Friday, August 15, 2008

Hunting this weekend

Well, I'm off for the wilds of the Sierra Nevada foothills, bowhunting after the elusive mule deer. As my Dad said, "it's no worse than growing corn."

I hunt with a recurve bow made by AIM/Samick. You may see the brand at the Olympics, but only if you spend 30 minutes delving into the bowels of the NBC website. If you do, check them out, because it is one of the most dramatic competitions you will see.

Anyway, my bow isn't of the caliber of the olympic ones, but it has given me the chance to take a deer for the first time in my life, two years ago. I switched to a recurve, and became a better hunter, because I slowed waaaay down, and listened more, and tried to hide myself much, much more. As I've said, I've since taken my first deer, and I've also seen the largest buck of my life, a moving, powerful experience that I'm sure to write about in the future.

I generally hunt with wooden arrows, cut-on-contact broadheads, and no sights. I hunt with a 25 pace shot restriction. For those of you who are interested in hunting, but have a problem with firearms, I recommend two things: 1) Go out shooting, with guns, with a person who has experience and also is nice enough to treat your unease with respect (I'll go, just ask); 2) go to a good archery shop (Jerry's Archery in Stockton and Wilderness Archery in Rocklin are two great ones) and ask to shoot a 30 lb. draw recurve or longbow at their range. Stay away from compound bows at first, unless you want to spend near to a grand and enjoy really techy gadgets. You can't hunt with a 30 lb. draw, but it will give you a good idea of the feel for a bow. If you like it, then shoot it for a few weeks, to build your back muscles (don't pull with your arms, but by squeezing your shoulder blades together), and then get a 45-55 lb. draw recurve or longbow. Shoot a few to get a feel for the one you like.

You can always ask questions here, or give comments on the nature of hunting and bowhunting.

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