“Be a two season hunter” was the battle cry of Fred Bear and the growing handful of archery hunting enthusiasts back in the roaring 60s. We all knew that anybody that celebrated the “aim small miss small” discipline of firearm’s marksmanship and the rewards of well-earned backstraps would truly enjoy the increased challenge of the mystical flight of the arrow and its demanding stealth.
Lucky me, I was born into a bowhunting family, my father already a keen follower of Michigan’s Fred Bear, and my natural youthful instincts to shoot bows and slingshots was merely a precursor to my life’s vision of gung-ho bowhunting addiction. Thank You Lord!
This timeless sport brings us so much indescribable joy, that I am relentless in my pursuit of recruiting as many new bowhunters as I possibly can, nonstop throughout the year in everything I do, say, write and promote. Know that it is that incredible.
With earlier, longer seasons, a ubiquitous, target rich environment, and the always developing and increasing state of the art technological advancements in equipment, I am convinced that hunting with the bow and arrow is the most accessible, universally enjoyable sport for the most widespread demographic anywhere anytime for anyone.
And if ever there was a magical, perfect place to bowhunt, no place on earth that I am aware of can hold a candle to the great Republic of Texas.
Africa provides phenomenal bowhunting opportunities, and Australia and New Zealand seem limitless for arrow targets. But Texas with its year round exotics, hog and varmint hunting, plus the longest deer season in the world, and small game galore, I believe there is no place like the Lone Star State for the arrow-flinging hardcores to satiate the urge to bowkill critters.
Though I use the term “flinging”, in reality nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to meaningful bowhunting, for as challenging as it is to become deadly proficient with firearms, it does take a thousand times the dedication to hit the vitals on big and small game with a properly executed arrow.
I do have many ridiculously gifted buddies who appear to casually point and draw their bows and fling arrows effortlessly into bull’s-eyes and critter lungs with ease, believe me when I tell you that such deadly accuracy comes only from painstaking, dedicated practice throughout the year.
Everybody knows that is doesn’t matter if we are shooting at a monster trophy elk or just a happenstance raccoon, as conscientious, reasoning predators we have a moral obligation to only take shots when we are certain of a quick, clean kill. Guns or bows, it is always Job 1. Know it. Do it.
With my indefatigable jihad to take Texas from the dead last to the number one bowhunting state in the nation, I am compelled to repeat ad nausem the mantra of “grace and stealth” to my fellow Texans and beyond. The absolute worst mistake one can make when attempting to get into bowhunting or archery overall is to purchase a heavy weight bow that is not smooth, graceful and totally nonintrusive to shoot effortlessly.
I repeat; Mrs. Nugent and many women and young people we know kill big game cleanly and constantly with lightweight bows in the 30- to 40-pound draw weight range. Some kids kill deer regularly with bows as low as 20 pounds, I kid you not.
Shooting these graceful bows makes the archery ballet more enjoyable, controllable and always delivers better accuracy.
I shoot a 50-pound bow and assure you we don’t buy chicken.
With more and more professional, knowledgeable archery pro-shops around these days, be sure you insist on a graceful bow that is very easy to draw when it is set at its maximum draw weight. Though many compound bows nowadays perform really well when backed down, a bow maxed out always performs more efficiently.
Of course there is no better way to be baptized into archery like a good old fashioned recurve or longbow, but do be sure too that no matter what kind of bow you choose, make sure it is graceful and smooth every time you draw her back.
Arrows, broadheads, nocks, fletching, rests, sights, grips, quivers, string loops, cable slides, vibration dampeners, silencers, releases, peep sights, stabilizers, the list of accessories and goodies we can add on to our bows can be dazzling and dizzying to the newcomer. Take it slow and easy, ask lots of questions to more than a few bowhunting friends and contacts, and know that killer arrow accuracy can be much more frustrating than killer bullet accuracy.
Start slow, shoot lots of arrows at real close range, say five to ten yards till you get the feeling, then discover the natural hand, eye, shoulder, back, arm, trigger finger, mind, body, spirit and soul coordination that is this incredible act of being one with the path of our arrow.
I promise you this’ pursued with diligent, thoughtful, intelligent dedication, you will become an American Bowhunting BloodBrother and your life will accelerate to a new high and happiness.
Now share that with everyone you know, and watch the smiles grow and the backstraps flow.