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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

Monday, January 10, 2011

Crossbow Marketing 101 - Avoid the Skunk

As we pulled out of the parking lot after the Archery Trade Association Show in Indianapolis this week, I reflected on how much of our success depends on getting our message out and putting our crossbow in user's hands. We never get tired about talking about Kodabow and that is an important character trait at a 3 day trade show.
Marketing is a big part of the archery industry and a lot of the marketing activity is pretty far removed from hunting and making crossbows. The trade show world is where TV celebrities, NASCAR race cars, large banners hanging from the ceilings and imaginative booths filled with bowls of candy communicate how terrific an archery product works. Our message was very simple.
Kodabow makes "common sense" hunting crossbows.
It means that every detail on our crossbow has been thought out ..... from where we attach the sling to how well the crossbow fits in your hand when sitting in a ground blind or stand. We spent 3 days showing attendees how small things all add up to make a huge difference. And when we shot the crossbow at the range, there were plenty of smiles. Now everything didn't work out absolutely perfectly in Indianapolis. We might have selected a better booth location.
Notes for the ATA Show 2012:
(1) Pay attention to the location of the Skunk Scent Company.
(2) Locate Kodabow booth at the opposite end of the convention center from Skunk Scent Company.
In two weeks or so, we will be in Harrisburg, PA. Beginning on 5 February at the Eastern Outdoor Sports Show ---- look for the Kodabow folks with the straightfoward message ... follow the skunk scent ...... and look for smiling faces.