Author Topic: Question about South Dakota and bow wood, trees etc  (Read 337 times)

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Offline High-Desert

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Question about South Dakota and bow wood, trees etc
« on: April 21, 2024, 01:55:43 pm »
My family and I are moving to South Dakota, near Sioux Falls, from Central Oregon. I have been researching trees in the area, but I was curious what the guys from the plains states do for wood, as far as cutting your own. Iím scared to leave my yew and vine maple behind. Do any of the local states have permits available to cut anything good for bows. Any information on anything bow related would be appreciated ie, rendezvouses, rendezvousís, rendezvouss, rendezvousi sp? (Bow making gathering) or any primitive archery get together.

Thanks, Eric
Eric

Offline Pat B

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Re: Question about South Dakota and bow wood, trees etc
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2024, 03:20:34 pm »
JW Halverson will have to answer these questions for you but I'd say, bring all the NW woods you can with you.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline JW_Halverson

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Re: Question about South Dakota and bow wood, trees etc
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2024, 04:18:48 pm »
Definitely bring every lick of yew and vine maple you can get your grubby little mitts on. There is not very much quality bow wood in this state, but what little there is tends to be in the SE corner of the state where you are moving. Some of my best bows came from mulberry cut in that area. Hackberry is another excellent wood you can find here. Folks have said that burr oak is good, but all 7 of my attempts were horrid performers...insanely heavy, terrible hand shock, and slower than a banana slug in the snow. My first bow was green ash and it was an underperformer and every subsequent attempt has been even slower in cast. Chokecherry was one of the woods that the Natives used here, but I've just never found anything straight enough or long enough to make even a bendy handle bow. Elm varies by species, and Dutch elm disease has wiped out entire neighborhoods. I've marked a number of good candidates here in Rapid City parks, picking trees that are in overgrown clumps that would benefit from thinning. The prior silviculturist for the city refused to talk to me, but recently retired. The new replacement isn't shutting me out but wanted to spend a few years on the job before she wants to talk to me about selective removal. I'll be talking to her later this summer in hopes of being able to harvest a few this fall when the leaves drop.

Oh, and we have ironwood/hop hornbeam/blue beech/Ostrya virginiana in the Black Hills, but it exists typically as a weedy shrub. I have seen stumps of 6-10 inches across but they all appear to have been cut at least 100 years ago. Very little of it exceeds an inch in diameter at the base. I cut one character stick for making a walking stick and it had over 60 growth rings and was about inch and a quarter at the base.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2024, 04:24:10 pm by JW_Halverson »
Guns have triggers. Bicycles have wheels. Trees and bows have wooden limbs.

Offline High-Desert

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Re: Question about South Dakota and bow wood, trees etc
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2024, 11:31:58 pm »
Great, thanks JW. I appreciate the help. I will be bring a bunch of staves with me. I may just have to figure out time to cut yes and vine maple when I come back to Oregon to visit family. I am excited to try and find some new potential woods. Maybe even try growing some trees to sustain myself in the later years.
Eric