Tag Archives: Bow hunting

Hunting: My favorite sport.

I am a proud venison eater. Just last week, I went to a dinner event – attended by more than 100 people – where we enjoyed more than 20 different entrees prepared with the harvests of many successful hunts. And each bite of food that hit my mouth was tasty. This post, though, is less about venison and more about the reasons why I have a freezer full of it.

One of this blogger's early whitetails with a bow.

Venison is not the reason I hunt. And I’m not looking to use it as an excuse for explaining to people why hunting deer makes me happier than a lab’s jowls lapping up peanut butter.

I hunt deer because I enjoy the challenge, the time in the woods, and the sport that comes with outsmarting an old, wily whitetail. My preferred method of success is with a bow and arrow, but I don’t mind shooting a deer with a gun.

The food my family gets, and the fact that it’s the most effective manner for conserving wildlife, just so happen to be great byproducts of hunting. Let that be crystal clear to anyone who’s wondering.

Far too often, I find my fellow sportsmen having to defend the reasons why they hunt. That’s hogwash. No one in our country should have to defend their participation in an honest and legal sport that has roots as deep as the trees in the Redwood Forest.

You might wonder why I’m a bit feisty about this topic. I just watched a propaganda-filled video being kicked around the digital world where an alleged veterinarian presents a case that bowhunting is an ineffective way to hunt deer. He spends a great deal of time pointing out that deer, when shot with archery equipment, do not die instantly. At this point, I’m hoping I hear a collective, “Naw, really?” from our readers.

I have shot somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 deer with a bow. While that number might represent an “insignificant sample” in the world of research, I can tell you that my successful retrieve rate for bowhunting is better than my own rate with a gun. I know that reams of data exist to point out a variety of metrics on what is the best way to kill a deer. Articles published on the topic are probably in the hundreds. I can read all that until I’m blue in the face, but what matters to me is the experience I’ve had in the woods. That is my first-party research. I assure anyone who reads this and might question otherwise that a compound bow is more than effective at placing a lethal shot on a whitetail deer.

Is every shot lethal? No. Much like hunting with a rifle, a shotgun or a sling shot, hunters are not perfect. Heck, even Peyton Manning throws interceptions. While it’s not a pretty point to make for some, that too is part of the sport.

While you think about that, I’m headed to the kitchen to cook some venison chili.

Country boy humbled!

Shortly after celebrating my 12th year on this fine Earth, I started seriously shooting a bow. That came after years of flinging arrows out of my oldest brother’s hand-me-down Bear youth bow. When it became serious, my dad armed me with a brand-new PSE Spirit, the appropriate accoutrements and just enough wisdom to be dangerous.

I remember vividly having to get him to take me back to the bow shop to get a package of nocks after shooting well enough at 20 and 30 yards to break several. I’ve always felt like I could hold my own when it came to shooting arrows during the couple decades since.

One of my shots from day one on a mountain lion.

Then came Union Grove! More specifically, then came the 30th Annual Bowhunters Jamboree held in Union Grove, N.C.

I knew the humility was coming well before I stepped foot on the course, which would mark my first time shooting in a 3-D competition with bow and string. Shooting alongside three good friends kept my embarrassment manageable, and actually shooting a sliver higher score overall in the two-day tournament than one of them reduced subsequent ridicule. That said, I was truly humbled. And I had a blast.

The biggest challenge for any of you that have not shot a tourney of its kind, is that you’re challenged to identify the distance between your shot location and a 3-D target … without a rangefinder … and without help from your shooting partners. That is more difficult than it sounds as I write this. The range of distance is apparently supposed to be between 20-40 yards.

Day 2 with a large black bear standing WAY back there!

However, there is the ol’ +/- factor for those distances. I have no doubt one of the targets on the first course we shot was in excess of 45 yards (coincidentally, that target was one of my few 10-ring shots of the weekend – coming only after watching two of my shooting partners missing the target completely, which is a good sign that the distance “is further than it looks”).

In total, we shot 40 targets on the weekend. They were all unique, and the entire experience was fun. I will shoot more tourneys in the future. And I’m happy to report that I was able to improve by some 37 points on Day 2. My first accomplishment.

Equally important to making the trip enjoyable was sharing a camp with several of the active members from RackMasters Outdoors. What a great group of hunters! And their site is loaded with great topics and a full array of information from seasoned archers to help people out.

Like all fun forums, it also has the right amount of ribbing going on! It’s free to join and worth the time to be active on the site. Go to www.wildcountryarchery.com to sign up. Make sure you introduce yourself when you get there!

Cat Tales

I wanted to give a shout out to Bob Chavez for sporting one of the AHT stickers on his personal hunting machine. Bob’s ’99 Jeep Grand Cherokee just turned past 210,000 miles. As he notes: “Built right here in the USA!”

Thanks for your support, Bob!

Bob has added a hefty 4-inch lift with “some 31.5-inch meat on those wheels.”

Thanks for representing Bob. And please give him a wave next time you pass him sporting his decal on the way to the stand!

The Hunting Mobile!