Juniper/sinew kid's bow

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Got this thing all sanded. The Badgerling found me a garter snake a couple days ago, which donated its skin to cover half the back. Need to find him a buddy for the other half. Here it is just laid on to see how it will look. Really nice pattern on this one!

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Sigh, I almost feel sorry for the poor snake ;) I don't know why but it reminded me of when I used to do a little archery fishing. Refraction of the sun hitting the water means that the fish is never actually where it appears.
 
Sigh, I almost feel sorry for the poor snake ;) I don't know why but it reminded me of when I used to do a little archery fishing. Refraction of the sun hitting the water means that the fish is never actually where it appears.
Yeah, I kind of felt sorry for the snake, too. But they won't stay on the bow when they're still alive, so it had to be done.

I love bow fishing! I have a fiberglass-backed bow I use for that. The moisture would be too hard on my primitive bows. I've whacked some mighty nice carp over the past few years.
 
I'm still waiting for another garter snake (actually just the skin of one) to finish this bow and gift it to my little buddy. In the meantime, I made some arrows out of phragmite reeds from down at the creek, fletched with some flicker wing feathers we found, tipped with bamboo skewers, and held together with bison sinew. I would never use these arrows for serious hunting--a heavy bow would explode them. But they're strong enough for a 10# bow, and they weigh next to nothing so they should fly well.

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I finally finished this bow! The bamboo skewers are complete failures as arrow tips; they came apart on the first shot into the target. I'll have to go pop off a few .22 rounds tomorrow and use the shells to make blunt arrowheads. But wow, does this thing zip out those cane arrows! No problem at all penetrating a target butt at 10 yards, and I suspect it will shoot fine out to 20 or so. I think my little buddy is going to be very, very happy with this.

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Have I mentioned that juniper is really, really beautiful wood? This is after I oiled it with two coats of lard/beeswax/pine resin varnish. Hopefully that will preserve the purple color, which tends to turn to a rich brown over time.
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Elk antler arrow rests. I put rests on both sides so it can be shot right or left handed.
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Leather handle wrap
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Elk antler tip overlays. I put overlays on all my bows, mostly for looks. But on this bow it's functionally important: Juniper is so soft that the string would wear into the wood over time. I think I'll use bison hoof on my next one, as the black would look really nice against the red-ivory wood.
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This was my first time backing a bow with snake skin. I learned a lot, and I'm fairly pleased with how it turned out.
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I don't usually name my bows until after they've made a kill, but the name of this one seemed obvious so I went with it. 10# @ 18".
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