This hunter can really rack ‘em up

Photos by Anthony J. Machcinski


Photos by Anthony J. Machcinski/ Bob Norcia Sr. displays some of the trophies and deer antlers he’s collected over the years.


By Anthony J. Machcinski

Unlike its portrayal in movies, archery is a skilled sport. Unlike the movie “300” where Persian archers simply launch thousands of arrows into the air and hope to hit their target, hunters who use a bow are, typically, only able to manage one shot to hit their target. This is usually done by sitting above the target in a tree and by using silence and precision to achieve their goal.

Not only does archery require a patient and a steady hand, but the strength to draw the bow back and being able to climb into a tree.

At age 75, North Arlington’s Bob Norcia Sr. can be considered somewhat of a freak of nature.

“I stay in shape by exercising, weightlifting, crabbing, fishing, and hunting,” Norcia said when asked how he manages to hunt as a septuagenarian.

A hunter since 1969, Norcia has used his skill to take down over 200 deer, while hunting in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Unlike many inhumane hunters who hunt simply to kill, Norcia eats or gives away the meat from the deer.

“(The) majority of the deer is prepared in sausage fashion and given away to people that could use the meat,” Norcia explained. “I take great pride in giving people something they could use and I take pride in always helping other people.” Norcia’s charity was evidenced when he donated the meat from two whole deer to a dinner for Gail’s Angels, an organization that supports women with breast cancer and autistic children. The event, held April 23, 2011, which was organized by Norcia, Jim Babai, and Pat Bikoff, drew well over 100 people and generated more than $4,500 in donations for Gail’s Angels.

What makes Norcia’s talent so extraordinary is the type of bow he uses. Norcia uses a recurve, a traditional bow where the tips curve forward, instead of a compound, which uses a series of pulleys that make drawing the bow easier. For example, a compound bow with an 80% let-off and a 50 lb. draw would take 10 lbs. of resistance to draw. With a recurve, the same 50 lb. draw would take the full 50 lbs to draw. “

I feel like its great sport to go with the bow,” said Norcia, who switched to a bow from a 12-gauge shotgun around the early ‘80s. “It’s a bigger thrill [taking down a deer] than with a gun, especially with a recurve.”

Anyone touring Norcia’s basement can see his success with the Sumi Bowman, an archery club where Norcia was classified as a class B archer, the second highest level.

Norcia’s basement and garage is filled with deer antlers from his adventures. One new addition to the garage is what Norcia calls “The Perfect Eight.”

In hunting, a deer with a symmetrical antler rack is considered perfect. Norcia’s symmetrical eight-pointer was one of the more recent additions.

“The deer had to be a little over 200 lbs,” Norcia recalled. “All I know is, I broke my butt trying to get it in the car.”

Norcia plans to mount the rack from “The Perfect Eight” on a plaque he’ll make by hand.

While hunting is perceived as a pastime for many of the inhabitants of the American South and West, Norcia is a case in point that proves passion for the sport isn’t limited to those regions. With skill, precision, and health, Norcia hopes to continue to hunt as long as he possibly can.

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