Tom Ranney of Hartford said he started to make bows in 1985 and it took him seven years from his first attempt until he actually killed a deer with one. The process involved doing some research and a lot of trial and error. Not only does Ranney make his bows, but he also makes his own arrows.
"I used to do a lot of hunting with traditional archery equipment, but I was in the tree service business and I was handling lots of wood that would be perfect to try and make a bow out of it," said Ranney. "Over the course of seven years I learned a lot about many aspects of it."
Ranney said it takes six to eight hours to make the bow, around five hours to make an arrow and he uses synthetic string since it would take 11 hours to make one from natural materials.
Capturing a true hunting experience with a decent amount of difficulty is what Ranney really enjoys, but sometimes he'll still use one of his rifles. He also recently started long range rifle shooting since he has mastered one end of the spectrum and wants to master the other end.
"I prefer to hunt in a challenging way," said Ranney. "I have the option, I have land in a remote area, I could literally take all the deer I wanted from my bedroom window with a rifle, and I have the rifles to do it. It's too easy to take a deer with modern weapons, but I still do it from time to time just to make sure we have enough venison because my wife loves venison too."
One method used in hunting is the atl-atl, which is a rigid wooden stick with a peg or socket to fit the end of a spear.