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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.

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