I've taken a lot of deer, but the one that I'm most jazzed about is the one I shot with my self-made bow. You can use white woods like hickory and ash, or heartwoods like osage, mulberry, and black locust. Beginners should use hickory because it's relatively free of knots. You can buy stave splits-single sections of wood split naturally along the grain-from traditional archery dealers, or cut your own. In either case, you need summer growth rings at least 1/8 inch thick.