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Bowhunting yesterday vs. bowhunting today

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Bowhunting yesterday vs. bowhunting today

Old 10-30-2002, 11:19 AM
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Default Bowhunting yesterday vs. bowhunting today

Several years ago, I concluded that many aspects of maintaining my bowhunting gear had, at least for me, become too maintenance intense, too complex, too time consuming, and more expensive, than it need be.

To identify all that had changed for the good and for the worse, and what I personally believed was not necessary and was not practical, I looked back to my early years of bowhunting. In the early years, deciding what bow to shoot and knowing what was a practical and necessary accessory was not bewildering as it is today. Installing and adjusting shooting accessories was not complex and perplexing. Equipment malfunction and breakage was not a frequent problem. Basic but efficient archery equipment, target or hunting, was not unreasonably expensive as it is today, regardless that the average annual wages were much lower in the early years.

The universally standard hunting equipment was a 40-50 lb recurve, a simple fiber or spring arrow rest, a set of cedar or glass shafts armed with a fairly common broadhead, a quiver, a tab or shooting glove, a set of military “Woodland” pattern camo clothing, a cork to burn, a knife, a length of rope, and a roll of toilet tissue. Early progressive additions to bowhunting equipment, were a bow-sight, a stabilizer, string silencers and kisser button. Eventually, we stepped from the brush, crawled off the tree limbs, and begun to hunt from homemade treestands, hung at a great and average height of 10 feet.

Most shooters shot year-around at local clubs, fun shoots, bow fishing, field competitions, etc. Therefore, come opening day of the deer season, most already knew far in advance how their gear was performing and how they were shooting. Once your shooting gear was compatible, adjusted, and secured, you rarely had to consider that it was a piece of equipment or a maladjustment that was causing bad arrow flight and bad groups. You knew the problem was, in all likelihood, caused by you. Therefore, finding the source of the problem was somewhat easier and more absolute because you did not have to consider and check and recheck the enormous amount of mechanical components that you must also check today.

Because available bowhunting gear was minimal and fairly standard, when bowhunters came together very little discussion occurred regarding one’s choice of equipment over another’s. Most often, the conversations were about how well or bad you were shooting, hints, tricks, and tutoring to spot a form problem, to shoot better or consistently well, and an enormous exchange of deer hunting information, along with the typical tales that are commonly spun by most hunters.

The average bowhunter was not a buck hunter, we simply hunted deer. Harvesting a doe was not a subordinated accomplishment as it seemingly is today. Harvesting a buck was just a plus and nothing more. Of course, the person who was lucky enough to kill a buck was jubilant, as were his or her fellow hunters for the person who shot a buck. However, the person killing a buck would not have flaunted him/herself as a superior bowhunter, even if he/she conceitedly, but secretly, considered his/herself to be superior. That would not have been a personal belief to divulge and/or to act upon back then.

In proportion with the (then) deer populations, and the rudimentary but growing knowledge that bowhunters of deer possessed, the success rate was good. I may be bias, and maybe I am not recalling it factually, but I do not remember there being a disproportionate number of deer that were not recovered after being shot as there seems to be today. If I am remembering it correctly, it is my opinion that several reasons for the higher recovery rate were:

1)The average bowhunter usually shot year around and were good shooters. Most did not practice and shoot-in just a few weeks before opening day.

2) Most bowhunters hunted from ground level, or near ground level, which exposed more of target and more of the deer’s vital area to a hit than what is exposed to a bowhunter whom is shooting from a height of 18 to 20 feet.

3) The average hunter knew the limitations of the (then) archery equipment, and hunted and made shots in accordance with the limitations.

4) IMO, the average hunter of then, knowing the limitations of their equipment and equipment capabilities, learned and knew the habits and the anatomy of deer much better than today’s average hunter.

Because most (early day) bowhunters hunted from ground level, they commonly would try to select a position, in accordance with the wind direction, that would enable a shot to the left side of the deer’s chest cavity. Anyone know why?

Frontal shots were made, and were lethal, but only when a deer was at a certain angle to enable a shot at a certain area on the deer, and only when a particular leg of the deer was in a certain position. Anyone know what the angle was, what leg was in what position, and what area on the deer you would shoot at and why?

If you can only hit one lung, which lung would you prefer if you could have your choice, and why?

Am I saying that all things were better in the early days than today? Absolutely not. Am I saying that all the bowhunting equipment available today is worthless, impractical, and not necessary? Of course not. However, I am saying that much of today’s bowhunting equipment is worthless, impractical, not necessary; and too expensive for what you get in return.

Too many bowhunters of today are brainwashed by marketing hype and believe they must have the latest fad stuff to be, or be accepted as, a “real” bowhunter. Many are more into talking about their latest “trick” stuff they just purchased than what bowhunting is actually about; hunting deer...doe or buck. How many shooters that were previously here talking only about their “rad” and “zoomy” gear, are now here now that the season is in? This tells me that some bow shooters only play with the toys; but do not hunt, seldom hunt, or never intended to bowhunt. They are victims of hype and vogue.

I recently read some articles that said that bow and bow accessory technology has just about peaked. That some of the technology and progress, and maybe much of the technology and progress, may have been for the worse rather than for the good, and a rollback to certain designs and an elimination of certain gear is expected. I buy that. However, not just for the reasons that will be openly hyped by many of the manufacturers. The primary and underlying reasons that rollbacks and discontinuing of certain gear may occur will probably not be divulged.

Here is what I believe are the some real and primary reasons.

There are not enough target shooters and bowhunters to support the vast industry that exists today. Correspondingly, there are not enough target shooters and bowhunters to justify the manufacturing of all the accessories that the multitude of companies make. Choices are too numerous for one company -or a few companies, to reap most of the limited sales and profits. Many veteran bow shooters/hunters are hanging up their gear for a multitude of reasons. Because much of the gear has become too complex, too technical, too unreliable, and too expensive; new blood is being scared off and is causing new shooters to become frustrated and, therefore getting out of the sport early.

Add the fact that access to property to hunt has declined. Add the fact that “in vogue” impacts sales. Add the fact that much of the bow industry has tried to consolidate 3D gear with bowhunting gear. THAT was a big mistake and caused much of the gear to be impractical or difficult for bowhunting. Add the fact that the common rule that many manufacturers adhere to, “Use less material, use cheaper material, kick it out faster, and charge more,” has bit them in the butt.

Do you really believe that the shortening and lightening of bows e.g., full split limbs, shorter risers, synthetics vs. metal, etc. was primarily for the purpose of a lighter and more efficient bow? Or that accessories made mostly of synthetic and compound materials was only to reduce the weight? Do you really believe that a manufacturer that promotes impractical gear does not know the gear is not practical and will not always perform as is claimed? Many manufactures are following the “rule” I stated above, and charging 2 to 3 times more for the product.

Here is my suggestion. Identify and ignore the hype, dump the “trick gear” addiction, go with the proven basics and the practical, and spend most of your time, and your money, enjoying the hunt.





Edited by - c903 on 11/01/2002 08:51:16
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Old 10-30-2002, 01:03 PM
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Default RE: Bowhunting yesterday vs. bowhunting today

I hear you C903. I am returning to archery, or should I say bowhunting, after a ten year layoff. Prior to that I shot nearly every day and worked full time at a bow shop in Central PA. I got all my gear at cost and was living at home, so I could afford to shoot competitions every weekend and buy arrows and all the latest gadgets.

However, now I'm no longer working in the archery business, I have a family and my own home and when I got bit by the bug to pick the bow back up again this year and get back into competetions again, I was shocked at the price hike over the last 10 years. Of course you expect inflation, but the prices of bows and basic compound equipment is outrageous now. I commented to my dad about this, who stayed in archery for 7 years longer than I did, and he said that he saw many of our peers drop out of the archery scene over those seven years because things were getting too pricey. In the end I decided to forget about going back into competitive shooting and only go out bow hunting. Part of this decision stemmed from the looks and comments I received from the local bow shop techs and patrons when I pulled my 12 year old 'ancient' equipment out of my bow case. You would have thought I was a paulper at a Rockefeller dinner.

In the end I decided that I shot pretty well with the set-up I had ten years ago and that if it was able to kill deer then (I assumed it could, I never got one until this year), then it could kill deer today. End result, I shot my first deer with a bow this year, a buck, with equipment that was all 12 years old or older. I plan on taking the same gear out with me next year and the year after and the year after until it breaks and I'm forced to buy new.

-Brad
Eastern Nebraska Bowhunter

Edited by - by23856 on 10/30/2002 13:09:11
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Old 10-30-2002, 01:23 PM
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Default RE: Bowhunting yesterday vs. bowhunting today

c903,

That is why I bought a recurve and cedar arrows for this years bow season. I was sick of spending a fortune on 2 compounds just so if one broke I would have a backup. I am also hunting from the ground this year. I got a hog opening day but no deer yet, I have got busted a few times(moving too much). I am having a great time and none of the compound problems everything is very simple.

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Old 10-30-2002, 01:24 PM
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Default RE: Bowhunting yesterday vs. bowhunting today

I am too tired...it is too late in the day...and I need to go hunting in about 35 minutes so I just don't have the desire to respond to all of what you eloquently stated. <img src=icon_smile_wink.gif border=0 align=middle>

I will say one thing though....I really could take offense to this statement....


<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote<font size=1 face='Verdana, Arial, Helvetica' id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>There are some shooters still trying to drum up some tech talk that you do not see engaging in hunting talk. This tells me that some bow shooters only play with the toys; but do not hunt, seldom hunt, or never intended to bowhunt. <hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face='Verdana, Arial, Helvetica' size=2 id=quote>

I don't really get into the threads involving hunting strategies, the rut etc... but prefer to reply to posts about equipment...year round...in season and out. Does that make me less of a bowhunter?

Ok....just about time to hit the snowy woods....<img src=icon_smile_wink.gif border=0 align=middle>
















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Old 10-30-2002, 01:48 PM
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Default RE: Bowhunting yesterday vs. bowhunting today

PABowhtr

Your comment, &quot;... and I need to go hunting in about 35 minutes.&quot; disqualifies you for membership in the &quot;Toys For Joy&quot; club.

However, my point was to point out that the hype, the &quot;rad&quot; and &quot;zoomy&quot; fads, appears to have attracted some people for the wrong reasons That they soon find out they blew mucho dough for something they fast lose/lost interest in when they realize there is a &quot;walk the walk,&quot; that follows the &quot;talk the talk.&quot;

Edited by - c903 on 10/30/2002 13:50:16
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Old 10-30-2002, 02:11 PM
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Default RE: Bowhunting yesterday vs. bowhunting today

Just on the weekends, and only during deer season seems like &quot;seldom&quot; hunting to me. I wish I could hunt more often but I have to make a living. It's a terrible thing.

I admittedly, put more effort into refining my archery skills than I do guaranteeing that I intercept a mature buck. I love archery and I love hunting.

I truly believe that a person that puts in their time and practice and does everything possible to not wound animals, should use whatever (legal) they find helps put those odds in their favor.

Do you have something against people who choose archery as a recreational sport and never plan to hunt animals? They too can learn alot from bowhunters and we can learn alot from them.
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Old 10-30-2002, 02:47 PM
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Default RE: Bowhunting yesterday vs. bowhunting today

Been there done that...32 years ago. I think the norm was 50-55 pounds. So some say those were the good old days. That was when a lot of the states didn't have a deer season or deer herd. That was when the guy who got a deer with a bow was unique... not the norm. That was when.... wait a minute... there were no other bowhunters around really. IF you don't like to tinker... so be it. Me... a boy OR GIRL can never have to many toys. That's right... there were NO GIRLS in the game. You had the woods to yourself. You hoped for one shot a year. &quot;Just give me one chance&quot;!!! The success rate was less than 10 percent. Today, we have monster herds(pest level). I've hunted in the woods with a girl I'd never met. I've limited myself to 5 deer so far this year.(sometimes you just have to NOT shoot). THEN was nice... but so is what we have today. If we didn't have the hunter numbers we have today I'd doubt we would have been able to fend off the antis in a lot of places. We certainly wouldn't have the liberal seasons and bag limits we have. Celebrate technology.... it's gotten us where we are in this hustle bustle world. We certainly wouldn't have the archers we have without it. You like &quot;TRAD&quot;... have at it. I do to, but I like my wheels, and cables, a bubbles(not really..first thing I remove from a bow), straight arrows, sharp broadheads from a box, large selection of everything(we wouldn't have it without numbers), and I look forward to shooting number 6 come Friday or Saturday. Ahhhhhh.... &quot;The Good Ole Days&quot;..... they are upon us.

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Old 10-30-2002, 02:54 PM
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Default RE: Bowhunting yesterday vs. bowhunting today

myself I use abear recurve and i do shoot year round and i have used the ole way's for as long as i have been hunting it's the way i was taught and comfortable with. Since I have been here on the hunting net I haven't really thought any one was a get a high tec bow one day and say they are a bowhunter.I will admit there is alot of high tec stuff out there and i tease people time to time about if they are ever going to give up their training wheel's and in return i get it as when am i going to come out of the stone age.But if a guy need's or want's the high tec and will help them in the hunt then great I do agree not enough practice and if they do it's for a week before the season open's and think because they put a couple arrow's into the target that they are ready we owe it to the animal's we hunt and to the sport to be at our best and one week dont make it in my book.
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Old 10-30-2002, 03:01 PM
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Default RE: Bowhunting yesterday vs. bowhunting today

c903, that is one of the most well written and thought out posts I have ever read on this forum. My journalism professor would slap you on the back (that was his way of showing approval) for this.

In recent years I have become an admitted tech junkie of the new archery toys that are out there. It is what keeps me going after the season ends. I love shooting and tinkering and playing with my gear trying to get perfect arrow flight and maximizing my ability to take game. However, once the season starts that all stops. I rarely buy archery gear once the season starts because my hunting set up should be finalized and locked down long before then. If I do buy gear it is usually blades for broadheads or something of that nature. My bow does not come out of the case unless I am practicing or heading to my stand. I am in the woods whenever the weather and work permit and when I am not I am usually thinking about what I can do to improve my odds of taking a deer.

I think what has happened over the years is that in the past archery was hard. The gear wasn't easy to shoot because you had a choice of traditional gear with no let of or a compound with very low let-off. You HAD to practice a lot to have any hope of successfully taking a deer and a lot of people didn't want to deal with it. Not to mention you had to know the woods and the deer in it to hope to get the shot that you've worked all year for. Since then the gear has become easier to shoot and it is not unrealistic to think that you couldn't buy a bow and within a few hours have it sighted in well enough to hunt. That is not something that I recommend, but with today's gear it is possible. Because of this, the commitment that you spoke of in your post is not there. In the past you had to be committed to bowhunting because success required it. Now, that commitment is not needed thanks to the advent of all the new technology. What we see now is guys that blame lost deer on their gear, guys that shoot a deer and feel tracking a couple of hours and a couple hundred yards is sufficient, guys that think that hitting a 5 inch circle at 20 yards and screwing on some mechanicals is good enough to hunt, and guys that want to shoot that wall hanger, but don't want to put in the time hunting him.

I would say most of the guys on this board are committed to bowhunting, but this makes up a small fraction of the population of bowhunters. Hopefully things will be scaled back as you said and people will be forced to commit themselves to the sport again. I know I'm committed, and it sure sounds like you are. Anybody else?

Edited by - huntingbry on 10/30/2002 15:04:08
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Old 10-30-2002, 08:00 PM
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Default RE: Bowhunting yesterday vs. bowhunting today

Chief

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote<font size=1 face='Verdana, Arial, Helvetica' id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>I truly believe that a person that puts in their time and practice and does everything possible to not wound animals, should use whatever (legal) they find helps put those odds in their favor.<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face='Verdana, Arial, Helvetica' size=2 id=quote>

Not exactly what I was talking about. If it helps, then the user made a good choice. I am talking about the unnecessary, the impractical, the overly complex, and gear that is too mechanical and has a built in flaw factor.

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face='Verdana, Arial, Helvetica' id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>Do you have something against people who choose archery as a recreational sport and never plan to hunt animals? They too can learn alot from bowhunters and we can learn alot from them.<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face='Verdana, Arial, Helvetica' size=2 id=quote>

Never said that. I was referring to how the hype even captures the hearts and minds of those who have no intention of engaging in anything other than talking toys.


davidmil

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face='Verdana, Arial, Helvetica' id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>You like &quot;TRAD&quot;... have at it.<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face='Verdana, Arial, Helvetica' size=2 id=quote>

Never said that. I have no intentions of going back to a recurve, but respect those that will or those that will take up the recurve for the first time. You need to read again.

Last; I was not talking about any particular shooter, target or hunter, or even the occassional plinker, when I referred to those that are not on the hunting forum at this time. Nor was I talking about the shooter that does not choose to talk about hunting, or has the time to do so. I was referring to those that have obviously stepped back, as a corroboration that there are people who purchase bows only to talk some talk, and huff n puff, simply because bows are vogue and bows/gear are very &quot;Rambo&quot; these days. I meet them off the web, I am sure they are also on the web. However, I am not dissin' them either, they are victims of the alure and the hype.

I was talking K.I.S.S. so that more time is spent enjoying the hunt... or target shooting.



Edited by - c903 on 10/30/2002 20:07:15
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