One of my favorite things to talk about is bow hunting, from the preparation of the hunt to the decision of what type of mount to choose. I am what some have called “obsessed” about bow hunting whitetail. That’s why I was so excited when St. Joseph’s school approached me to teach an Introduction to Bow hunting Class during their ‘special interest’ day. It’s a day during the school year where kids can sign up for classes that sound fun and interesting. I offered to teach grades 4-8 and the opportunity gave me a full hour to possibily spark some interest in bow hunting and the outdoors. Anyone who’s already been bow hunting understands that it’s not about the shooting of an animal. It’s about spending time in the woods in your camouflage and appreciating the unpredictability of nature.
I started the class with an introduction to my bow and the gear that goes along with bow hunting. I discussed the types of sight, arrow rest, release, camouflage, arrows, broad heads, etc. that I use and why. After passing around my bow, the kids got to try pulling back a youth bow that I borrowed from a friend. The poundage was cranked down to only 10 pounds so all of the kids could feel the pull of a bow and I think it was a highlight. Many asked for “seconds” with the youth bow.
I also passed around pictures of different examples of hunting set ups We discussed hunting from a tree stand, as well as from a blind or simply off the ground. I prefer portable tree stands that can be moved in order to catch that big buck coming to or from his territory. I showed them pictures of buck rubs and scrapes and taught them signs to look for in order to increase their chances of seeing deer.
I shared stories of wildlife I’ve seen while in the woods bow hunting. Raccoons, 'possum, turkey, owls, hawks, coyotes, wolves and snakes all make the list of critters that have been spotted from my tree stand. I’ve had birds land on my sleeve and squirrels sniff my boots. The kids seemed to enjoy the tales of bucks fighting and coyotes hunting THEIR prey. I explained that when you are in the woods in camouflage you’ll witness things you’ve never seen before.
I concluded the class with a 10 minute video that my friend and videographer Joe Nawrot created called “Critters in the Wild.” Joe works for Bass Pro Shops filming hunting videos and he’s been fortunate to film amazing wildlife on his shoots. The class really enjoyed watching actual footage shot from a tree stand and a hunting blind. I told them, “you never know what you’re going to see and that’s what helps you stay still!”
I’m not sure who enjoyed the class more… me or the kids. I do know that the only thing better than living your passion is sharing it.