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Everything posted by dhaverstick

  1. My good friend, John Pruitt, made a couple traditional smokepoles for my dad and me and asked me to make him a shooting bag as payment. I finally finished it yesterday. What is really special about this piece is that the body of the bag is made from the hide off the moose I killed with my longbow in 2015. The light brown dotted leather is ostrich hide and the colored leather is ostrich leg skin. The trim and fringe are deer hide and I carved the buttons out of the antlers off a buck I killed with my longbow. Everything was sewn by hand using artificial sinew. The bag has one external pocket and two internal pockets. I hope he likes it! Darren
  2. This beatiful bow came about in a moment of weakness. I had just gotten out of the bush on my early September caribou hunt in northern Quebec and was killing time at base camp waiting for the plane to take us to Montreal. Wifi was avaliable at camp so I turned on my phone and hooked up. Not really wanting to sift through the gobs of email I had waiting for me, I surfed the internet instead and went to one of my favorite sites, thewoodvault.com. There, Curt Noetzold has some of the finest looking bow limb veneer on the planet! Anyway...In a moment of weakness, I bought this beautiful spalted mango and a chunk of curly chocolate mango riser wood to go with it. So now I had some bow making material, I just needed someone to turn it into a bow for me. That's where my good friend, Mike Dunnaway, of Wild Horse Creek Bows, comes into the story. Mike had come out with a new model longbow, the Destiny, about 18 months ago and I was itching to have one in my collection. So I called Mike up, told him that I had some raw materials for him, and he took it from there. I was in no hurry for the bow so I told him I would pick it up when I saw him at the United Bowhunters of Missouri Festival in February. Putting the bow out of my mind, I continued to use the Quest longbow that Mike had made for me for this season. Then Mike called me in mid-November to say the bow was tillered and he had a string on it. If it would make the weight I wanted then he would have it finished soon. Woohoo! Now the Valentine's present to myself had been bumped up to an early Christmas present! The bow came out of the finish room last Sunday and Mike put it in the mail the following day. Bow specs: The bow is a two-piece takedown, is 62" long, and pulls 51#@28". Mr. Dunnaway has a plus-or-minus 2 pounds on his bow weight. I wanted 53 pounds so 51 made the limit. The limb core is bamboo and the veneer is spalted mango. The riser is curly chocolate mango with cocobolo accents. I got to shoot it for the first time yesterday and there will be little transition between the longbow I'm shooting now and it. I might even get to kill something with it this season! The veneer in its raw form the chunk of riser wood various photos that don't really do the bow justice One of the cool things that Mike does is make an arrow footed with the wood from your bow riser and send that along with the bow. Darren
  3. My wife has some relatives near Canton and when we go down to visit, she and her cousins always run up to that flea market. It's quite a spectacle from what I understand. Darren
  4. Had a great weekend with my new friend, Joe Hollingshad, the owner of Devil's Backbone Wilderness Outfitters near Dora, MO. Joe invited me to hunt on his place with my longbow a couple of weeks ago and learned that I also hunt with a traditional muzzleloader. Not having anyone else to play with, he invited me to come back the second weekend of our firearms deer season to hunt with a smokepole. We had a great time dressing up in our leathers and telling stories of past hunts. Joe has some very nice bucks on his place but we were both hoping just to get some meat. The weather sucked on Saturday with the mach 4 winds but Sunday morning was prime. Within a couple of hours of daylight we both had does on the ground and Joe's grandson, Levi, killed his first deer ever; a nice 8-pointer. Can't wait to visit with these fine folks again! Darren
  5. I shot this nice buck Tuesday evening on my buddy's place in Kansas. There is a small wood lot on the northwest corner of the property and I was sitting in a hackberry tree at a place where a field, a horse pasture, and some CRP ground come together. Around 6:30, this buck came out of the field, crossed the wood lot 50 yards in front of me, and was getting ready to enter the CRP. I grunted to him a couple of times and he turned to investigate. When he got close I noticed how white his antlers and face were and that really got me excited because I have never taken a really mature deer before. At 15 yards, he turned broadside to me and started browsing on some leaves. I sent an arrow his way and watched him crash off into the brush. I got down out of my stand, sneaked out of the woods, and met up with my hunting partner, Brian Peterson. We gave the deer a couple of hours before we took up the blood trail. We found him cold and stiff about 75 yards from where I shot him. Notice his lack of eye guards and roman nose. I thought that was pretty cool and I'm thankful to have taken such a noble animal. He's quartered up in a cooler on my porch right now waiting to be boned out and put away this Saturday. I will honor his spirit by feeding my family with his flesh this winter. Life is good! Darren
  6. That's a fine deer! It's better to be lucky than good. Congratulations! Darren
  7. Good for her! That will be some fine eating! Darren
  8. You all may not know this but I was recently asked to chair the Conservation Federation of Missouri's Share The Harvest committee. This is a program where hunters can help out the less fortunate in their communities by donating deer meat to help feed them. With Missouri's archery season less than a week away, I wanted to remind all you hunters what a great program this is and urge you to participate if you can. Just donating a couple pounds of your meat to this cause will help and you won't even miss it. This year, the CFM has increased their payment for whole-deer donations to $75. That mean $75 of the processing cost for a donated deer is already covered. In a lot of places, your out-of-pocket cost for donating a deer will be nothing. For more information about the program, go here: Share The Harvest or contact me. Darren Haverstick
  9. Got back yesterday from my Quebec caribou hunt with Jack Hume Adventures. We didn't see very many animals so the hunt was tough. However, I was able to pull it off on the last day with only 30 minutes left to hunt. I guess I wanted to get all my money's worth! We weren't seeing that many caribou at our first camp on Ronald Lake so they moved us to another camp on Simon Lake last Friday. We hated leaving the camp and especially our camp hand, Jimmy, but we hoped we would have more opportunities at the second place. We did. This was the second bull I saw Sunday morning, the last day. The first one caught me moving and, after screwing that up, I figured the odds of me seeing another bull in the next 50 minutes was slim at best. Fortunately, the Caribou Gods smiled upon me and I spotted a second bull coming my way about 20 minutes later. I knew I would have to let him get right even with me before I drew or he would see me and spook. I also knew that I would have to lead him a bit because those guys never stop walking and they walk fast! When the bull got even with me, I picked a spot in front of his front shoulder and hoped I had led him enough. By the time I let go of the string, he was past me and quartering away. Fortunately, I had guessed right and my arrow hit him perfectly in the ribs with the broadhead burying into the off shoulder. There was a big patch of his hide already covered in blood as I watched him run down towards the lake and out of sight. The shot was a little over 20 yards. I used a 55# Quest longbow made by Wild Horse Creek Bows, a homemade mahogany arrow, and a 190 grain Meathead broadhead. With the arrival of our float plane imminent, my hunting buddy, John Henning, and I set out to find the bull immediately. We went to the place where we had last seen the animal and then headed towards the lake shore. Within five minutes, John hollered at me that my bull was lying in the lake up by where he was. I was excited that I was able to pull off a last-second kill and relieved that we were able to find him so quickly. John then ran back to camp and, in short order, our camp hands, Jacque and Guy, had a rope around the bull's neck and towed him back to camp with a motor boat. After showing the camp hands what the "gutless method" was (they had no idea) we quickly got the bull skinned and quartered. I had just enough time to finish packing and change clothes before our float plane arrived to take us back to base camp. The whole week was quite an adventure and not something I'll forget about any time soon! Darren This is how we found him, floating in the water Me taking my victory drink! My hunting partner, John Henning Making espresso on the tundra. A man still needs the finer things in life! Sunset on Simon Lake A nice pike I caught the last morning in camp Our camp at Simon Lake John and Jimmy, our first camp hand, glassing for caribou Water is everywhere! A nice rainbow We had a cool bus driver back at base camp
  10. I will be starting the long drive to Montreal tomorrow morning where I will meet up with 5 other stickbow shooters so we can go chase caribou in northern Quebec. I have always wanted to see the migration and this is my chance to do so. I have a DeLorme InReach device and will be posting occasionally with it to document our adventure. If you want to follow along you can do so by: 1) going to this link: https://share.garmin.com/DarrenHaverstick 2) Searching on Facebook for posts under my name or United Bowhunters Of Missouri 3) Follow unitedbowsofmo on Twitter. Wish me luck! Darren
  11. Even though it was a bit warm yesterday evening, I couldn't help but get out and try to thin the local squirrel herd. Fortunately, I didn't have to get more than 20 yards from the house. I first went out just to listen. I heard one barking behind my old chicken coop so I ran in the house, got Ole Betsy, and came back out hoping it was still there. It was and I killed it in short order while standing in the yard. When I stepped into the woods to collect my prize, I spied another one doing squirrel stuff in a nearby tree. I didn't have any load material with me so I ran back into the house, ran a few cleaning patches down the barrel, loaded her up, and went back out in hot pursuit. It took me about 10 minutes to locate my target and Ole Betsy helped it draw its last breath. I'm confident that the camo hat I had on was what made my hunt so short. I'm going to my mom's place tomorrow to pick blackberries with her and, along with some deer and moose, I'll be bringing her some squirrels to eat. It's just like when I was a kid! Darren
  12. It was raining at daylight both Saturday and Sunday at my house but after the showers quit I got out to see if I could add some meat to the stew pot. It was hard for me to keep my powder dry with all the water dripping off the trees and a few squirrels got a pass when my flinter didn't ignite the way it should have. I did manage to kill three, though. Hunting them is tough this time of year. The little S.O.B.s never stay still and the cover is so thick that I just get lucky when one stops in an open area long enough for me to get a bead on him. Another thing is that it seems all I ever kill in the early season is old boars. It's still fun, though, and I surely do love to watch that cloud of blue smoke wafting through the air! Darren
  13. I've been working on the squirrels as time permits since the season opened. There ain't a prettier sight than a cloud of blue smoke hanging in the air on a still morning! I killed these two young-n-tenders on Sunday of the opening weekend. I got a late start yesterday and came to the woods under prepared. I got into a whole covey of them about 9:30 but I only had two loads with me so I was only able to bring home two. I know where they're hanging out now so I will be better prepared next time. One of them was an old boar and I guess I should have "barked" him before I shot. That's where you put your ear against the tree the squirrel is in and if you can hear his package dragging across the bark then you know not to shoot him. Oh well, that's what they make pressure cookers for! Darren
  14. I use a 12 gauge smoothbore for squirrel hunting. It's a very versatile weapon. I can shoot shot out of it for small game or switch to a patched round ball to kill any big game in North America. Darren
  15. Good job! That's a fine bird. Darren
  16. The weather has been wet, to say the least, here in southern Missouri but we got a break last Friday morning so I was chasing birds on our family farm. I spotted a tom strutting at the lower end of our middle field so I decided to put a stalk on him. Unfortunately, the rice paddy-like conditions had me change course several times so by the time I belly crawled the last 50 yards to my setup spot, the gobbler was nowhere to be found. I knew I hadn't spooked him so I thought I'd put some decoys out to see if I could lure him back. I crossed to the east side of the field, put two hen decoys out around 20 yards on a high spot, and then crawled underneath a cedar tree. My flintlock was a soggy from being dragged through the muck and I dried it off the best I could. Finally, when I was satisfied with it, I picked the vent hole, wiped the pan one more time and poured in some 4F powder. I went through a series of calls and waited for something to happen. After 20 minutes of nothing, I called again and was answered by a different gobbler directly in front of me. The only problem was that he was all the way on the other side of the field, across a creek, and up in the woods. The distance was about 300 yards by my reckoning; a fer piece for a turkey, especially with a creek in the way. I called again and he answered again. After doing this two more times, I thought to myself, "We'll see how badly you want it, big boy, if you cross that creek!" Another 10 minutes passed and, to my surprise, I see the tom now in the field next to the fence on that side. He had flown across the creek - game on! I call in earnest to get his attention and he's looking around to see where the girls are. He finds his own high spot and goes into full strut to show off his stuff. This goes on for five minutes or so until I convince him that he needs to come find me. Over the next ten minutes he meanders across the field looking for love. It isn't until he's about 60 yards away that he actually sees my decoys. Now he goes into strut again and begins shuffling towards the decoys. I've had a lot of close calls this season but no dead birds so my heart is hammering as this tom is coming in. Maybe this time I will finally get to put a tag on something! He is now about 25 yards out in full strut facing me. I don't like that shot because I'm afraid he'll see me move so I am just hoping he'll turn sideways. When he finally does, I put the bead on his head and pull the trigger - POOF! A flash in the pan but no boom. So now the bird is on full alert and I'm frantically reaching behind me trying to locate my priming flask so I can prime the pan again. I am rattled and the tom is leaving so I am having a hard time drawing a good bead. When I do pull the trigger the second time, I can barely see his head. The gun goes off this time and so does the turkey. He will live to gobble again. I caught the entire saga on video and it can be seen here: Flintlock heartbreak The depth perception is misleading. The tom is only about 25 yards away. After the event, I kicked myself a few times and thought about what I should have done differently. Then I realized that I had one heckuva hunt anyway. I made an animal do what was against his nature to do and basically got to count coup on him. Besides that, no one forced me to choose a flintlock to hunt with. I've got a perfectly good Benelli Nova in my gun cabinet that I could have been toting around but what's the fun in that? So that's my latest turkey tale. It didn't end the way I had hoped but it wasn't a total loss. I've got one more week of season left. Maybe the turkey gods will smile on me yet! Darren
  17. I was bowhunting yesterday and called in three toms who proceeded to ignore my decoys and stay out of my shooting range. They left and I even called them back. At one time, all three were standing 25 yards away gobbling their heads off but would not step one foot closer to my setup. I think it's time to put away the selfbow, blind, and decoys and break out the flintlock! Darren
  18. I was bowhunting this morning and called in three longbeards; two from long distance. None of them would come into my decoys. They got as close as 25 yards but wouldn't come any closer. They weren't spooked; they just ignored them. It was very frustrating! The selfbow, blind, and decoys go away now. It's time to break out the flintlock! Darren
  19. Yeah, I figured we'd be seeing some dead bird photos this morning. I just got back from Kansas and I am wore slick! The toms are henned up something fierce where I was hunting and I couldn't do anything with them. I got a lot of exercise but nothing to show for my efforts. Darren
  20. I was at my farm this past weekend with the intention of burning a whole bunch of powder patterning my new flintlock turkey gun. However, the rain set in and that made the job rather unpleasant and fraught with difficulties. I only managed to shoot two times before I quit but I was quite pleased with the results. Both shots were at 25 yards. The load consisted of 60 grains of FFF powder, 1 overpowder card, 1/4" lubed wad, 1 1/2 oz. #6 shot, and an overshot card. I pulled the first shot a little but both patterns would have rolled a gobbler. I like what I see but I might bump up the powder to 70 grains. I will test that load shooting at the bottoms of soup cans. If I can penetrate one of them then I can penetrate a turkey's skull. "Sweet Rachael" and I are heading to Kansas for their opener on the 12th. Hopefully, I can kill something with her besides squirrels. With a choked barrel, she's pretty hard on them! Darren
  21. I certainly like seeing this on my trail camera behind the house! I've got seven gobblers hanging out together and some of them are roosting about 100 yards from the back porch. You can bet that on April 17th I will be laying for these guys with a sweet call on my lips and a sharp broadhead! Darren
  22. The Conservation Federation of Missouri's annual convention is in a couple of weeks and they have a silent auction that the United Bowhunters of Missouri always donates an item to. This year, I wanted to get a turkey call from a local call maker, craft a leather holster for it and donate the pair to the auction. This is the end result. I contacted Scott Ashburn (Scott's Custom Turkey Calls) to get a call from him and when he heard what I had planned he donated the call to the cause. The holster I made for it has a vegetable-tanned cowhide frame covered in hippopotamus hide. The trim is deer and it's all sewed up by hand using artificial sinew. Thanks again, Scott! Darren
  23. Next weekend is the United Bowhunters of Missouri Festival and we have a big live auction on Saturday night with all kinds of goodies up for grabs. For my donation this year, I had this box call made by Charlie Miller and this pot call (ceramic over slate) and strkers made by Vince Crawford. I made the leather holsters to carry them around in. The holsters have a vegetable-tanned cowhide frame covered in ostrich skin. The trim is deer and I sewed everything up by hand with artificial sinew. Hopefully, they will make the club a little money. Darren
  24. Come join us at the 30th annual United Bowhunters of Missouri Festival. This family-friendly event has something for everyone; seminars, auctions, vendors, raffles, food and a whole lot more! Come learn about falconry, 3D target repair, flight archery and hunting mountain goats in British Columbia. Try to win a custom Black Widow bow (a $1000 value) and stay for the banquet to hear guest speaker, Dean Derby, talk about hunting Colorado's Big Ten with a stick and string. This is a a great event for the hardcore hunter and someone who is just thinking about getting into the sport. A good time is guaranteed and you'll be surrounded by some of the finest folks on the planet! Festival Registration Info Schedule Of Events Facebook Event Page Black Widow Bow Raffle Tickets Darren
  25. I made these two arm guards for a couple in Florida. They don't bowhunt but they compete in SCA archery tournaments. The Society for Creative Anachronisms is a group of folks who role play living during the Renaissance Era. I met the husband, Eric, several years ago when he was on a traditional archery forum looking for a bow string. I told him I'd make him one and we struck up a friendship. For Christmas this year, he and his wife, Kelly, decided to give each other one of my arm guards. I told them that all they needed to do was pay for the leather. Both arm guards are made from elephant hide and are trimmed in deer. I carved the lace hooks out of deer antler and sewed everything up by hand using artificial sinew. Darren