it is reassuring to know that one of the best, new crossbows in the field comes adorned with one of the best crossbow scopes in the field, as well."

"The Koda-Express I received must have been zeroed in at the plant by the senders because when I took the first shot at 10 yards, I was a little high of dead center. At 20 yards, I was right on the money. The second mark was right on at 28 yards and the third zeroed at 36. I did not go beyond that mark as there is little likelihood that I would ever shoot beyond that distance and as always, lack of time to play with my new toy was a major consideration."

"The adjustable military style stock and pistol grip definately enhance use. "

"I really like the Military-style adjustable stock and rear pistol grip. It allowed me to adjust the bow to a perfect fit and the pistol grip makes for easier handling. The bow has an adjustable 90 degree hand grip on the fore-end, but I was not impressed with that option and did not use it other than to stabilize the bow in the ladder stand."

"An automatic safety engages when the bow is cocked and has an ambidextrous release that is clearly marked. There is an anti-dry fire mechanism to prevent accidental discharge, which could seriously damage the bow or its user. "

"A feature that I really appreciate is the anti-dry fire indicator level which allows the user to visually confirm that device is working and also that the arrow is properly seated when it is loaded. The trigger pull is smooth and crisp allowing for steady and accurate release. "

"My Koda-Express has a machined riser with built in string-dampening pods that serve to make the bow quieter when fired. Its rail is also machined from solid aluminum for durability and lightness and is designed to safely keep my fingers away from the string. One of my favorite features of the Kodabow, as silly as it may seem, is the flat, oval ring that is attached to the bottom of the riser. I don’t even know what its proper name is; I just call it “Wonderful”. Not only can it assist in keeping your fingers away from the string when you are shooting, but when resting in the stand it allows the shooter to comfortably and stably balance the bow on their lap, hands-free, without danger of it tipping or falling from the perch. This bow is packed with “little things” that demonstrate the long and clear thought that went into its design and construction. And with the crossbow market becoming so competitive, it’s the little things that can really make the difference in the long term relationship with your crossbow. "

"The Koda-Express performed flawlessly in the field while serving as the core of my hunting equipment package. I combined it with Lumen-Arrows and the new Rage Crossbow broadheads. The combination proved to fatal for my quarry with only a fifteen yard chip-shot being required in order to close the deal. All of the time spent shooting arrows into the target with the Koda-Express paid handsome dividends at the moment of truth when the hunt ended in the blink of an eye with one perfectly placed shot. The startled bear hit the large tree right behind the bait and nimbly climbed to escape danger unable to stem the doom that had already be sealed by the killer Kodabow. The shot was clean, humane and quickly dispatched the bear. I really didn’t have to shoot the bear as the fall out of the tree would have killed it."

"All Kodabows are of recurve configuration with a solid and well designed string attachment.
In the final analysis of this hunt, the Koda-Express did all that was expected and required of it and is a super value at a MSRP of $800. And there were a few unexpected benefits realized from the many hours spent in the ladder stand with the bow, but the bottom line is that I am looking forward to the next outing with one of the newest and most solidly built crossbows on the market. Now I know that there are two even more powerful Kodabows available, but it is my humble opinion that the Koda-Express is equipped to handle any animal on the North American continent and therefore is all of the crossbow that any hunter would ever need. Personally, I would be more inclined to want to examine Kodabow’s Alpha Strike, which is their 155 lb draw weight model. Any more power than that contained in the Koda-Express is unnecessary overkill - unless you are hunting a Tyrannosaurus Rex."

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Crossbow Hunting with Confidence and a Kodabow

There is nothing more important than confidence in the field. When we first met Patrick Elswick, he simply said "I found about Kodabow, had a chance to shoot your crossbow, and I want to hunt with Kodabow."
He could have picked a number of different crossbow companies. At Kodabow, we see thousands of hunters and some have TV Shows. This was a unique individual. Patrick's sincerity and his background as a marksman in the USMC reflect a genuine nature and that is very much aligned with our Kodabow attitude. He holds nothing back . Although he hails from West Virginia, he will give you his viewpoint in a New York second. (That is very fast.) Patrick has faced many challenges no different than many returning servicemen who have battled in Iraq, Afghanistan and other remote parts of the world. He has a sense of maturity beyond his years that comes from taking a few hits on and off the battlefield. It all doesn't come out right away. Having breakfast at Tudor's Biscuit World in West Virginia (the name says it all!), Patrick communicates a quiet intensity about life in and out of the military. We are on the same wavelength.
Part of the story is behaving like there is "not much time." Get things done. Move fast. Build strong relationships. Patrick hunts that way. His partner, Jason Hanson, at Killbillies Outdoors http://www.killbilliesoutdoors.com/ shares the same level of maturity and passion that comes from knowing what you want to do. Jason was a Delta Airline pilot. These two men, both under the age of 30, now have a TV Show which is not earthshaking these days ..... but we think these men are special. We predict that you will be hearing a lot from Patrick and Jason in the years ahead.
We make our way to the Killbillies Headquarters. Apparently, it is not easy making a great TV Show. There appears to be a billion items to worry about. Versus and NBC have high standards and Patrick and Jason ensure that they meet the requirements. The schedule for filming and final editing is tight and good is never good enough. Everything is professional. Audio is reviewed. Small things get plenty of attention. Existing sponsors stay in touch and new sponsors are calling. The phone keeps ringing and it seems a lot of people want a piece of the Killbillies ---- folks in and out of the outdoor industry. These young men attract a fan base and local folks stop in and say hello while we visit. We step back a bit but quickly become engaged in the flow. "What do you think about this ?" is frequently heard. Even Sam, our Kodabow Labrador, is welcome and quickly settles in amidst all the action. We stop at a local sporting goods store and again, the welcome is West Virginia warm and a Killbillie archery hunt is planned with the retailer. One of the reasons that Patrick is smiling is that he has "confidence". He took a nice bear in Canada a few days earlier with the Kodabow that is on the table next to him. Jason worked the camera. They drove 14 hours straight to get to Northern Quebec. Move fast....get things done. Patrick and Jason hunted hard with Kodabow during the last year and that smile is all about confidence. We build a bow that will never let the Killbillies down. Patrick and Jason work hard -- everything is professional -- even their crossbow.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Toss a Dog Two Biscuits ........

Toss two biscuits to a dog at once and most dogs will miss both of them most of the time. One biscuit is always caught on the fly time but get 2 in the air and the excitement of tracking the 2 inbound targets results in system overload and both biscuits fall to the floor.

The way Spring Turkey Season is supposed to work is to (1) find a male turkey and (2) call the male turkey over by sounding like a female turkey and (3) head home for a turkey dinner.

So here is how the story plays out. Instead of finding just a single turkey, this hunter hears two turkeys gobbling away. That is way better than just finding 1 turkey. Being a smart hunter, let's position about 140 yards out between the 2 birds and begin making the sounds of a lovesick hen. Logic says that 1 of these wise old longbeards will come our way. Amidst all the goobles, yelps and purrs, the next 1 minutes and 40 seconds results in both birds racing each other up the hill towards me on a direct collision course and appear to be destined to arrive simultaneously from their different directions. Much like the dog with two biscuits in the air, this hunter slowly moves to the bird on the right and then back to the bird on the left and then back to the bird on the right and finally with the surprise of a bird now at 10 yards, let's swing that way only to get busted but delay long enough to miss swinging back to the right and get totally busted as the 2nd bird tops a rock and is now also at 10 yards. Rookie mistake.

Busted two times by the 1 minute and 50 second point and both dog biscuits hit the floor.

The next time, just pick one bird. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Whoever said that was a turkey hunter.

(Pictured above is Kodabow Man - Mark Gurnee who shared opening day of Pennsylvania Turkey Season this past Saturday with Kodabow Man - Chuck Matasic who was watching dog biscuits in the air.)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

All about the Arrow

A Kodabow crossbow is all about casting an arrow (or bolt for those who prefer) downrange accurately. At the moment the crossbow trigger releases the string catch, the high speed forces of stored kinetic energy are transferred from the limbs and string to the arrow and the whole shooting process shifts to being all about the arrow. This assumes that a crossbow is casting the arrow perfectly downrange like a fastball and not a curveball. A Kodabow is an All-Star in this regard but that is a whole different discussion.

Here are some considerations. There are 2 highly visible areas on an arrow. Because we can "see" these, namely the "vanes" and the "broadhead", many if us talk about these elements the most. Forget about them for a moment.

It may not be pretty but a torn, rippled vane often shoots very well at hunting distances. At times, the broadhead is blamed as the problem but the issue could be in the crossbow itself or in the type of arrow selected and how that arrow is setup before the broadhead is ever attached.

Vanes and broadheads are important for sure but spend also some time on the elements that can't be seen. First, look at FOC % and calculate the FOC % (Forward of Center) for your arrows. A quick internet search provides the formula. Basically, a front weighted arrow provides a longer lever for the vanes to steer from behind ..... a rear weighted arrow is harder to control. Crossbow arrows are short and harder to control to begin with vs. longer vertical bow arrows. Flight experts believe 14% or greater FOC is desirable in a crossbow arrow. We like 17% -18% and the quality arrows we ship with Kodabow crossbow packages are at those values depending on either 100 gr. or 125 gr. heads. Of course, more weight on the front to an extreme will cause higher arrow "drop" at longer ranges but this is manageable and if that factor comes into play too much, you just might be attempting too long of a shot.

The other factor that can't be seen is arrow shaft construction. Some hunters might buy a dozen arrows and reserve 6 factory fresh arrows for hunting and never shoot them. They will utilize the remaining 6 arrows for practice. THIS IS NOT A GOOD IDEA. We suggest you shoot every arrow and chart how they group. Select the top arrows for your hunt. 99% of the time, this is about small differences but we are always looking for the "lone wolf" arrow that might be motivated to leave the pack. Take a small marker and number each of the arrows. As perfect as the arrow makers try to manufacture, there is always some variance. Weight ... spine..... the best way to see things is to shoot them all. If the invisible spine on a particular arrow deviates from the norm and is heavier on one side of the shaft than the other, the arrow might steer and move 4" or more at 30 yards. A stout FOC % and more vane engagement to steer the shaft can offset inherent shaft variances. In the end, nothing beats shooting and the results on the target tell the whole story. But don't go afield without validating ALL THE ARROWS in your quiver. Safe hunting!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hunters, Friends and the "Meaning" of Kodabow

Pictured is a good friend, Jake, who passed away this month at the age of 14 years and 3 months. This photo was taken in his younger days. He was truly a dedicated partner and patiently taught everyone that he knew more about bird strategy than any two legged hunter could ever hope to learn.
Jake beat the average for Labrador Retreivers which is only 12 1/2 years on this earth - and was a remarkable hunter. The short lifespan of a dog is a difficult thing. Yes, we cried.

Sam is another Lab (not pictured) that hangs around the Kodabow offices and is a young 3 years old. He is related to Jake. If you have been with Kodabow at a trade show in 2011 or visited our West Chester, PA Kodabow facility, you know Sam! One day, we will sort out a method to hunt pheasants with a crossbow and a Lab and pass the knowledge along. Friends are important.

Here is some background. When we formulated a name for this crossbow company, we eventually were drawn to a Native American word for friend - and "Koda" was born. The rest is history. The intent was to build a crossbow that would be your "friend" in the field. A crossbow that could be depended upon to help you take game successfully. We strive to meet that objective and be a friend to counted upon. Recently, we had the chance to speak with several Kodabow owners (our friends) and here is what they told us. Their comments were so unusually terrific, we felt the need to share. Again, these are real Kodabow owners and the comments are totally unedited:

"Sometimes I put my Kodabow on my bed and just look at it."

"I love my Kodabow. Nobody has seen anything like it around here and nobody will ever take it from me."
"My son bought a Kodabow and shoots six arrows every day. I don't shoot mine so much but I like to watch my son and his friend, Bob, shoot their Kodabows."

"You don't find products made this way anymore. This crossbow will last forever. And I really like that it is made in the USA."
"Kodabow is a great crossbow and every chance I have, I push my friends towards this bow."

Yes, friends are important. Friends who hunt are truly special.
Enjoy your time together.
It all goes by so fast.

Friday, March 18, 2011

HUGE .... for some shooters

This is a picture of a Kodabow front end. If you own a Kodabow, you know about this "piece" because it required two bolts to attach these limbs during initial assembly of your crossbow in order to shoot. (We ship the limbs strung. If you purchase a Kodabow in box at your dealer, it only takes 2 bolts to put the crossbow together.)

The HUGE part is this.

(1) We maintain the same geometry across our complete line of crossbow offerings. (2) That means if you buy an additional front end at a different limb weight, you can use the same trigger group and the same rail to shoot both of your Kodabow front ends.

For example ..... a shooter could own a 200# limb set and change it out to a 155# limb set in about 60 seconds. Why? Some shooters enjoy a target set of limbs but prefer to hunt with a different set of heavier limbs. Lots of reasons. A complete Kodabow front end assembly sells for $299.99.
For years, shotgun hunters have enjoyed the interchangeable nature of owning a 12/20 gauge combination or a 20/28 gauge combination where a separate set of 20 ga. barrels could replace a 12 ga. set on the same receiver. This is the same concept.
And it is unique to Kodabow.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Targets & Crossbows Working Together

At Kodabow, we shoot crossbows all day long for product testing and development. A durable crossbow target is mandatory. Kodabow chooses Big Shot Targets for our indoor range and field demonstrations. The same need for proven performance is required at a target maker like Big Shot Targets.
Al Perelli (L) of Big Shot Targets needs a crossbow he can work hard and get "same hole consistency" to put his targets through their paces.
He chooses Kodabow.
Pictured with Al is Chuck Matasic (R) of Kodabow.
Chuck says "With Big Shot, we are able to remove arrows easily and it is truly a 2 finger pull. These targets can take a beating and keep going." Both Big Shot and Kodabow are headquartered in Southeastern Pennsylvania and share common interests in advancing the use of crossbows for hunting and cooperatively growing their businesses by delivering the best consumer products they can make. Kodabow Crossbows and Big Shot Targets working together!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"Crossbows That Work"

Kodabow issued a Press Release today describing our "Crossbows that Work" campaign.

It means that we expect our crossbows to keep you in the hunt. Never let you down. Be a friend. Even when things go wrong like when a broadhead nicks a string. Just change the string and keep going.

"Koda" is a Native American" word for friend ..... and just like your Labrador can be a best friend, sporting equipment can take on that similar spirit for some hunters. Hours in the field. There in time of need. Faithful companions.

Pictured is a Kodabow in a photographic pose on a Texas hunt. The hunter thought highly enough of his crossbow to take a photo to memorialize the moment. Our kind of guy.

Also pictured is a Labrador, Sam, who hangs with us at Kodabow most days and gladly put in 14 days on the road at Kodabow trade shows in February. This included an 8 night stay at a Marriott Residence Inn. Sam enjoyed the Residence Inn and complimentary breakfast but turned in early most evenings

"My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me." - Henry Ford

Thursday, February 24, 2011

How far can I shoot ?

We often get asked the question regarding "how far can I shoot?" A gentleman said that he had been chasing a big buck in the last year and he could get no closer than 60 yards. No closer ....it was always 60 yards. He asked if our bow could help him. He was currently shooting a crossbow where he had accuracy out to 43 yards but after that, he had no confidence in his bow or the shot. Our answer was --- "get closer and make the 40 yard shot.... 20 or 30 yards would be better". Don't buy our bow thinking you can spend money and take longer shots. The nature of a crossbow makes it a shorter range shooting tool. While accuracy of our crossbow can be much further, a good decent, ethical archery shot is 40 yards or less. (ie. be a hunter, not a sniper). Here is why. It was lunchtime in Africa a few years ago and we were taking shots with our vertical bows at 80 yards. My partner was consistently banging a cola can at 80 yards with his judo point much to the amazement of our PH (Professional Hunter) and I was impressed as well. The conversation quickly turned towards making a stalk that afternoon and duplicating the shot we were making in camp on a blesbok or similar sized antelope. We were all excited and a little stupid. The PH was fueling the fire because he had seen many archers but few that could shoot that well consistently. Like most schemes, this venture was destined to go awry. We made the stalk. The arrow was launched. A perfect shot. A lot can happen during the "time of flight" on a long trajectory and in this case, the animal took a half step. We spent the rest of the day and the next morning recovering the poorly hit animal. Lesson learned. Be a hunter. During that expedition, several animals were taken at 30 yards or less and none of the animals traveled further than 40 yards. Pictured is a nice impala taken with archery equipment done the right way. We looked in the video archives here at Kodabow and found the first shots we ever took with a Kodabow at longer distances. In this situation, the distance was 70 yards and wind was blowing right to left at 6-14 mph. The first 2 shots were orientation to the distance (prototype bow, first shots remember) and the final 4 arrows were launched using the proper hold position. Even with a good 3x optic, shooting at 70 yards is not totally an exact science --- and even with variable wind in the mix, we were able to get a decent group that afternoon at the lengthy 70 yard distance. VIDEO CLIP AVAILABLE ON "KODABOW YOUTUBE". That was with shop arrows - nothing special. We do much better today and try to pick days without the wind blowing hard. Accuracy wise, a Kodabow can be an exceptional performer. It doesn't mean that a long shot is advisable. Restrict your shooting to 10, 20 or 30 yards. Go to 40 yards if you have the confidence and have practiced at that range. We say "be a hunter."

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Philadelphia Outdoor Show - 19 February 2011

Shooting with the Philadelphia Soul Cheerleading Squad - and by the way, she made the shot.

Mark demonstrating how to destring a Kodabow.
Brad and Mark always ready to help.

Christina getting ready to take a shot.

Monday, February 14, 2011

9 days - 500 shooters - 1500 arrows

No kidding ...... no issues ..................................................... "Just a crossbow that works"

Inspired by a Business Card

Kodabow shot for 9 days straight at the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show that ended yesterday. We sent about 1500 arrows downrange during the 9 day show from a single Koda-Express 185. No issues. None expected.
Met some great folks. We were limited to a 15 yard range distance and quickly realized that to make it all interesting, shooting at a target would become old pretty quick. Apples were too easy, marshmallows too sticky.... but small round Dum Dum lollipops emerged as a fun item to exercise the crossbow. We rarely missed. These pops are about the size of a dime and explode on impact. Whether young or old, experienced or not, most shooters went home with bare lollipop at the first Kodabow Eastern Outdoor Lollipop Shoot. Towards the end of the show, a nice gent comes to visit with a simple request. He said he has been walking around looking at different crossbows and simply wanted to actually see a crossbow shoot two arrows and have them fall next to one another. He indicated that he walked around the Show and just was not able to see that happen. We taped a Kodabow business card on the target and aimed at the small Kodabow logo in the upper left corner of the card. First arrow hits the logo. Second arrow goes in the same hole. We removed the tape and handed him the business card. The gentleman looked at us and said, "I finally found my bow. I'll buy one. Very nice." Whatever it takes! Shooting video from the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show will be posted shortly.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show 7 February

Rob showing his shooting style on a rail from his rugged hunting chair. He is on the staff at Able Outdoors and with his Press Pass, stopped by early before the show opened-- these guys at Able Outdoors show that being in a wheelchair can't stop a dedicated hunter. Rob was
one of our first Kodabow customers. He was successful with his Kodabow at 40 yards this past season taking a nice buck. The other photo depicts attendees at the show looking over the Kodabow product line.
We are blessed to have loyal customers who not only visit with us but also work with us in key support roles at the show...... they volunteer to help and expect nothing in return other than the satisfaction that comes with helping our company grow. There is absolutely nothing better than having a company spokesperson be a real customer that shoots a Kodabow crossbow and enjoys sharing his (or her) observations and experiences in the field with others.

Taking Kodabow Video

Kodak makes a small video camera that sells for approximately $150 that is a nice way to take outdoor video. The camera can shoot in high definition (HD)....and has some limits for distance but we find it interesting. Here is a video in "slow motion" taken with the Kodak rep's assistance during the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show. (Harrisburg, PA) The key was to avoid hitting the camera with the arrow......We just said 'trust us."

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Last Day of the Season

13" inches of snow that made plenty of noise when walking, a light swirling wind
and a temperature cold enough to keep most critters hunkered down in their beds meant the opportunity to fill a doe tag would be long shot ..... and that is the way 2011 ended. Snow makes the outdoors special ..... following tracks of feeding deer aimlessly wandering in a general direction, noting how deer selected the best bedding areas --- a good time to be out. Overhanding logs or brush to shelter falling snow were ideal picks.... small bed equals a small deer but big bed and big tracks --- lets the imagination wander.

The biggest lesson of the year involved playing the wind correctly.

Light swirling winds were always a problem whether from the ground or a treestand. A good 10 mph or higher consistent wind from a single direction was always preferred and deer encounters increased accordingly. Nothing new there.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Photos by Mirko @ Crossbow-Review.com

Mirko getting ready to launch an arrow downrange at the Archery Trade Show - January 2011. It wasn't a 40 yard shot
but he did hit the bullesye.

He is shooting a Bravo Zulu with special production snakeskin limbs.
Very sharp photos !
Craftsmanship shows.

Kodabow Big Rhino in Mossy Oak Breakup hanging in the Kodabow booth with our favorite quiver ---- the one we like to attach to a backpack.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dangerous Game Rifles & Crossbows

I was having lunch with a gent who hosts a popular TV hunting show who was about to leave for Africa to hunt Cape Buffalo - Dangerous Game. It would be his first buffalo. During lunch, my friend was flipping through flashcards that showed proper shot placement from different angles.
At lunch .... are you kidding me?
Intense - yes!
Important not to screw up - yes!
Serious guy - yes!
In Africa, small details matter. My friend was right to get ready and do his homework. Even if it meant looking at flashcards. That is why a PH (Professional Hunter) taking a client in the African bush is very sensitive to everything from how well the "sport" will shoot to the equipment and arms that are being used. A few years ago, I took a rifle to Africa in conjunction with a rifle manufacturer sponsoring a hunt. While taking a shot at a Red Hardebeest, this particular firearm malfunctioned and failed to shoot. In camp that night, it was the big event and was discussed for hours. While it was only a Red Hardebeest, it could have been a more dangerous critter. The reputation of that rifle product for that PH was forever tarnished. Now how does all this pertain to Kodabow?
The first thing that a crossbow must absolutely do is to shoot dependably.
100% of the time.
In Africa... in Pennsylvania..... first sign of trouble, leave it behind. That is the attitude among serious hunters.
If the bow won't shoot reliably, all the other things that don't matter - like bow cost , feet per second or even the number of dancing TV guys doing "high fives" like they just scored an NFL touchdown after taking a shot.... if the crossbow has the slimmest chance of ending up on a counter in an archery Pro Shop because it won't shoot, it really should be game over.
Your confidence is gone.
When there is any probability that a part can fail or not function in harmony with a shooter in times of stress, it is not going on a Kodabow. Our recurve design takes away a whole bunch of worries if we were approaching this from an "African" perspective. We are far from the only people that figured this out. It is just worth restating. We don't worry about cables fraying or cams being bent, damaged or getting off track. Yes, a Kodabow is "over engineered" but it is perfectly engineered for properly executing a shot on a game animal at 40 yards. It swings nicely to the shoulder and is well balanced.
Most hunters get excited to some degree when a game animal is within range but if the controls on the crossbow can help the shooter manage the situation naturally, a good outcome can be expected. That is why the Kodabow safety has a cam action, with ambidextrous levers on the right and left side of the receiver and a visual indicator to show that the crossbow arrow is properly loaded. The limb tips are tough and turn a weak exposure area into a strength.
Yes - we know all this isn't as as sexy as having a couple of idler wheels, cams and a few changes in direction of string and cables. In fact, there isn't much to say about two limbs and a string except that the odds are very high that the mechanism will work as designed. Should a mishap occur in the field, a Kodabow is perfectly engineered for a string change away from home. The use of machined components versus plastic or molded metal parts is favored because we know that it just makes more sense to have this level of quality between you and a Cape Buffalo (or bear, antelope or deer) in the field.
We are growing fond of a saying that we saw the other day which stated, "it is better to buy quality once than cheapness twice."
In summary, most of us will never hunt dangerous game with a Kodabow. With the opportunities for hunting close to home, we are more likely to employ a Kodabow for deer hunting like the successful hunter and friend in the photograph above. Nevertheless, it is comforting to know that the engineering and thought process behind Kodabow will stand up well to the rigorous "dangerous game" assessment. This type of thinking and bow design comes with every Kodabow. Enjoy it.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Snakes and Antlers

A sunny day and I was high on a ridge in Wyoming glassing for mule deer across the burnt orange foothills.
More focused at 1,000 yards than the immediate surroundings, THERE IT WAS --- I somehow managed to walk up on a large rattlesnake that was now coiled no more that 5 inches from the toes of my hunting boots. Hunting alone, it should have ended right there but it wasn't my time.
The color of that snake is EXACTLY a "perfect match" to the Kodabow pictured above (right). We also decorated a bow with a brown deer skull antler pattern (left) and these crossbows not only shoot crazy good ---- they look a little edgy too. Kodabow will be at the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show between 5 February and 13 February in Booth EB 313. Please stop by.
On another note, we visited with a dealer this week that very recently picked up his first Kodabow. It was a Koda-Express 185 lb crossbow - Black Night Weave. In the last few days, he was able to harvest a deer in Pennsylvania's late season with a quartering away shot that was a complete pass through. He also spent a lot of time on the range compiling extensive information about Kodabow performance with different arrows both at normal hunting distances as well as way out there distances. We will share that information here but the short version is, "wow, is that bow well built and accurate !" Be safe --- see you in Harrisburg, PA if you can make it. - Kodabow