"There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot." - Aldo Leopold

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

An Open Letter: I Hate You, Bowhunting

Dear Bowhunting,

You clumsy b***h! Why must you make everything so eff-ing difficult? Really! From having to tune you, to your annoying wrist release that clinks on any piece of metal it can find to the point I’m convinced it’s magnetized, you are a chore. Anyone who claims they prefer you over a firearm I have to scan with a Jeweler’s Eye, seeking out that skin-deep flaw that'd betray a symptom of the obvious internal psychological or physiological defect that’d cause someone to say something so foolish.

I prefer a rifle. I am a Cowboy, not an Indian. Take this last weekend. After months of deer hunting, finally, a buck trots by my climber, albeit, behind me. Instead of quietly spinning around and clicking off a safety, I have to rise from my seat, draw back, and try to squeeze an arrow through a maze of twigs and branches. He didn’t wait long enough for me to even straighten my knees. Deader than fried chicken with my .300 or even my .45-70.

Then, as the memory of him fades, a line of does creep down the same trail. This time I was ready. But as I focused in on a gorgeous chocolate-coated nanny, I guess my binoculars knocked the nock because when I hit full-draw, the arrow fell from the string, tinging onto the Viper’s rail as carbon met aluminum, and the does high-whitetailed it out of there.

And if that’s not enough for a day of suffering, consider the evening hunt. An old, old doe came creeping from the palmettos nervous as can be. As luck would have it, she managed to slip right into the one clear five-foot shooting lane I had in that direction. At fifteen yards, she should be between a hamburger bun cozied up with a slice of cheddar right now, but instead, she’s still out enjoying life as the Rage greased her back hairs and planted into the sandy pine soil. Whisker Biscuits, Pendulum Sights...these aren’t harmless consumer products, they are the names of torture devices.

You are a sadist. It is not sportsmanship, as others proclaim, it is lunacy. I personally like venison in the freezer and antlers on the wall, and a bullet is the most efficient means of achieving these goals. I mean, for the time and money I invest chasing a smart animal in his own backyard, I gotta send my best when opportunity arrives. If someone has a great round of golf, they don’t go out the next day with half a bag of clubs and whiffle balls. Chess players don’t say, “Ah, screw it! I’ll play without my rooks today.” If I were a star NFL wide receiver coming off the game of my life and I decided to play the next tilt with one hand tied behind my back, coaches, family, and friends would pull me aside and counsel me on destroying my career and reputation. To choose bowhunting over a rifle for any reason other than paid endorsement or a large wager is impaired judgement. Smell the air for alcohol.

But here’s really the part that chaps my behind – I neeeeeeedddddd you. You are the Belle of the Ball. You get me into these exclusive, A-list hunts on great public lands. Somehow I’m the blight in this relationship, and it...

Forget it; I’m done with you for a near-length of a baseball season. If you think you’re going hog or gobbler chasing with me this Spring, you are the delusional one. Enjoy your stay in the dark of the case in the darkest corner of the closet.

Peace be with you. Until August.


PS – Tell your cousin, Crossbow Hunting, I said hello.


Albert Quackenbush said...

Absolutely hilarious... while some may ring true, this is some great writing. I know far too many that feel this way, but I am the stranger on that other shore. The alcohol is stowed away, but I do prefer my bow to a firearm. Call it the challenge or insanity, I love it. Great post, Ian. I truly enjoyed reading this one!

Ian Nance said...

I don't see what's so funny.

But thank you

Unknown said...

This was great and I loved reading every line. I'm with ya on this one bud! My bow has been tucked away in its nice little case for over ten years now!

Bryan and Katy Kraker said...

The satisfaction of taking an animal with a bow far out weighs that of a gun. Because of this, my guns are the ones that are tucked away in a dark corner.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Excellent post, very funny.

Ian Nance said...

Thank you, all.

Downeast Duck Hunter said...

And to think I'm beginning to get into bow hunting simply because I need more time in the woods. I wish your opportunity had been more fruitful, not frustrating.


Albert Quackenbush said...

Ian, it's hilarious to me because I have felt the same way a few times. It made me laugh out of frustration, but I still wouldn't give it up for a rifle. Cheers!

Ian Nance said...

Well, I am a firearm enthusiast anyway. Used to reload ammo. So I'm gun biased - be it pistol, rifles, blackpowder, shotguns. But the bowhunting opens up some awesome opportunities in this area. Not to mention six more weeks of hunting.

And learning how to bowhunt, namely placing stands and keying in on feeding and travel routes, will make anyone a better hunter

Chad and Amber Kraker said...

Your post made me smile. I do have some advice for you. Next time you go fishing, try the trout ponds, you'll most certainly catch more fish. If you really want meat in the freezer try Wal-Mart, you'll save a ton of cash. And if you are just looking for antlers on the wall, I'd look for the high fence. I do have more tips if you want them but I have to get going right now. It's going to take me the rest of the day to wash my car with my hands tied behind my back.

Ian Nance said...

I only hunt high-fenced places where they release the deer the night before and ask you not shoot them while their heads are in a cornpile.

With a bow, of course.

Rogue Huntress said...

I love this! It sounds all too familiar..
I do personally find it more satisfying to take an animal with a bow. But if I haven't had any luck towards the end of the season, the bow goes into the closet and the rifle comes out.

Good read!

Bryan and Katy Kraker said...

I thought of this post last week while I was in your home state of Florida. My dad and I did a hog hunt at Omega Ranch in Valusia County. He brought a .270 and I was armed with my Hoyt CRX 35 Bow. My dad took home a nice boar and I took home the agonizing thoughts of a gut shot boar that left no blood trail.
Just so you know we both payed the same amount for the hunt, just one of us went home in a better mood.