Friday, February 22, 2008
What Is A Bow Hunter?
What Is A Bow Hunter?
The above title is a question that has often been asked of me, and it’s always a very difficult one to answer. A true bow hunter is a combination of many things, all of which are upstanding and good.
A bow hunter is ...
*A person who revels in nature, loves the outdoors, seeks a difficult challenge, equals the odds between hunted and hunter as much as possible, and who is finely tuned to the ways of the game we seek.
*One who seeks his or her game on a one-on-one basis, and who strives to get close enough to deliver a quick and certain death from a well-placed arrow.
*A person who masters accurate arrow placement, and one who spends long hours testing personal mettle against a whitetail buck that is more attuned to its surroundings than we are. This person shrugs off rain, forgets about windy weather, and laughs at a snow storm. Deer hunters hunt deer, and weather conditions are meaningless. We become one with the weather, and use it whenever possible, to our advantage.
*A hunter who thrills to the small things, and takes brief moments each day to savor the wildness of the animal being hunted and the land where such game lives. We don’t live for the kill; we live to have had the opportunity in this free society to hunt in a well regulated and legal manner.
*Someone who knows that getting close to game means knowing and playing the wind, studying the habits of deer, knowing how and when to move, and being one with his bow and the land. He or she finds more love in the act of hunting than in the act of killing although the two are ever-entwined and a respect for the game we hunt is most important.
*One who enjoys the fine feel of a smooth bow, the effortless drawing of the string, the smooth feel of a carbon arrow, and the “whisst” of a arrow leaving the bow. It’s the silent but straight flight of an arrow, and seeing the broadhead hit where we aim.
*Having the knowledge of deer habits that allow us to defeat the most important protections that deer possess: the sense of a deer hearing the faint whisper of clothing against rough bark; a flicker of movement as a hunter comes to full draw prior to a shot; or the deer’s sense of smell that allow them to pinpoint a careless human presence.
*More than just someone who takes but gives nothing back to nature. A bow hunter is more than a person dressed in camo clothing with a hunting license in his pocket. We are caring, giving folks, who pursue deer with a passion. We are superb hunters because we must be to get close shots at 15 to 20 yards. We are the supreme hunting predator, and we take pride in our accomplishments without having to brag.
*It is teaching our children, and our grandchildren, this ancient art of bow hunting. What we do is a time-honored tradition, and it is a way of life for us and for others who will follow the bow hunter’s creed.
*We, as avid bow hunters, are above-average in our hunting skills. We rely less on luck, and work hard to elevate those hunting skills that allow us to succeed. We hunt, not because our friends do, but because we must. We need to hunt and we must hunt in order to achieve these skills, and it is through long hours of practice that we become proficient.
We are bow hunters, and we are most proud of it.