There is something within us all; a common thread. It’s sometimes latent, forgotten. Other times, it’s undeniable. But we’re all born hunters. Some of us are drawn to it like salmon returning to their origins, overcoming great difficulty to arrive at a place and time, the culmination of our experience, our determination, and no small measure of luck. As timeless as humanity itself, the hunters problem is infinitely interesting. And solving it with wit and woodsmanship is one of the most difficult challenges that we can undertake. It’s also one of the most fulfilling. I think there are a lot of hunters out there like that, that are so passionate about what they do, that it’s more than just something they do. It really defines who they are. For those hunters, it’s not just a hobby. It truly is, a way of life. We are problem solvers. That’s what we do better than anything else. And for as long as we’ve been human, we have been trying to solve that fundamental problem that has faced hunters forever. And that problem is… uncertainty. It’s uncertainty in whether or not we’ll find the animal. It’s uncertainty in whether or not we’ll get a shot. And if we do, will we be able to make it when we’re under pressure. With all the advances in the last couple of decades, and the amount of technology that’s available and marketed to hunters today, I really think we’re well on our way to solving that problem. And, if we’re not careful, we may just do it. Since I can remember, I’ve had that instinctual drive to chase, to capture… Anything. It didn’t matter if it was a frog, or a snake, or a rabbit out in the field. I was trying to catch it. And that has been a lifelong journey looking for a balance between a love of hunting and a fascination with nature. I’ve been making bows now for about fifteen years Back when I first started bowhunting, I hunted with a compound, just like everyone else. Mainly because that’s all I knew. I didn’t know anyone who shot traditional, and I certainly didn’t know anyone that made bows. But, once I found some good instructions, I started making selfbows and never really looked back. These self-imposed limits have helped me to find that balance. It gives a hunter the opportunity to learn from wildlife and to practice those skills that we probably never would have developed otherwise. There is something about a longbow that is absolutely magnetic. Maybe it’s the simplicity in form; the beauty in a perfect curve. But I think it probably runs much deeper than that. Not unlike the gravity that a campfire seems to exert over anyone that’s nearby. Drawing us in closer Some people choose to limit themselves to very hard to find animals. That monster buck, or huge bull that very few hunters will ever see, let alone get a shot at. I choose to limit the technology; to rely on woodsmanship to get super close to an animal. Even if you don’t want to shoot a particular animal, It’s still fun to sneak up on them and see how close you can get. Honestly I do kind of regret letting this guy go. That’s a pretty nice bear. On some of my most memorable hunts I didn’t kill anything, or even get a shot. But I was so close. To be happy hunting with these weapons, you’ve got to be willing to let that bull walk away at 40 yards and just be happy to have been so close. But every now and then it works out. Every now and then, things come together. And when that happens, it’s a pretty awesome feeling. What’s an animal taken by these means worth? Is it worth the price paid in numb and calloused fingers? In foregone opportunities and the years lean on blood trails? If we think in terms no broader than a dead animal, then the obvious answer is no. But what of the lessons learned along the way? What of the time spent watching and learning from animals that are just out of range? What of the memories of that bull that was so close that you could nearly feel his breath… you could see the reflection in his eye. These are the things we can carry with us. These are the things we can pass on, and I would argue that These are the things that are most important. We hunters, as a group, are constantly looking for something to make it easier. And the whole time, we’re robbing ourselves of the satisfaction, of the joy of accomplishing something difficult. I think he’s down. Even when you know you’ve made a perfect shot, that sight of a good blood trail is so reassuring. That’s something that only a hunter could ever truly appreciate. Well, he may not make the record book, but, when you can kill a deer with a bow and arrow that you’ve made… it’s a heck of a feeling. I started this project with the thought that I’d somehow get to the bottom of what hunting is. That I’d somehow explain what it meant to someone who is so consumed with it. I wanted to show what hunting means to me. But the deeper I dug, the more I realized that it’s impossible to ever fully capture; to hem up and summarize in a nice little package. And maybe that’s it. Maybe that is the greatest thing about hunting. The mystery. The uncapturable nature of the very thing I was trying to define. And so I guess the best that we can hope for is that people will judge us on how we hunt. On the effort that we put into it. And our commitment to keep it that way Wild Full of mystery and untamed.