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Information > Hunting & Fishing

To Bow or Not To Bow? by Duane72


TalkHunting Mag:
Ahhh... archery season. That sweet smell of nothing and the soft twang of the string rocketing the arrow off and toward the unsuspecting prey. Then comes the resounding "thud" of your arrow making impact (Yes! You CAN actually hear it!). I understand it's not everyone's "thing". But has everyone tried it I ask? It's kind of like when your Mom used to say "How do you know you don't like brussel sprouts?? You haven't even tried them yet!" Only, bow hunting isn't anything like brussel sprouts. And, well, you don't have to taste the bow. Though it's not unheard of for someone to kiss it after dropping a deer with it! But hey, what goes on in the stand stays in the stand. That's between you and your bow. The point is, if you haven't tried bowhunting... what better time to start?

Ok, "It's September and bow season is only a few days or weeks away." I know. It's not a good excuse though, so don't try that one on me. There is PLENTY of time for you to be ready. Just means you have to spend a little extra time at the range or in the backyard each day. And that's a bad thing how? "Bows are way out of my price range." Alright, I will not argue economics. Especially with the state of things today. That's legitimate, but only to a point. Most pro-shops have multiple used bows that have come in on trade. Like used cars, you can often pick one up for a pretty decent deal. The trick is, you NEED to go to a pro-shop. Especially when buying a used bow. You need to know that bow is set up for your specific draw length and the draw weight that best suits you. If you have never shot a bow before a good pro-shop will often let you try a few different bows as well and help you get sighted in, or close enough for you to be able to finish sighting in within the backyard without putting too many holes in the fence.

"I prefer something modern." Um... ok, buy the newest most expensive bow on the market. It's UNBELIEVABLE how technologically advanced these bows are today. It'll make you drool! It is not the old days of sneaking through the woods in a loincloth hoping you can see something before it sees you. Though that does sound pretty cool. I can't say I would hate to try it, though not so sure about the loincloth idea. That's the beauty of it though. You can be as bare roots or as sophisticated as you want to be. You can go traditional with long bows and recurves, crossbows, compounds with aluminum risers, solo-cams, and now even built from carbon fiber top to bottom. Loincloths not included.

Alright, yes. I have heard the horror stories. The missed shots, the wounded animals, the broadheads found by butchers while processing game. I understand the point of view, I do. I can not say I have never made a bad shot on a deer. It has happened. I alone hold the responsibility of that. I thank God we were able to recover the deer and it did not suffer long. We all know however, if we are honest, that bad shots happen regardless of the weapon used. The question is, were they learned from? If you continually make bad shots, whatever weapon you choose, you need to question wether you should continue to hunt, plain and simple. Ethics demand we put us much effort as we need to into being proficient with our shots. Rifle, shotgun, muzzleloader, bow, crossbow, tank, cannon, whatever you take to the woods. If it's a cannon, I hope you get arrested. Just sayin'. BE GOOD AT WHAT YOU DO. There are enough anti-hunters out there making noise as it is. We don't need to be giving them ammo.

One of the easiest ways to get started is if you know someone who bow hunts. Talk to them. Ask questions! If they are willing have them come along side you and take you hunting. Even if you have no one to teach you, like the way I started out, you can still make it happen. (If you get the chance, read my blog Tale of the Self-Made Hunter.) Talk to folks at the local hunt and bait shops and pro shops. Read. Go on forums... such as the TalkHunting forum for example. I know for a fact there are many archers on the boards there and all willing to give some good advice. But whatever you do... don't knock it until you've tried it! I was always told once you take your first archery deer you'll be hooked. And it was true! To make things worse, my first archery deer was my first ever deer... I was addicted! There is no cure I'm afraid, but don't mourn for me. I will bear the burden.

Ok, my plea, my push, my encouragement, my cry to the inner-most reaches of your psychy are over. If you haven't tried archery hunting, you need to give it a whirl. I simply ask that you do it right and do it well. If it's not for you... then respect given for at least giving it it's proper chance. If it is... I'll see you early season!



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