This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to attend the Traditional Bowhunters Expo. While planning for this adventure, taking me from my home in Virginia and with a destination of Kalamazoo, Michigan, I was glassing over the flyer nearly every day. I knew right away that I would be attending the expo, but was tossing around the idea of attending the 3D Shootout that was also taking place. My fear of failure and potential rejection as a “reputable” hunter was holding me back from allow myself the opportunity. I decided I would do it, but had no idea what I was in for.
Every year I hunt, a familiar voice enters my head. It taunts me, asking questions and suggesting to do what may be right or wrong. As the weary whitetail approaches, the voice gets a louder. Each step the deer takes, striking a hoof to the ground, my mind slips into a deeper, more primitive place. Read More
One of our greatest motivators as hunters is the support and encouragement we receive from others. Most hunters heading to the woods every early fall in search of meat for the freezer or a mount for the wall, typically have a very likewise situation at home. In my own home, this support comes at a price. Though this time of year is great for me, being able to head into the woods, for my wife it can be completely miserable. My confession: I have been looking around… for a way to fill my freezer.
It happens all too fast… The leaf covered forest floors quickly start to settle, leaving the woods eerily quiet. Streams tend to be covered with a thin layer of ice, almost as though they are about to disappear completely. As for us bowhunters, every year hunting season comes and goes, leaving us in the dumps, missing the pursuit. Many of us change gears this time of year, taking up indoor archery, but there is still a place for us in the woods. Though we can no longer add large game to the freezer, the best planning for next year, is right now. Read More
Rutting whitetail’s are simply amazing. The ability to call in a buck, and harvest him within 20 yards, is an awesomely testosterone charged event. When those levels of testosterone come back down, following the winding down of estrusing does, we find ourselves in late season. Rifle season has either passed or is ongoing, depending on the state in which you live. Hunting pressure on these animals has educated them enough to compete on the local debate team, and right when one comes within 40 yards, someone else’s gun shot spooks them away. Ah, late season. How I hate you so. But… I still love you.
To some of us, the hunter hasn’t changed much in the hundreds of thousands of years that have passed since it was an acceptable social title. Waking up under a star-covered sky, grabbing the weapon that is an extension of ourselves, and heading off in the woods in order to feed our family, is our priority. We rough out the weather, terrain, and mental frustration of bagging game in order to provide. There are many of us who experience a lifestyle such as this much like our ancestors did ages ago.
Most mornings, when I’m preparing to enter the woods, I probably resemble a guy that’s about to go on a date with that one girl – you know, the good looking one you’re buddy’s wife set you up with. The amount of indecisive clothing decisions is at times, completely embarrassing, to say the least. Camouflage pattern choices, colors of flannel, hats, neck gaiters, gloves, the whole bit. I’m most likely in the “obsessive” category of hunters and camouflage. Because of this, next year I will be committing to one year of bowhunting without the aid of commercial camouflage. I will be doing this in order to break myself of the never ending laundry cycles and spending far too much money on hunting clothing. There is definitely an effectiveness of being dressed properly though – camouflage or not. Read More
When I first started hunting deer, around the age of 12, I could never understand how a deer could detect me. It honestly wasn’t until I was in my early 20’s that I started to pay attention to the wind and practice my scent control. It almost seems like the deer have gotten smarter over time and progressed with our technologies. Or, that could just be my excuse for still getting busted from time to time. Read More
Throughout my time in the woods and conversing with others who enjoyed the same past times, bragging rights typically revolved around several things…
Though there are nothing wrong with these feats, so long as they are accomplished as ethically as possible and legally, in a pursuit with the stick and string you may be let down if these are your goals. Our culture and upbringings taught us these feats are necessary to be considered a “good hunter.” To me the ultimate measure of success in pursuit of an animal is how close I can get. When I find myself in the situation where that animal is within 20 yards, it’s almost as though I slip into a different state of mind. Closing this gap between and animal and myself, has proven to be the most crucial step in successfully harvesting game with traditional archery equipment. Read More