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Bowhunting and Electronics: Tradition? Innovation? Or Both?

Go to the magazine area of your favorite book store or supermarket, and check out any periodical relating to the challenging sport of bowhunting. There is a good chance you will find a short article going over the pros and cons of technological developments in weapon manufacture, product, and design as well as in the myriad devices used to make bowhunting “simpler”.

If the magazine deals with the majority of bowhunters, the short article’s author will most likely proclaim the virtues of the most recent and greatest in compound bow innovation, such as percentage of let-off, cam shape, cable material, riser product and shape, carbon arrows, fletching vanes, feet per 2nd, etc. Do not forget the foolproof bowhunting success gadgetry like electronic aiming devices, electronic rangefinders, bowstring release activates, and so on. On the other hand, if the periodical is devoted to the more traditional side of the sport; i.e., hunting with recurve bows, long bows, self bows, Indian flat bows, wood arrows with feather fletching, then the opposing view will likely be proffered.

I have the tendency to lean toward the more traditional bowhunting tackle; I shoot a Black Widow recurve and a Howard Hill longbow. I use a bow quiver on the recurve and a leather back quiver with the longbow. I choose to hunt with home-made cedar arrows with feathers that I burn to shapes and size and glue-on Zwickey or Wolverine broadheads. I twist up my own bowstrings. I don’t use a sight (cannot evaluate distance that well, anyhow), which forces me to obtain pretty close before I feel comfy in making an instinctive shot. I prefer wool to fleece (own both), plaid to camouflage (own both), hunting into the wind to cover scents. I am not what some technophiles would call an elitist. I have my old-fashioned streak, but I have no problem sharing a camp fire or a tent with a fella and his high tech, “wheelie” bow. I simply think that if a man or gal chooses to go after game with a bow, all that matters is that she or he practices with whichever kind of equipment he or she prefers, finds out his/her effective range, and does not aim to shoot beyond it.

After getting in the forest to the west of the road and walking a couple hundred yards, I discovered and followed a game trail southward in what I thought was a parallel with the logging roadway we drove in on. I still don’t know exactly what had me, however rather of simply back-tracking the method I had come, I chose to head east towards the logging road with the objective of crossing it and hunting the other side of the road back to the truck. Not knowing which way to turn at the fork, I simply prayed that I was on the main road, turned around, and strolled the five miles back to camp.

Before the next bowhunting season my family and I moved to Colorado. I got pretty anxious since I might barely see where I was going. No reason he ought to have to stress about getting lost.

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