The end of each archery season seems to leave us with the "what if" syndrome: “What if I let him take one more step?” “What if I made a better shot placement?” “What if I took the shot?” The list goes on, ending the season with mixed emotions on our performance and perhaps doubts about the next season.
As hunters, we need to hone our skills and equipment to their absolute best. Bows need to be at their maximum potential. Hours at the range will build confidence in order to make the next shot count. We owe that to the quarry we pursue.
Bow hunting is a game of nerves, testing us each time we draw on an animal, evaluating our own destiny every time we pull the trigger. Hunting a mature whitetail closes the window of opportunity, sometimes only giving a hunter few sightings throughout the season. When it happens, your heart skips a beat, opening room for error.
In the off season, hunting rough fish, such as carp and gar, can give you the confidence needed to excel in the sport of bow hunting. Shooting paper and 3D courses will help you to become one with your bow, but leaves out the determining factor as to how will you react in a live situation.
May showers begin warming the waters across the country, sparking the annual migration of invasive species -- fish that serve no purpose in our ecosystem and, in many cases, devastating our precious fisheries and waterways. One doesn’t have to go far to find such sport. Most tributaries and lakes supply hunters with more than an ample supply of these lake terrorists. Equipment is minimal. An older compound or recurve outfitted with a bow fishing reel and arrow will do. It's not necessary to use your high-tech hunting bow. The mechanics and instincts are the same.
Launching an arrow accurately at a moving fish demands concentration and an awareness of everything going on at that single moment in time. Refraction caused by surface tension, water depth, and knowing the limits of your bow all come into play. Details need to be double-checked before each shot -- fins or fur.
Bowfishing will give you the insight on anticipated shot placement and helps with follow-through on moving targets. Above all, it lets you know which shots you can make in certain situations, the same reflection required while overlooking a buck on high alert.
Over time, primal instincts will come into play. Hand-eye coordination and reaction time will improve. Confidence levels will rise, giving you the best advantage in any hunting situation, leaving you without doubt when quick decisions are required..
Written by David Lee