The Passion of Bow Hunting

The sport of bow hunting is on the rise, as rifle tags are harder to draw and the challenge of rifle hunting is lost.  Many states are cutting back on the number of tags they give out and hunters are getting frustrated, so they have turned to new fields of hunting such as bow hunting and muzzleloaders.  I, personally, find bow hunting challenging but more than that, you work a lot harder at getting an animal, and once you do, it is much more gratifying.  The exhilaration you get from the stalk; deciding your yardage and keeping your arm still is very hard.  When I first started bow hunting, I was timid and not sure if I’d like it, but then it became an addiction I couldn’t get over.  I couldn’t wait for each year of hunting to come along.

I am noticing more and more women getting interested in bow hunting.  I am a female hunter and I started for two reasons: first, I actually wanted see my husband more than one or two days in the month of September;  secondly, I didn’t like to be around rifles that much.  I really enjoy the peacefulness archery hunting has to offer.  There is camaraderie amongst bow hunters and it’s a great tight knit community.  It is a great sport to keep the family together; anyone can do it with some practice.  There is nothing more exciting though, than to hear an elk bugling and having it get up close and trying to get a shot off.  It is an amazing test to face your prey so close.  Each year my obsession increases.  I always want to "out do" the guys.  If I could only get the biggest buck, or even be the first one to get a dandy, then I could video the others.  I sometimes have just as much fun watching the action unfold.  When you see another hunter take his game, something inside you comes alive.  The excitement you feel seeing the joy in the other hunter’s eyes is unreal.

When I began the sport I had a hard time shooting my bow, I could never get a consistent group.  I was later told when I had a good mentor that my bow was too short.  So, when choosing a bow: first find a reputable archery shop that has trained staff that will measure your draw length correctly.  This is so important, because if you don’t find the right equipment to begin with, you will fight the bow constantly and you may want to give up. That is why is so difficult to buy a secondhand bow; it is hard to find one that is just right for you. You should also find one that fits well in your hand and is not too heavy.  You want to make sure the grip feels comfortable in your hand, and isn’t hard to hold.  If you are doing a lot of hiking or backcountry hunting you don’t want to pack around a heavy bow.  If you do 3-D shoots as well, after shooting 40 targets a day, your arm will wear out with the weight of a heavier bow.   Th ebow shoudl also be forgiving; don’t look for speed alone.  When you are new to the sport, you want something that will be more merciful on a longer shot.  So, consider a longer bow with a taller brace height.  When you start practicing, sometimes the arrows are all over the target and this gets very discouraging.  You want to do all you can to minimize that.

If you haven’t tried archery hunting I highly recommend it - you won’t regret it.