Wow! Back from the USA. I'm still so jet lagged that whilst feeding the cat I put my breakfast cereal in her bowl!
Anyhow, I've just got to post a few pics to give you a flavour.
Firstly, for those who don't know the Tennessee Classic at Twin Oaks is surely the best traditional archery meet anywhere on earth. There are already some pics of the event on there.
There are really three three stories to tell. How I came to get there, the place itself and the bows. But above all that is the real story which is the people. I can't tell it all in one hit, so I'll just ramble!
I got there on the Thursday evening and was being shown around, there were two brothers (Steve & Eric), big guys and fairly quiet, I made some lame joke about using band saws and held up my hand with a finger folded down so it looked like it was cut off.
One of the guys Eric (left in the first pic) leaned in towards me and held up his hand with two finger tips missing and the silence was deafening... He let it hang for just a second and then gave a big grin.
I knew right then I was going to fit in just fine! A couple of days later they gave me the pick of some staves from their truck and I picked out a great piece Hop Hornbeam. It's not the same as what we call Hornbeam, which is more like what they call Blue Beech or Muscle wood. All this naming of wood is hugely confusing.
Enough chat, here are some pics... this post will get spread over the week and I'll hopefully be writing up the whole story for Primitive Archer magazine.
My host Pappy is the guy in the bib overalls, a great bloke non stop on the go and he put me up in his cabin which is an Aladins cave of stuff, bows, arrows flint knives, arrow heads , trophies, furs all sorts of stuff picked up, or left as momentos etc. You could sit in there and spend a week looking at each bit as he told the story associated with it.
One of the big things that struck me was the difference in target set up over there... There were more deer sized targets and they were closer. Heck this is easy I thought but No! They are real bow hunters and are looking for the clean kill. A 'lucky leg' is fine over here shooting NFAS for points,but those guys are shooting to get meat to feed themselves and family. An entirely different outlook on hunting which is at one with the environment. It's far removed from the excesses of country house pheasant shoots or the stories of inept 'townies' blasting away at things with firearms. Most of the people hunt with both rifle and bow and they knew what they were doing and talking about... It was a pleasure and privilege to sit quiet and listen to the hunting stories..
The pictures are random mix to try and give a feel for how it was.