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George D. Stout
Today I saw a friendly chap while walking by a pond;
Both he and I were dressed the same, perhaps we shared a common bond.
Yet it must have been coincidence, because at second sight,
when I hailed him with my left hand, he waved back with his right.
So much he looked like me I paused, to take a second glance,
but he was gone as I walked on, so I had no second chance.
I walked the woods in retrospect, could it have been a ghost,
who just appeared to look like me, or someone who was lost.
Reflections are a curious thing but are they really there?
They do not offer to converse, they simply stand and stare.
They mimic each and every move, it‘s really quite a sight;
You move your right arm, they their left;
You move your left leg…they, their right.
And as I passed the pond once more, upon my travels home;
I felt no fear to be out there, I knew that I was not alone.
And right on cue upon the bank he smiled at me once more,
As if to say, it’s quite okay, to trod alone upon this shore.
I know that I don’t always grasp all the intricacies of life;
And I haven’t found a fountain of youth, or a cure for daily strife.
Yet I know that when I walk this land and end up who knows where;
I’m never really by myself, my reflection’s always there.
I wrote this for my granddaughter just a few years after she was born. She is now 14.
"A Poem For Amanda ""
By George D. Stout
A twinkle from an Angels eye, a touch from God above,
A precious gift from Heaven's realm, a treasure made to love.
A dimpled cheek and eyes of blue, a Pappy's pure delight,
A Father's pride, a Mother's love, a Nanny's bundle bright.
A prize of spring, an April's gift she came to light our way
As bright as mountain sunshine, as fresh as flowers in May.
A name passed down to carry on from those who went before,
A legacy of love and life sent through from Heaven's door.
A feeling that can't be denied as tear-filled eyes behold,
A precious life placed in his arms, more valuable than gold
No words the senses can describe, nor songs or sonnets tell,
The power of a Grandpap's love that cause a heart to swell.
A Mother's love is pure and true forever etched in stone
A Father's love is staid and strong a trait that's his alone
A man and wife have love that will get stronger as they grow,
But God has made a special love that only Grandpaps know.
So let the kings have all their gold and castles in the sand,
The sultan have his treasured jewels, a sheik his harem band
The greatest gift that one can get no dollars can appraise,
A priceless gift, a Grandchild's love, to share for all our days. ""
What Is The Lure
George D. Stout
What is the lure that brings us here, to sit and watch in sweet repose
Along this sullen, mountain trail, amid the multiflora rose
A sturdy longbow by our side, a compliment of bowyer's craft
A leather, hand-worked, back berond, aflow with feathered cedar shaft
What lure can be that is so strong that senses can not quite describe
Perhaps some primal siren song sent down from ancient native tribe
That calls to us to take this trail that timid souls consider not
And pulls us to this circumstance that steeps within our hunter's heart
What science can design a place so peaceful as this spartan wood
What doctor can prescribe a drug that does our heart and soul as good
As a single second in this glade with longbow singing out a song
That reverberates through centuries inviting time to come along
Upon this walk, along this hill, round limestone rocks and craggy bends
Where stick and string, and cedar shaft, become the archer's closest friends
I'll spend my days in reverie, regaling times of days of yore
And seeing what the woodland gods, and the next trail bend may hold in store
My Old Felt Crusher Hat
George D. Stout
It came not in a fancy box adorned with Asian Silk
It can't be classed as haute couture, or any of that ilk
It's just a simple brown felt hat that has no pedigree
More suited to an archer's camp, than a fancy shivaree
It hangs there by a single nail upon my bedroom wall
It*s walked with me on pleasant days, in rain and northern squall
To keep the rays of sun at bay, or turn away the rain
Then back upon the wall once more, until we go again
It can not fletch a single shaft, nor string my favorite bow
It simply sits upon my head no matter where I go
It*s topped the hill in morning mist upon a well-worn trail
To catch the beat of hurried hooves, and fleeting, raised white tail
Perhaps it's hard at outward glance for one to understand
The qualities that lie beneath the felt and leather band
Some folks would think it rather quaint, while others turn their nose
Yet beauty, such that lives within, is not easily disclosed
It dwells inside the pressed wool felt, beneath the stitch and band
Awaiting just the knowing touch of the archers hand
When once again we take the trail in search of this and that
Just me, my bow and arrows, and my old felt crusher hat
"The Roving Archer"
George D. Stout
The archer dreams in fitful sleep of cougars, deer and bighorn sheep
Of rocky crag and slippery slide upon a northwest mountainside
His bow of yew is made by hand from trees he gathered from this land
Stored for years and age-cured slow to make the very finest bow
As dawn provides a newborn day the archer's packed and on his way
He follows north along the rill, ascends the ridge and tops the hill
He stops awhile to catch his breath and check the valleys toward the west
Where monster mossbacks take the trail when winter winds begin to wail
But on this sultry summer day the archer seeks a different prey
His cedar shafts with gray goose wing await their turn upon the string
Their blunted noses seek to find a stump, a leaf or clinging vine
When drawn to cheek and loosed at will along the cedar covered hill
The roving hunter has it all and doesn't have to wait for fall
To hear the sound of feathers flow across the riser of his bow
As arrows arc into the blue cast from his lively bow of yew
And hear the thud of well-aimed shaft across the vale along the path
A carefree walk among the spruce brings back exuberance of youth
The joy of watching arrows fly above the trees into the sky
For though we can't turn back the page to live within another age
Our time can be as old or new when roving with a bow of yew
The Kindred Spirit
George D. Stout
I had just laid my longbow on the top of the log and stepped one leg across to the other side when the buck exploded out of the leaf litter next to the top of the blow-down. It startled me into just sitting down on the top of the log and watching the whitetail disappear into the witch hazel brush. It was a nice buck, as Pennsylvania whitetails go, and it was playing whitetail games for sure. It’s not the first time I got busted in mid- stride.
As I sat there collecting my thoughts I heard a rustle in the leaves from the direction the buck ran. Taking my binoculars from the fanny pack I scanned the hazel brush and to my amazement saw a set of antlers looking back at me. The buck had apparently stopped and was walking back to see what the commotion was all about. It appeared to be waiting for my next move before it decided where it was going to go. I just stayed perched on that log for about fifteen minutes. The whole time the buck would look around, then back at me. After a few more minutes it walked away on down the mountain.
I decided to work my way along the buck’s path to see where it was going. As I passed through the witch hazel I was amazed to see it once again; about seventy yards down the hollow, looking over its back trail. The whitetail wasn’t in a hurry, nor did it show any signs of concern at all. It flicked its tail a few times, picked up a morsel from the leaves, and began to walk away once more. The cussed deer actually appeared to be teasing me, ‘come on, follow me....I’ll show you something.
I stayed on the buck for a few hundred yards, never closing any nearer than about fifty or so yards until it disappeared for good into some jack pine. I moved on over to where I last saw the deer and scanned the woods to the right and left. Where the pines met the hardwoods, there was an evident trail.... well-used, with several very ancient oak trees along its path. It looked like a perfect place to ambush a whitetail, by perching on a big limb protruding from one of those two hundred-year-old white oaks.
I walked over to the biggest of the trees and turned and looked back at the trail. It was only about ten yards from the limb to the trail and the wind would be perfect as the deer left the jack pine and headed toward the distant farm fields to the west. I leaned my bow against the oak and pulled myself up through the lower limbs and on to the big limb that grew parallel to the trail. It was surprisingly comfortable as I stood there looking back at the path and it reminded me of my early seasons; no tree stands to use, just perch on a big limb like this waiting for hours for a deer to come by.
As I looked around I noticed something black lying on the ground on the far side of the trail. At first I thought it to be just a dead stick until I got down and walked over to where it lay. When I reached down to pick it up I found it to be the end of an old wooden arrow that contained a rusted three-blade broadhead. I picked it up and rubbed my fingers across the pitted blades. It appeared to be an old Hill’s Hornet and, more than likely, had been in repose there for quite a number of years. Apparently someone else thought the old tree limb would make a great ambush spot.
I looked it over, wondering what may have taken place for that old head to be lying along this trail. What happened here? Did an old bowhunter miss a deer at this very spot? Or, was it an errant shot at a gray squirrel or chipmunk? Maybe there was a completely different reason for its residence along the trail. Then I wondered who really led me to that spot. Was there a kindred spirit leading that buck, showing me the way to the piece of local history that lay along an old deer trail. Could it be that the old hunter was still here? If only the old three blade could talk.
Haven't visited here for awhile. Wanted to make mention of a thing or two, to help you with your shooting. I'm always harping about follow-through; keeping your bow arm in place until you see or hear the arrow strike. If you do this, however, you will find yourself becoming more consistent. Another is to use breathing exercises while shooting. Just take a few deep breaths prior to pulling the bow, and let half way out as you come to anchor. It will become a discipline that you don't even know you are doing, and it will help with other concentration issues. It actually helps to calm you during the shot process.
I've been getting better with the Woodsman; keeping a good grouping at up to forty yards. I did discover that I do better after shooting, if I lay off a day to allow muscles to recover. Kinda like any other sport. That way you don't ingrain bad habits so easily. More later. George
Welcome to my place. Visit often and we can discuss this archery thing. Things that work and things that don't work. Stuff you like, and stuff you don't like.
Presently I'm shooting several bows, but one in particular, the Samick Woodsman, is my particular favorite. There seems to be an underlying distrust of anything not made in America; however, I would suggest to you that one only needs to test the waters, to find that there is more to the archery life, than that which is stamped Made in the USA. And, in particular, when one is contemplating a good bow, it isn't always necessary to wreck the bank account to accomplish such a feat. The Woodsman is as good as any on the market today; it just doesn't have the fancy woods and sparkling finish. It will, however, drive the proverbial tacks, shot after shot.
I also have a home made longbow that I like to take after stumps. I call her the Maple Monster. This bow can be used to shoot arrows; pole vault small streams; fend-off charging bears, or used as a wading staff. She isn't necessarily pretty, but she knows what to do with an arrow.
Welcome to my pad.