Every bowhunter knows the joy of just holding your bow. Gun hunters love their guns, but bowhunters…
First, let me start by saying that I also love my shotgun and my rifle, but there is something about my bow that is just so…personal. If you are an avid bowhunter then you know exactly what I mean. If you are more of a shotgun or rifle hunter, let me try to explain.
I like to customize my firearms to make them work for me. In this regard they are very personal, but that is not quite what I mean. I have added many things to my bows, from a whisker biscuit to a three pin sight, and a whole lot more. Just ask my empty wallet.
Although my bow is modified to suit me and my needs, that is not what makes it personal.
One of my rifles came on a natural wood stock that I polish with mineral oil whenever I clean the rifle. Another rifle I switched out the stock to replace with a black synthetic all-weather stock. I have blued barrels, had them painted with camouflage, and even taped one up with a camouflage tape. All of these made my rifles “look cool” and definitely made them personal as others did not agree with some of my tastes, but that is not what makes my bow personal.
I have invested my own personal time sitting at the range for hours on end perfecting my skill as a target shooter so when the time comes I can put that bullet through a heart the size of my fist at over 100 yards, maybe even 200 if the conditions were right. That commitment and time spent with my firearm definitely makes it feel personal, but with my bow it is still different.
You see, I cannot effectively shoot my bow at 100 yards, and maybe that is where my love for the bow begins.
I can hear you now calling me crazy. It is the shortcomings of the bow that make you love it? Well, yes and no.
It is not so much what the bow can or cannot do, but more what it forces me to do to compensate. I have to get close. I have to listen and watch. I have to force myself to sit motionless while my leg muscles tense up from the cold.
When I see that deer, I have to watch it and read its body language. Where is it heading? Does it see me or smell me? Is it frightened or calm?
I have to look that deer in the eye and feel it. Then everything goes calm as I draw my arrow back. I let out a breath and let the arrow fly…
That is personal.
I enjoy sitting in a treestand on the corner of a field and watching deer at 100 yards as well, but it is just not the same.
So why do I love my bow? Because when I am successful at the hunt, it is not just the arrow that connects with the deer.