Sitka Mountain Gear
Traditional bows
Oregon
Contributors to this thread:
OregonArcher 17-Dec-09
cornbread 17-Dec-09
Tree Killer 17-Dec-09
OregonArcher 17-Dec-09
BlacktailBowhunter 17-Dec-09
snag 17-Dec-09
cornbread 17-Dec-09
snag 17-Dec-09
OregonArcher 17-Dec-09
grey wolf 17-Dec-09
snag 17-Dec-09
Santiam 17-Dec-09
cornbread 17-Dec-09
OregonArcher 17-Dec-09
BKbones 17-Dec-09
maverick 17-Dec-09
grey wolf 18-Dec-09
grey wolf 18-Dec-09
Darmah SS 18-Dec-09
cornbread 18-Dec-09
Darmah SS 18-Dec-09
grey wolf 18-Dec-09
Darmah SS 18-Dec-09
longarrow 18-Dec-09
Sixby 19-Dec-09
longarrow 19-Dec-09
snag 19-Dec-09
Sixby 19-Dec-09
Brad From Hebo 19-Dec-09
Darmah SS 20-Dec-09
longarrow 20-Dec-09
Sandman 20-Dec-09
Snag 20-Dec-09
BlacktailBowhunter 20-Dec-09
Santiam 20-Dec-09
Santiam 20-Dec-09
Tree Killer 20-Dec-09
OregonArcher 21-Dec-09
Santiam 21-Dec-09
Santiam 21-Dec-09
ElkHuntr 21-Dec-09
Treegrower 21-Dec-09
cornbread 21-Dec-09
Tree Killer 21-Dec-09
elkstalker 22-Dec-09
elkstalker 22-Dec-09
elkstalker 22-Dec-09
elkstalker 22-Dec-09
Sixby 22-Dec-09
Sixby 22-Dec-09
Brad From Hebo 22-Dec-09
elkstalker 22-Dec-09
Sixby 23-Dec-09
slipperypete 23-Dec-09
Brad From Hebo 31-Jan-10
From: OregonArcher
17-Dec-09
i would like some feedback if anyone has it in regards to Blacktail Bows. They are made in Reedsport i think. I am looking at hunting with a recurve or a Long bow and want to keep $$$ in Oregon. or recommendations on any other oregon bow would be nice.

Thanks

From: cornbread
17-Dec-09
Beautiful recurves. I don't know if he makes longbows anymore or not though.

For Oregon bowyers I like Wes Wallaces longbows best (I have owned 3).

For recurves I like Norm's best (Blacktail Bows). My liking his best is based purely on shooting them though not owning them. I don't hunt with a recurve only a longbow so I have not owned any of Norm's bows just shot quite a few that friends own.

I think more than a few guys here on the Oregon forum have at least one of Norm's bows. I think at least one guy one here (Joe C) shoots Wallace recurves and likes those a lot too.

Brackenbury bows are made up in WA now I believe.

Fox archery is out in eastern Oregon but I have no idea how good or not good their bows are, I don't think I have shot one that I remember anyway. Maybe somebody else can say on those.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head.

From: Tree Killer
17-Dec-09

Tree Killer's embedded Photo
Tree Killer's embedded Photo
Some of the best bowyers in the U.S. hang their hats in Oregon and Washington.

I have a Blacktail Elite that I currently hunt with, man I love that bow! Norm does live in Reedsport and his bows shoot just as nice as they look! Norm is just building recurves anymore I believe.

Wes Wallace makes some awesome recurves and I think he still makes longbows. I don't own one of his bows, but have heard very high praise by their owners.

Alan Boice down on the south coast builds some sweet longbows. Many guys highly recommend them.

I have an old Brackenbury made by Jim in the early 80's. Jim is no longer with us, but his namesake bows are being produced up in Washington. Santiam has one of the newer Brack bows.

I'm sure Santiam, snag, DarmahSS, and some of the other fella's will chime in with their thoughts about their bow's and some other bowyers.

May the force be with you! ;)

From: OregonArcher
17-Dec-09
What was the determining factor for you to shoot a long bow vs recurve?

17-Dec-09
Just like any bow choice, shoot as many bows as you can get your hands on and then make a decision.

I have owned 3 Blacktail Bows. A one piece recurve that I loved to shoot, but was a little longer than I wanted. A take down recurve that was an awesome bow, but a little too heavy for me and a longbow that had horrible hand shock. Norm doesn't make the longbow anymore.

I now shoot a combination of a longbow and recurve, which is a hybrid. It is basically a recurve handle with longbow limbs also known as a reflex/deflex.

It is a Horne take down Brushbow.

Wes Wallace is located in Beaver Creek, OR and is very accessible if you live in the area, he keeps regular hours. Although he is 15 minutes from my house I have never been there. Too tempting to stop in as collecting trad bows becomes very addictive and temptation would be too strong.

If you get a bow you shoot good, stick with it. I've owned several now and have settled on one kind of bow, because I shoot it well.

I recomend a good tutor when you start shooting as well. There are several differnt methods to shooting trad. I personally come to an anchor point and hold for a second before I release. A lot of guys snap shoot, but are not always consistant on their anchor point.

I'll send you a PM with more info.

I don't think you could go wrong with Norm or Wes if you want to keep it local, but you will be waiting 7 months for Wes and about 15 months for Norm.

Start with cheap light weight bow to get your form down and then move up in poundage from there.

Good luck,

Paul

From: snag
17-Dec-09

snag's embedded Photo
snag's embedded Photo
Best looking, best shooting...ok, yes I am biased! I love Norm's bows. He is a real craftsman/artist with wood. I have owned and shot and then sold a lot of the "top recurves" in the market. I just love the Blacktail grip and the smoothness of them. They fit me hand perfectly. Norm's a great guy to deal with too. He just had too much to keep him busy with the recurves he had to stop making the longbows. Here's a couple of mine. I hunt with them too...just haven't killed anything with it yet!

From: cornbread
17-Dec-09
Determining factor between longbow and recurve for me was what I grew up with. Been shooting a longbow since I was 8. I still have my first one from then, my kids shoot it now. I tried a recurve in college and shot a nice blacktail buck with it but never did end up liking the feel of them. So I switched back to shooting longbow and have staid that way ever since. Shoot both and see which one you like best it's really the only way to figure it out. I have heard it's easier to go from compound to recurve but that's only what I have heard, I never got into compounds so I can't say but friends I know who switched told me the recurve was easiest for them.

From: snag
17-Dec-09

snag's embedded Photo
snag's embedded Photo

From: OregonArcher
17-Dec-09
I feel like it is the day before christmas. i am stoked and i appreciate all the feedback. i am starting to lean towards a recurve. I will be giving Wes and norm a call. I use to shoot one, however i never hunted with one. My goal is to maybe find a used one in the immediate future. I want to hunt elk next year. However if I am not ready i will wait. "Anyone have a Recurve for sale!"

From: grey wolf
17-Dec-09
For longbow advice, I recommend cornbread. That boy can flat out shoot the longbow. If you're interested in a vintage Brackenbury, I have a Brack Drifter that you might be able to talk me out of. 55#@28".

From: snag
17-Dec-09
I've got a used Blacktail that is 62" 55@28". That I would consider selling. The cut to center shelves on the Blacktails allow you to be able to shoot a wider range of arrow spines also. I can tune wood arrows from 65# up to 90# with mine. If you are interested and it is possible we could get together and do some shooting to see if you like it. I'm in Eugene....

From: Santiam
17-Dec-09
Jerry,

Is that my old Drifter?? If so I want first crack..

Even If you ordered a bow today you oouldn't get it by the next late season...Blacktails are a year out or more,Brackenbury's are 2 years out and I don't know about Wes Wallace,but it will be months anyway..

My advice is to buy used and start shooting now...Good bows are plentiful and you really don't know what you are going to end up prefering until you get some shooting in and develope a style..

My first recurve was a Wes Wallace that I bought used...Killed my first trad deer and elk with it,then sold it for more than I paid and used that money to put down on my first custom ...I decided I liked a little longer bow than the Wallace..Great bow though..

Most longbows are shocky to me..They rattle me all the way up through my teeth...I haven't shot a Wallace longbow,but have heard they are not that way...My longbow is made by Dave Cheney in Redmond...Very nice and very fast and no handshock.....As good a longbow as I have ever shot...You might give him a call if you are interested in longbows..

This year I just hunted with my Bear recurves...Early 70's bows that shoot as good as most any bows made today,or at least I think so..Might look into a Kodiak or Super Kodiak,50/55 pounds..I shot my buck this year with a 50 pound Grizzly.One thing about the old Bears,Buy a nice one and you will ALWAYS get your money back or make a profit...

If you do get a trad bow get a hold of me and I will lend you a DVD, "Masters of the Barebow" Might help you out some and keep fom picking up a bad habit...Trad bows are much more form critical than compounds...Every little bit helps..

Good luck and keep us informed...Lots of experiance here..

Good luck..

From: cornbread
17-Dec-09
Bill's right some longbows will literally make you ache from shooting. I have one here at the house my brother made that I triple dog dare people to try and shoot 20 arrows out of it. It's that hard on your elbows and shoulders. I only keep it because it's teh first selfbow my brother ever made. Wes's bows aren't that way at all or I definitely wouldn't be shooting them.

I love to shoot and I shoot a lot, sometimes I shoot two or three times a day. Matter of fact I was out shooting just now because I like shooting in the dark with a small light on the target to shoot at. Really helps your form and instinctive shooting, keeps you from using the arrow to aim because you can't see it. Shooting and running are the two ways I relieve stress and relax. Nothing beats just taking your stickbow be it recurve, or longbow and just going out and shooting stumps in the woods or just shooting a target in your yard. Even my boys( 8 and 9 ) love stump shooting.

Anyway if you decide you want to go the longbow route I can give you pointers there, but if it's recurves you decide on then you want Jerry, Bill, and Ron.

All of them having been doing this longer than I have been alive. Tremendous amount of knowledge here just between the three of them on everything from hunting in general to stickbows.

I have shot with all of them and they know their stuff inside and out. If you are close to Jerry go shooting with him for sure you'll come away with more tips and tricks in a day then you would ever dream possible. I've been doing this for 26 years now and I shot one archery shoot with Jerry and came away with at least three things I had never known before, like using a tub of water to mark the heavy side of my arrows so I can nock and fletch for better consistency etc.

From: OregonArcher
17-Dec-09
i will do that. I am planning on going used. It takes lots of work to get good with these things and I want to give myself lots of time. I will be getting one early January. Appreciate the info.

Kyle

From: BKbones
17-Dec-09
I agree with what Blacktailbowhunter said above.I would go to some traditional shoots and try to get your hands on as many bows as you can. I have shot a lot of bows over the years including Blacktails,Brackenbarry,Robertson, etc. But I own two blackwidows a one piece TF recurve and a takedown.I also own a Reign bow takedown out of WA. The blackwidows are sweet shooters with no hand shock at all and with a little more mass weight in the riser,but to each his own. Stick with a reputable builder and shoot what feels good to ya.

From: maverick
17-Dec-09
There used to be a traditional archery show in Ontario in Feb every year. Allot of bowyers used to make it. Don't know if they still do it or not. It was a good place to try a bunch of different bows from the Northwest. I bought a Quinn stallion for carp shooting and I can't believe how good it shoots for an inexpensive bow. It shoots better than some of the custom bows I've shot and its <$250 new. Most bowyers will let you do a test drive before you buy.

From: grey wolf
18-Dec-09

grey wolf's Link
Yip....Quinn bows are shooters.

David Quinn aka Grumpy, passed recently but he is survived by his wife Peggy and daughter Terry. As far as I know they are still in business. David was a charter member of the NFAA Pro Division and the Texas Field Archery Pro Division. His bows are legend in certain circles, not so much out here on the left coast. They will shoot circles around any custom bow built in the Great North West and only cost a couple hundred bucks. They are butt ugly.

From: grey wolf
18-Dec-09

grey wolf's Link
Check out this link.

From: Darmah SS
18-Dec-09
Kyle

Lots of good advice above to be sorted out and decisions made. Probably didn't read close enough but trying other recurves and longbows will give you a pretty good idea if they will work for you. To that end, the EXPO-ONTARIO is no longer and option.

I expect some of these guys to be at TAO Banquet 30 Jan, 2010 where you can strike up a conversation and get to know them.

A lot of the bowyer info is pretty close but I'll try and get it together:

Wes Wallace Bows BeaverCreek, Or 503-632-7365 for recurves and longbows.

Blacktail bows by Norm Johnson Reedsport, OR 541-271-2585 for recurves

Fox Archery by Ron King Wallowa, OR 541-886-9110 for recurves and longbows.

Liberty Bows by Allen Boice, Longbows Allen recently moved to Roseburg and is not making his longbows at the moment - stay tuned.

Brackenbury Bows by Bill Howland Nine Mile Falls, WA 509-468-3905 Recurves for sure - ask about longbows.

These guys are all class acts, building great bows that they will stand behind. All have websites as well.

If a used bow is an option, check with Dave at Archery Past, 541-388-8400, in Bend. Even if you don't end up getting a bow from him, you will want to know him to keep your trad supplies, he's got it all and the knowledge to help you out.

Jerry

You must have forgot about seeing my BOURET that day we shot at Benton. Now that bow is - BUTT UGLY!!!

Rich

From: cornbread
18-Dec-09
Oh wow Rich is right I forgot about Bob's bows. They took the cake for ugly. His grandson Karrie(sp?) used to shoot with us sometimes out at Jim's place outside Estacada and he would shoot bows Bob had made. Ugliest bows ever! It didn't help that Bob liked to spray paint some occasionally. He had one that had bright green spray painted Christmas looking stripes on it that was supposed to be camo according to Bob. I miss seing him at the OSuc.

Speaking of which if the OSuc goes this year that is usually another place to see a lot of longbows and recurves. If it goes this year I will try and make it as it is my last year here in Oregon so I'd like to shoot it one last time before I go if they do it.

From: Darmah SS
18-Dec-09

Darmah SS's embedded Photo
Darmah SS's embedded Photo
The big boy in the center of this display box is what Andy and I are talking about.

Thanks to Chuck & Toni Lynde, La Pine for donating both of these "BOB" bows to TAO.

TAO is in the process of adding about 5 of these to our Archery Museum and several will be on display at our banquet in Silverton next month. Other boxes for B.G. Thompson, Chet Stevenson, Jim Brackenbury, Bill Sweetland.

Ancient Oregon Archery Bonus Points!!!

What are these guys famous for?

Rich

From: grey wolf
18-Dec-09
"Jerry

You must have forgot about seeing my BOURET that day we shot at Benton. Now that bow is - BUTT UGLY!!!

Rich"

Well...the way it shot, in your hands, made it a thing of beauty!

From: Darmah SS
18-Dec-09
p.s.

I should have mentioned, this photo is prototype #2, hence all the blue masking tape, curled photo's and things on top of one another. The finished case looks much better.

B.T.W. - that box is 2'x6' to give you an idea how much wood is involved.

Rich

From: longarrow
18-Dec-09
i would say for a glass bow..liberty longbows is the best..but,i guess he isnt making any right now..dave chaney makes good primitive bows..i even shoot his yew bow really nice and alot of power...john

From: Sixby
19-Dec-09

Sixby's embedded Photo
Sixby's embedded Photo
Eaglewing, Medford longbows, 3 piece takedowns, recurves and static recurves

From: longarrow
19-Dec-09
hey steve,is that guy still making recurves.if i am right i think he was making them when i was in high school..wow,some people really have love for trad bows..john

From: snag
19-Dec-09
Nothing wrong with compounds or rifles. I shot one compound for 20yrs and before that a rifle...yeah I'm old! But when I picked up a recurve and started shooting it in an elk camp a few years again it re-ignited a desire in me. It was so much fun! Went home after that hunt and sold my Matthews and bought a recurve and never regretted it one moment. Trad all the way!

From: Sixby
19-Dec-09
Longarrow , I believe you are talking about Quackenbush which later became Golden Eagle then sold Golden Eagle to Jerry Johnson , Who sold Golden Eagle to Coleman and became Golden Circle who I used to be a Pro staff Shooter for.

I build EagleWing Bows. Evidently eveyone but the guys in Oregon know that. If anyone is interested and wants to see some of the bows I build there is a thread on Leatherwall where I was asked to show some of my bows. title is something like 6by could you show us some bows. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Steve

As far as I know Wes Wallace, Myself, Fox , and Bigfoot bows are the ones building bows in Oregon at this time. I believe Allen Boice is still shut down.

19-Dec-09

Brad From Hebo's embedded Photo
Brad From Hebo's embedded Photo
I bought a Blacktail bow this year. I went from compound to longbow (last Christmas gift to myself) to the Blacktail recurve in one year.

LOVE the smooth draw and release of the bow!!

Brad

From: Darmah SS
20-Dec-09
As far as I know Wes Wallace, Myself, Fox , and Bigfoot bows are the ones building bows in Oregon at this time. I believe Allen Boice is still shut down.

Steve,

Don't forget Norm's Blacktails.

You guys in S. OR have a knack for finding some nice myrtle (no expert at wood i.d., I'm thinking that is what I see as the center accent in the photo above).

Nice job!!

Rich

p.s. If you have time, bring some bows up to Silverton for the TAO Banquet Jan 30.

From: longarrow
20-Dec-09
well,i remeber right the guy lived out in gold hill area...and the only quackenbush i know of is RAY that lives in shady cove...john

From: Sandman
20-Dec-09
OregonArcher,

Where are you at? I've got a Bear Grizzly that's 50#. It's not the prettiest, but I like it a lot. I will let you have it until you get a bow so you have something to shoot with (then I want it back :) )

As Bill said, they are great bows. I happen to shoot a River's Edge Recurve that just suits me and a Dave Wallace Mountain bow when I shoot a longbow. Took me a while to find ones I really like. Wish I could afford a Blacktail, they are beautiful and shoot great. Besides, I like the name.

Stan

From: Snag
20-Dec-09
Allen Boice moved inland and doesn't make bows currently.

20-Dec-09
There is a guy in Molalla called High Hill Bows. I hear he builds a good longbow.

Paul

From: Santiam
20-Dec-09

Santiam's embedded Photo
Santiam's embedded Photo
Generous offer Stan...Nothing wrong with a Grizzly...Match them up with the right arrow and they are as deadly as any bow..

Seems like Southpaw's contest buck from last year was with a Grizzly...

Yip,I am sure thats a Griz..

:)

From: Santiam
20-Dec-09

Santiam's embedded Photo
Santiam's embedded Photo
And my buck from this year was with a Griz...Shoots as good as my 800 dollar Brack...

Actually,there is only so much you can do with wood and fiberglass...Not much has changed in the last 50 years or so..They all shoot good..

Like a good pair of boots,when you try a bow on,you will know if it fits...

From: Tree Killer
20-Dec-09
"There is a guy in Molalla called High Hill Bows. I hear he builds a good longbow.

Paul "

I think his name is Boone Ellis. I made a set of arrows for a fella last summer that shoots one of his bows. And very well I might add!

From: OregonArcher
21-Dec-09
The feedback has been great. What I have learned is, there are some good Bowyers here in Oregon. That is what I like. Plus, everyone is helpful. I have been shooting an old Bear Grizzly just to start getting the feel if you will. The bow is old but I am learning a lot.

After spending sometime researching I will be getting a bow from Steve (Sixby) Eagle Wing Bows. THe guys I have talked to about his bows are very happy. The bows everybody referred me to were good. That is what makes finding a bow so hard. All the bows that were recommended are top notch. I would encourage you to check out some of Steves work. Not only will you get a masterpiece,performance is still the main objective.

Here is what the bow will be. 64 in. 58 to 60 lb at 29 inches. Black S glass with carbon limbs with Actionboo tapers and cores. Fast flight ready , Medium grip. EW Carbon LB.

again thanks for the help.

From: Santiam
21-Dec-09

Santiam's embedded Photo
Santiam's embedded Photo
Congratulations...

I am curious as to the wait time on Steve's bows...Post up pics when you get it...

I am going to show off my longbow made by another great Oregon bowyer Dave Cheney from Redmond...Longarrow mentioned he made selfbows...That he does,but he makes a mean laminated longbow as well...

From: Santiam
21-Dec-09

Santiam's embedded Photo
Santiam's embedded Photo

From: ElkHuntr
21-Dec-09
can you post contact info for dave cheney in redmond. i live nearby and i would like to visit and see what he offers. thanx.

From: Treegrower
21-Dec-09
I have 2 of Norm's Blaicktail bows. They are the best hands down in my opinion. Norms work is art and his bows shoot like art as well. I may have even showed one of mine to T.K. at one time or another.

From: cornbread
21-Dec-09
Man I have to stop looking at this thread it's making me want another laminated longbow and I really don't need one but man that bow Bill posted it a great looking longbow, and of course since Allen isn't making his bows right now that makes me want one even more. This thread is bad for my wallet I can feel it already :)

From: Tree Killer
21-Dec-09
"I have 2 of Norm's Blaicktail bows. They are the best hands down in my opinion. Norms work is art and his bows shoot like art as well. I may have even showed one of mine to T.K. at one time or another."

Heck, I shot one of those bow's in your camp. Tried to kill a gopher that was rooting up some dirt next to your tent. Think I missed the vermin, but I blame it on the beer and not the bow. ;)

From: elkstalker
22-Dec-09

elkstalker's embedded Photo
elkstalker's embedded Photo
Hi everyone...it has been a while since I was on here. hope you all had a more successful season than I did. Bill, thanks for the comments on the bow, glad you like it. like john said, I am building more primitive style bows lately, but I am building a couple of recurves based on my '59 Kodiak bow. really like the performance. I plan on making some more glass backed bows this year, have a couple of friends that want one. you can send me a PM if interested. here is a pic of the recurve i just made for a friend.

From: elkstalker
22-Dec-09

elkstalker's embedded Photo
elkstalker's embedded Photo
full draw pic....

From: elkstalker
22-Dec-09

elkstalker's embedded Photo
elkstalker's embedded Photo
here is a close-up of the riser. the woods are wenge,bubinga,maple pupleheart, and quilted sappelle. 60" long, 50#@28".

From: elkstalker
22-Dec-09

elkstalker's embedded Photo
elkstalker's embedded Photo
here is a pic of the sappelle, really cool wood.

From: Sixby
22-Dec-09

Sixby's embedded Photo
Sixby's embedded Photo
Mr Cheney, that is a very nice looking , well tillerd bow. I don'tknowif that is your wife or daughter shooting that bow or someone you built it for but she has great shooting form.

the bow I showed above is my new static recurve. This year model.. Woods are macassar ebony and koa. Koa literally looks like it has lights in it. I do use some really nice myrtle though. This is a pic of the style of bow that Oregon Archer is getting.

From: Sixby
22-Dec-09

Sixby's embedded Photo
Sixby's embedded Photo
Unstrung profile.

22-Dec-09

Brad From Hebo's embedded Photo
Brad From Hebo's embedded Photo
HEY, there's Dave. He makes a great bow. I shot some of his years ago at the first Bowsite Get-Together. Knew then that I needed to get off the training wheels.... again!!!!!

Here is one of my Saxon longbows that I bought last Christmas to get back into trad shooting.

Brad

From: elkstalker
22-Dec-09
nice bow, sixby. the lady in the pic is the one I made the bow for. I have some Koa and just finished a string jig for a buddy for christmas, I like the way it kinda glows. I like the profile of your longbow, looks like maybe 1" deflex,& 2" reflex? if you are going to the tao banquet, we will have to get together and talk shop. Brad, good to see you leaving the dark side. is that snow in Hebo? I sure wish the Bailey Bros. would get me a pic with my bows next to a animal... I got busy with a cabin down by chiloquin, been working on it almost every weekend for a year and a half, finally got to the stage of just finish work. I am having a party there in June, will keep you all posted. Dave

From: Sixby
23-Dec-09
close 3/4 and 3 for the 64. I found that with 3 I can just cut down clear to a 58 in bow and they perform well. Its a good ratio for me to use one set of forms. Presently this is the only onepiece I build. I will be building the static in a onepiece a little later in the year , Lord Willing.

My brother lived in a cabin, really nice one , right on the river out of Chiloquin,. He loved it over there and met some really great people.

Merry Christmas, Steve

From: slipperypete
23-Dec-09
Are any of the PSE recurves any good?I shoot left handed and haven't had much luck finding a good used bow to start out with.

31-Jan-10
Looks like Snag has the Snakebit, a Norm Johnson Blacktail bow, that I fell in love with yesterday at the TAO banquet! Pictures don't do this bow justice.

THAT IS A GREAT BOW.

Norm is a genuinely nice guy who makes a great bow.

I am trying very much to make it over to Dave Cheney's bowmaking campout in May.

Brad

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