I just had surgery to repair my broken left collar bone. I am right handed. The Dr. says no using the arm at all for 6 weeks but it should be healed in 8. The problem is that AZ archery deer starts in 4 weeks and a I drew a unit 8 AZ archery bull tag that opens in 7 weeks. I'm looking for info on alternative methods of shooting a bow. Crossbows and drawlocks are out. I know Dwight Schuh used a mouth tab for a hunt some time ago. I'd like to talk with him if anybody knows how to contact him. Any advice will be much appreciated.
Here's the before picture.
If it were me and I am NOT a doctor, but I did stay at a holidy inn last week...
I would let it heal for a couple weeks, and then pull out the bow and go to the LOWEST poundage I felt comfortable hunting with and pull back and see what happens. Depending on your draw length you could probably get down into the 45-55lb range and be OK. Just trust your body, if you can't do it, you can't do it. There are a lot of bows out there that will shoot at 45lbs what bows 5 years ago shot at 65lbs, so I think you will be ok.
I didn't stay in a Holiday Inn last week and I am not a doctor, but my daughter is an xray tech and she looked at the film. She suggested that the twang you notice the first time you shoot your bow will be the pain of knowing your doctor was right! The thump you hear on that first shot will be your knees hitting the ground.
I had a cow elk tag in 8 last year and you certainly don't want to miss the hunt. I have a cow tag in 10 this year and I think the moon is pretty full the first week....so I am hunting hard the second week of the hunt not the first. If you can't hook up with Dwight, I would suggest following the Doctor's orders and kill that bull the second week of the hunt. You can always hunt deer during the December season.
How much do you value your health?
If it's that important ,than by all means,take the pain! Heck ,can't they put a stainless steel rod inside the bones?Did that to my son's arm,got broken in a football incident,he was ready for basketball a few weeks later!
It's only pain twice that way!
ME, no-way ,I like my health, good!
#1 Burn the deer tag. Sorry, that's the way it goes (Hunt of a lifetime donation ?)
#2 Doctor says you will be healed in 8 weeks and a great elk hunt starts in 7. Contact a physical therapist and tell him you will do whatever it takes. Talk to a nutritionist about supplaments to help the bone heal faster. Get one of those "bowfit" rubberband exercise things, the lightest one they make and ask both PT & Dr about starting to use it at 6 weeks. Like Pumatagger says, focus on the second week. But what ever you do, do NOT re-break that bone.
There's a way. Contact (google)Physically Challanged Bowhunters of America. I'm at work now or I'd get you the number.
They have a couple of ways to shoot a bow with one hand. One method is to use a mouth tab. A friend of mine lost his left arm in a MVA (hit by a car) a couple of years ago. He (through that organization) contacted a guy who builds a harness that has a release on the shoulder. The trigger is tripped with the chin.
If you PM me your e-mail, I can send you a picture of him shooting. It didn't take him long to get the hang of using it.
Contact me at email@example.com and I'll be glad to help. I am the one who helped Dwight get going with a mouth-tab. I'm missing my right arm and have been shooting with a mouth-tab for eighteen years now and have had pretty good success that way. It's not near as hard to do as it sounds and I'm confident that we can have you shooting good enough to go on your hunts. Drew
Redbeard I would try the mouthtab thing. I'm in PHX (didn't know if you were an AZ rez or not), and there's a guy named Eric Bennett that works at Corner Archery. He's on the para-olympic archery team and one of the nicest guys you will meet. I'm sure he will help you out, and I think the mouthtab technique might be the best way to go.
I broke my collar bone in four places! 6 weeks out of deer season, i bought a new bow! told the wife i could not hold the old one up it was 8lbs! My draw lenght also droped by an 1" messed it up good! I would start with rubber bands at low poundage for a couple of days, then turn the bow down as low as it goes, for a couple more days then hunt. Every day you leave your shoulder it will heal more if you start to quick you might not hunt at all this year! you know how to shoot! you won't need to practice for six weeks just a couple of days before you hunt, and keep practing into season. mike
I'm with Puma... I'd eat the deer hunt and hunt elk the 2nd week or end of the 1st week into the 2nd week, I'd also get the suppliments from the health food store that promote strong bones and go with it.... hopefully you only have to pull back once!
I have broken my collar bone twice and it is the last bone in my body that I'd like to have re broken.
I'd stick with the set up you had last year and go the 2nd week and wouldn't think twice about it.
Good thing you broke it when you did, how'd you do it?
First, OUCH! That had to hurt...
Second, you probably don't want to feel that again the first time you draw back your bow, so you should wait until it heals properly...
Third, sounds like you are on the the right trail with help from the folks that understand the best alternatives...
You're in a tough spot, but it doesn't sound hopeless. Sicerely, best of luck pulling all this together in time to use that tag!
I concur with DH and BGbashat. I mentioned both options because in my friend's situation he had so much facial damage the mouth tab thing was no option.
The should harness is custom built by a man in western Canada and is some what pricey, but works well.
I forgot to mention, that even thought he's shooting compound, last winter I went ice fishing with him on Lake Ontario. I packed my recurve bow just for fun. he couldn't wait to try to shoot the bare recurve bow. At 15 yards, from the get-go, he was put 11 out of 12 arrows inside a pie-plate size target. The 12th he pulled and buried in in a snow bank. I didn't shoot that well when I started shooting bare bow with two good arms.
Again, the mouth tab may be your best option, and it's cheaper, and would be quicker for you to obtain.
Let us know how things work out. I'm anxious to see your bull.
Why not try contacting Dwight through Bowhunter Magazine's website?
Thanks for all your suggestions.
I am and AZ res and will give Eric a call asap. I've met him before and you are right he's a great guy.
I saw a video clip of Pete Shepley shooting an elk with a shoulder harness. That might be better for me than the mouth tab since I will be able to still use my bad hand. I'm going to look into everything. If I can get the system going I'll try to hunt deer with it. That will be a good test. Gampaw,
Can you get me the contact info for the shoulder harness guy in Canada?
I broke it by hitting a tree on my dirt bike. Just barely hit a tree with my right handlebar but it sent me across the trail into one on the left. My motto is," If you're gonna be dumb you gotta be tough." I'm trying to live up to the second part now.
This will be a good challenge. Unlike some guys I will at least be back to two good arms in a few months so I'm not letting it get me down. I feel lucky actually.
Redbeard, I'm on the phone as I type (1800 central time)
Thomas E. Wright Box 1541 Leth Bridge, Alberta, Canada, T1J4Ke
Tell him my friend's name that he built the unit for is Mike Shannon from Cold Brook, New York.
Mike is very, very happy with his device.
Good luck, bob
Oh, yes, the name of his company:
3217 2nd Avenue North
Leth Bridge, Alberta, Canada T1H0C5
After looking at the shoulder harnesses it occurred to me that they use one arm to hold the bow and the other side to wear the harness. Because my break is on the collarbone I don't think I can use a harness on that shoulder. It doesn't look like you can use the same side arm and shoulder. I might have to use the mouth tab instead.
I agree with Pumatagger and his daughter. I broke my clavicle in high school and it will be extremely difficult for you to shoot a bow for 6-8 weeks, maybe longer. Just wait it out. Don't let your shoulder get stiff on you though.
That may be a problem. My friend lost his left arm. The release is over the left shoulder.
That is one reason I posted the picture. I don't know whether that would be a problem. The pressure should be against the scapula. I don't know whether that would put any pressure on your clavicle. Show the picture to your orthopedic surgeon to see whether he sees a problem.
Besides that. The mouth tab would be very easy for you to make. You ought to be able to get your hands on a piece of leather tomorrow morning and be shooting by tomorrow afternoon. Also minimal cost.
Right now I can't really flex the muscles in my neck without pain so I'll have to wait a while to give it a try. My next problem is to get a left handed bow. I guess I could just shoot my rt handed bow but I'd have to take the quiver off to get the hand on that side. The grip would be weird too but I'm going to check it out.
Yeah, my buddy had to get a left handed bow. When he went to a pro-shop with his problem the pro-shop owner contacted a manufacturer who donated a bow for him.
Maybe you can find a friend with a left handed bow you can borrow. I'd think that would be the way to go.
If your neck is stiff, get some physical therapy right a way. The longer you wait, the more strength youwill lose. With your hunt being only a few weeks away you don't have a lot of time to get your act together. I shoot left handed. I have a very old Darton compound bow set at 29 1/2". It can be cranked up to 65 pounds. Since I went to shooting longbow and recurvebow for the past 20 years I haven't shot it more than once or twice, just for the heck of it.
If you need it and promise not to rip me off I'd be willing to UPS, Fed Ex, or USPS it to you as I don't see any reason I will be using in within the for seeable future (next100 years or so).
Like I say, it's old...has the metal hanger deals that hold the wheels at the end of the limbs. But I've killed critters with it. Has a 36" string. It's here if you think it'll get you out of your bind.
I know how you must feel since I had that bad once-in-a-life-time elk hunt that I could not take full advantage of. I'd been out of the hospital less than a year after 5 major abdominal surgeries. I just couldn't get to the elk. When I told my doctor of my frustration she said, "I'm not surprised. You went out less than 1 year after you got out of the hospital. Your recovery from how ill you were will take at least 1-1/2 to 2 years or more. Damn, I wish the computer had waited two more years before kicking my ticket out.
Anyway, If you need my bow or any other help, advice or support let me know.
A few years back, my dad broke his collar bone. The x-ray looked very similar to yours. After 4 or 5 weeks of healing, I turned his bow way down for him, with the figure 8 brace cranked pretty tight, and altering the way he drew his bow, he could shoot. It was painful and he couldnt shoot alot of arrows, but he did kill a whitetail doe. His form was pretty poor, and he lost a little accuracy, but did very well. I was proud that he wanted to hunt bad enough to deal with that pain!!!
I broke mine at work and was hunting in 4 weeks with a 50# bow.Hunting elk in 5 weeks.So start rehab and good luck.
I am not a bone doctor- but I stayed in a Holiday Inn a couple years ago... Electrical stimulation has been shown to induce bone growth and speed bone repair in complicated or problematic fractures (like non union of the fractured segments). There are several different systems that utilize low elecricity in different waveforms and delivery- not even felt by the patient. However, this seems to be useful only in the problem cases, not in normal bone healing where the fracture has been well reduced. But it may be worth the question to your MD, esp if it can cut a few days off the recommended healing. Note that your doctor's 8 week recommendation is based on experience and history and studies and pretty much represents a conservative average. Some heal faster- a few slower. 8 weeks is not a magic number. Scientifically we know that bone gets stonger under tension (function). there are studies showing early function can help healing in some cases. Has to do with the induced piezioelectric current generated around the bony union- or something like that. The question is how much function and how early...
Or go to http://www.weilab.com/fasttpatch.html for an amazing herbal remedy- in case you can't tell, this is a tongue in cheek reference from me- I have no idea if this works, nor can I see how it would work.