Version of ancient weapon nets first Black Bear!

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Wanda and Tony Reaves used an Elite Sling Bow to take this Black Bear. Sling Bow developer Chief AJ demonstrates the small, but powerful weapon.

Editor’s note: Tony Reaves and his wife Wanda of South Boston, Virginia recently visited Pamlico County for some hunting, armed with a hybrid weapon known as the Elite Sling Bow. For the benefit of non-hunters among the County Compass readership, we have asked Tony to add some details about ‘still hunting,’ which were not in his original report. We thank Tony and Wanda for this fascinating account.

By Tony Reaves

PAMLICO COUNTY – Wanda and I have been coming to the Oriental area for the past three years. We hunt with Greg Voliva, owner of Four Seasons Guide Service. We have enjoyed all of our trips. Last year, our son Curtis killed him a bear with the rifle.

The Sling Bow was introduced into law as Archery Equipment in North Carolina in 2016. It is also legal in many other states across the USA. It is a new weapon to many Sportsmen. Many deer, turkey, other large and small game and fish have been taken with the Sling Bow. Our goal this year was to take the first ever Black Bear, using a Sling Bow. The weapon measures just 7 inches tall, 4 inches wide, and folds up to 1.5 inches, weighing just one pound. It has enough power to kill most large game in North America.


We arrived in Oriental on Monday, Nov. 12 – one day before Black Bear Season opened. On Opening Day, we saw a bear but things did not work out. The second day was the same. The third day was very windy but we saw four bears! The fourth bear on that windy day gave me a shot with my sling bow at a distance of 14 yards. I’ll tell you what happened in a few paragraphs, but let me first describe the difference between Sling Bow hunting and more traditional hunting, often described as ‘still hunting.’

Most hunters hunt from some type of tree stand or blind. The hunter gets in the woods in his or her tree stand hours before they expect the game they are hunting to begin moving. The reason for this is that all wildlife in the woods will calm down from the noise that you have made in getting to your hunting location. Weather and wind are two very important factors. Weather may cause your game not to move, and if the wind is blowing into the direction you are expecting your game to come from, you will never see it because when the animal gets a smell of a human they will normally turn around and run!

The main difference between gun hunting and bow hunting is the distance you need to be. With the rifle, most hunters set it up for a 50 – 100 yard shot, and they can shoot a lot farther, if needed. With archery equipment you need to be closer.

With the new Compound Bows, a good archer can shoot out to 50 yards. Most shots when still hunting bears and other large game animals, the shot will be 20 yards and under. I describe the Sling Bow as ‘totally instinctive’ – just like the Long Bow or Recurve Bow used by the Indians. Shooting a bow instinctively really puts the hunting back into hunting – because you need to get up close and personal with the game you’re after. It really makes the hunting exciting, and it tests all of your hunting skills.

When you are so close to your game that you can see blinks of its eyes, or can hear it breathe – it gives you the best adrenaline rush you can get! On this Black Bear hunt in Pamlico County, that’s exactly what happened. I was close enough to see him blink his eyes, hear him breathe, and I could hear him eating! This bear ran maybe 80 yards after a complete pass thru of the arrow, and became the first Black Bear reported killed with a Sling Bow in North Carolina!

We will be returning again in 2019, God willing for another bear hunt. Oriental and the surrounding locations have the nicest people, and the best food of anywhere we’ve ever been! If anyone is interested in an Elite Sling Bow, please visit the website or call me direct at (434) 572-7609.