A few years ago, a friend asked me whether I shoot standing up or sitting down while bowhunting. “Standing,” I replied.
“Why don’t you sit; it’s a lot more comfortable,” he said.
Actually, I never thought about it. Truth be known, I’ve never really stood while perched in a tree; I leaned. Years ago, a friend made me a small “seat” that rests on a screw in a tree step. It allows me to rest my butt on the small platform and take the weight off my legs. By leaning backward and resting my butt on the platform, I’m neither sitting nor standing and, for me at least, the arrangement works quite well.
Two seasons ago I got a fancy aluminum hang-on treestand that had a nice, comfortable foam seat, so I decided to take my friend’s advice and sit rather than lean. I had never shot from a sitting position and wondered if I could do it if an opportunity presented itself. I needn’t have worried.
One October evening while on watch, a fine Pennsylvania 10-pointer walked just inside the edge of the field where I was set up. Quartering away, the buck began nibbling on some forbs and was unaware of my presence. I had little difficulty drawing the bow, and in fact, I felt more stable in the sitting position than I did standing up. The arrow flew true and I discovered a far more comfortable way of spending hours in a treestand.
By remaining seated, I’ve found that if a deer appears, I need only move my left arm to grab the bow hanging from the hook on the tree limb slightly above me. I rest the bottom cam on my left thigh so I’m not holding the full weight of the bow. Because I have the stand set up 90 degrees from where I expect to see a deer appear, I’m in the proper position to draw and shoot with the least amount of motion and noise.
Another reason why I’ve become a fan of shooting while seated is that my profile remains low and hidden behind the hemlock branches I use to camouflage my stand. Drawing the bow while seated isn’t a problem since I ditched the “Macho Man” idea and now shoot at a 55-pound draw weight rather than the 68 pounds I did previously.
An empty five-gallon paint bucket is now as much a part of my summer practice sessions as is my target. Before quitting, I take about a half dozen shots while sitting on the bucket. Just as when I’m seated in my treestand, I pick up the bow, rest it on my thigh, draw, aim and release. I feel very comfortable shooting this way and find the hours pass quicker while I’m sitting comfortably then they do while I’m leaning.
Okay, Okay, I know there are plenty of guys out there scratching their heads and wondering what took me so long to figure this out, and to them I can only say you can indeed teach an old dog a new trick.