The Rifle and the Bow

repost b/c i’m lazy…..

when i was a kid, i BEGGED my grandfather for a gun. he was Houma tribe, and he took outdoorsmanship seriously. before he’d get me a gun, he made me learn to run rabbits. which is little more than a survival tool to eat in the event you get lost in the woods.

when i got my rifle, i was ridiculously excited. my grandfather, who rarely spoke, said, “never shoot anything you won’t eat. never shoot anything not attacking you. a man can take with a rifle and eat. but a man that takes with a bow, will feast. taking game with a bow is the mark of a pure hunter.”

the words didn’t really register then, but they make total sense now. i have more than one rifle. one in particular is a deer gun. any man can pick up one of my rifles and take game. hell, i’ve taken more than blogger to the range to go shooting. Unka Mitch fired my rifles, i’ve fired his.

but the bow is different. the bow is MINE. a bowyer measured my bow specifically for me. the draw is set to my arms length. i don’t have a high end bow. i bought a used bow, and i have no plans on upgrading. i LOVE her. actually, i have the same bow as Unka Mitch. seriously. the first time i let loose a few arrows, i was hooked. what my grandfather told me made perfect sense.

any ass with a rifle can glass an animal from 100 yards and drop it, blood track it, and process it. the bow requires skill. i’m only good from about 40 yards. past that, i may miss. hunting 101: never take a shot you aren’t sure you can make. if you hit an animal you HAVE to track it and finish it off. don’t let the animal suffer, never maim it.

the rifle is a great weapon in your hunting arsenal. actually, it’s a staple. but the bow, the bow is the weapon of a TRUE hunter; a man that has taken the time to master it is a man that respects and honors the hunt as it’s MUCH more difficult to learn than the rifle.

don’t shy away from the bow, find a hunter who’ll teach you it’s power. any archer will be more than happy to teach you. as is in life, do you want to walk the easy path, or learn to master the difficult road?

get some.

stay up.

choose one

choose one


14 Comments on “The Rifle and the Bow”

  1. Twenty says:

    “[N]ever shoot anything you won’t eat. [N]ever shoot anything not attacking you.”

    Are those requirements additive? If so, the implications are disturbing.

  2. sunshinemary says:

    Wow, you bow hunt, too? Impressive!

  3. Twenty says:

    Passive aggressiveness- how cute sweetie.

    Actually, no, it wasn’t. It was a joke. I don’t do passive aggression. I do aggressive aggression.

    Now, what’s your problem with me?

  4. ar10308 says:

    Specs on the bow?

  5. Twenty says:

    If you were trying to be funny, you have the comedic sense of Leukemia. Sorry dude.

    Your first draft was classier. Pity you couldn’t let it be.

  6. The Navy Corpsman says:

    Never ever allow a woman to touch your bow. The power to give life is always greater than the power to take life, and your bow will never be the same. It took my father, grandfather and myself nearly 30 days to properly ritual my first bow. It took me, my son and my eldest grandson 4 months to properly dedicate his first bow. (My memory is going)

    Yes, I am a scientist by training and by education. Yes, this is superstition. Yes, my wife moved my bow, while sweeping the garage, the first year we were married. No, I did not stick a deer for three years, til I made a new bow. To say I was pissed off, would be a gross understatement. We went without meat many times, so that our children would have it, those early years of our marriage… even more so, when free meat was not available.

    Bois d’arc and horn, 105 lb recurve. 125 grain broadheads on Al shafts, and for fun, I make some flint warheads on cedar shafts. With the flint/cedar/turkey feathered arrows, I can just hit the barn from 20 paces. Of course, then I cannot remove the arrowheads, so I have to knap more.

    My grandfather used to say, “Hunting with a bow is the proper way to feed your family. Hunting with a rifle is just killing. Always give thanks to your prey, for feeding you and your family, breathe in the last breath of that which you have slain. Never take more than you can eat, never hunt when you are too old to draw your bow.”

    These skills are fast passing into oblivion, the concept of gratitude for an animal’s sacrifice is now archaic and laughed at. Worst of all, the idea that a man should feed his family (in any way) gains only a sneer and disdain from all sides. Women complain that being a woman is belittled, when we honor the ability to give life over that to take it.

    Despite the ignorance of many, I will continue to teach my sons and my grandsons how to hunt properly, so that they will always be able to feed their families. I do not need to teach them how to be men… that has been, and always will be, their decision. All I can do is teach what I know for myself, and it is up to them to decide what is good and what is not.

    The Navy Corpsman

  7. Johnycomelately says:

    Lol, running rabbits.

    My Grandfather told me the secret to catching rabbits was rubbing salt on their tales, until I saw the running rabbits link I never knew what he meant.

  8. solemnsentinel says:

    Nice post, just bought a savage .300 win mag today. Can’t wait to shoot that big basterd, but after reading this I think I’ll take my 60lb recurve along for some play time too.


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