"I feel blessed having had the opportunity to live this lifestyle and to follow my passion down this seemingly endless path, wherever it may lead me with my recurve bow in hand. "
Growing up, my family moved all over the east coast of the United States. Never having lived in one location longer than 5 years, I didn’t have a place to call home… to sink my roots in. However, no matter the state or province we resided, I always found myself drawn to the outdoors. The outdoor lifestyle was one constant in my life. The familiar wilderness was always there, following close by my family’s side as we encountered new adventures and life changes. Turkey hunting, chasing after upland birds with our springer spaniels, stomping the terrain after cottontail rabbits and rifle hunting whitetail deer were our main passions in the outdoors. Bowhunting wasn’t part of the picture until I went off to college.
It seemed that all of my friends were experiencing the thrill of archery through hunting whitetails in the fall or participating in local leagues during the off season. I’ll be honest, my interest in archery wasn’t spawned from a desire to harvest game with a bow and arrow. It was the desire to spend more time with my friends that got me interested in the sport. One cold wintery Christmas, the obsession began when I opened my first recurve bow. (A decision I’m sure my wife sometimes regrets)
The learning curve was steep but the passion was strong. I was the only traditional archer in our group of friends, so I was on my own to figure out the craft of shooting a single string bow. The obsession grew to a feverish level after harvesting my first whitetail deer, a button buck from the ground at 12 yards. From that crisp fall evening on, a traditional bow has been the only weapon I’ve carried to the woods chasing big game.
Fast forward almost a decade and my passion is strong as ever. Constantly chasing the feeling of the primal drama experienced between predator and prey. Recently I’ve discovered a new source of this feeling through competitive archery. Shaky hands, elevated heart rates, quivering breathes flowing in and out of my chest… You’d think I was face to face with a 150” whitetail, but I wasn’t. These unexpected feelings and physical barriers to executing a solid shot rushed over me at my first major competition. Another source of the primal drama was discovered.
Half of my archery related time is spent obsessing over perfecting my competitive performances, equipment, and technique. The other half is spent taking those critical lessons learned from the competitive realm and applying them to chasing game in the wilderness, effectively making me a more successful bowhunter.
This passion for traditional archery also manifested itself into the production of a film series called “The Push – A Traditional Archery Film” as well as launching a podcast; “The Push – A Traditional Archery Podcast”. My partner Tim Nebel and I are passionate about helping expedite the learning curve for new traditional archers.
I feel blessed having had the opportunity to live this lifestyle and to follow my passion down this seemingly endless path, wherever it may lead me with my recurve bow in hand. Having the unwavering support of my wife Nicole and my three boys is something I’ll always be grateful for.
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"There is something about traditional archery that is hard to describe or put down on paper, a romance of sorts and a tighter connection with the sport, it's a way of life "
I was born and raised in a rural suburb forty five minutes North of Pittsburgh, PA. One of my earliest memories is waiting on my tip toes, nose pressed up against the pantry window with a stinging November cold on the other side of the glass, waiting to see the faint glow of my father’s flashlight materialize out of the mysterious autumn blackness. I would race to the back door almost as if to beat him to the door knob, and quickly examine his bow quiver, hoping and praying that it might be holding one less arrow than he left with a few hours before. Hoping that we would be in for a night full of fun out on the frosty and dark “back 40”.
My fascination with bowhunting and whitetails in general was no doubt derived from my father. His first bow for me was a piece of black plastic pipe strung with a cord of binder twine. He was a water well driller by trade so there was always plenty of those types of bow making materials around for an 8 year old amateur bowyer. I eventually graduated to a compound bow around the age of 13, an old hand-me-down Pro-line that belonged to my uncle. He had used the bow a few years prior to harvest an antelope in Wyoming, so I was sure it held magical powers. It wasn’t until 5 or 6 frustrating years later that I harvested my first Whitetail with a compound bow, and its been down the rabbit hole ever since.
I’ve done some traveling bowhunting including taking a bull elk in Northwest Colorado, and an early September Whitetail in Central North Dakota. I now reside in Southeast Ohio, where I do the majority of my bowhunting, but nothing will ever top the “back 40.”
Two years ago I was introduced to traditional archery by a close friend of mine that I grew up with. I dove in head first and sold all of my compound bows, and haven’t looked back with regret. There is something about traditional archery that is hard to describe or put down on paper, a romance of sorts and a tighter connection with the sport and that way of life that could only be understood by someone who has taken a stickbow afield with them. I would best describe it as a certain humbleness, as one puts himself on a more primal level with the game he is pursuing. I’ve never enjoyed bowhunting so much, and I’ve never felt so alive in the woods, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
My hunting passions now consist of mainly Whitetail and Turkey in the East. I also have a passion for photography and film, trying to show through those two mediums, the beauty and intimacy that I see while afield. It is a feat that no matter how expensive the camera, I feel you will always fall short. In the last year I’ve also filmed and co-produced a video series entitled “The Push- A Traditional Archery Film” in which the main goal is to help anyone interested in traditional archery to take the plunge.
Here's What Our Fans Are Saying.
Hey push dudes! First off your podcasts are great! Keep that stuff up. I have a carbon defiant that is collecting dust. I don't care this trad stuff is just freaking cool. Thanks for all your entertainment and advice with the podcast. I'll keep listening. Thanks guys Terry Lewis
Just wanted to tell you guys how enjoyable those podcast are. Watched the push film sometime back, and keep going back to rewatch sections. Been a long time instinctive trad shooter, but all this has lit a new fire to explore options. Just ordered my first I LF system. Back to the push film, I thought that was absolutely one of the best informative videos I have ever seen, bar none. You have a way of really being informative and positive. Well done!Mark Normand
I really enjoy your podcasts and your you tube videos. After hunting with a compound for 37 years, the longbow is what I'm taking out this fall. The traditional addiction is on fire in me and you guys are helping to dump the gas on it. Matt I give you a lot of credit showing some of your misfortunes while shooting. Keep up the great work! Bob Staniszewski 🎯 Shelby Township, Michigan.
First of all I'd like say that I'm not only obsessed with traditional archery but all of your content as well. Keep up the great work guys! I've been shooting trad for a few years just for fun here and there but recently sold all my compounds and gear and got serious with trad in the past year diving into the nuts and bolts of every little detail that I can. Get Primal! The Push Archery's biggest fan (lol) Bubba Courtney
I'm not much older than you two, but I'm not very tech savvy. So I have put off listening to podcasts of any kind. I saw your your post introducing your instructive video when it came out on YouTube. Watched it and thought it was great. I have now listened to them all and some twice. Every episode is better than the last. Boys y'all are kicking ass! I think this is the best thing to happen to stick and string for a long time. Don't stop. Keep on boys and thanks Brant
- Your video was truly the gateway to opening my eyes to all of the good information that has come out the past year on traditional archery shooting, gear, etc, etc. I've learned more in the past year than I have my entire life.Greg KriegerWinnemucca, NV
- First off - you guys put together a great podcast. I look forward to the updates so I can listen to them on my routine commute. The conversations between you guys and your guests has provided me with a ton of knowledge that would have taken me hours, days, or years to figure out - if ever.Thanks,Brian SchmidtMinnesota
Matt you guys have really got me excited to really dive into the trad world I'm starting to think about selling my compound. Without your podcasts I don't think I would have the confidence to take the leap so again thank you and have a great holiday. Jake Hildebrandt
This is my second attempt at getting into traditional archery I struggled with a Hoyt Buffalo (awesome bow just me LOL) for 3 years and gave it away to shoot a compound. That's fun but just not "right. You guys know what I mean. So Here's to my second expensive foray into trad archery! You guys are responsible for me selling my favourite rifle to buy a new Recurve. The day an armourer sells a gun to buy a bow is momentous! Regards, Steven Richards Corporal
- Just want to thank you both, and your guests for the top notch Podcast.I enjoy the relaxed dialog, the epic content that has my head full like I was back in school (in a good way!), and the enthusiasm you have for Trad Archery and Bowhunting in general. I now have some new tools to hone a higher level of form and accuracy, and look forward to taking the single string into the scrub once I get there.Matt, your knowledge and experience are are a joy to share in, and your YouTube vids are a about to launch me forward in a big way and for this I'm super grateful mate.Tim, I dig your lines of questioning and want you to know your asking many of the questions us the listeners are thinking, so thanks mate.Cheers a ton, and I look forward to hearing stacks more.Adam in Australia.