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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

March is Gear Prep Time -- Nothing else to do!

March is an ideal time to take a realistic assessment of your gear -- or take the dog for a walk because there is nothing better to do for a few weeks before Spring Turkey season kicks in.
Sam as a young pup! He has worked the 9 day NRA Show for several years now. See article below.

If you are positioned to have hunting opportunities right now (like Texas hogs), you are fortunate and good luck! If not, maybe pick up a new skill until the time is right.


Here are a few ideas: 

Deep thoughts on Fletching and Vanes:  Maybe it is time to learn to fletch your own arrows if you don't know how. Can you use feathers in a crossbow? Certainly. Can you pick other colors and styles than the 4" parabolic plastic vane that we supply on our standard Kodabow Magnum .338 arrow. You bet!
But keep in mind that the Kodabow Magnum .338 arrow is one of the best kept secrets in the crossbow industry as one customer recently told us! 


From Left to Right: 3 traditional arrows with 4" to 5" long feathers and a high amount of helical. This degree of helical won't work well down a crossbow rail. The red arrow was redone with 2" Blazer vanes with helical. The helical works because of the shorter vane. The two arrows to on the right are standard Kodabow Magnum .338 Arrows with 2 degree offset.
The best practice for crossbow arrows is to avoid putting so much helical on a vane or feather that the poor arrow can't get down the crossbow rail without making heavy contact. What works is a standard 2 degree offset on a long vane or feather. The vane is applied in a straight line exactly like on our Kodabow Magnum .338 arrow. If you are using shorter vanes and feathers, you can try helical (which twists the vane around the arrow and is more aggressive than offset) and still be safe because of the shorter fletching length like on the red arrow above .....but it won't work on a 4" vane. 
Here are some other considerations:
Weight: Feathers weigh about 1/3 the weight of plastic vanes. Feathers are lighter. Feather companies will also tell you that the surface of a feather engages the air mass better than the slick surface of plastic which is favorable.... and since the 3 feathers are lighter, they will help boost the FOC (Forward of Center % - high %  is a good thing) vs. the 3 plastic vanes by eliminating weight at the rear of the arrow. Feathers are slightly less durable but I have never found that aspect to be a real issue. (except in real heavy rain and snow.)  To make arrows, you will need feathers or vanes, and cement. An early decision will be to choose a jig that will help you affix the feather/vane precisely at 120 degree intervals. We use a brand called the "Jo Jan Fletcher" for repairs and building custom arrows and it can do one vane on 6 arrows at a time. Other options are single arrow fletching jigs like the Bohning, Aizona EZ Fletch or Bitzenberger -- do your homework and choose what you like or find appealing. Another tip - we find that standard Gorilla Instant Glue --- makes a great fletching cement and is much less expensive (comes in a big bottle) than typical "archery specific" fletching cements. This is the white stuff --- not the brown colored Gorilla Glue and you can find it at your local arts and crafts store. But then again... those Kodabow Magnum .338 arrows sure are sweet. (Hint: How much longer before our current fabulous prices increase?) More important - why do any of this? Maybe it is just to repair arrows or because you simply want to try your hand at it. One customer went through the whole process and found that accuracy with his "custom" arrows could equal the Kodabow Magnum Arrows - but he could never make an arrow shoot any better.

Camo Face Paint  If you haven't tried it, we think you should. Forget the constant facemask hassle. Buy some for the Spring Turkey hunting season. We sell this three tube kit on our website for $13.99. And if we sell it, you know it is good and it works! 

Link to Kodabow Accessories



The Presidential Election: About a month ago, Petersen's Hunting Journal made a real strong case to Sportsmen to consider voting for Donald Trump. Politics are your own business but we always attempt to stay fully informed around here --- and while Donald's behavior on the campaign trail has certainly been controversial, it appears a lot of folks really like him.  The media and political elites can't stand the guy and are doing the best to derail his campaign but with a lot of voters behind him, he might be unstoppable. Here is the article by Michael Schoby.

 http://www.petersenshunting.com/conservation-politics/why-sportsmen-should-vote-for-donald-trump/



Trump's son, Don Jr. is the real deal when it comes to hunting and bow hunting in particular. I am impressed with Don Jr. He appears authentic and genuine. I think it is reasonable to believe that should Trump win the 2016 election, his son Don Jr. would be a tremendous asset for the American Sportsman. Long before the election campaign, Don Jr. was frequently on hunting forums. One seller of a traditional bow was surprised when Don Jr. made payment with a check and the seller realized the identity of the buyer. Don Jr. appears to be a regular guy - had to work at it a little harder but he looks like he really knows his archery stuff.  

Wierd Crossbow Excusions:  Crossbows (and archery equipment in general) have plenty of energy. In certain circumstances, the force behind the arrow can cause a carbon arrow to flex and spring back in unusual ways. Hunters have discharged crossbow arrows into the ground and unknowingly struck a buried root causing the arrow to flex and rebound directly back towards the hunter. A high speed arrow passing right by your face will get your attention. That can be dangerous. Always consider your backstop. A few years ago, I shot a deer at 15 yards with my Kodabow. As the arrow entered the deer's engine room, the arrow direction was altered by bone and muscle in a very peculiar manner and the arrow flexed and turned 90 degrees going straight up in the air --- high --- at least 30 feet --- then floated down to the ground at my feet. The deer was dead 20 yards away but the path of the arrow was impressive. Another time, a Kodabow customer related that he shot over his target one day and struck an oak tree in the backyard just right. The arrow's direction was altered 90 degrees and ended up in the fender of his F-150. The picture below was taken at the NRA Show in Harrisburg PA. Look closely at the center of the door. A vertical bow arrow was launched apparently a little high on the target range and traveled into a large metal overhead door nearly finding freedom in the parking lot. Yikes! We observed an improved backstop in place shortly thereafter. Always be sure of your backstop! 



9 Days in Harrisburg, PA  The NRA Show in Harrisburg (Great American Outdoor Show) was a great success especially considering the Super Bowl was on one weekend and Valentine's Day the following weekend. We sold plenty of Kodabow crossbows and many Kodabow owners stopped by to say hello, show pictures or pick up some arrows, a backpack or other accessory items.  At one point, there were 2 gents visiting our booth looking at the Kodabow products. There were 6 other folks who just happened to own Kodabow Crossbows standing right behind these 2 prospective Kodabow buyers. The first fella asks, "Just how good are these Kodabows?" 
Before we could say anything, the Kodabow crowd erupted with statements like, "You are nuts if you buy any other crossbow than a Kodabow."  We just stayed out of the way for the next 10 minutes.  
All crossbows look the same from a distance. Digging deeper, Kodabow is in a class by itself.

"Kodabow was our first stop. I never believed I could shoot a deer but here are the photos."

Erin (C) speaking with a Kodabow buyer who had been looking at Kodabow Crossbows since last year. (The whole family ended up purchasing 3 bows at the Show). Matt (R) carrying a bow back from the shooting range. Mark (Background) shooting with a future Kodabow owner. Kodabow shoots more than any other crossbow maker at the NRA GAOS Show.
   
Leatherwork: Another Skill to Learn  Many Kodabow owners appreciate craftsmanship and craftsmanship has always been part of archery. 
We teach traditional archery on our Kodabow range on weekends. We enjoy crossbows but we also enjoy traditional bows and gear and know it pretty well. One aspect of traditional archery is a propensity for archers to make their own accessory equipment. You will see custom leather quivers, armguards  and carry sacks. Archers by nature, are patient folks and there is an element of pleasure of customizing and using equipment that you had a hand in making.  (At Kodabow, we have consistently added modifications to our own Kodabow crossbows and some of those additions make it as mainstream accessory products. For example, the Stock Tube Adapter was developed by a Kodabow customer. Our Decocking Aid was developed in the field because of necessity.) Leave the Kodabow development work to us but consider picking up  a new skill and work with leather to make yourself hunting items that just can't be bought.
Here are two examples that were completed in the last 2 months:
The first was an old hunting knife made in Germany in the 1960's that was badly in need of a sheath and some metal polish. The knife is not a collector's item. It was in the bottom of a tackle box inherited years ago.  Many knives of this style were imported after WWII and can be bought relatively inexpensively on Ebay and they are nice. So with a few evening's work, a nice sheath was made and the knife was suitable as a gift.  Not an expert leather worker here --- but a nice way to relax.


A knife was resurrected with a new sheath -- hand  sewn and there is no other one like it in the world. 

The second item was driven by the recent NRA trade show experience. The nylon badge holder (L) was very convenient to hold a cell phone, business cards and writing tools during the show. It was so useful that following the show and a few hours work, I made a similar leather holder (R) customized for my cell phone. This pouch will be a great tool for hunting season and has been in daily use since the show.


Just a few ideas .....be safe and thank goodness --- my turkey permit just arrived in the mail!   

Chuck at Kodabow Headquarters