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Published by bargyle6550 on 30 Jan 2013

RIVERSIDE ARCHERS

Feb shoot

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Published by dandu005 on 25 Oct 2011

Bowhunting in Reality

Looking through today’s hunting publications, what do you see? Page after page of celebrity hunters holding up freakishly large deer that surpass even the limits of our dreams. Usually these images are displayed on the ad pages promoting some sort of product that is supposed to be the cause for the fall of the monarch. While I will say I do like watching some of these celebrity hunters and enjoy their shows, I feel what they are promoting is being misinterpreted by the public. We the public are starting to believe we must shoot big mature bucks, and that trophy hunting is coming to be the one accepted method in the woods. Shooting a young buck will lead to scoffs and criticisms from “much greater” hunters who think highly of their commitment to trophy hunting. In reality, the typical deer hunter doesn’t have access to land that is capable of producing record book bucks consistently like TV hunting personalities do. Big mature bucks are far more rare than most people realize, and that is where this misinterpretation can lead to problems for us hunters. We work so hard for something that quit possibly may not be possible that we no longer enjoy the sport and forget what hunting is about. In these modern day magazines, I am also noticing a rise in the number of articles being published about this issue. The authors are attempting to pursuade people into seeing what the world of hunting is turning into. More and more hunters are losing sight of what is important to the hunt, that is the hunt itself and not the kill. The world of hunting is turning into an unquenchable thirst for shooting the biggest deer in the woods, and if you don’t do so you fail as a hunter. Much too often it seems we find ourselves scrutinizing others for taking lesser deer than our standards. This is brought about by the false interpretations we get from the media. Remember this, the memories we make afield with our friends and family beat any trophy that can ever be harvested. Realizing what hunting really means to you and hunting within your means and reality will lead to an enjoyable experience for all rather than a struggle amongst ourselves.

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Published by billhowardoutdoors on 07 Apr 2011

Persistence Pays

My daughter has always been interested in my hunting and fishing trips. Several years ago, I carried her out to the field to let her shoot the old Ithaca 20 gauge shotgun I grew up with to get her used to handling it so she could go on a dove hunt with my dad, my son, and I. The kick did not bother her, but she hated the BANG. She wanted no part of gun hunting.
Over the last few years, she has wanted to go bow hunting with me, and she has helped me when I was practicing several times. We purchased another bow for my son this Christmas, since he had outgrown the youth bow we had for him. Naturally, it became a hand down to Julianne. I had to adjust the draw length and draw weight for her, but at the time, she still could not pull the bow back. I told her to keep practicing pulling it back and by spring when the red horse sucker fish make their annual run, she could go bow fishing with me.
Bow fishing in itself is a very unique style. It is set up with a line attached to a heavy solid core arrow, tipped with a barbed point. When aiming, the saying goes “aim low”, because the refraction of the light through the water makes the fish appear at a higher angle. Think of looking at a straw in a glass of water. The straw is not really bent, but it looks that way through the glass. Also, unlike bow hunting, where you are trying to get a clean kill by hitting the vitals, bow fishing just requires you to hit the fish. Your object is to get the fish on the arrow and then bring it in.
Well, over the first few months of this year, Julianne pulled and pulled and pulled. Finally one night, she called me and my wife into the living room. “Watch! I can pull it back now!” Her excitement caused my son to roll his eyes!
Just as they do every year, the sucker fish made their spawn in late March, and as I had promised, the first night I saw they were running I carried Julianne out to the creek banks. For a period of a week, and easily over a hundred attempts, and through several bow fishing arrows (the rocky bottom of the creek is not that great on the fish points) Julianne and I attempted to get her first take with a bow. We went at night using a light, went during the day using polarized glasses, I honestly believe she probably went in her dreams while sleeping. Occasionally she would take a break, and my son and I would get a few fish, then she would be at it again.
My regular job allows me to work four days each week, and during the sucker run, my weekday off was on a Friday. I usually carry the kids to school on my day off, so I made my usual track. After dropping my son off at high school, we still had an hour before Julianne was due at middle school. I looked over at her and asked, “Wanna try one shot?”
She answered, but did not need to. We ran out to the creek. She strapped on her release while I was driving. “Julianne, do you know what the saying is for snipers?”
“No, daddy.”
“One shot, one kill. They cannot afford to shoot twice because the second shot will give away their cover. We’ve only got time for one shot this morning, and there is no guarantee the fish will be here this afternoon.”
We walked down to the bank and spotted several fish. They were a little too far, so I motioned for her to follow me upstream a few yards. There we spotted one about ten feet out. I had Julianne pull back her bow. “Now?” she asked. I whispered to her to take the shot when she was ready. And ‘twang’, ‘splash’. She backed up a few feet.
“You got one!” She had not even noticed. We both grabbed the line, and pulled it up on the shore.
Her persistence had paid off, and now there is another kid hooked to the outdoors.

Bill Howard’s columns can be read at www.billhowardoutdoors.com

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Published by billhowardoutdoors on 04 Apr 2011

Through a Child’s Eyes

North Carolina offers youth days for hunting some species each season. It gives the youth a chance to go out and have an adult guide them through a hunt, allowing only the child to take a shot. April 2 is youth day for turkey. Bearing that in mind, I feel obligated to share a story a new friend, Chase Shepherd shared with me.

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I closed my eyes while my dad smeared camouflage face paint on my forehead. “Just hold still. We’re almost done,” he whispered. I was ready for the hunt to begin. I loaded my gun, strapped on the gun rest, and put on my hat. “Got everything?” Dad whispered.
“Yeah,” I replied, while I too, was in a whisper.
We started walking back to the area my dad picked to hunt. “Today’s the day you’re killin’ a turkey,” Dad whispered.
“I hope so” I whispered back.
My dad stopped about five minutes later and whispered, “Go sit at that tree, I’m gonna’ set up the decoys.”
“Okay,” I replied.
???? I did my best walking over, trying not to make any noise. I finally stopped at the tree and watched my dad set up the last decoy. It was still dark out so we had enough time to sit down and get comfortable.
Dad sat down first, and then I sat down in between his legs. He set his gun up against the tree and then instructed me to practice aiming on the decoys.
?? The sun just started to rise, and all I heard was gobbling. It was crazy! Then my dad started calling. He did some average hen calls, and that’s when he whispered, “Don’t move!” My mind started racing! Is this really going to happen? Is it a big one? Am I ready? I started to shake as I glanced over. It was a big tom, beard dragging the ground, walking back and forth. “Don’t move,” Dad whispered again.
Then the turkey heard a hen across the creek behind us, and never came in. I was devastated. When all of the sudden, “Here comes two more!” Dad whispered. It wasn’t over yet. My heart started pounding once again. The two turkeys were running to us! I gripped the cold metal of my gun. Then they jumped up, and started attacking our decoy, they were flying in the air, and hitting it with their spurs.
I pulled the trigger, but not hard enough. Since the gun didn’t fire I had to wait for another open shot.
Finally the time came. One of the turkeys stopped, and stared right at us. This time I squeezed the trigger, and the turkey dropped. My dad shot at the other turkey, but it was flying and he missed.
We stood up and started high-fiving and fist-bumping.
“You smoked him buddy!” Dad exclaimed.
Then we walked over to claim my trophy. When we got there we exchanged high-fives again. “You killing a turkey means more to me than me killing one,” Dad said.
When we got back to the truck, we started to take pictures. Some were with Dad’s cell phone and others with the digital camera.
That was the greatest day of my life. It was exciting, fun, and most of all…an adrenaline rush.

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I believe Chase gives us an inside look at how a child feels sharing the outdoors with his parent. It is a memory that will last long after his dad can no longer go out in the fields, yet it is also a memory he will surely share with his kids in the future. I am also sure if you asked Chase’s dad about that day, he too would agree it was one of the greatest days of his life as well.

Bill Howard is an avid bowhunter, hunter education and IBEP instructor, and outdoors columnist for the Yancey County News and Wilson Times (North Carolina). You can read his blogs and catch video on www.billhowardoutdoors.com.

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Published by bhowardoutdoors on 22 Dec 2010

Why Hunt?

I’ve been given the honor and opportunity to write a blog about something I dearly love and enjoy.  Who could pass up a chance to write a blog on hunting and fishing?  So with the pertinent task of coming up with something so special that it would send the public into a frenzy to read this blog, I began wondering; do I open with a short autobiography?  Well, that would certainly send everyone into frenzy, but not the type the I would like!

How about a few stories of hunting successes this season?   That will surely follow, and at the end of the blog will be a contact address for you to send information and pictures of your trophies. But for the first blog, I’ve decided to explain why we hunt, what we hunt, and why it is important.

Fred Bear, a man known as the father of bowhunting, once said “Don’t base the fun or experience of hunting on whether you get an animal or not.  The kill is way, way down the line.  You can enjoy the woods.  You can enjoy the companionship of the birds, and the fish, and the animals, the color of the leaves…”  It really holds true.  Some of my best experiences have been without the climactic shot to bring down the game.  Every fisherman remembers the ‘one that got away’, but may not be able to tell you anything about the three fish she caught two weeks ago.  The beauty of God’s canvas with you being an integral but non-invasive part of it, that’s really the goal.

As outdoorsmen, our targets are usually the majestic whitetail deer with a crown of bone, or we may hope to bring in the strutting tom eager to meet a new mate.  The trout may be fooled into attacking a cork with feathers believing it to be an unlucky insect.  All have garnered our passions; our unrelenting efforts in pursuit of the biggest and most beautiful of Darwinian challenges.  We have entered nature’s domain, and blended in and became part of nature.  We accepted the challenge and try to conquer nature in its own territory.

 We come up with reasons for hunting and fishing, such as nature tends to overproduce, or disease and famine will destroy more wildlife than hunters if we do not help balance the carrying capacity of the land. But really, what I have found goes back to what Fred Bear stated. I do not have the first dove I killed mounted on the wall. But I do have a fond memory of hunting with my grandfather and my father. I was using an old Ithaca 20 gauge side-by-side that my grandfather and father used as a child. I also have a wonderful memory, and fortunately, a wonderful picture of my son and I walking off a field in Eastern North Carolina with two tundra swan on our shoulders.  My son used the old Ithaca 20 gauge side-by-side that I used as a child.  Hunting is a bridge of generations.  It’s a constant with many variables.   It’s something we must protect, but we must not abuse.  This is why we do what we do and why we enjoy it so.

I look forward to sharing your hunting and fishing experiences, as well as thought provoking and entertaining insights through this blog each week.

 Bill Howard is a Hunter Education and Bowhunter Education Instructor , a Wildlife Representative and BCRS Program Chairman for the North Carolina Bowhunters Association, and an avid outdoorsman.  Please forward any pictures or stories you would like shared to billhowardoutdoors@gmail.com.

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Published by trutested on 17 Dec 2010

Dangerous Encounter

As a hunter there are certain hunts that just stay with you and actually drive you to get off your butt and hike the miles required to find the game your after. These memories stick with you and you remember what is the most important about the sport of hunting. Those little unexpected discoveries each and every day that you have to look for and be in touch with the energy of the outdoors to see but most of all, Feel! My Javelina season in the mountains near Ashfork, Arizona was the perfect theater for this moment to play out.

Joining me on this hunt was my boss Greg, Sam, and the mortgage guy Dave. We had obtained leftover tags after missing the original draw because of busy work schedules and downright forgetfulness. Luckily I found that all the tags were not drawn and even though the area is just not known for great populations of Javelina I had spotted a herd the year prior and had a good notion where to find some pigs. After finding out we had the tags I traveled up a couple weeks prior and scouted the area. I found some tracks in the area and felt like I was in the right place so I told the guys and in a couple weeks the hunt was on!
We entered the area after staying the night in Flagstaff at Greg’s cabin the weather decided to not lend a hand and a snow storm was on it’s way. We had to go home early that day after spending only a few hours in the field. No big deal good friends and not at work, no problem! The journey back to the cabin was an adventure to say the least! The snow really fell and gridlock was upon us on the I-40. The next day things were about the same and because the area I’d scouted was quite a ways from Flag we decided to try a spot Dave had heard about near Ashfork. I did not know the area at all but it looked promising lots of cover, cliffy mountains, caves the whole bit. We parked the vehicles and I headed out while Greg and Sam decided to sit water. I gave Sam my .223 because I wanted to attempt and harvest my pig with my bow. With the fellas at the water Dave went out on his quad to search for tracks and I set out on foot. After about 300 yards I topped out on a ridge and instantly spotted sign. Deer, Elk and javelina had been working in the thick junipers and I was feeling excited. I found a game trail and followed it for about 100 yard when I discovered a fresh lion track. Bah Bump, Bah Bump my heart thumped in my chest. This track was only about an hour old! I followed the tracks for a while but my senses came back to me. I have a bow! Not the best weapon to have when going against 150 pound of killing machine. So I go from kitty mode back to pig mode but nevertheless stoked to see sign of all the critters. I journeyed for probably another mile or so and came to a cliff face. I scaled down to the base and searched for sign found a skull of a javelina and decided to get above and check the base of the entire cliff from there. As I walked into a u-shaped part of the cliff I noticed a lion scrape at the base of the juniper. Holy cow! He is close by! I round the corner about 100 yards away and see motion in the thick brush believing it’s probably a pig I nock an arrow and go on a few steps forward. Again the movement and then it looks up and I see white on its chest and this is no pig! The lion who’s track I’d seen and scrape I’d just passed sat below me not 20 yards away. I froze! What the heck do I do now! He has me located and I have a damn stick in my hand! I kneel down slowly and try and gain control of my adrenalin my heart is pounding like a drum and I have to make a choice. We stare at each other for about 5 minutes the rock under my knee is creating some serious pain and I have no clean shot! Finally I have to move I draw back my bow and whoosh the Lion jumps 10 feet to the top of the cliff at the opposite edge and as quiet as a mouse runs away! What a moment! Did that just happen. I have hunted for 25 years and observed barely a tail of a lion and now I had just had one 20 yards away.! What a day my life as a hunter is complete! Bury me now cuz it gets no better!

As I returned to the place where my friends were, taking about 20 foot strides I recall the elation and great excitement. I couldn’t help but yell and thank God for that moment. My senses were wired and alive, I felt like I could do anything. As I pretty much screamed the story to my buddies they were in absolute amazement. To this very day that memory sticks with me like it was yesterday. So everyday when I awake and say you know I think I’ll sleep in or stay inside where it’s warm I’m reminded of what I could miss out on.

Thanks for reading God Bless

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Published by KurtD on 14 Jan 2010

DO NOT POST ITEMS FOR SALE IN THIS SECTIONS (Blogs and Articles)!

This section of Archerytalk is just for Blogs and Articles.

Please use the Archerytalk Forums TO POST A FREE CLASSIFIED AD

Thanks,

admin

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Published by idahoelk on 27 Jul 2009

Bowhunting Excuses!!

I have hunted many years both with a Rifle and a bow but 20 years ago I put my rifles away and went exclusively to archery and since that time I have heard and read as well as used several excuses to blame failure on!!!!!! But it seems they all had the same result Operator Error!!! I also try to keep up as most of you do on all the new inovations in the archery business to up the odds so to speak but again it still comes down to ME!!!!!! I have heard so many complaints about broadheads not leaving good bloodtrails on well placed shots, there are a few occasions where it just happens but for the most part I have come to find out that the broadheads were not sharpened after the purchase. All I hear is that I took my practive head off and put a new one right out of the package on!!!!!!  I for one will not place my once in a lifetime shot in the hands of chance, dont be lazy it does not take that long to touch them up and make sure they are at there best!!!!

    This is not a chance to take shots at anyone or any product I just wanted to post this to help some of my fellow archers in a problem I have heard about for many years. I have worked in the archery retail business and can tell you first hand that the broadheads are not as sharp as they could be right out of the packagesome in fact I was able to press them very firmly to my skin and drag the blade without cutting myself!!!! Keep that in mind!!!!

   I have also witnessed fellow archers shooting practice shots in camp and an hour later hunt with the same heads without touching them up! The broadhead must be sharp my friends its all about getting the animal to bleed out as fast as possible so the animal does not suffer and also so we can recover them, I am no saint when it comes to this I learned my lesson years ago but some seem to be blocked from this concept. If you want to up the antie in your favor keep them razor sharp my friends and you will enjoy this sport even more.

  Sorry for the rampage but I just gone through listening to another lost animal story that was blamed on the broadhead that person chose….. He too never sharpened his heads “it said on the package caution very sharp” lol

I wish you all the best this year on your hunts.

Always
Idahoelk

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Published by airborne49719 on 08 Jul 2009

The Journey from Right hand shooting to Left hand!

 

    I was introduced to archery at a very young age. This was kind of expected of the boys from our family that grew up in the back woods of the eastern end of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. My first bow was a 30 to 50 LB Darton compound bow. My dad bought it for my 11Th Birthday. It had no sights and when I asked my dad why the bow didn’t have sights he replied with “you have to earn them” so I asked being young and naive “how do I earn them then” and that is when he told me. When you can put six arrows in a pie plat at 15 yards I will get you sights for your bow. I spent all summer shooting that year trying to put six arrows in a pie plate. This was a hard task to accomplish at my age and at times I got so discouraged I just wanted to quite but my passion for hunting at this age had only begun. As the summer went by I tried my best but could never really get the hang of it completely.  My dad would watch and coach me telling me that I was dropping my arm or I wasn’t keeping my anchor points the same it was ruff. Plus my fingers would hurt from shooting for hours.   

  

    Then one day my dad while he was watching and coaching me I got really frustrated I was at 15 yards and still could not get my group to get any smaller than the size of a plate. He started to talk to me about  when I was even younger and how he would take me with him some times to meet a group of guys that always came to the Upper Peninsula from Ohio to bow hunt. These guys were quite the group they loved to party and tell stories about when they were younger and all the trouble they got into as they grew up.  For a kid it made going to deer camp so much fun. But it was there at deer camp around all those guys and my dad that I had learned about instinctive shooting. All the guys would get ready for opening day by pulling out a hundred dollar bill and put them on the bail of hay. The first one to put the arrow in the center of the bill at 20 yards won that round then they would back up to 30 yards and do it all over again sometimes they would even go as far as trying to do trick shots. It was this day that I remembered all the guys out shooting at those bills. How could they do it, what were they doing that I wasn’t. Then I realized they were just honing there skills to make them selves better and having fun while doing it.

 

    My dad asked me why don’t you go back to 5 yards and shoot. I looked at him and said but dad I have already mastered the pie plate at those ranges. That is when he reminded me about those guys and him shooting at the hundred dollar bills at 20 yards.  He then told me that if I move back up to 5 yards.  I would need to start working at grouping my arrows tighter in the target and picking different points on the target to aim at and you will improve. I took his advice and moved back up to the 5 yard mark and shot at the target like he told me. I felt like I had started all over again. But to my surprise I learned pretty quick that my grouping was not all that great and when I picked different points on the target I would be a half inch to a inch off.   I finally got the hang of it after I went back to the 5 yard mark and started over.  It was the summer I turned 12. I finally was able to put the six arrows in the pie plate at 15 yards. I got my sights and to boot my dad got me the new ball bearing release.  

 

    I have shot my fair share of deer in the past years with my bows that I have owned. I joined the Army in August of 2001 and it wasn’t till I deployed in February 2007 for Operation Iraq Freedom that would change my life. While I was deployed in Iraq we lost our first Soldier in March 2007 to a vehicle born improvised device. It was a dump truck loaded with 16,000 lbs of explosives that put a thirty foot crater in the ground. Since that day we had minor casualties up until August 2007.  When a Black Hawk crashed and Fourteen Soldiers perished in the wreck from the 25thInfantry Division. It was the day of the memorial service for the fourteen. My whole Company went to the memorial service paying there respect to the fallen Soldiers. I am not sure to this day why I left early to go back to my office but I did. It was there at my office where I meet SGT Collins, CPL Cornell, and PFC Axtell. I let every one in the office mind you that our office was your basic tin garage package minus the garage doors.  I was sitting at my desk and just finished talking to SGT Collins and CPL Cornell as they turned to leave and PFC Axtell was just entering the building from smoking a cigarette.  When a 127mm Brazilian rocket land five meters from the building. SGT Collins was KIA instantly he also took the brunt of everything that would have hit me. CPL Cornell was seriously wounded he received multiple wounds to his legs and upper body. PFC Axtell was also seriously wounded both of his legs were severed off at the waste. I was not wounded as bad as everyone else due to SGT Collins being only a foot and half away from me and taking the brunt of the shrapnel that would have hit me. I was the only one to walk out of that building on my own two feet that day. CPL Cornell and PFC Axtell are both doing really good and are a big inspiration to me on how i live my life now. PFC Axtell now SPC is out of the Army and has competed in two triathlon’s since he was wounded.

  

  I was very lucky that day for I must of had someone watching over me. I received shrapnel wounds to my right eye, top of the head and down the left side of my body. I was medivac to ballad, Iraq were they did my first surgery on my right eye to remove a large junk of shrapnel from my cornea that was allowing the fluid to leak out from my eye. I was then medivac back to Brook Army Medical Center in Texas. It was at Wilford Hall in Texas that I meet a Air force Doctor (Dr. Lane). He conducted my second Surgery which consisted of removing the rest of the shrapnel that was in my right eye and draining all the bad fluid and blood, he also did a lens transplant and sewed my Iris shut this surgery took around three hours. Since then I had a detached retina surgery in June 2009 to boot.  The seriousness of the eye injury is why I am here writing today it has been almost two years since that day in Iraq and my shooting style had to change.

 

    I just recently purchased my first left handed Compound Bow a Mathews Hyperlite.  But it took me a long time to finally switch to a left hand bow but I am glad that I did.  When I first got back from the hospital in September 2007 I was stationed at Fort Riley, KS the home of Monster Whitetail. I went straight into trying to make pins for my hoyt bow that would allow me to shot my right handed bow. I went to home depot and purchased some threaded rod 1/8 inch and took the dermal and started to make the pins I then found a old cobra sight bracket it all fit together perfectly but the bow look hideous. I didn’t care as long as it worked. The second time out in the woods I forgot my glasses and I took a stick to the right eye walking out in the dark so that ended archery season that year for me. I was then sent to Fort Carson, Co in June 2008 I love it here. I got so excited when I got out here “Elk” was the only thing I could think of and archery season was coming. I got my hoyt out and started to practice but after shooting right handed with my left eye it started to feel uncomfortable and I wasn’t sure why. I passed up a spike elk that season at 36 yards because I started to doubt myself and the ability to shoot right handed with being left eye dominate now.

 

    So in February of 2009 I bought a Mathews Hyperlite. This bow is awesome and Bill set me up right in every way. I went in to the Archery hut here in Colorado Springs and talked to the owner Bill about my situation and explained what I was looking for in a bow. He pulled his bow out from the office and said this is my hunting bow a Mathews right handed Hyperlight. He says its smooth easy to pull and light for packing around after elk. He let me shoot his hyperlite and I fell in love with that bow. After I shot it I looked at Bill and told him to order me one in left hand 55 to 65 lb pull.

 

   

I have been going to the range every chance I get to shoot it.  Took only two weeks to make the switch completely of brushing my right arm with the string and get the form of left handed shooting down. I am now once again chomping at the bit for elk archery season to begin. I will say this much from shooting right handed to switching to left handed it takes practice and it can be done. I am now shooting as good if not better left handed then I was right handed all because of the growing pains that I went through as a kid and learning how to shoot instinctive.  If you are going to learn you must be able to step back and think about everything you are doing in all situations to be able to grow in life.              

  

SGT Bennett

United States Army

 

“An army of deer led by a lion is more to be feared than an army of lions led by a deer.”

Chabrias 410–375 B.C. 

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Published by DuckBuckGoose on 28 Sep 2008

Why Do We “Cling” To Guns & Religion? (and bows :-)

As I write this article we are in midst of the strangest part of an election season –  when all the political stops come out. It can be a time of frustration for many Americans, because we see our country being torn across “party-lines” as we attempt to align our beliefs with one candidate’s set of philosophies vs. the other. At times like these I often wonder if most people really stop to consider the fundamental beliefs they actually hold, or if they are largely persuaded into assuming a “politically correct” way of thinking by their peer groups, their co-workers, their trade unions or the various biases spewed into our culture by the mainstream media. My fear, as an American, is that it may be the latter. And I believe this “politically correct” way of thinking is a serious threat to America, the sport of hunting and our personal freedoms.

Second Amendment - U.S. Bill of Rights

Second Amendment - U.S. Bill of Rights

Some define “political correctness” more narrowly, as the avoidance of using language that insults people who are perceived as socially disadvantaged or discriminated against. That’s not what I’m talking about here. And as someone that wants to protect the freedoms of sportsmen, I feel we have a duty to fight for our rights and beliefs, but also to be kind and respectful of others as we do so. If do not, we will surely lose.

In the context of protecting hunters’ rights, “political correctness” could be defined as the avoidance of seeking, telling or exposing the truth, so as not to disagree with popular opinion or offend any person, party, or interest group. To take that thought a step further – if a person is concerned with being “politically correct” and fails to seek, tell or expose the truth, they are likely living a life not based on solid foundational principles; but one that one that blows about and changes course with the social and political winds.

One of the U.S. Presidential candidates during this particular election year made a comment on the campaign trail about how mid-westerners “cling to guns or religion”. As a mid-westerner myself, I was struck by this comment. And although I perceived it to be condescending in how it was stated, I also believe it to be true.  Unlike the candidate who said it, I believe this “clinging” to be a very good thing for America.

Let’s face it, guns and religion are not viewed as “politically correct” or popular in much of today’s society – and are certainly not portrayed in a positive light by the mainstream media. However, many of us do place great value on guns and religion, treat them with respect and reverence and protect them with vigor – even when it may be unpopular to do so. That’s because our freedom to bear arms and practice our faith are based upon core, unwavering principles and inalienable rights that we know to be true, and good, and American. In this particular case, they are based upon the foundational principles found in our faith and The U.S. Bill of Rights.

The religion discussion is a big one, and this is not the proper article or forum to discuss it in depth.  So, for now, let us focus on the “guns” part. Specifically, on the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights – the name by which the first 10 amendments of the U.S. constitution are known.

The Second Amendment says this:

“A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”

Gun control advocates claim that the second amendment was written to protect the rights of various state governments to arm and preserve their militias – as opposed to protecting the rights of all citizens and protecting our right to possess arms for personal use and protection (which includes protection from the government itself). Upon further research into what the founding fathers were actually thinking, it becomes clear that they were in favor of protecting the rights of all citizens to bear arms. Let’s look at what the founders actually said.

In a first draft of the proposed constitution for Virginia Thomas Jefferson said

“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”

And in a letter to William Smith in November of 1787, Jefferson said:

“And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms…The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

Patrick Henry, a man well known for his support of the protection of liberty said:

“Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?”

And George Mason, during the debates on the ratification of the Virginia constitution said the following on June 14, 1788:

“…to disarm the people, that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”

Does this sound like our forefathers were concerned with the rights of state governments to arm their militias? I don’t think so. It seems quite clear that they were on the side of the people, protecting our rights to bear arms for our own use and protection.

If we don’t continue to speak out about the issues we care about. If we continue to let the media convince voters to buy into a “politically correct”, anti-gun, anti-religion, anti-hunting world-view; the very core values we hold and the outdoor lifestyle we love are at risk.

I know not what course others may take; but as for me, I will continue to be politically incorrect.  I will continue to speak out to protect our freedoms. And yes, I will continue “clinging” to my guns and religion. They are forever tied to my core values, and I hope they are to yours as well.

DuckBuckGoose – September 27, 2008

 

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