Stump Shooting Basics!

The Bowhunter puts tension on the string... Beads of sweat cover his brow as the shot presents itself... He hits full draw and takes the shot! The arrow twists through the air, and then the familiar thump sends back the report: A solid hit!! The archer turns and yells to his buddies that are standing by, “Make that shot, suckers!”

This sets the stage for an exciting and competitive day afield stump shooting with good friends… Traditional archery’s stump hunting at its best!

Stump Shooting is the perfect real-life practice of bowhunting in the field. The targets are anything and everything that could possibly be shot at with a bow! Most stump hunters prefer traditional equipment. Compound bows can be used but are not recommended due to high arrow casualties! Every shot will be completely different and yardage will vary; shot difficulty varies from stump to stump.

Nearly 25 years ago when I was stationed with the Coast Guard in Eastport, Maine, my best friend and fellow Coastie Ron Volk and I often took on the challenge of hunting the elusive trophy stump. This quickly became our routine off-duty quest. Every chance we had, we would take to the woods with our sticks-n-stings and a full back-quiver full of expendable arrows…and a couple tipped with Judo Points (the Stump Shooter's weapon of choice). We would spend hours touring through the woods, walking down logging roads and casting arrows at every qualified stump, which typically meant every unexposed stump that couldn’t possibly be a rock (the Stump Shooter’s nemesis!). The competitive day afield meant heavy wagers. Typically that would mean that Ron would owe me a lot of money, or lunch from Rosie’s, the local breakwater grill with the world's best custom hot dogs!

This was adventure at its best! Where else can a bowhunter shoot so many times with an unlimited bag limit!? And besides, everyone loves freshly grilled bark over an open fire! How could you go wrong?

The cool thing about Stump Shooting is that it can be done almost anywhere and everywhere, and stump gear is very simple. Like I said earlier, any bow can be used, but Stump Shooting lends itself to traditional bows. Arrows tipped with Judo points, points that are designed with spring grass catchers, are perfect for the stump challenge.  If Judo points are not used, plan on losing a lot of arrows!

Are you up for the challenge?  If you are, let me give you my recommendations for Stump Shooting Basics:

  • Group of Buddies 'n' Friends
  • Traditional Bows
  • Judo-Tipped Arrows… Carbon and Wood shafts work the best.  **Aluminum arrows not recommended.
  • A target-rich area with plenty of roaming room.

As you can see, Stump Shooting is simple and gear is basic. And don’t forget, there are no set rules! Just make them as you go!

Are you a Stump Shooter!?  Tell us about it at Tribe Archery…. Go to Tribe’s Facebook and tell us your favorite stump hunting stories!


Heath Painter

Trophy Stump Hunter

Tribe Archery