Little Grizzly Flatbow by Pete Ward
The little grizzly in this review is a special bow built for special purposes. I had the bow built to stalk in thick bedding areas and blinds where its 50″ short length would be an asset. I was after a bow that would allow for shots where a longer bow would be tangled in brush etc. Jack makes the Little Grizzly in lengths from 48″ to 62″.
Because he is a Custom bowyer almost anything is possible, so we began to discuss what I was wanting and how he could build it.
My limb choice was Bamboo, for it’s smooth draw feel, with Jacks standard moose antler limb tips and Phenolic with an Osage accent under them.
We looked at stains for under clear glass and finally decided on black glass to make it invisible in the Double Bull blind I am using. I like the look of wood risers and chose Cocobolo Dymonwood for its weight and durability. Jack has many choices of natural woods and Dymonwoods in stock and it was not easy to decide what one to use.
So far the bow was going to be pretty plain, and it needed to be dressed up just a bit. I asked for 2 black phenolic stripes to sandwich a stripe of Osage in the riser for strength and looks and a Cocobolo overlay.
All Kempf bows come with Sealskin padding on the shelf and plate and an antler arrowhead on the riser.
Most of Jacks bows have a large grip that feels good, however after shooting some smaller grip bows recently I asked Jack if we could minimize the grip size.
Before I knew it I received a call that the bow was ready for testing of the grip fit and a few test shots to determine the final draw weight.
The bow was ready to test at 61# and it drew easily to my 27″ draw length. The grip was perfect in size and fit. The main thing I like in all Little Grizzly’s that I have shot is the easy draw feel, and this one is even smoother with its bamboo limbs. Because this bow will be with me for a long time and I am not getting any stronger I decided to have Jack drop the final weight to something I will be able to shoot when old age arrives, and soon the 54# little grizzly was ready for final sanding and the spray gun. Jack uses an automotive clear coat that is extremely durable. The finish was also dulled to eliminate reflections that a high gloss would give. This finish is also resistant to insect repellents.
Speed was not a consideration with this bow when I ordered it. I can shoot fast bows any time I want. The Little Grizzly was built to hunt in tight places where shots will be fast and close. It wanted to have a smooth drawing bow that would come up like a fine upland shotgun used for Woodcock or Ruffed Grouse. This is exactly what I got. Raise, draw, look and shoot all in one motion with very good accuracy is not easy to find, however I have it all in the 50″ Little Grizzly.
This is not a bow for the shooter with a long draw length. For him the longer models of the Little Grizzly will be better suited. There are some advantages to being draw length challenged at last. We can shoot short bows without a stacking problem! At 27 ” there is not a hint of stack, and at 28″ you hit a wall with the short 50″ model and would not like it if you draw more than 28″. I suggest a 56″ length for a 29″ draw and even longer for the guy with a 30+” draw length. These 50″ short bows are for those special people with “Normal ” draw lengths only. I normally draw to 27″ however with the little grizzly I noticed that my draw was easily increased to nearly 28″.
I have been shooting the Little Grizzly for a while now and I am delighted with how well it shoots heavy weight hunting arrows. It will not be seeing any lightweight arrows as this bow was built to hunt, not for shooting 3D, and I only hunt with heavy arrows. I have shot several rounds of 3D with it and I am impressed at how well I scored with it.
Short bows like this are not for everyone, but if the terrain you hunt is thick and those long limbs are hard to maneuver and shoot, the 50″ Little Grizzly is just the ticket. I bet that the turkey hunters will also find it great for sitting under a tree or in the blinds they use. As a rabbit bow in thick willows it will be hard to beat.
My “Little Grizzly” is a special bow built by a special man that has been building quality custom bows for many years. A Kempf bow is a bow that is made to hunt anywhere and each one is custom built with the care and pride. You will not go to a Shoot anywhere in Alberta without seeing Kempf bows running for the top honors. I have no hesitation in recommending any bow that Jack builds. Kempf bows are one of the best buys available in the Custom bow market place.
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