Lessons Learned Details = Backstrap Dreams
Oops! I hate when that happens! I foolishly failed to lift my bowarm adequately above the blind windowsill level, and WHACK! All I’ve got to show for a patient four-hour vigil on stand is my 30” zebra Gold Tip arrow sticking harmlessly in the blind wall and all I see are whitetail deer flagging white middlefingers at me off and running, vanishing into the distance.
We must all admit that at one time or another we have all pulled off some of the dumbest numbnut moves a hunter can possibly commit.
Having plunged full on heart and soul into the spirit of the wild ether of bowhunting way, way back in the 1950s as a clueless youngster, I am confident that I have made every possible mistake there is to be made in the wonderful outdoor lifestyle. It can get to be very, very frustrating, but one learns early on to never, ever give up and just keep on keeping on, trudging along, learning everything we can every step of the way.
Unfortunately, what truly qualifies as the ultimate numbnut mistakes are those we foolishly repeat over, and over, again and again.
As humans, we have this guaranteed tendency to make mistakes, but with a little forethought and dedication, we can certainly eliminate, or at least meaningfully reduce such errors afield.
The blind whacking blunder above fortunately took place many years ago, and it made me so damn angry that I vowed I would never be so stupid ever again.
So far so good!
With our Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild TV celebration entering our 34th year, airing eight times per week on the Pursuit Channel, you might want to stay tuned to see if I drop my guard and blow it again right there for the whole world to see on television. If I do, I promise not to edit it out for your maximum entertainment value.
Speaking of the joys of all those wonderful hunting shows we can all enjoy on our television sets and whatnot technology these days, I am compelled to point out some incredibly valuable lessons available to us on many of those shows.
Some of the stuff I’ve seen is downright fascinating.
More times than I wish to admit, I’ve watched bowhunters so struggle to draw back their bows that it always amazes me why anyone would want to attempt to bowhunt with such a ridiculously heavy draw weight, anti-archery bow.
I’ve actually watched guys and gals fail to come to fulldraw because they are so overbowed. And even the ones that do succeed at fulldraw go through so many obtuse gyrations that the game is alerted and the shot is either blown or a bad hit is made on a very alert animal.
The lesson here is to approach bowhunting and archery focusing on grace, stealth, form, and silence. Ann Hoyt killed everything in North America with a 35-pound draw weight recurve bow, shooting heavy, slow, (@150fps) 500-600 grain cedar arrows fronted with a razorsharp two blade broadhead, waiting for the right shot to the right spot.
My amazing Queen of the Forest, Little Miss Dangerous ultimate bowhunting buddy wife Shemane kills all her big game with a 30-pound draw Mathews bow, (YES! 30 pounds!) shooting a 30”, 400 grain GoldTip arrow with a 100grain, scary sharp, two blade SteelForce broadhead, always straight into the pumpstation. She bowkills a lot of big animals and they always die quick and within sight.
I kill big game cleanly, constantly with my new 46-pound Mathews Image, shooting the same arrow with a deadly 100grain Levi Morgan Swhacker broadhead and the SteelForce two blade.
I’ve had more than a few cringeworthy moments watching guys on TV shooting at game with rifles, missing by a mile, then mentioning how maybe they oughtta go to the range to sight it in. Huh!
Of course, the glaring lesson here is the standard operating responsible procedure of sighting in our weapons before the hunt, not after missing!
Another doozy is when a rifleman has their scope set on the highest power then gets frustrated when they cannot find the animal in the scope.
Worst yet, is the mistake when tracking an animal and having the scope on its highest power. Sage advice from the most experienced experts is to keep the scope on a low magnification until a longer-range shot dictates otherwise.
And always on the lowest power setting when tracking a hit critter for maximum field of view for instantaneous sight/target acquisition.
As I increased my use of ground blinds and various enclosed blinds over the years, like the amazing portable Primos and Muddy popups, and the killer Texas Tank Blind, I learned right away that a lighted sightpin was essential for low light conditions, or otherwise you simply will not be able to see your sightpin in the darkness of the blind.
How many times have we seen or heard of our fellow crossbow hunters banging a bowlimb against a tree trunk, treelimb or blind wall!
And don’t forget those squeaky treestands or blind chairs or arrow rests that end up blowing that long-awaited, hard-earned shot, only to lose the opportunity due to game spooking noise we should have eliminated.
Thoroughly testing all of our equipment prior to the season can eliminate all of these very predictable fails. We put so much effort into figuring out the right place and right time, why blow it due to a silly mistake that we could have and should have avoided if we just were more diligent and attentive.
I for one want to stack the deck in my favor, because God created these fascinating creatures that we hunt with miraculous skills at evading us human predators.
The critters won’t tolerate numbnut mistakes. Neither should we.