HUNTERS’ HEART (How to tell)

Ever since I can remember, I knew that I have a Hunters’ Heart. I had to know what was around the next bend in the river, what was over the next hill and I knew I had to get a look at all the big game in North America.

Do these same things burn inside you? You just have to hunt the field, hunt the woods or wade the river. You want to see if you can make the shot when the trophy shows up. When you must go to work, you dream all day about hunting. That is how you know you have the Hunters’ Heart.


L, 6/27/13 Alaska -  R, 11/17/14 Illinois

Then in my life, I focused in on certain animals. First it was to bag a deer.  Then, after getting a doe, I felt that I must bag a buck. Next was a caribou hunt. I read about caribou, I watched videos of caribou. I daydreamed about being on the tundra in Alaska surrounded by a huge herd. Caribou being the most primitive of all North American big game, I felt I must hunt and harvest a big boo. This burning desire went on night and day for almost ten years before I was dropped off at an an Alaskan lake.


The pontoon aircraft took off and I was on the tundra having just flown over a herd of thousands caribou. What a sight! Caribou as far as I could see to the right and to the left. As far as I could see ahead, caribou. It was a hunter’s dream come true. Now the caribou rack with two shovels is on the wall. I thought this might set to rest the burning desire.


Instead, along came my slingshot discovery. A hunting arrow launcher that is just 4 inches wide, 7 inches tall and weighs only 8 ounces.  It took 2 years of research and development to get a frame strong enough to handle 40# pull and 50# draw tubes. I was shooting fish and small game with the HFX (hunting & fishing extreme slingshot) but burning to bring down all North American Big Game with this small handful of power. I took a couple of deer with the HFX then a customer Jeff in Utah took a cinnamon colored black bear. Wow! When Jeff sent me the photos of the HFX bear it hit me hard – I must hunt a Grizzly with my HFX.

In my early 70’s the Hunters’ Heart took over every waking moment, I must hunt a Girzzly with my HFX. I did not know at that time why I had this overwhelming feeling. I fount out WHY much later while visiting a National Park and will explain this Grizzly fever here in this hunting exposé.


The Alaska Archery guide lines for hunting Grizzly Bears required a 50# draw. I came up with 50# tubes sets and developed my Big 50 Grizzly model HFX. But I live in Illinois and the Grizzlies live in Alaska. The hunting trip took a lot of arranging and dollars. Grizzly fever drove me on, North to Alaska. Slept in a small tent, ate meals cooked over wood fires and was pestered by mosquitoes. I mean clouds of mosquitoes. Hiked up and down 7,000 foot mountains, walked again on the tundra until I finally bagged the bear.


There I stood looking at my two tone Grizzly. The back of the bear was the color of honey and it's legs the color of amber. At the time there in Alaska, I did not know why I knew that I must make a jacket out of the Grizzly’s’ hide and fur.


First I took the hide and skull to Alaska Fish and Game in Anchorage where the  raw hide was “sealed” with a metal tag. Then I left Grizzly’s’ hide and skull with an Anchorage taxidermist who told me it would be about a year before I would get my tanned hide to make a jacket out of.

  •    Back of Chief AJ's Grizzly Jacket (Wear the Bear)


After a couple of months back in Illinois, I made a visit to the Hopewell Culture National Park at Chillicothe, OH.  Also known as Mound City where from about 100 BC to 400AD the Mordecail Cloud Indians’ built mounds. At the visitors’ center I listened to the Rangers' lectures and watched informative slide shows about how the Mordecial Cloud Indians lived.


I learned that their population was controlled by Grizzly bears. For a native to kill a Grizzly bear with a bow and arrow at the time was really big medicine. The hunter then made a coat out of the bear and wore the bear the rest of his life. The hunter did a victory dance wearing the bear. At the National Park they have drawings of Grizzly hunters wearing their bear skins made from the information learned from archeological digs at the site. Then and there I knew why I had to hunt the Grizzly and why I have to wear the bear.

The Mordecai Cloud Hopewell (named for the farmer who's land the mound was excavated on - we need a new name!) Indians made copper tools and points for arrows, spears and Atlatl darts. The 100BC hunters had bows and arrows with hardened stone points. These hunters bows' were not as powerful as the HFX sling bow (slingshot) that Chief AJ uses for Bears and other Big Game.


Left: 100 BC in what is now OHIO                                                Right: 2014 AD what is now Illinois


The Mordecial Cloud Indians were workers of copper.  On the top of staff in the 100BC drawing is a cooper Serpent Head Effigy likewise on the top of Chief AJ’s staff is a reproduction cooper Serpent Head Effigy. The National Park Hopewell Culture is near the Serpent Mound in Central Ohio.  The copper effigy serpent head is of this 1,348 foot long Serpent Mound.

The Mordecial Cloud Indians made copper and bronze tools also points for arrows, spears and Atlati darts. The 100BC hunters had bows and arrows with hardened metal points. These hunters' bows were not as powerful as the HFX sling bow (slingshot) that Chief AJ uses for bears and other big game.


Chief AJ developed the Elite Sling Bow for taking North American

big game and Tony Reaves is doing just that. That includes a big 14-pt buck. Chief AJ, now being 80 years old, has turned over the Elite Sling Bow project to Tony Reaves. For questions or custom orders, call Tony.



(434) 572-7609

Tony Reaves

4 S. Main St.

South Boston, VA 24592 

  • Chief AJ | Two Feathers VA