Don’t get me wrong, compound bows are great. They give an archery hunter many advantages, they’re just not my cup of tea. I admit it, I have an irrational fear of cables and pulleys. The more complex a system gets, the less I trust it. Just some primordial evolutionary baggage, I suppose. To me, archery is a simple thing: a thin, springy wooden slat with a string hung between the tips which tosses other wooden bits with razors attached to their ends. If it worked at C’recy and Agincourt, it’s good enough for me.
I don’t have anything against hunters who use compound bows. Heck, the Boss has one and loves it. I just think a traditional bow forces you to become a better archer. Uh-oh, are those compound bow fan boys gathering on my front lawn? Now before you think I’m some ultra-reactionary Luddite who uses tallow candles and washes my clothes in a cold stream once a year (whether they need it or not), I don’t insist on self-bows (made from a single wood) and wood arrows. I’m fine with composite construction and either metal or carbon fiber arrows. However, the latest spring-loaded, gimcrack arrow heads are right out. Give me a proper, cuts-on-contact broad-head, thank you. You have to draw the line somewhere!
I don’t use a release, either. Hey, this is archery. Putting a gizmo on your string which turns in into a rifle trigger seems to defeat the whole purpose, in my never humble opinion. Besides, I spent years as a boy perfecting my three finger release technique, and I’m gonna use it, thank you.
You have to get in close with a traditional bow, half the distance the newest GPS guided, JDAM compound bows allow. Sure it takes a certain skill to zap a critter from 60+ yards with a compound bow (or 900 yards with a .338 Lapua–looking at you, long-range hunters), but if you want a true hunting skill test, get up close and personal with your prospective dinner.
Now you may ask, does this rant have a purpose? Indeed. I had to tell you that story to tell you this one. Have a look at today’s video produced by ace hunter, Randy Newberg. He joins a friend for a hunt in Nevada. Not just any hunt, a public land, left over tag, DIY, mule deer hunt. Randy helps (?) his friend try to get close enough to bring a beautiful longbow to bear on those wily deer.
Before we watch, here are a few observations. All you rifle hunters pay attention, these guys show you skills you need, too. Wind awareness, stalking skill, and decoy use, among many others. Although, if you’re hunting during a general rifle season on public land, I wouldn’t wander around hidden behind a life-size deer or elk decoy. There are some stupid people out there who’ll shoot first and look later. You compound aficionados can learn some things here, as well. Without further ado, here’s the video.
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