It's a rainy day here in Northwest Kansas. Much needed rain is keeping me indoors today making it a great day to build a bow. This bow is a 62" Solomon recurve for a friend who has given me a lot of inspiration in my bow designs. It features a Bocote riser with Red, white, and black phenolic, Bocote limbs with a red insert, and clear glass. It feels great to get one put together and I can't wait to see it come together.
I have dropped off of social media so that I can control the content that I publish. To do this I'm introducing a newsletter that I'll send it out every other month so. It won't clog up your email inbox but it will be a great way to see what's happening at CCA and read stories from other customers. You can sign up by simply entering your email address in the box below. Thank you for your interest in Coyote Creek Archery
If you've followed Coyote Creek Archery for any time at all you know by now that we're always evolving. Over the past couple of years we've changed logos, bow models, and bow names. The latest change is somewhat of a small change but still worth mentioning. As of today, Coyote Creek Archery is no longer on social media. For most entrepreneurs in 2018 this would be suicide! For me it's a relief.
I started Coyote Creek Archery because of my passion for traditional archery and wanting to share this passion with others. I love getting new people started in traditional archery and the look on their face the first time they shoot one of my bows or the first time they see their finished bow that they have spent their hard earned money on. I'm not in it to make a lot of money or to see how many followers or likes I can get. Social media has become a burden to me in so many ways. When I was out hunting I felt like I needed to be taking pictures and posting everything that was going on rather than focusing on the hunt and spending time with my growing boys enjoying God's creation. Facebook has always censored my posts. When I try to promote a post or create an advertisement I would get a response saying that they don't allow the promotion of weapons or violence. I try to stay out of politics but I served my country so that we can enjoy the freedoms that the Constitution affords us. There is nothing violent about the bows that I create. To me they are beautiful, yet very functional pieces of art. I won't support a platform the doesn't support the first and second amendments, period.
Next has been the recent Senate hearings of the Facebook CEO who also owns Instagram. I just couldn't see posting information about myself, my family, and my company on a platform and allowing them to sell it off to 3rd parties.
Finally I noticed myself spending time on Facebook and Instagram and not conversing with my family. What type of example was I setting as a father? It was time for a change. I am excited to embrace this decision and to move Coyote Creek Archery forward the old fashioned way, by making the best product for the lowest possible price. By treating all customers as I would want to be treated, and through hard work and determination.
As the end of the school year nears, bow production will increase. I have several orders to fill and I look forward to getting the new Smoky ready for production. If you are in the market for a custom recurve or longbow give me a shout, there is still time to get one in your hands before fall!
The weather has started to warm up a little and spring is just around the corner. I finally feel like I'm making progress on the new place, getting settled into a new work space and ready to start building bows! I had to start from scratch with my work space and basically turn my garage into a place that I can do my work out of until I have the time and funds to build a nice shop in my outbuilding. I had to wire in new lights and add a few outlets to make it functional, I even had to build a new workbench, but it will serve it's purpose and I'm finally able to produce bows from my new home. It's a good thing too because interest has really picked up recently. I'm booked up through July right now and excited to see them come to life.
One bow that I'm currently working on will be a really cool 62" Solomon recurve out of Bocote. It will have lots of red accents and will be a beautiful bow once it's finished. Of course I'll keep you updated on it's progress so be sure to follow me on Facebook if you aren't already.
I have also finished the form for the Smoky recurve and hope to get one put together soon. I'm really excited to see how it will turn out. There is a lot of work that goes into any bow but developing a new bow is a completely different animal. It starts with an idea, then to a computer design and a template. Building the form is tedious but critical to ensure that every bow gets a good start. Stay tuned for updates on the Smoky as it starts to come together. I won't put it ahead of customer orders but try to fit in work on it when time allows.
Okay so my title is a little harsh and a bit of an exaggeration but right now I feel like I'm in survival mode. We've been in our new home for almost two months and I'm anxious for the temps to warm up so that I can spend more time outside fishing, shed hunting, turkey hunting, and shooting bows. Projects around the house have kept me occupied through the frigid temps and snow we've been having and I have had a few opportunities to call coyotes and do some trapping.
Calling coyotes is one of my favorite winter activities.
I have been making progress on the new Smoky recurve but bow orders have kept me busy and it will be later than I anticipated when I am able to show off a finished product. I am very excited about this bow and hope to see it expand into a 64" version at a later date. Speaking of bow orders January through April seem to be the busiest time of year for me and I guess it's because guys are wanting to get something new for fall. Currently there is about a 4 month lead time on orders so if you place an order in early March I hope to have it completed by early July. This still gives you time to get a new bow and spend time practicing before the fall hunting season.
Turkey season is right around the corner and although I don't have plans to purchase a tag this year I will be hunting with both of my boys. We have new decoys this year and I'm hoping to do more mobile hunting than sitting in the blind waiting for them although I'm sure we'll do some of that as well. My youngest son is still searching for his patience and sitting in a blind is not really his style! They will be hunting with a shotgun for now but I hope to get them into chasing turkeys with a bow before long. Be sure to follow Coyote Creek Archery on Facebook and Instagram for updates on our hunts.
I always look forward to turkey hunting with my sons!
No the name Coyote Creek Archery is not changing but the names of our bows are! After some research I have noticed that there are several bowyers who name their bows after predators and there are several Bobcat and Coyote bows available from various bow makers. I like to think that Coyote Creek Archery is not like any of the other bow makers. You won't find a custom bow of this quality, for the price anywhere. After a lot of thought I wanted to do something different. After spending all of my life in the state of Kansas I wanted names that were more connected to my home, something that had more meaning to me personally. I decided to name my 3 bow styles after the 3 main waterways in Northwest Kansas. The three that I have spent countless hours hunting, fishing, trapping, and exploring.
The Bobcat recurve will now be known as the Solomon for the North and South Fork Solomon Rivers. It is the river closest to the inspiration for this bow and coming in two lengths it is fitting that it be named after the river with two forks.
The Swift Fox longbow will now be known as the Saline. Named after the Saline River where I took my first deer with a longbow and my first deer with a Coyote Creek longbow. I have also pursued and harvested many deer, turkey, phesants, quail, and other critters along the Saline in my outdoor pursuits. The Coyote Creek flows into the Saline River and it is a very appropriate name for this bow.
The Coyote takedown has been discontinued and is being replaced by a new one piece recurve coming in the Spring of 2018. This new bow will be named the Smoky. The Smoky Hill river is where I shot my very first deer. It flows just a few miles south of Coyote Creek Archery, and I have had countless adventures along the Smoky. It is fitting that with this new bow being born near the Smoky that it be named after that river.
I hope that you like the changes. I know that I do and it will be a great feeling knowing that each bow that is made at Coyote Creek Archery will always represent my home in Northwest Kansas.
The last time my wife and I moved was in 2006. We bought a brand new house and swore that we would never move again, or if we did it would be to the old folks home! That house took a lot of work putting in a yard, finishing a basement, and building a garage but over that last couple of years we have had a strong desire to find a home in the country where we could enjoy peace and quiet and a little more freedom. We had looked at a couple of properties over the past 3-4 years but nothing caught out attention. That was until this past November. We noticed the advertisement and discussed it but didn't think too much of it. A few weeks went by and we thought we should at least go look. We saw lots of potential and went back for a second showing. Finally after contemplating it over Thanksgiving we made and offer and the rest is history. We moved in after Christmas, sold our house that we had lived in for 11 years and are no longer city slickers!
This move is great for Coyote Creek Archery because it provides me an opportunity to build a larger workspace and have acres to shoot bows and firearms. It will be a great place for my boys to continue to grow and a great place for our dog to stretch her legs. We have big aspirations for this home and it will take some work and time to get there but I think that we are going to be really happy here. We are still in Ellis County Kansas, just 4.5 miles from Ellis but it feels good for this country boy to finally get out of the city!
Coyote Creek Archery will still produce high quality bows, arrows, strings, and other archery products but it will take some time for me to get settled into my new environment and establish a true workshop. Please be patient but don't hesitate to contact me if you are interested in any of our products.
it was a lot of work but sunrises like this one make the move to the country worth it!
The 2017 archery deer season in this part of Kansas for myself and for many that I have talked with has been uneventful. Most everyone is discussing the low deer numbers and how CWD is becoming more of a problem. I am thankful to not have witnessed sick deer where I hunt but I know that it is a problem and it's a matter of time before the problem gets worse. I hope that over time the herd develops an immunity to this disease but this could take many years.
I was finally able to harvest a buck on the morning of November 25 with my compound bow. I was able to take a doe back in October with my Bobcat recurve and would have really liked to shot this buck with one of my CCA bows but because rifle season was approaching, and I was trying to get my oldest son in position for his first archery kill, and because we really needed meat in the freezer I decided that the Mathews was the way to go. I still had a blast and was able to share the hunt with my son, the story unfolds below.
Thanksgiving break is a great time to be chasing whitetail deer in Kansas. As a teacher I get a 5 day weekend and have time to fit in an extra hunt or two. It's also when the bigger bucks have bred does and begin searching for the last few does in estrous. Any time of the day a mature buck could appear out of thin air and you have to be ready. My oldest son Austin has worked hard to become proficient with his bow and has been able to come along with me on several hunts this year in pursuit of his first archery kill. On Friday the 24th we sat in a ground blind along a heavily used trial in the middle of the timber. It wasn't long before we saw our first deer. It was a 1.5 year old buck with a doe. They were milling around to our left and eventually the young buck left the doe and headed in our direction. Austin prepared for a shot and I watched the deer and readied him for the shot. The buck stepped into the shooting lane but was a little farther away than what is ideal and had some weeds blocking his vitals. He got a pass as he headed away from us not knowing of our presence.
As sundown neared a 2.5 year old buck appeared 100 yards to our right and was headed down the same trail as the previous buck. This buck would cross in front of our blind at 15 yards if he continued on his current course. As he got near I instructed Austin to draw his bow but I was a little late and the buck caught his movement. Austin did a great job of holding steady as the buck relaxed and began to walk again. I grunted and Austin let an arrow fly which sailed over the buck's back. The buck was startled but gently moved away from our position. Austin was not disappointed with the miss but rather elated for the opportunity.
The next morning we were back at it but this time in our favorite treestands as the wind was more favorable for this location. The stands are set up so that Austin is on the main trail while I have a shot to a secondary trail as well as the CRP behind me. We are about 40 yards apart and can see each other from our positions. The morning was slow until about 8:30 when two deer appeared in the CRP. It was two young bucks out cruising. At about 8:45 I noticed a mature buck crossing the dry creek bed to my right. I grunted and he turned and came my way out into the CRP. I would have to turn around in the stand and draw before he got close. I noticed that his antlers were wide with not much tine length but my mind was made up that I was going to take a shot if one was presented. I attempted to draw as the buck passed behind a tree limb but there wasn't much to hide my movement and he caught me. I held still at full draw for about 30 seconds before he continued on his path. He then stopped broadside at about 32 yards from my stand as I touched the release and my arrow flew hitting him in the lower part of the chest cavity. I knew that my shot was good, likely a heart shot as I watched the deer bound away and saw my arrow pass through the deer.
The view from my treestand where I shot the buck.
I decided that it was plenty early and Austin might get a shot at something so I held tight until around 11:00. I never saw another deer that morning but Austin had seen a few that I never noticed. We climbed down and went to look for the arrow. It should have been fairly easy to find in the short CRP grass but we never did find it. When we picked up blood I taught Austin what all you can learn from a blood trail. Such as what organs were hit, and which direction the deer was headed. He looked at the blood and then looked ahead and said "dad we don't need to follow the blood trail, your deer is right there!" He was right but I made him follow it anyway for good practice. When we approached the deer we gave thanks to the Lord for the harvest and for the time that Austin and I have been able to spend together. He is not the biggest buck that I have ever shot but one of the best hunting memories I have because of sharing it with him!
The blood trail was easy to follow
What a memorable hunt!
It's the 19th of November and the weather has been excellent for most of the month. Highs in the 50's and lows in the upper 20's. The wind has been favorable, some days cloudy and foggy, some days sunny. Yet the deer movement has been really slow. This past week I averaged only 3 deer moving past my trail cameras per day during daylight hours. This is in the middle of November! This doesn't discourage me, it just means that I get to keep hunting! I've seen some beautiful sunrises and sunsets. I've witnessed squirrels, hawks, badgers, quail, and bobcats and the occasional deer. I just haven't had the opportunity at a deer that gets me excited yet. I'm fine with all of this and very fortunate to have a great place to hunt, and spend quality time with my boys. My oldest son is bow hunting this year and looking for his first deer with a bow. He's had a few opportunities but he's a little bit picky for a 12 year old! I told him to shoot whatever he wants to shoot but he has passed on a few deer already. My youngest son will be rifle hunting in a few weeks and I am very excited to help him get his first deer.
I've hunted in treestands and from ground blinds. I've even done some spot and stalk this year. I've hunted with my Bobcat recurve, with my Coyote recurve, and also with my Mathews Helim. Yes that's right I have hunted with a compound. I'm a hunter first. I'm not an elitist. I love to hunt and I love to feed my family with my harvest. Some days I just feel like hunting with my compound bow. It's not that I don't have confidence in the bows that I build because I definitely do, but sometimes I just like a change of pace.
Sometimes it's easy to get frustrated when the deer aren't cooperating and things aren't going your way but it always seems to work out. I don't consider myself a trophy hunter. I don't set out to only shoot giant bucks. Most of the time I'm content with a 3 or 4 year old deer. I don't like to shoot deer younger than 3 years old but if it's the end of December and I'm out freezing my butt off and a 2 year old gives me a shot, I will likely take it! I have filled many archery tags in December and although the deer may change their patterns in the late season, it's still a great time to be in the woods. Fortunately I have some time off over Thanksgiving and I have plans to hunt as long as it takes for me to fill my tag. This is what I live for! I dream about hunting each day that I can't be out there. I'm not about to give up!
You might have noticed that the Coyote takedown recurve is no longer in production. This is for several reasons. First, it has not been a big seller. Second, a takedown recurve costs more to make and there is more build time involved. I pride myself in being able to offer an outstanding product and excellent service at a low price. Finally as with anything, the more moving parts that are involved, the more finicky it can be. Most of us turn to traditional archery for the simplicity of it and the takedown model didn't really fit in with the direction I want to take Coyote Creek Archery.
Don't worry! The Coyote name will remain in the lineup as a new model! I am in the development stages of a one piece 60" recurve to be named the Coyote. It will have a limb profile similar to the proven Bobcat but with a longer and more massive riser. This will be a great fit for archers who want a little more stability in their bow. I also hope to develop a 64" model of the Coyote for archers with a longer draw length or for those who prefer a longer bow. I am very excited about the design and plan to have it available for production in the spring of 2018. In developing a new bow, prototypes must be developed. If you are interested in purchasing one of these prototypes at a greatly discounted price give me a shout at 785.380.3328 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope that everyone has a blessed Thanksgiving and a successful remainder of the season.
You have all heard the old saying that "sometimes it's better to be lucky than good." I like to think that I'm pretty good with a stick and string, or at least confident. My hunt Sunday morning was more luck than skill. Here's how it went.
I went to mass on Saturday evening so that I could hunt Sunday morning. My trail camera had shown much more deer movement in the mornings rather than evenings. My oldest son Austin was planning on hunting with me this morning but a last minute call from a friend to sleep over took priority so I was flying solo. Sunrise was just after 8:00 am in this part of the country on October 29th. I like to be in the stand an hour before sunrise giving 30 minutes for things to settle down before legal shooting light. I decided since Austin wasn't hunting that I'd sit in his stand since the wind was right for it and in my mind afforded me the best opportunity. I didn't really have bucks on the brain when I climbed into the stand. I was hoping for a mature doe to make a mistake. The temperature dropped to near freezing with a slight breeze from the west / northwest. The morning was still with the sound of owls preparing for their daily rest and busy woodpeckers preparing for the winter cold. I spotted my first deer movement at around 8:30. It was a pair of does about 60 yards to my north heading west towards the river. They disappeared and then around 9:30 a parade of young bucks made their way past my stand. They kept getting bigger as they went by. The first was a spike, followed by a forky, and then a small basket racked buck. I didn't have any interest in them so I just stood still and enjoyed their presence as they headed south.
At around 10:00 a 2.5 year old buck made it's way down a trail behind me. He passed downwind of me but I think that I was up high enough that he never caught my wind. By 10:30 the two does that headed west earlier were now crossing the river and about 80 yards to my southwest. The does milled around in that vicinity for a while as another 2.5 year old buck came down the same trail as the previous deer but heading in the opposite direction.
I kept an eye on the does as they started to work their way towards me. If they continued down the trail they would pass my stand at 12 yards. My fingers were tight against my tab as I mentally prepared myself for the shot. Just as I thought the two does would pass in front of me they turned and headed right for my stand! The first one went past me as the second one followed. I attempted to slowly adjust my position and prepare for a steep shot down to my left. As I was moving the second doe caught me. She stared at me for a second, snorted and stomped and then jumped back right where I wanted her. Now I know better than to shoot at a nervous deer, especially with a recurve but by now my instincts had taken over. There was no turning back! I drew, anchored, and released an arrow at the broadside doe.
At the release of the arrow the doe ducked and turned and the arrow which was on it's path to the deer's vitals hit her too high and too far back. I watched her run off with the arrow showing only about 4" of penetration. I was devastated. I had been practicing with my 58" Bobcat recurve as much as I could so that in the moment of truth I would make a quick, clean, kill. Thoughts went through my head of why am I doing this to myself! Why am I hunting with my recurve and wounding deer when I could have easily dispatched the doe with my Mathews Helim. I was sick.
Several deer continued to move including a few bucks as well as the smaller doe that was with the one that I had shot. She was confused. She couldn't find the other doe. She came back under my stand, looped around behind me and back across the trail in front of me. She eventually took the path of the doe that I had shot and crossed the river. It appeared that she stopped and looked at something, possibly the doe that I had shot. I thought that the wounded doe wouldn't go far and was possibly bedded along the river somewhere but with a shot like that she would likely survive. I didn't want to bump her so I quietly climbed down and backed out, but before doing so I took a shot with a practice arrow at a cottonwood leaf about 12 yards away. My shooting was good, but the position of the deer at the moment of impact was less than ideal.
I headed home, ate lunch, did some work at school and then headed back out around 4:00. The entire time just hoping to find my arrow. I didn't plan on a blood trail because of such a high hit with no exit. I also didn't expect to find a deer. I started out on the west side of the river and began to slowly ease my way into the area that I thought the deer might be. It didn't take 2 minutes when I stumbled upon the doe dead and stiff with my arrow sticking out of her side! Instead of the 4" of penetration that I had imagined, it had penetrated a good 16" angling into her chest cavity and evidently though the liver and at least one of the lungs. She likely died within minutes. It was an unseasonably warm 75 degrees and I was worried about spoilage. I immediately field dressed her, rinsed her out and loaded her into my pickup. I headed home, got her quartered and into a cooler on ice. There was no time for a glory picture but I did make time to say a prayer and thank God for the gift of this beautiful doe and for her not suffering because of my mistake.
I have been bowhunting for nearly 20 years and have taken over 30 deer in that time. Each one is different, special, unique. Each one is a chance to learn. My heavy arrows along with a razor sharp Magnus Stinger broadhead saved me. I feel that I did a few things wrong in this scenario, but I also was patient and gave the deer time and was able to successfully recover her. Thankfully my confidence didn't waiver for long. I'll be back in the woods with a Coyote Creek Archery recurve or longbow soon!
It's finally October! The mornings are cool and crisp, the leaves are turning colors, and it's time to hunt! I have been out a few times after does and have had a few close encounters. My first time out was at the end of September. I sat on the ground along the edge of an alfalfa field where I knew the deer would pass by. I didn't have enough cover and a few does picked me out of the trees but I had a blast! The next day I came back and built a ground blind determined not to get busted again. About a week later my oldest son joined me and the deer followed the script again. I had several of them within 15 yards but as I drew back my Coyote recurve I got caught and had to slowly let up. I never got a shot but again had a blast. I think next time my son will bring his compound and hopefully get a chance at his first archery kill. He will turn 12 in a few days and has been working at shooting his bow for the past couple of years. He has gotten stronger and a lot more accurate. I have a good feeling that year he will find success.
As I age I find my priorities changing. I never have been a trophy hunter. I don't really care to shoot the biggest deer in the woods, nor do I care about scoring my deer. I hunt to eat, and for the challenge. I hunt for that feeling you get when it all works out and you think your heart is going to beat out of your chest. I hunt for the blood trail. I hunt for the brotherhood of bow hunting. Most recently I hunt to pass it on. I have two sons and both are at the age where they are capable of harvesting big game. My youngest is hoping to get his first deer with my 6.5 Creedmoor this year and my oldest who has a couple of rifle kills is hoping to earn his first archery harvest. I really want to see them be successful. It's not about me anymore, I want to mentor them and teach them all that I have learned. I hope to have the opportunity to drop the string on a doe or even a mature buck but it won't make or break my season if I don't. As long as we can put meat in the freezer and my boys learn about where it comes from and how to be a successful hunter it's a win for me!
The best part of the year is approaching. Don't miss out on it. Keep practicing, keep scouting, but get out and hunt! Make memories, and live life. I am so busy right now that worry about having the time to hunt like I want but I have learned that I just need to make time! You just have to make it a priority and do it. This time of year goes by fast and takes a long time to come back around!