Knapping Art by Ray Alt
Ray Alt of Livingston, MT has probably taken more types big game with stone-tipped arrow than any man alive - at least more than anyone this knapper has heard of! Mule deer, Whitetail, Coues deer Elk, Buffalo, Antelope, Cougar, Black Bear and small game too. And not just one of each!
In his own words
I have taken white tail, mule and coues deer with stone. Would like to hunt black tail and the coast elk some day before I break another ankle. I have taken quite a few bear but did not hunt the brown bear when I was in Alaska. The old 338 came out for that.
My early bow hunting was with a Bear grizzly recurve and then to the Bear kodiak which I took the two mountain big horns with (Montana and Colorado). I didn't want to risk missing the shot on sheep with stone and I used steel bear razor heads. Should have stayed with stone due to my shots was within 10 yards on both. I've been a resident of Montana,Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Alaska so hunting has been good.
My favorite long bow is a laminated take down and harvested many deer and elk with it. I have a couple Big horn bows but don't use them any more. One of the Big horn bows was owned by Lyle Wilmarth that he harvested the world record goat with. Bill Mc Connell built me a nice osage stick bow that I took a couple deer with. With shoulder problems I recently had to go to the compound with a lighter pull weight (50) to shoot a 60 pound splined cedar arrow.
Most all my arrows are cedar due to the more consistent shaft spline. I have used many of the local woods in my stick bow but have to go through a lot of shafts to get a spline that works well. Dog wood ,ocean spray, chokecherry and Rose woods work as well as any .The arrow weed is good also on the bigger diameters. Around my part of the country my favorite would be dog wood. Hope this information helps and I might add ------I as well have been shot with a stone point. It happened in the 70s on a buffalo hunt in Kansas. My hunting partner missed the buffalo and the arrow skipped across the frozen ground and caught me in the leg. as I was attempting to video. 15 stitches but I guess it was not a good day to die! Was shortly after Lonesome Dove came out. The people at the hospital had a hoot over it. Will send a picture my hunting buddies had made. The arrow in the picture frame is the actual one. The bear pix.is an example of a over 300 grain point that did the job.
The stone arrowheads that he's taken game with are preserved in Ray's personal display cases with the information of the game taken, place and date.
"The buffalo experiment was using larger points that most archaeologists would identify as dart points. I used the bow and arrow, and the larger points flew just as good as the smaller types. Most of the breakage was due to improper arrow spline that made the arrow penetrate at a slight angle rather than entering straight. Was a fun and educating project that filled the freezer."
"This is this years stone kill (2012). Was a cow elk at 15 yards. Near pass through and I will use it again