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18 point huge buck

A Huge Buck [And Other Unforgettable Bucks]

If seeing pictures of a huge buck and reading the play-by-play story of the hunt excites you, then read below for some great stories about some unforgettable archery bucks.

“Close Call”: The Backstory Of This 18-Point Monster Buck

I saw this deer on camera around mid-December of 2016 and became obsessed. I had hundreds and hundreds of pictures of him. In February, I noticed he hadn’t been to the area or fed at the feeder, so I started looking for his sheds.

I found one side (which was the side I wanted the most). He was at my best guess a 15 point, and had 10 points on the shed I found.

It sucked my attention in even deeper.

My wife got so sick of hearing about “close call.”

Now, I never name deer, but he had what looked like a gunshot wound in his right ear, so I dubbed him “close call.” After I found his shed, I focused a lot of attention on the area where I knew this huge buck was.

The Re-Appearance

In April of 2017, he showed back up, with just 2 or 3 inch nubs on his head. Of course, because of his ears, and my obsession, I knew it was him. He stuck around for a few weeks, and then of course, disappeared again and remained out of view until around June, when he came back. He stayed close by and on camera sometimes 3 different times a day from June on.

I’m from Kentucky, and our season comes in really early, so I was counting down the days and doing my very best to just keep him around.



Around the first of August, he quit feeding at the feeder, but was still visible in the open. Our archery season opened on September 2 this year, and in my mind, I had him in the bag. I ran up to 4 cams to keep my eyes on him, and one was a Spartan cell cam.

It kept me from frequenting the area, and I knew instantly when he was there. On August 31st I have video of him in the broad daylight at what would have been an 18 yard shot for me.

My confidence was out the roof. The season opened and I spent the next 6 days in the stand. I only hunted him of an evening, seeing I never had a picture or anything of a morning of him. But, over those 6 days, he never showed his face at all.



The Crush

I was crushed.

In my mind, I knew he was probably just laying low and in the process of shedding his velvet. I backed off for a few days and would keep my eye on my cameras, thinking I had applied too much pressure.

He finally showed back up but had gone completely nocturnal. Around the 15th of September, he had completely vanished. I just knew someone else had gotten him I told no one but a very tight group about this deer.

Then, one day I was at my son’s football practice and heard someone talking about a huge buck they had seen in the area where the buck lived. I then knew he was still alive, but it worried me that someone would do something stupid to him.



For the next 2 weeks, the buck would only show up about ever 4-6 days for a brief minute, and in the middle of the night. He was playing hide ‘n seek. At least I knew he was still alive, is all I could think of. I stayed away and didn’t hunt for weeks.

On September 26, while away from home, my cell phone dings and there he is. It’s 4 in the evening and I’m not in the woods, so I figured my one chance had come and gone. I looked closely at the forecast and figured I could hunt the 28th and 29th because there was a cool front coming, and the wind would be perfect.

I hunted the 28th and nothing... Not a single deer.



Permission Granted

I was kind of skeptical, but wouldn’t give up. My wife and I had plans for the evening of the 29th, but she was okay with me hunting for a few hours that evening. I got there around 4:30 that evening and it was calm and perfect.

I texted my wife and told her, “this would be the perfect evening for him to show up. It’s so quiet and calm.” She told me that it was okay if I stayed till dark, before we went out. She understood my obsession more than anyone.

At around 5:45, I had a small buck come in. He wasn’t there long and left.



The Staredown And An Errant Shot?

I was just enjoying the evening being in the woods. Around 6:25 or so, I decided I’d try a little very light rattling (seeing it worked the year before). About 10-15 minutes after I heard what sounded like a cough or something from the hill across from me.

I focused my full attention to that area. I saw movement coming my way…. a small basket 8 point I had on cam.

As soon as he came out, I saw a second deer coming. It turned out to be the small 3 point that was there earlier in the evening. After he came out, it still sounded like more deer were coming.



Low and behold, I look in the timber and here he comes. I instantly began become overwhelmed. The buck came out, just like I had planned, but he looked right at me. He turned around like he was going to head back into the timber, so I drew on him. He was quartering away at 21 yards.

I held tight and left the arrow fly.

Instantly I knew I had just messed up on the buck of a lifetime.

The shot looked super high. I was sick. I set back and text my wife and told her I had just shot him. Then, I went over the shot in my head 100 times. I went and retrieved the arrow and looked it over. It appeared to have really good blood, so I wasn’t so sure I had hit it high.



The N1 Moment

My wife finally showed up, and we went looking. It was the first time she had ever tracked and she was super excited. We continued to find good blood, then about 70 yards in the timber, there be laid. He couldn’t handle that arrow after all.

There he was. A buck of my lifetime….the one I had become so obsessed over.

This buck gross scored 177 7/8”, even though he was only 14 ½” wide. He has 18 scoreable points. This buck is my biggest to date, and the most gratifying as well.

Come to find out, in the middle of September when he disappeared, it was because someone had tried to poach him. He was shot with a small caliber rifle, just above the shoulder

I got very lucky to be able to harvest such a huge buck. What a tough and awesome animal.

But then, the next year another huge buck made his way into my life…



Kentucky Buck John Workman Picture

John Workman saw trophy buck success again in 2018, with this Kentucky bruiser.

Big Kentucky Buck Fame Comes Again!

I would have to say the story of my success in the 2018 Kentucky deer season has to date back to September 29th of 2017. On that date, I was fortunate enough to take a Boone and Crockett class Kentucky buck (the full story above.)

Once the word got out about that deer, my social media went kind of crazy. One day, while roaming through Facebook, I noticed I had a random message from someone in my area. He asked questions and persistently talked about my 2017 buck.

I kind of blew it off at first, because when it comes to hunting, I usually keep my stuff mainly a secret. But, one thing led to another, and we talked a little here and there.

One day I was at the local archery shop just hanging out, and in came this same guy. So, we finally met face-to-face and began to develop a friendship. His name is Kyle Groce. He is a bit younger than me, but we both share a passion for deer hunting.



Let’s Make A Deal

As the winter progressed, he learned that I do a lot of food plotting. He wanted to develop his hunting property into a sanctuary so that the deer don’t have to travel to get what they want.

In mid-April he offered to let me hunt this same land if I would do the food plots for him. I knew the area, so I agreed without hesitation.

In May, the weather finally cooperated so hat I could get started on the plots I agree to cut, till and sow. I began the process of bush hogging. While cutting a plot, this buck comes out and watched me like he was in awe that someone was there doing something.

At the first look, I realized he was going to be a good buck worth chasing once the early season came.



Adding Him To The Hit List

So, after hours of studying maps of the land, and once the food plots were finished, I eased my way back into the woods where I thought this buck was coming from.

I took my minerals and my trail camera and got things set up where I wanted, and where I thought I might have a great chance to ambush this buck once the season began.

The very first day the camera was there, I got pics of this buck. Immediately my focus was on this one particular animal.

As part of my permission to hunt the land, I was free to do as I please. So, I kept this buck a secret, as I thought he’d go 160 plus inches.

Kyle and I became great friends and spent all summer locating more deer for him to get set up on to hunt.



Opening Day Of Bow Season

September 1st finally arrived and Kyle and I already had our game plans set in stone. He was getting some good deer on camera, and I was getting my buck in two different locations during the daylight hours.

On opening day, I got in the stand around 5 o’clock AM, fearing that I might bump this big boy going in.

That first morning came and went. I saw a lot of deer and some small bucks, but not the big Kentucky buck I was after. Of course, early September in Kentucky its pretty warm… like, 90 degrees warm! So, I got out of my stand and headed home.

There was no way I was staying all day in the stand in that heat.

Around 3:30 that afternoon, I started to get ready to head back to the stand. I showered, gathered my equipment and headed that way. I got in the stand around 4:30 and got things set up, and instantly I had action.

2018 Workman Buck

Mature bucks like this one, come as a result of scouting, persistence and game planning.

>> Does this story make you want to say Bowhunt Oh Yeah?

A mature doe and her fawn came in and stayed in my area for about 30 or so minutes, so I was upbeat and positive. Deer came and went all evening, both bucks and does.

Around 7:15, I saw a nice buck working toward my location and instantly knew it was a great 8 point. I had guessed he was about 140″ or so. Right behind him I saw the big 12-point I had been watching all summer.

Both bucks came in on a string to 19 yards. But, the big mature buck was no dummy. He stayed right behind the 8-point the whole time, and I couldn’t get a shot at him.

All I could do was sit and watch him walk away.



Day Two And Beyond

Day two was much of the same. There was a lot of deer activity, but no shooters. Kyle, however, did fill his tag on that second day with a real nice 8-point that was on his hit list.

I hunted hard over the next week, and saw the big 8 on multiple occasions, but he never had the buck with him I was looking for. I even had him within 30 yards of me for 29 minutes one morning, but I still let him go.

On Wednesday, September the 12th, I had decided to hunt, but I was going to change things up and head to a blind at the edge of a food plot. Once I got to the farm, I realized the wind was totally wrong for that location and went right back to my stand where I had the earlier encounter.



The wind wasn’t totally right for me, but it wasn’t totally wrong either. I was on a ridge, so I knew my scent would blow above anything that came in.

Around 5:30 I had a small buck come in, and it brightened my outlook somewhat. That buck left and a doe and fawn came in. They stuck around for 20 or so minutes, but then wandered off into the thick brush.

At around 6:30 a small really good up and comer buck came in. I had seen this deer many times, and he was always with more deer and never alone, so I focused hard on the direction he had came from.

About 3 minutes later, I could see the big 8 coming, and this time he was out of velvet, and looked bigger than I had thought.



As he was walking up the hill, he kept looking over his shoulder to check something behind him. One of my deer hunting tips is, when a mature buck is watching behind him, it only tells me that something bigger may be lurking. Well in this case, there was.

Coming straight at me was the buck I was after. He came in just like I had planned, but I didn’t plan on the other two  bucks being there with him. For nine minutes I had to watch him and the other bucks mill around and feed.

Finally, the big 8 swung around to the back side of the 12. I had been waiting on this, because I knew it would turn the 12 where I could get a shot off.

He turned around to chase the 8 and gave me the quartering away shot I needed. I let my arrow fly and instantly knew I had fatally hit him. The angle he gave me was a little steeper than I had hoped for, but I was super confident in my shot.



John Workman Buck and Kyle

Even though John has experienced some incredible success in taking huge bucks, it’s the time with friends that has made it all the more special.

I immediately called my wife, and then Kyle, to tell them I had shot. Kyle and another good friend, Nick McWhorter, had begged me all summer to film my hunts, and I had blown them off until about 2 weeks before season. They got me set up, and ready to film for this season.

Well, knowing the deer had my arrow, I chose to not even attempt to look for anything until I got to see my footage to confirm my shot placement. I met Kyle at my truck, and we reviewed everything together.

In our opinion, that shot had been perfect. By this time, my wife and son had shown up, and were excited to start tracking.



We headed back to my stand and began to look, but there was nothing to find. No blood, no arrow, no nothing. I knew which way he had ran, so we started in that general direction first. Travis, another buddy had came to help track and to get him out of the woods. Travis saw my Nockturnal lighted nock glowing bright, so we headed straight for it.

Big Kentucky Buck Down

There he laid; the buck I had studied all summer in hopes for one chance. I got it, and the shot was perfect. I ran my arrow and broadhead from in front of his back left hip, all the way up to his front right shoulder, just like I had intended.

Just like that, it was all over. He ended up being a mainframe 10, with two abnormals on his left side. He scored 155 inches. I was tickled to death.

I have been blessed to take some nice bucks, and it drives my addiction to the outdoors even greater! So not only did I kill a great Kentucky buck, but I also made a life-long friend in the process. That’s what hunting and the outdoors is all about.

– By John Workman



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Bonus: Another Huge Buck Story (The Coat Hanger Buck)

non typical buck picture

Garret Schmidt will forever remember the day he harvested the “Coat Hanger” Buck!

This was one N1 Moment™ that 30-year old Garrett Schmidt could hang his hat on… literally.

Opening day of archery season in Kansas

It was a 10-hour drive from League City, Texas, to the Southeast Kansas property he and some friends had recently gotten permission to hunt. But this was opening day of archery deer season in Kansas. It wouldn’t have mattered if it was 100 hours.

“I knew it was going to be hot and possibly rain. But, I get so jacked up for the start of a new season that I didn’t care,” he said.



Scouting intel

Garrett had noticed something his previous spot-and-stalk hunts on the property. The deer would jump the fence in the afternoons and hit the bean fields on the south end.

But, he knew he needed a North wind to hunt that part of the property. He also knew that having an opportunity to harvest a trophy Kansas buck is worth some sweat — and a little luck never hurts either.

“I ended up walking a mile in the heat around 3:00 pm and finally made it to the edge of the beans where I thought was going to be the best spot to shoot.”

 As dusk was quickly approaching, Garret noticed a rack of horns sticking out of the beans 150 yards away.

“I knew he was a good buck,” he said. But the beans were so tall I did not see the trash he had, especially the coat hanger drop tine on his left main beam.”

 But, drop tine or not, Garret knew time was running out.



Bean field belly crawl

“I had only 45 minutes to make this happen. With the wind in my face I made a 100-yard belly crawl through the beans. I ended up within shooting distance of this non-typical buck,” he said. “I stood up fast out of the beans, drew my bow back, found the sweet spot, and let the Rage broadhead do the rest.”

The “coat hanger buck” goes down



 The “coat hanger buck” was down. And, while Garret didn’t have his friends with him on this trip to help share in the excitement, the part they played wasn’t overlooked.

“When it was all said and done I wasn’t able to take fancy pictures or share this moment with a buddy. But, none of this would have been possible without the help of my good friends putting in the time and work over the year to get everything ready for this amazing opportunity.”

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Bonus #3: Huge Velvet Buck Story

man with deer in velvet

This velvet trophy buck may have never been harvested had Khavon not made the walk all the way back to his truck to get his forgotten quiver!

Friday afternoon, September 30, 2016, I arrived to my lease in Natchez, Mississippi. I unloaded the truck and ranger and headed to the woods to check my two cameras to decide where I was going to hunt that weekend.

As I was scrolling through 800 pictures of does and bucks, my buddy told me to stop and back up. I scrolled back and there was a giant 8-point buck in full velvet.

This was the first time I had seen a picture of him. I kept scrolling and the past few evenings he had been coming out right before dark. I immediately got nervous, since I’ve never had an opportunity to hunt a deer like him before.

So, I decided to not hunt there in the morning and to save the spot for an evening hunt on opening day.



Don’t walk away from me

The evening hunt on opening day approached and I began to get anxious, wondering how the hunt would go. It was very warm, so I grabbed my bow and took my time walking to my stand, because I didn’t want to sweat.

I arrived at my stand at 3:55 pm and climbed up. As I got my bow in my stand, I realized something looked funny. I forgot my quiver back at the ranger!

Trying not to get too upset, but still frustrated, I climbed back down and started walking back to the ranger. I decided to take my shirt off so I wouldn’t sweat on it, since it’s a good 10-12 minute walk up and down the hills.

Eventually, I made it to the ranger, got my quiver, and made my way back to the stand. I climbed in, nocked an arrow, turned the Thermacell on, put my shirt back on, and painted my face. By then, it was about 4:25 pm.



A Just Pass’N Through Archery Moment

I was checking my phone at 4:30 and I looked up and boom! There he was, 35 yards out to my left.

He walked out into the food plot and stopped. Then he turned around and started heading back to the woods where he came from. As soon as he got to the wood line, he stopped again.

I didn’t have a clear shot and I was thinking to myself, “I’m fixing to watch this huge buck walk out my life!”

He then turned and started walking directly toward me and stopped at 10 yards. He made another turn back out to the food plot and stopped at 15 yards, quartered away from me.

I waited for the opportunity to draw back when he wasn’t looking.  As soon as he looked away, I drew back, controlled my breathing and let the arrow fly.

I made a great shot on him and the arrow was Just Pass’N Through! He he only ran about 70 yards. It was the best hunt of my life.

-By Khavon Ghassemi



Bonus #4: A World Record Buck

stephen tucker with world record tucker buck
The “Tucker Buck” was taken in Gallatin, TN in 2016, by Stephen Tucker, breaking the world-record for a non-typical whitetail. (This record has since been broken.)

You can read all about the “Tucker Buck.”





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hand holding antlers

Scent control in deer hunting | How to hunt the wind so you can see and kill more deer

So, what’s the big deal with deer hunting and all this “upwind” and “downwind” talk?

Every year hunters make mistakes by not paying attention to wind direction. You can have all the deer in the world on your property. You can have all the “best” and most expensive hunting gear.

But, if you don’t pay attention to wind direction, you will be severely limiting your chances of harvesting a whitetail.

So, let’s learn how to hunt the wind, so that you can give yourself the best chance for hunting success while in the field.

Wind direction doesn’t really matter when hunting whitetail deer… does it?

You’ve probably heard stories of the hunter who rolls out of bed, goes through the local breakfast joint drive-through and gets a greasy sausage biscuit and drives to the hunting land.

Then, gets out of the truck, rides his/her 4-wheeler straight to the bottom of the tree they plan to hunt, ascend, light up a cigarette and shoot the biggest buck of their life.

whitetail buck standing in field

When it comes to harvesting mature whitetails, you had better be on your A-game when it comes to scent control and wind direction.

Then, when the subject of scent control and wind direction in deer hunting comes up, they point to the wall hanger in the den and say something like, “pffffft, I never pay attention to the wind and you can see I’m doing just fine.”

Sure these stories are out there, but don’t be fooled. A mature whitetail didn’t become mature by “throwing caution to the wind.” A whitetail’s nose is its best defense and you are one of the most offensive smells around.

So, if you hope to have sustained success in the deer woods, you need to be serious about scent control. For bowhunters, who typically need to get a close shot to get the kill, it’s even more critical.



What is “upwind” and “downwind” in hunting?

So, if you’re still reading, you must want to learn about how to hunt the wind in a way that keeps your scent away from a buck’s nose.

When it comes to wind direction, the key is to stay “downwind” of the deer you are hunting. But, what does “downwind” and “upwind” really mean?

How to “hunt the wind”

Being “downwind” of a deer means that if you were looking straight at the deer you hope to shoot, the wind would be blowing in your face. Thus, the wind would be blowing your scent away from the deer.

Conversely, if you were “upwind” of the deer, the wind would carry your scent “downwind” toward the deer (not what you want).

So, you want the deer to be upwind of you, and you want to be downwind of them. Got it?

Let’s take a look at the diagram below, which might help clear things up.

hunting wind direction graphic

In this graphic, the yellow indicates wind direction. If deer are typically in the location indicated in this graphic, a hunter would want to approach the stand location from the “downwind” side of the deer, so they would not be alerted by the hunter’s scent.

It’s not just about being in the stand

So, let’s say you are in the stand (or from the ground) and you’re overlooking a field where you know the deer feed. You are downwind of where you think the deer will eventually be. You are golden, right?

Well, maybe not.

You’re scent doesn’t just matter when you are in the deer stand. It matters well before you even sat down!



Entry and exit routes when hunting

One thing deer hunters often ignore is how their entry and exit to and from their deer stand impacts the deer they are hunting.

So, the hunt actually begins before you take one step toward your hunting location.

When you are making your way to your deer stand, the wind is carrying your scent just as it does from the stand.

So, unless you want your hunt to end before it even gets started, you need to be sure that you have thought through the wind direction as it pertains to how you are going to get to your stand.

ladder stand pic

If you are going to use the wind to your advantage, your hunt begins long before you actually sit down in your stand.

This means you need to know where the deer typically are during the time you plan to enter. Are they bedding? Are they feeding? Where are these locations in regard to your entry route?

And it’s the same for your exit route. If your scent gets blown toward the deer when you leave your stand, you have just educated those deer to your location.

So, if you are trying to avoid danger, are you going to continue to go back to where the danger is every day? Well, neither would a deer. They are trying to stay alive and that means avoiding the danger, which in this case, is YOU!

So, be sure you are paying attention to wind direction as it pertains to your entry and exit routes.



How to fool a deer’s nose… well…

Let’s be clear, you can never truly “fool a deer’s nose.”

But, there are some things you can do to make it harder for them to bust you.

whitetail buck in grass

You can never totally fool a buck’s nose, but you should do everything you can to make things more difficult for him to bust you. (photo by Jeff Coldwell)

Kill that clothing scent

Take a whiff of your laundry detergent. Smells nice, doesn’t it?

Not to a deer.

What might smell great to you could make a deer want to leave the county. So, what can you do about that?

It’s a good idea to wash your clothes in a scent-free detergent. Baking soda is also a good scent “eliminator.” There are lots of these types of scent-killing hunting detergents on the market, so you’ll have no trouble finding them at you local sporting goods store.



Shower, for goodness sake!

Should you shower? For everyone’s sake, YES!

But, when it comes to deer hunting, that sweet smell of typical detergents that we discussed above… you want to avoid that in your shower soap as well.

Be sure to get a good scent-killing soap to use when showering before the hunt. And, don’t be afraid to be generous. You’re after an animal that lives and dies by its nose, so give yourself the best chance possible to NOT STINK!

Pitts are the pitts… don’t ignore them

Once you’re done showering, one more precaution you can take is to use Sweat the details, but please don’t sweat…

Sweat is your enemy.

When you sweat, odor follows. And, if you’ve been paying attention so far, you know that is not what you want when hunting deer.

So, how can you avoid sweating?

Well, one thing to be careful of is how much clothing you wear when you are walking to and from your stand or hunting location.

But, what if it’s cold outside?



Well, of course you want to have hunting clothing that will keep you warm in cold weather, but that doesn’t mean you have to wear all of it while you are walking to and from your stand or hunting location.

Plus, if you sweat on your way to the stand in an attempt to stay warm, you are going to end up being cold anyway when the sweat cools your body down. Nothing like being we in cold weather, right?



Many hunters are hunting on public land, which can mean a long trek to the final hunting destination. So, if you have a long walk to where you are headed and know you are going to work up a sweat, consider starting out by removing a layer or two. You might be a little bit cold when you start walking, but your body will warm up as you get moving.

Then, once you arrive at your stand or hunting location, you can put the layers back on, so that you will stay warm during the hunt. By doing this, you not only will be warmer, but you’ll avoid much of the odor that sweating causes.

This could be the difference in having hunting success… or getting busted.




Clothe your body with… nothing

No, don’t hunt naked.

But clothe your body with the most “invisible” clothing possible.

This means wearing scent control clothing and using scent killing sprays.

Scent control is a big market in hunting apparel world, and there are a wide variety of options to choose from. So, take advantage of some the products that can help shield human scent.

It’s also a good idea to spray down your clothing, as well as your boots and gear with a scent elimination spray.




“But, isn’t all of this overkill?”

Well, remember, wind direction is the most important scent control tactic you need to pay attention to, but if you can gain any kind of advantage in harvesting a whitetail (especially a mature buck), should you do it?

Use cover scents

The use of covers scents can be helpful in shielding a deer from your scent. There are a variety of cover scents available, such as racoon or fox urine, acorn scent, pine, etc.

Just be sure to native to your area. So, if there are no oak trees in your area and you use an acorn cover scent, this could have the opposite effect you are intending.

A deer may be on high alert when smelling this, since it is not a smell they are used to in that particular area. So, take care in choosing the “right” cover scent.



Conclusion

So, remember, paying attention to the wind direction is paramount in your quest to consistently give yourself a chance to see deer.

Hopefully, when the moment of truth comes, you’ll shoot straight!

Hunt safely and good luck out there!

Check out the video below and learn how to play the wind to your advantage for better whitetail deer hunting success!

(Wind Direction video transcript)

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Find out what deer hunting and playing the lottery have in common. Stick with us for the N1 Outdoors N1 Minute.

Suppose I knew the five winging numbers to the lottery and all you had to do was guess the order they go into to win. How many of you would refuse that information and instead, decide to guess the numbers yourself and the order they go in?

Hopefully none of you, but that’s exactly what many deer hunters do every season by not paying attention to the wind.

Wind direction is critical in deer hunting

All the scouting and trail can picture is in the world won’t make up for poor planning when it comes to wind direction.

For you bow hunters out there, it’s even more critical. Always be aware of which way the wind is blowing, not only in regards to stand location, but also in relation to the entry and exit routes to and from your stand or hunting location. The last thing you want is for your hunt to end with deer blowing before it even gets started.

Stay downwind of the deer in all situations. For those of you not familiar with the terms “upwind” and “downwind,” an easy way to remember, is to be sure the wind is in your face when approaching and hunting your favorite trail or location.

Paying careful attention to wind direction certainly won’t help you win the lottery, but when combined with effective scouting, planning and accuracy, it will increase your chances of seeing and taking more deer.

We hope you have a great week and remember… “where the moments happen, we’ll meet you there.” We’ll see you next time.

traditional archery arrows and quiver

The History Of Archery | A Look Into The Past That Led To Today’s Popular Sport

Have you ever watched those movies where they shoot arrows with a bow and wished that you could shoot them too?

Archery is indeed fascinating and remains one of the oldest arts still practiced today. In fact, archery is now one of the famous Olympic sports and is even a sport in the Summer Paralympic games.

So, just how did archery come about? And, when was is invented?

Archery was mainly used for hunting and warfare in the past, but is mainly a recreational activity now. If you have been longing to know more about archery, keep reading!

We will cover the history of archery, archery equipment, famous historical archers and even how you can get started in the sport of archery.

History Of Archery

The evolution of archery dates back to the beginning of mankind’s history as studies have found evidence of ancient archers around the world.

Ancient Egyptians are known to have regularly used bows and arrows for hunting and warfare around 3000 BC.

history of archery recurve arrow pic

Egyptians used bows and arrows, possibly as early as 5000 BC.

Also, in China, archery has been traced back to the time of the Shang Dynasty in 1766-1027 BC, when a war chariot carried an archer, a lancer, a driver and a three-man team.

So, what exactly is archery?

According to Oxford Living Dictionaries, archery is the sport of shooting with a bow and arrows.

Merriam Webster defines it as the art, practice, or skill of shooting with a bow and arrow.

Someone who participates in archery is called an archer or a bowman. Anyone fond of archery or who is an expert at it is called a toxophilite.

Today, some still use archery for hunting wild game (known as bow hunting) and bow fishing has also grown in popularity. Archery is now rarely used for defense, except in leisure pursuits such as archery tag.



Who Invented The Bow And Arrow?

You might be wondering… who invented the bow and arrow and when were the bow and arrow invented? Well, we don’t know for sure who invented archery, but it’s believed that Egyptians may have used bows and arrows as early as 5000 BC.

When a skilled archer takes charge of a bow and arrow, the result can be effective and deadly. Thus, ancient bows and arrows out-classed other weapons, such as swords, that were available in the olden day.

The ability to shoot an arrow from a distance gave archers an advantage in battle over those bearing swords.

History Of The Ancient Bow And Arrow

You can’t really talk about the history of archery without examining the history of the bow and arrow. In the ancient times, the major weapons were:

• The axe, sword and mace for short range
• The spear and javelin for medium range
• The bow and sling for long range

A Bow had two basic parts, including the string and the body, made of pliable and tough wood. The archer would the wooden part of the bow (grip) at the center when ready to shoot.

When the simple bow was made, it had only one convex arc so it didn’t exploit the maximum pliability of the wood. So, the double-convex bow was invented to provide a greater range and tension.

The composite bow was later invented for warfare purposes, as it was made of four materials including wood, glue, animal sinews & tendons and sections of animal horn.

The wooden part of the bow was made from different trees with different pliability and the back of the bow was covered with sinews bands.

The belly of the bow was also reinforced with two sections of animal horn. The composite bow had a range of 300 to 400 yards.

Today there are many types of bows, including flatbows, longbows, recurve bows, cable-backed bows and compound bows.



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What About The Arrow?

Arrows were also made of three parts, including the tail, body and the arrowhead. The tail was designed to ensure the arrow stayed on course in a straight and smooth flight, which was why it was made of feathers of sea-fowl, kite, vulture or eagles. These feathers, or “fletchings,” are now sometimes substituted as plastic “vanes.”

The body of the arrow was also hard, light, straight, long and thin to ensure maximum speed. The arrowhead was the hardest part, made of metal, flint or bone.

Arrow fletchings help the arrows fly straight and smooth.

Arrowheads could be either triangular or leaf-shaped, flat or with central rib or spine. In ancient times, the form of an arrowhead was based on the nature of the armour of the enemy that needed to be penetrated.

Today, arrows are made of fiberglass, composite materials, aluminum, wood and bamboo.

The Oldest Bow Ever Found

So how old is the oldest bow?

The oldest bows were found in Holmegard swamp in Denmark. Some date the series of bows found in the bog between 20,000-9,500 BC. The municipality called Holmegard is no longer in existence as of 2007, because it has been merged with other municipalities to form the Naestved municipality.

The first bows ever used were made of wood and stone or wooden arrowheads. In 3300 BC, the arrowhead was changed to bronze which could be shaped and sharpened with ease.

Development And Evolution Of Archery

Chinese introduced archery to Japan in the 6th century and it had a great influence on later techniques and etiquette. One of the Japanese martial arts was originally known as kyujutsu, meaning the “art of the bow.” But, now it’s called kyudo, which means ‘the way of the bow.”

Presently, modern kyudo is mainly practiced as the method of moral, physical and spiritual development. With kyudo, the archer has to perform a certain ritual movement before moving to the shooting line and shoots from a distance of 28 meters.

During Greco-Roman times, the bow was mainly used for hunting or personal exploits, rather than for warfare.

The superiority of Middle East technique and equipment continued for centuries. In 1200 BC, the iron age paved way for arrowheads to be made from iron, which allows for a deadlier shot and better armour penetration.

Archery was used for hunting, but Koreans, Indians, Parthians, Persians, Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Japanese and Chinese used it in their armies.

man shooting longbow

Early longbows, similar to this one, were used in war but were later rendered obsolete in battle due to the invention of firearms.

The English longbow was made from yew wood in 1337 and used during the Hundred Years War because of its ability to outreach the enemy bows.

Although the English longbows were effective, the Turkish and Asian bows were more efficient and far better than an English yew bow.

Later, firearms were developed and rendered bows obsolete, causing the use of bow to decline until the 18th century, when archery was revived as a sport. Since that time, there have been several big tournaments.

In the 1900 Paris Olympics, archery was included. Professional engineers started developing new types of bows in the 1920’s, including the modern compound bow and recurve, which are currently the most popular forms of the bow in the Western hemisphere.

History Of Archery In North America

Although bows and arrows were already in existence when Central Asian peoples crossed over to North America, the people didn’t seem to know about them. It’s believed that Native Americans did not begin the practice of archery until about 500 AD.

It’s believed that once they discovered the bow and arrow, that it became the preferred weapon of choice, because it took less raw materials to make than spears.

Indian tribes, such as the Cherokee Indians, used the bow and arrow to hunt for animals. They would bowhunt for fox , turkey, rabbits, elk, bear and deer. Deer were especially useful, as they provided materials for clothing and tents, as well as for food.

Indians used deer antlers to make weapons like spears, arrow heads, fish hooks, needles and other useful tools.

history of archery native american

Native Americans apparently did not begin using bows and arrows until about 500 A.D.




Archery In Mythology

If you’ve watched Chinese, Korean and Japanese movies, you will understand how popular archery is. Robin Hood is another modern movie where archery was made popular.

And, if you’ve read Odysseus in Book 21 of the Odyssey, where Odysseus was mentioned as being skilled in archery, you will see that the history of archery is a rich one.

Due to the use of the bow and arrow for warfare and survival, many heroes and gods are still depicted as using bows and arrows. Some of these mythological figures and folk heroes include:

• Abhimanyu
• Kama (son of Radha)
• Cupid
• Artemis and Apollo
• Hayk and Marduk
• Heracles
• Shiva
• Rama
• Arjune
• Robin Hood
• Wilhelm Tell (William Tell)

traditional archer in camo pulling back a bow

Although bow technology has come a long way over the years, many still enjoy shooting and hunting with “traditional” bows like this recurve.



How was archery developed into a sport?

During the time of King Henry VIII, archery was developed into a sport in England. At that time, men younger than sixty were asked to practice shooting with arrow and bow. From that time, people started competing with one another during festivals.

In 1900, archery was included in the Olympic Games and was among the first sports in which women were allowed to participate.

During the 1920 Olympics, archery was included, but afterward dropped because of lack of consistent international rules and lack of interest.

girl shooting an archery bow

The sport of archery was included in the Olympic Games in 1900, one of the first sports in which women were allowed to compete.

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When people again started showing interest in archery in 1931, an international governing body called the Federation of International Target Archery (FITA) was formed to establish rules accepted around the world. But, that did not convince Olympic organizers to include archery again in the Olympic program until the 1972 Olympic Games in Germany.

When the archery was added again to the Olympic Games, each archer was asked to use bows made of wood and covered in graphite. Their arrowheads were made of aluminum, with strings made of Kevlar or hydrocarbon.

Athletes were asked to use protective equipment like shooting gloves and arm guards to protect their forearms and hands.

Modern Day Archery

Unlike in the olden days when archery was mainly used for defense and war, modern day archery is practiced in different forms with different types of bows.

We now have disciplined martial artists, recreational archers, world championships, record-breaking distance attempts and Olympic level competitions. Although people still use archery for hunting game and for bowfishing, it is rarely used for war and defense.

Everything about archery in the modern setting is leisure pursuit and anybody can learn archery and become an archer.


>> Check out some of our N1 Outdoors brand archery and bowhunting videos which include aiming tips and bow maintenance.


Protective Equipment

Most archers wear an arm-guard, called a bracer, to protect the inside of the arm that holds the bow. It’s not that the bracer braces the arm; the word was formed from “brassard”, which means an armoured badge or sleeve.

Some archers (females especially) wear plastrons or chest guards on their chest for protection.

history of archery arm guard

A “bracer” is an arm guard to protect the inside of the arm when shooting a bow.



Fascinating Facts About Archery

Archery has come a long way and since it is now mainly used for the recreational purpose, here are some interesting facts about archery:

1. Archery is one of the safest sports

Archery is considered to be one of the oldest sports in the world. With just one injury out of 2,000 participants, the National Safety Council has deemed archery as three times safer than golf. In fact, USA Archery claims the sport is safer than bowling. This means archery is fun and safe for everyone and you can try it too!

2. Archery is the national sport of the Kingdom of Bhutan

The Kingdom of Bhutan has made archery their national sport. Almost every village has an archery range. That is how popular archery is in the Kingdom of Bhutan.

3. An archer is also called toxophilite

Although the word sounds funny, it is legitimate. The word “Toxophilite” originates from Greek “toxon” meaning bow and arrow and Greek “philos” meaning loving. So you are also a toxophilite if you are an archer!

4. King Henry V was a toxophilite

In 1421, King Henry V of England ordered 500,000 arrows for his army and the arrows were kept in the Tower of London where the king’s arrow keeper watched over it.

5. Archery was the first Olympic game that allowed women to compete

In the past, women are not allowed to participate in the Olympic Games but archery changed that. Archery allowed female competitors in the Olympic Games in 1904. Now, you can’t talk about the Olympic Games without mentioning female archers like Khatuna Lorig and Mackenzie Brown.

6. Monarchs in Britain have banned golf, bowls and football for archery

In Britain, various monarchs have banned golf, bowls and football because men refused to practice archery because of these sports. In fact, during King Henry VIII’s reign, he ordered every man in the country to practice archery after church on Sundays! So, England was the first country to organize archery competitions in the 1500s.

If you have watched movies like The Lord of the Rings, Robin Hood, Rambo, The Hunger Games, Brave and some of the Korean and Japanese movies, you would understand why a many people around the world want to become archers.

How archery can benefit you

You may be asking; is archery really that important? Does it offer any benefit? Well, archery offers both physical and mental benefits. It doesn’t offer these benefits to only adults; children can learn al lot from archery as well.

1. Exercise

The act of drawing a bow is an exercise and can help you burn calories, as well as build up certain muscle groups. So, if you are looking to stay fit, archery can be a good form of exercise.

woman shooting a compound bow

Archery is a great form of exercise that helps provide upper body strength, confidence, relaxation and coordination.

2. Upper body strength

When you draw the bowstring, your shoulder, arms, hands, back and chest are involved. So drawing a bow can help you stabilize your leg muscles and core muscles for balance.

3. Confidence

When you are successful in a competitive archery, you can gain self-esteem and confidence. Winning a competition and boosting your confidence can help you in other aspects of your life.

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4. Relaxation

Merely seeing your arrow fly and hit the target can give you a relaxing and satisfying experience.

5. Hand-eye coordination

With archery, you can gain hand-eye coordination. When you practice standing correctly, nocking an arrow, drawing your bow, setting up your shot and releasing the arrow, you are sure to gain hand-eye coordination. If you are consistent in practicing archery, you will increase your coordination.

6. Focus

To achieve a good shot, you need to be precise, account for variables including power, distance and wind. Because you are required to be focused when shooting an arrow, it can also help your focus in other aspects of your life.

7. It is a cool sport

Archers are usually portrayed by Hollywood as heroes because that is how people view old and modern legends like Robin Hood and Katniss Everdeen. Archery is also considered one of the safest, if not the safest sport in the world.

8. Friendship

Archery is a great pastime to take part in with friends. Whether you are target shooting or hunting with a bow, archery gives you a chance to connect to like-minded individuals.

9. Patience

Being successful at archery requires patience and dedication. So, if you are looking for a lesson in patience, this is the right sport for you!

10. It is open to all

Whether you are able-bodied or disabled, this sport can be taken part in by anyone. Even the blind can use special equipment to enjoy this sport. Archery is for everyone, whether young, old, male or female.



How to get started in archery

Maybe you’ve seen others shooting a bow and arrow, or you’ve watched movies that feature archery and now you’re wondering how you too can get started. It is easy.

Whether you want to shoot arrows for fun, or learn to become an archery competitor, there is a place for you in the sport of archery.

history of archery kid archer

Archery is a great sport for youth, but there are several factors to consider when choosing a starter bow package.

Archery at its core is fun, addictive and challenging. And, with the many benefits it offers, you are sure to love it. The most important disciplines you need in archery are field, target and 3D.

You can easily find an organization that offers classes in each of the disciplines. And who knows, with practice and dedication, you might even be offered a chance to compete in competitions including national and international competitions!

After figuring out the aspect of archery you like, you need to consider the type of bow you would like to use.



The best bows for beginners

As a beginner in the sport of archery, choosing the right bow can be a difficult task but don’t worry, here are what define a beginner bow:

• Low maintenance
• Smooth drawing
• Affordable
• Easily adjustable
• Available in a ready to shoot package



If you are interested in bowhunting, you can get information on different types and reviews of popular fixed blade as well as expandable broadheads.

You can start today

If you’d really love to become an archer or bowhunter, you can start today! N1 Outdoors was founded by three friends that love the sport of bowhunting, so archery is near and dear to our hearts!

We love providing archery tips, helpful information on bow hunting topics, such as good broadhead selection, and apparel that reflects our love of archery

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