A few weeks ago I bought my first “new” bow, and although it’s not considered “top of the line,” I couldn’t be happier to have it in my hunting arsenal. After the draw weight and length had been adjusted from the factory settings, I remember nocking that first arrow, letting it fly, and thinking how perfect it felt. It wasn’t my first time shooting, or even owning a bow – I had a hand-me-down with a draw length two inches too long. However, better fit wasn’t what made this bow so great. This purchase signified the beginning of a new stage for me as a hunter. It marked the end of shooting at targets just for fun and the beginning of becoming a serious bowhunter.
As I enter into this new hunting stage, I am continually researching and running through scenarios in my head. Each day, as the rut draws closer, serves as a reminder that things will be different this season. I won’t have crosshairs to rely on, and reloading won’t be as simple as jacking in another round. I understand that I will be exposed, and movements that may have been acceptable in a blind during rifle season will no longer do here.
But of everything I am learning about bowhunting, I know enough to realize there’s a lot I can’t know yet. I don’t know how I will react when a deer comes beneath my tree. I don’t know how I’ll grab and draw my bow without being detected, or how I’ll steady myself enough to make a shot. I don’t know yet what my physical limits are and when “cold” will become “too cold” for me. What I know for sure is that I’ll be there, and I’ll be trying, and most importantly, I’ll be appreciating each new experience.
Henry David Thoreau said “. . . what you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” During this bow season, I hope I take a deer and have a story worthy of another column, but more importantly, I hope I become a bowhunter worthy of taking a deer.
‘Till next time, let ‘em fly.