After spending many years hunting exclusively with a rifle, you might ask why a redneck like me would pick up a bow. Several years ago, I was challenged by a friend who gave me a bow and said, “Here. Now go kill something with it.”
It wasn’t long before the challenge turned into an obsession that would rule my life. I quickly realized this bow hunting stuff wasn’t easy. But when faced with a challenge, I did what any man would do: I dug in my heels and refused to quit. After all, rifle season was long over and my house was full of girls. I could use any excuse to get outdoors.
I had my first encounter with a doe while holding a bow on a cold December morning. It was like experiencing the outdoors in HD. It rattled me. I’ve seen my share of does up close, but now with a bow in my hand with intentions of adding some venison to the freezer, it was a different game. I was shaking like a five-string tambourine at a pickin’ party.
Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to harvest a few bucks with my bow, and while I still enjoy the roar of a rifle, my passion for bow hunting continues to grow year after year. It gives me a sense of life that few things can rival. I don’t like telling anybody how they should hunt, not even my crazy cousins who get ready for deer season by installing quieter mufflers on their trucks. But I’ll tell you this: If you currently don’t bow hunt, you need to start.
The rush of emotion that bow hunting produces can be harder to shake than a lottery winner’s cousins. It will keep you picking up a bow every year, and there are other perks to start bow hunting: The season is longer. The encounters with nature are more personal and it breeds more appreciation for the outdoors. You never know what’s going to happen, and that’s what makes it great.
A lot of things can go wrong when bow hunting. It’s often hours of boredom, interrupted by seconds of literally breathtaking encounters (kinda like my honeymoon). But when everything comes together and I draw my bow, look through the peep sight and settle that pin on a buck’s vitals, I love that feeling. I have a hunch you will, too.
I’m challenging all non-bow hunters: This season, get a bow and go kill something with it!