Real Name:Bernard (Bernie) S. Dunn TG handle:ber643 Age:"The Big Wrinkled 70" Height: 5'10" (used to be 5'11") Weight: 150 (wet or dry) Home State:NC now but born and raised in NH TradGang member number:72
(TG)- Tell us about yourself.
(ber643)- Perhaps this excerpt from the "Life and Times" page of my web site will do that fairly well - except please add, "Hooked on Traditional Archery/Bowhunting": An Average Guy; Family Man; Retired Marine; Lover of Life, Pets, and the Outdoors; Retired Marine; Bow Hunter; Irishman and Story Teller who, at this advanced state of his life, has become fascinated with computers and the internet. Did I mention, Retired Marine? Oh yes, and a bit of a nut. Also a guy who has been (and done) a bunch of things in his life to draw stories from. We'll see, perhaps!
(TG)- What do you do for a living?
(ber643)- Retired US Marine (Have done more things along the way on the side than you can shake a stick at, mostly legal ;^) .)
(TG)- How long have you been bow hunting with traditional gear?
(ber643)- Since Dec, 2002, three full Deer seasons now
(TG)- Any heroes? Any role models?
(ber643)- My Pop, some illustrious old time Marines, Mark Twain, and Abe Lincoln - along with many friends I have looked up to, while standing beside them. In Archery? Jim Dogherty and Dwight Shue (for their writing ability and their ethics)
(TG)- Which eye is your dominant eye?
(ber643)- Right (though every now and then it finds itself being very wrong - sorry about that, couldn't resist. I've behaved too long already.)
(TG)- Do you shoot right handed or left handed?
(ber643)- Right Handed
(TG)- What got you started bowhunting?
(ber643)- At age fifty six, I decided if I was ever gonna get it done I'd better get to it, so I did. With the help, I should add, of Bob Carone in Maine, a former trad man who still "shot fingers".
(TG)- Who first helped you get involved in traditional bow hunting?
(ber643)- I tended to think it was a natural progression from my working in a full service bow shop and loving the looks of the Trad bows hanging on the walls, better than the "other" bows in the racks. My boss, Dave Camp was a former trad man and answered my questions readily and well. However, as I steeped myself "again" in the lore and mystique of traditional archery that fascinated me, I recalled that as a youngster my brother (six years older than I) had bought a beautiful, to me, wooden longbow with some of his golf caddy earnings. As the memories came flooding back, I saw how I had loved that bow. No, lusted after it, would be more accurate. My brother hated for me to use it as he was afraid I would "hurt" it somehow. He was very much the good careful kid and didn't see me that way at all, until later in life. Everytime he turned his back, I would sneak it out of the house and shoot his pretty wood arrows with it. I loved it. Because I couldn't draw it far back, I never lost his arrows - luckily for me. I know now, that was part of what always had me thinking of traditional archery without really realizing it. After my brother left for the Navy during the Korean conflict I snuck his bow out a lot. Finally one day it broke and I had to go tell my Mother. Not a good day. She told me I would have to tell him. I lived in fear of that. Until one day she called me in to read me part of a letter he had written. I think he was concerned about things at sea. He told her to tell me I could have the extra watch cap he had sent home after boot camp - and his beautiful bow. I cried. She told me I was spared telling him - for the time being. I don't know that he ever knew, until I started doing my web site. He used to devour my stories on there as our relationship had changed into a very good thing, until his eyesite started failing him, bless his heart. Sorry for the length of this answer but I thinK it was what kept trad under the surface in my heart all those years, just waiting to be bidden forward.
(TG)- Do you remember the first animal you took with a traditional bow? Tell us about it!
(ber643)- Quite well. (It wasn't that long ago.) It was a Racoon - a rabid racoon, no less. I had gone scoreless with my trad bow for the last month of a season (when I first switched for good) and the first whole season following. I still loved it but was hungry to get a kill with my trad bow, as I knew it would help my confidence level. I had been trying on small game around the home acre. Close - but no cigar. I was out back doing some little chore or other, and Rose came running from the front yard telling me excitedly that there was a racoon at one of our fish ponds. she was concerned for the fish - I was concerned about a Racoon out in broad daylight, and at the water. I told her to keep an eye on it while I got my bow. As soon as I saw him after returning to the yard, I was sure he wasn't right. He turned and started coming towards me. I was a little nervous, perhaps more than a little. The first shot went just over his back and through the side of the back wall of the pollypro pond - which I later had to repair. I didn't want another mishap like that, so I let him wander in the other direction from the impact noise untill he cleared the pool. The second shot pinned his shoulder to the ground and the third shot was a final classic kill shot. We called the Animal controll Folks who recovered the carcass from our yard and later informed us by phone that Raleigh had confirmed he had indeed been rabid. "Good Kill", they said. I knew that - LOL. Funny how my score started improving on squirrels after that, and a deer when that next season came along, then another this past season. Though I would like to have got at least two this year, life is good!
(TG)- Do you prefer a glove or tab?
(ber643)- Tab. When I first started shooting trad, I asked my boss (who still can shoot trad awesome), which I should try. He told me that while he almost always uses a glove that he honestly believed if I could use the tab and get comfortable with it I would be better off in the long run. I took him at his word and have never regretted it.
(TG)- Do you have any favorite memories or kills that stand out? Tell us about it!
(ber643)- My first and second deer kills will live vividly in my mind for the rest of my life. Both have been reported on tradgang.com as well as recorded on my web site. So I won't make this longer telling them again. They were both small but special and tasted mighty fine. The tale from this year Ferret told me I should submit for the Stories Forum so all could share it, ("Huh?") So I did, but it hasn't made muster, as far as I know- LOL
(TG)- Can you tell us a bit about your preferred hunting combo?
(ber643)- All my hunting is done with my Adcock ACS "Someone Special", a 58", 45# @ 28" longbow, with Actionboo cores and carbon front and back, under black glass. I love that bow, as most everyone is probably tired of hearing - LOL
(TG)- What is the one piece of advice you would give a new hunter to aid him on his hunting ventures?
(ber643)- Do not look a deer in the eyes - I don't care what anybody else says. Sidelong glances will tell you all you need to know untill you are ready tp pick a spot. (Oh , and don't wait so late to start bowhunting - LOL)
(TG)- What is your favorite animal to hunt?
(ber643)- Deer - I love even just seeing and watching them. I also like bowhunting pigs though I haven't had a chance to hunt them since switching to trad. Also Turkeys and I have hunted them two seasons with trad; no shot yet though.
(TG)- Do you have or prefer a certain method of hunting?
(ber643)- Tree Stand, mostly climber as long as I can. Started using a pop-up blind for Turkeys but not deer yet.
(TG)- Does any of your family hunt or fish?
(ber643)- My wife loves fishing but hates boats so we hardly ever do it anymore. My Pop loved Brook Trouting and started me, with a real stick and string no less. He hunted, untill he killed his first deer when I was about 10 or 12. He had been a logger in his youth and had some Indian in him so he loved the woods, as I always did. After all those years though, I don't think he ever hunted again after that first kill in his late thirties, unless maybe it was birds, and little if any of that.
(TG)- Do you have any bowhunting goals or plans for the immediate future?
(ber643)- To keep trying to get better and more confident with my trad equipment for as long as I possibly can - and too enjoy every minute of it, shooting and/or hunting, that the good Lord will let me.
(TG)- Do you make any of your own gear?
(ber643)- I assemble most all of my arrows, be they Alum, carbon, wood, and/or hopefully some Cane Primitives this winter, and I make Flemish Twist strings. I make Turkey Wing Bone calls also, and have just started hand knapping arrow heads and (hopefully) blades - what a rush!
(TG)- Where is the one place you would really just love to hunt?
(ber643)- Oh, wow, I've pretty much given up on that (money and travel - yuck!) but it would have been Australia or Alaska, plus anywhere there were Elk, or maybe Cariboobies. (So much for "one", huh?)
(TG)- Do you primarily hunt private or public ground?
(ber643)- Public these days - I would love to have access to private though. I hunt mostly the military bases the last two years.
(TG)- Do you prefer evening, mid day or morning hunts?
(ber643)- Used to be morning - loved to watch the sun come up. Still get up early but can't seem to drag myself out too often - so it's evenings almost exclusivly now.
(TG)- What is your favorite type of camo?
(ber643)- I like to mix rather than match and I am very impressed with the 3D leaf versions the last four years or so.
(TG)- Do you normally use anything like scent covers or attractants, camo, or calls?
(ber643)- Yep to all, at least to some degree. Love the Pee Willie Wicks for putting scent out, love and use the Bleat Cans by Primos - a lot and with good results. Also like the Bow Grunter, hands free grunt call but I use it very sparingly. Use all types of calls for Turkeys.
(TG)- Do you do any small game hunting?
(ber643)- Squirrels but mostly just around our home. Didn't used to until they started eating my wifes birdfeeders - and I needed to build my confidence.
(TG)- Tell us what your dream hunt would be.
(ber643)- It was always Elk. Now it would be a nice private property, close to home, that I could go to anytime I wanted to, and perhaps invite a friend now and then - (to help drag my deer out - LOL - I've behaved too long again).
(TG)- You can invite 3 tradgang members to share a campfire, who are they and why did you choose them?
(ber643)- Oh, you are sneaky, (Good Question - On the surface it should be easy but there are so many, near and far. Let me see if I can narrow it down some - I'm not going to say any I've already met for they know they all will always be very welcome at my campfire, just as they have left me with the conviction that I would be at theirs - bless them all. I also will not list any I think/plan to get to meet this coming year - most know who they are, even if I may not. I also will eliminate the founders of this glorious home away from home known as tradgang.com because that/they goes without saying.) OK - now, I will try not to overthink the rest as I'd never narrow it down to three if I did.
1. Ferret - Mickey Lotz for his knowlege, his ready and deep reaching smile, and his obvious apreciative attitude towards others rights, opinions, accomplishments, etc.
2. Ron LaClair for he has stepped right out of all the books I enjoyed and treasured as a growing boy in my minds eye (even though he is younger in years than I - LOL) and is also ever sharing with his knowlege and insights. Not to mention his documented contributions to the Traditional Archery world.
3. Doug Campbell for his obvious attitudes towards other folks and joy in life and family. Also for his tireless work for St. Judes and what appears to me as an inherrant modesty in all the good things we know about him. Oh, And because as I often say, "My heros have always been cowboys," LOL
(I will now take the liberty to add a fourth one because I feel I must and I don't think others would mind the presence: Barb Dumas - because we became so close on here but never got to actually meet - Bless you, friend girl.)
(TG)- Tell us your most tresured memory from being in the service.
(ber643)- I grew up a 124 lb. weakling - no arms, no legs, no athletic abilities except riding horses, fishing, and hunting. However I found I could accomplish most everything I really needed to by sheer willpower. When I entered the Marine Corps (as with all who do) the first thing they do is strip you of everything - inside and out, physically and mentally - then they proceed to turn you into a Marine. The playing field is leveled, so to speak and I found my will power trick stood me in good sted. I was, with all due modesty, an outstanding marine - pretty much from start to finish. Every now and then I tell a little story on my web site or "sneak" one in on the forum about life in the Marine Corps but I don't really talk "about it" much, as most of us don't tend to. However it is a very big part of who I am. I guess my most treasured memory of being in the service is not any one incident but the following instead - what it taught me: It taught me a self-worth I might never have fully known, an undieing realization of how the beauty of my country's flag could make me bawl like a baby in a heartbeat, without shame, and the profound value of Esprit De Corps with those surrounding me.
(TG)- What is the most important thing you have taken from being a member of Tradgang?
(ber643)- How the Golden Rule and "What Goes around, Comes Around" can be made to work in a truly positive way, as the good words and deeds we see daily on "our" forum make us want to be the very best person we can possibly be with the others around us. AND that it is a very good "home away from home" for an old Marine.
(TG)- What is one thing I haven't asked that you would like for people to know about you?
(ber643)- I was going to say that, "I wish I was rich instead of so damned good looking," - but that would just be a flip joke my Pop used to always say, and the only reason it would hold any grain of truth would be to reward my wife more, hunt more good places, and go to more Shoots/rendezvous to meet more of our members, and be able to contribute more to things like St. Judes and individual good causes. In all seriousness I really can't think of anything particular right now except maybe I wish I had gotten into traditional shooting much earlier in life and tradgang had come along sooner so maybe some of those things above could have a chance to happen even though I will not be rich and my good looks have decided to leave me holding the bag, or is that sag. Oh yeah, one thing people should definitely know about me, now that I think of it, I hinted at earlier - I can't stay fully serious for too long at a time. Bless you all, Bless us all.