Staff Writer


The North American Frontiersmen


Smoke Signals

Jan./Feb. '10




     The new year is here. I stayed up to see it in, not so much to celebrate the new year as it was to be sure the door was closed firmly on the old one. With the economy, vicious political wars, wars abroad, and weird weather, I am hoping that the new year will see changes for the better.
     For those of you who are looking for some activities, there are going to be several opportunities for NAF camps this year. You will be notified by snail mail as well as here in the Smoke Signals. It is my understanding that the fellows in California are going to sponsor a camp that promises to be a dandy. I will have a camp set up with the Anasazi Free Trappers in southern Utah. Find the date and directions online at Anasazi Free Trappers or give me a call or email if you are interested. There is also a large event scheduled for spring/summer of 2011. Howdy has this going along nicely. It will include canoeing down the Yampa and White Rivers from Craig, Colorado all the way to Rangely, Colorado. This will take a while and provide some great camps, fishing, and exploring. In conjunction with this Howdy plans to take people by foot and/or horseback into the Bear's Ears mountains for some serious training in primitive survival, tracking and hunting/fishing/trapping. Shooting competition will be serious stuff in grand country. Where all this will take place is wild, beautigul country, loaded with most every animal the Rockies harbor. I hope that you will begin planning now to attend. Factors will be in touch for those who let us know they are coming. Perhaps folks can travel together to cut costs. For more information call Howdy Davis at 970-629-8550 or 970-824-6109. This is the kind of stuff you joined the NAF for.
     With each issue of the Smoke Signals I try to get something in the magazine that might be of more interest than a report as reports tend to be rather dry, not to say stultifying. So, in this issue I'm continuing to talk about archery.
     Archery (we are dealing here with only primitive and traditional archery equipment - no wheelies) is a great sport and an engrossing hobby. It can be expensive. The cost of bows comes immediately to mind, but as with the rest of archery equipment, this may be reduced by several means: building your own, buying used (sometimes an iffy proposition but good deals are out there), or purchasing from a bowyer who is just getting started and not yet made a reputation for himself (some never will - it will be up to you to find one who is adequate).
     There are other expenses than bows that can make your wallet wince: quivers (70.00 to 150.00 and up), arrows (50.00 and up for a minimum of a dozen), and it goes up from there. It all depends on what you want. Arm guards (bracers) finger tabs or gloves, strings, nock beads, specialty tools for locating nock points and special pliers for putting them on, limb tip protectors, string keepers, string wax, arrow rests, field and target points, broadheads if you hunt, and of course, targets, just to name some of the specialized gear made for archery. But take heart - you can make all of this stuff yourself, thereby cutting the cost to something doable and financially bearable.
     If you are at all cerebral you will also eventually want to read about archery. There are some good reading materials out there. Traditional Bowhunter and Primitive Archer magazines as well as The Traditional Archer's Handbook by T.J. Conrads come immediately to mind. You can find the old archery magazines from the 1960s on eBay and at at sometimes reasonable prices. There is a wealth of information (although a bit disheartening to see bows by Bear,Hoyt, Pearson, and Wilson Brothers selling from 35.00 to 100.00. Books such as Louis Hochman's The Complete Archery Book can sometimes be found at the same sources as well as at or Some local libraries  still carry books and magazines of interest to the traditional archer. Look especially for lIshi, the Last Wild Indian, and The Witchery of Archery. There are lots of videos available to help you along: everything from building all your own equipment to hunting, field and indoor competition, and bow fishing (my personal favorite). Some of these are good and some a pretty much worthless - you can check customer reviews at such places as on-line at the Leather Wall.
     Making your own stuff cuts down on the expenses and for those things you find you enjoy making you can always find a market for them. Remember, archery gear is quiet and the sport can be practiced in your back yard - even if you only have a few minutes to do it. There's no messy cleanup.  What could be better than that?

Y'r Sv't  Bill Cunningham



Treasurer - Secretary

Our balance for the NAF account stands $1625.39. I have taken back the Secretary - Treasurer duties for the time being, which will entail updating the roster, receiving funds, making reimbursements etc.
NAF Secretary-Treasurer
Patrick Quilter
639 Thalia St
Laguna Beach, CA, 92651

Y'r Sv't  Pat Quilter


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