The back story is that I recently purchased a tipi that came with a whole load of rendezvous gear. Not being a rendezvous person I figured to recoup some of the cost by selling off the period clothing and sundries. So, I went to a small rendezvous in Illinois a few weeks ago with about 15 camps and sold about half of the stuff. And had a really good time in spite of myself. This particular gathering was at "Scab Hollow" near Rushville but it was black powder only. They told me there were rendezvous with primitive archery too.
This weekend I went to a rendezvous called "Bloody Lake" near Woodford, WI. WOW! Over 250 camps with the corresponding crowd of folks. And they had a primitive archery shoot. I was the only bowyer present and I had some bows on the trade blanket which drew interest but mostly tire kickers. I did manage to sell off most of the balance of the extra gear.
What has all this to do with bow hunting with trad bows? Well, it was the shoot. This was my first of this type and I was impressed with the realism of the hunting scenario. A judge/scorekeeper walks with the shooters - in this case it was myself and young fellow named Shawn. Shawn looked familiar and at the end of the shoot he said, "I know where I know you from..." Turns out he had attended WI Bowjam last year at Brad's place and I had helped him make his first osage bow which he was using. We were the first group through but there were several others after us.
The judge/scorekeeper is also the narrator and he lays out a tale as the shoot proceeds. It is a tale of a hungry hunter with his squaw waiting at home for meat. There are cut out foot prints to stand on rather than a touch post like most 3-D shoots. The shots were mostly from 10-20 yards and they were like the real thing. The shots included; face one way - turn at the waist and shoot behind you, shoot from awkward positions like feet spread wide apart, shoot through thickets, shooting with the other hand (lefty) and a 40 yard shot at a very large target and a paper target at 12 yards with a 10 arrow cumulative score. In general it was the most hunting real 3-D I have ever tried.
There were rules including: All wood bows (no fiberglass), no plastic arrow nocks, no arrow rest and no string nocking point. There were extra points scored for natural string material, natural feathers, primitive arrow points (knapped or trade points) and primitive arrow shafting (cane or shoots). I had none of the extra starting points (did not know the rules before showing up). But I did have qualifying gear like self bow and self nocked arrows.
Sorry about no pics but the camera felt out of place. I did see one fellow with a large wood box camera on a wood tripod. Thought to myself, "What he should do is put a digital in the wood box." Turns out that is just what he did - very period correct, at least in appearance, like the coolers under tarps.
I had a very good time and am pleased to say that I won the event in spite of not having the extra points. I am no great shot but I believe I was the only serious bow hunter who shot the course and it paid off - actually won 15 dollars in "Bloody Bucks" that looked like Monopoly money but spent like the real thing at the camp vendors.
I recommend checking out your local rendezvous event for some fun and realistic hunting 3-D and a generally good time with folks with many similarities to TradGang folks. Who knows, you may pick up another time consuming hobbie - as I'm afraid I may have.