Archery, and specifically bowhunting, is very difficult. Mastering the bow is no easy feat, and putting yourself into position to take an animal with that bow requires even more patience, skill, and a bit of luck.
When I first got started bowhunting, I would admit that it seemed like a very confusing world. There is all kinds of equipment, and you don’t just have to think about choosing a bow, but also all of its accessories: rests, releases, sights, stabilizers, silencers, the list goes on. Despite the dizzying array of options, you decide to jump in and build a bow. Maybe you did your homework and put together a custom package, or maybe you just grabbed something off the shelf – either way you now have a bow and some accessories.
Obviously if you are going to shoot a bow, then you need to have arrows, right? I thought that would be an easy choice, but no – you have aluminum, carbon, spine, weight, straightness tolerances, diameters, etc. If you thought, like I did, that picking up some arrows was going to be the simple part, you were wrong.
Great, so now we have our bow and our arrows, but let’s not forget we are hunting, not just target shooting, so now we need some broadheads. Easy, right? Well, if you haven’t caught on by now, like choosing a bow or arrows, choosing a broadhead can be overwhelming. You have mechanical broadheads, and fixed broadheads, and replaceable broadheads. Do you want to go with a 2-blade, a 3-blade, or a 4-blade. Ok, how about weight? Do you want an 85 grain head, a 100 grain head, or a 125 grain head. There are too many options, so like most everyone does these days, you turn to the internet for some help. If you have ever looked at reviews for various broadheads on the internet, you no doubt wound up with a headache and had enough rage (pun intended) that you wanted to punch someone. Nearly every broadhead on the market is both praised as “perfect”, and dismissed as “garbage”, most likely on the same site. Ahh! What to do?
Does any of that resonate with you? If you are a bowhunter, especially a new one, then I am sure that it probably does. Listen, bowhunting is supposed to be simple. There is something primitive about bowhunting, even if you are using modern equipment. Don’t get caught up in the equipment race. Don’t believe the getting a new bow every year will make you a better hunter. Don’t believe that you have to shoot at 350fps, or take shots at 70 yards. Don’t believe that you can’t be a perfectly skilled and able hunter, with your simple and effective equipment, even if it isn’t the latest and greatest.
There is a trend in the bowhunting world in which speed and long-distance are all of the rage. Guess what? – Those two items are exactly the opposite of why most of us bowhunt! We want to take it slow, and be in the moment. We want to enter into nature at a deep level and hunt an animal at its closest. We want a fair chase and a clean kill. That is what bowhunting is about!
As the Pope & Young Club puts it – The values and spirit of bowhunting revolves around such principles as:
Challenge, Simplicity, Primitive, Discipline, Patience, Practice, Perseverance, Skill, Outdoorsmanship, Craftsmanship
Let us, as bowhunters, value those principles more than we value next year’s equipment.