I was introduced to Archery Talk by a close friend over a year ago. In that time I have poured through countess threads and have tripled my knowledge regarding bow hunting techniques, tactics, gear and a plethora of other topics. I have viewed hundreds of photos, agreed and disagreed with hundreds of opinions, and sacrificed hours of work as a result. (It is a good thing it was my boss who introduced me to Archery Talk!)
I believe these forums to be one of the best in the hunting world. It allows archers (hunters) from many backgrounds to share their best practices, successes and failures with each other. Through all of my time spent lurking about in the AT forums (specifically the Bowhunting forum), I have observed several idiosyncrasies that, if modified, can bring Archery Talk to a “World Class” level. As with everything stated in AT, take it or leave it; which brings us to number 1:
1) It isn’t personnel! If something does become too personnel, that is what the Mods are for. These forum’s foundations are based ENITRELY on opinions. Don’t let someone’s opinion dictate a negative response. Many threads seem to start to spurn heated discussions. Usually ignoring said comments will squash the situation leaving more time and energy to “quality” threads. If you absolutely cannot hold back simply (and politely) state your opinion and agree to disagree.
2) Use the search function. I do not have many posts. There are two reasons for this: 1. There is almost always a user that shares the same opinion as myself and has posted it already. 2. I use the search function. I have had many questions regarding gear, scents, strategies, etc. Instead on jumping right into creating a new thread, I search the topic first. 9 times out of 10 there are several threads that address my question(s) that have already been posted. Not only does this save me from waiting for some answers, it cuts down on some of the “noise” in the forums. Do we really need to see another post of pictures of the color of our fletchings?
3) Enough with the broadhead complaints and comparisons! Refer to number 2! Until (If) we get a sub-category for broadheads can we cut down the broadhead bashing? (refer to number 4) The exception to this is where there have been a true comparison test (there have been a couple tests done through phone books, steel drums, etc)…with pictures!
4) Take responsibility! Even with the high quality of our equipment there is a lot of blame placed on it. While I do not discount that there are equipment failures, I would be willing to bet that most of the “failures” are operator errors or miscalculations. Even when our equipment does let us down, it is more likely an operator oversight or unpreparedness. I speak from experience. There have been several instances where I wanted to blame gear before I realized it could have been avoided with more practice (I speak of more than just target practice). Also, do not jump to the conclusion of failure when it may be simply something not fitting to your style of shooting, hunting, etc.
5) Prevent fodder for the anti-hunter groups. AT was designed for the sharing of knowledge within the archery community. If we continue to attack each other, this will only give fuel to the anti-hunting groups. Unfortunately we are a minority. We don’t need to hold hands and sing Kumbaya, however, we should avoid personal attacks at all costs.
6) Reply without the pictures. When replying to a post, don’t include the pictures from that post. We should remember what pictures the thread is about. Including the pictures in a reply only slows down our personal computers as well as the servers.
I will always enjoy reading many of the threads posted on Archery Talk. The above suggestions are merely that; suggestions to make AT better for everyone. If you disagree, that is great! That is what AT is for and what our country stands for. However, prior to responding, please refer to number 1.