Late start to archery season: I’ll go when I’ve properly prepared
It’s Oct. 10 as I write this, and I haven’t yet begun my bowhunting season, despite New York state’s generous Oct. 1 opening date.
But don’t feel too sorry for me. Sure, I’ve been a bit busy here in the office. But among the reasons for my late start is Paula’s September moose hunt, which took a sizeable chunk of time before, during and after that adventure – planning and preparing, traveling to Newfoundland and back for the hunt, and then getting things back in order on the home front and getting the moose to and from the processor, which included the purchase of a third freezer for all the obvious reasons.
Also, I just spent several days out on Long Island at the New York State Outdoor Writers’ Association’s annual fall conference, which this year was held in that unique area we seldom visit. I fished the saltwater (and also drank some courtesy of some beefy waves during a surf fishing outing on Montauk), caught my first-ever striped bass, and had a generally great time experiencing the incredible area and its special ecosystem.
That trip, however, meant I wasn’t shooting the bow in preparation for the season. And somehow, the summer got away from me. I can blame it on the preparation for Paula’s moose hunt, but whatever the reason, we arrived at late September and, for all practical purposes, I’d yet to shoot my bow.
I suppose I could just tromp out to one of my Chemung County treestands and kick off the season without any time at the archery range, but I just can’t do that. The whitetails deserve better, and the thought of making a poor shot because I hadn’t properly prepared, hadn’t flung enough arrows, hadn’t solidified my anchor points and form, kept me home.
I’m perfectly fine with that, knowing that when I do take to the woods, I’ll be prepared for that moment of truth. But right now, instead of hunting, I’m making a few trips out back every day, launching several arrows at my bag target and slowly rounding into form.
It’s also a good idea for all bowhunters to remember to conduct a short practice session during the season. Too often we jump in the truck and head out for the hunt, and during the course of the season we may not shoot at an archery target to stay sharp.
My game plan is to hunt next week, around Oct. 15, after I’ve convinced myself I’m as ready as I’ll ever be to make the shot when it counts.
But right now, I have to head out back for a few arrows.