Passing on archery season this year
I recently made the fairly difficult decision to forego bowhunting this season, for a variety of reasons.
The biggest is that my practice regimen will be nonexistent this summer as I prep for a British Columbia mountain goat hunt. The time demands required for the physical training as well as the time at the shooting range with my .270 dictate that there’s no room for even a brief session out back with the bow, when you throw in work and other duties.
So maybe taking a year off from bowhunting wasn’t such a difficult decision at all. I simply refuse to climb into a stand without properly preparing myself for that moment of truth when a whitetail drifts into range. It’s about doing the right thing for the deer, and if my confidence level isn’t high based on some serious preseason shooting, I’m not going to become an arrow-flinger making a Hail Mary shot on a whitetail.
I’ll return from BC in early October, and I suppose – after playing catchup a bit with my New York Outdoor News duties – I could grab the bow and practice religiously for a couple weeks and do some late-season hunting when the weather is cooler and whitetails on the move. That could happen, I suppose, but that’s not my game plan at this point.
Nor is a crossbow on my list for the last two weeks of the regular archery season. I believe crossbows have a place in archery, especially for senior and physically challenged hunters, but the implement just hasn’t captured my fancy at this point.
Every archery season, it seems, I find myself missing some great fall fishing for smallmouth bass on the Susquehanna and Chemung rivers, which are just minutes away from our home. And our youngest Lab, Finn, does her best to make me feel guilty when I grab the bow, seemingly knowing we could be pursuing pheasants, grouse and woodcock.
So I plan on doing plenty of fall fishing, maybe even for walleyes when the water temps dip into the frigid range. And Finn and I will get plenty of hunting in as I tote the Browning Citori and leave the bow hanging at home.
So it’s not like I won’t be doing anything this fall. I’m actually looking forward to the fishing – which has also taken a back seat this summer to the hunt preparations – and to enjoying days afield with Finn, who is always entertaining and at the same time intense when it comes to upland birds.
Who knows? Maybe I won’t even miss the archery season.
I’ll let you know when it’s all over.