ITLR: The Bow

“Any man with a rifle can scope an animal from 100 yards. When you make a kill with the bow, you are a pure hunter and show your prey the respect it deserves.”

i’ll NEVER forget these words when my Grand Father (my dad’s father) spoke them to me. i think i was about 11-12. i had just been given my first .22 long rifle. actually it’s pretty common for boys in the south to get a .22 as thier first gun. Paw-Paw was Houma tribe. hunting, fishing, and working the land was always a big part of his life. i remmber having to hoe a field for half a day; at 8. that should give you an idea of how Paw-Paw’s mindset.

once i got back stateside from Spain i KNEW i was going get the gun collection going again. each one (except the AR and MAC-10) have a purpose. the AR and MAC are just fun to shoot. but i ALWAYS wanted to get a bow. i went to a place out here that i had been patronizing for about a year and had gotten to know the owners. it’s a family run store, not corporate. i bought my turkey/duck gun (mossburg 500 cammo) for $200. it was listed at $300. this is my toy store.

green acres on normandy. jax florida

green acres on normandy. jax florida

said store has an archery department and a bowyer. nice guy. he asked me what i was looking for and i told him i had an interest in getting a bow, but didn’t want to drop $7-800 on a bow only to find out i didn’t really like shooting it. he told me he had a few used bows and he asked my price range. i said arounf $250. he brought down 2 bows and suggested the Matthew’s Mini-Mae. nice bow, felt comfortable, and he showed me how to grip it. i was sold.

he adjusted it to my arm legnth, got me a trigger, and a few arrows. once it was measured he too me to their indoor range and let me drop a few arrows at 30 feet. i was hooked. what i like about the bow is that it’s MINE. anyone can pick up one of my rifles and drop lead. if you tried to use my bow, you’ll NEVER be as effective with it as i am.

i like that.

and it’s not an easy task. haven’t gone shooting in a while, but after talking with my cousin the other day i was given permission to hunt her land whenever the hell i want. that means i need to practice shooting again. if you shoot and hit an animal. you are obligated to retrieve the body. so you better make damn sure you make a clean kill. to help matters out i bought THESE bad boys as my new broad heads. my buddy uses them and said he’s never had a deer make it more than 30 yards after a chest shot. it dies quickly.

that’s a good thing.

i’ve had one or two readers ask me bow questions and here’s my 2 cents on anyone looking to get into archery.

1- get a used bow. make sure it feels comfortable when you hold it. a reputable bowyer will NEVER try and make you buy a $900 carbon fiber body bow (see pic below) if you’re a noob.

2- have the bowyer set it to your measurements. pretty much a no-brainer. should be the first thing he does. my guy needed to adjust my bow twice to get the draw perfect.

3- know your draw strength. mine is set to 50lbs. if you’re a bigger guy, you could probably go to 75lbs.

4- invest in a good stabilizer. mine cost $75. makes all the difference in the world. i just barely grip my bow and it balances PERFECT without tilting. that’s what a stablizer does.

5- have your sights ajusted properly. the bowyer set me to 20, 40, and 60 yards.

6- all other crap is personal. arrow rest, lighted sights, lighted arrow nock, wrist strap. don’t spend too much until you know you’re going to really be using a bow often. but even now, i have no plans on getting a new bow.

7- when you actually start shooting. after you release the arrow, keep your eye on the target and follow the arrow until it hits the target. this will make you much more accurate. the bowyer that set up my bow gave me this tip.

a bow and it's parts.

a bow and it’s parts.

this is my bow. there are many like it but this one is mine.

this is my bow. there are many like it but this one is mine.

trust me, shooting a bow is a GREAT way to relieve stress. it’s such a primal tool that when you actually hold a real bow, you’ll be immediately hooked. man has used a bow as a weapon and hunting tool for centuries. and trust me, it’s NOT easy. but nothing worth doing ever is.

and think about it. if you hunt, and fire at and kill an animal, every damn thing in the woods knows people are about. a bow kill is silent, and you can retrieve your arrow and use it again. even if you only get the most basic set up and shoot once a week, i promise you’ll soon find a passion for it.

again, if you have any questions, feel free to email me.

stay up.

6 Comments on “ITLR: The Bow”

  1. unsigma says:

    Furthering Paw-Paw’s point, rare is the man that can shoot a bow out to 100 yards and kill a deer. I have see the hunting show guys (who do it for a living) hit deer at 50 yards but you and me 40 to 45 yards is the longest shot you will feel comfortable taking. The speed that they put out has really improved over the last decade, but flinging an arrow out 45 yards is not fast and it gives the deer time to drop – which makes your arrow sail right over them, or whirl – which makes your arrow miss completely.

    Bow hunting is personal. The deer has to be close. You have to draw your bow without attracting their attention. Not an easy thing to do if you don’t practice it. It also pays to practice drawing your bow siting down. You won’t use it much in real life, but that one time you use it you will be glad you tried it out before you had to go all sneaky-freaky on one directly under your stand. If you are 25 feet up in an autumn tree that has not even turned colors yet, let alone lost any leaves and the deer is 20 yards out, that is a steep angle through a myriad of branches/leaves and you have to practice all sorts of those “odd” shots. Game never comes from the direction you expect, so if you practice perfect flat-footed form all day at a bulls-eye, you might not be ready for ol Mr. Big Wide when he shows up.

    You will also want to invest in a Thermocell if you don’t have one. Best way to keep the skeeters off of you without having to douse in deet. I have a spare and a secondary spare. That is how important it will be to you when you use it. Skeeters will be swarming when you finally get up in your tree, start that Thermocell and in 5 minutes they will disappear! Walmart usually has them.

    YOU stay up

    • dannyfrom504 says:

      never hunted deer. i was too young. i never wanted to go when i got invited back in texas because i didn’t want to wake up at 4 am to drive to the hide.

      but that’s gonna change this fall. lol. but yeah, the bow is personal. there’s honor in using the bow. and it’s fucking difficult. picking up my cross bow today after work and the fist thing i’m gonna do is set the scope. i’mma put a laser pointer on the arrow guide, and adjust the scope to just above it. DEATH!!!! lol.

      On Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 2:53 PM, dannyfrom504 wrote:


      • unsigma says:

        Deer is the best red meat you will eat (outside of prime filet mignon). Had a backstrap from this years 8 point in the crockpot yesterday evening. There is not a roast out there that compares to that! I have a hard time eating regular ground beef in anything anymore venison (yankee talk) / deer meat has me spoiled.

        You probably know already, but those huge male hogs need their junk cut off as soon as he is dead. (its harder when they are alive – thems some ornery critters) If you don’t cut it off he will not be fit to eat. Cooking him will stink your whole house up if you don’t and the meat will taste horrible. I have only killed hogs with a gun and in most places in the south, they are a nuisance animal and you are allowed to shoot them year round with whatever round you like – like coyotes or nutria. Getting through that shoulder shield with a bow is tricky.

        Since you got the knife and the dogs, you can just use that.

        • dannyfrom504 says:

          i plan on using the cross bow just to kill them at first. not concerned with eating until i can help cosign get them under control. i plan on using the AK primarily.

          • unsigma says:

            Dude, there are faaaar too many processors out there that can take a wild hog and make some pretty decent sausage out there. Down there in Booger-Bottom Holler where you are they probably mix it with gator or possum or something and make a fine BOUDIN sausage! You got the artery cloggin GOLDMINE!!

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