Thursday, August 23, 2012

Archery Season is Almost Here

Archery deer season is just around the corner for us here in NC, and I'm as excited as anyone for it to get here. In my area of the state the season opens on September 10, and I've been trying to get ready for it. There are trail cameras to check, stands to move or put up, and scouting to do. I haven't done any of these things as much as I need to do, and it seems like it's the same old story every year. I have good intentions, but then the fishing is usually good enough during the summer that I focus on it, and before I realize it I'm back teaching and all my extra time seems to disappear. One thing that I try to focus on more than anything before archery season is practicing with my bow. I do believe in the old saying "Practice makes perfect", or in my case it at least lets me feel confident about going into the woods with a bow and taking a shot at a deer. I know that I won't ever achieve perfection shooting a bow, but it never hurts to strive for that goal.
Ready For A Practice Session

 There have been seasons in the past when I didn't bow hunt, mainly because I never got my bow out and practiced. This was due to many different factors, ranging from lack of motivation to lack of time. No matter the reason, I didn't do any hunting during bow season those years because I knew my ability to make a humane and ethical shot was compromised because I hadn't been practicing. I have never been one of those people who can pull their bow out two days before the season, put five arrows into a half inch group at 40 yards, and go hunting. There are lots of people who can do this, and I think that's great, I'm just not one of them.
Shooting at the Backyard Range

I am what I would consider a decent shot with a bow, and I really enjoy archery a lot, but I do know my own personal limitations. It takes some time and effort for me to polish my skills every year, so I try my best to shoot my bow a few times a week starting in the early summer and leading up to deer season. I also try to squeeze in a little practice during the season on those evenings when I don't get home early enough from work to go hunting, but there's still enough daylight left to shoot. 
Those circles can seem tiny!

I have been practicing off and on since the beginning of summer, and I feel fairly confident in my ability to take a shot out to about 40 yards. This is probably going to be my absolute maximum range with a bow, simply because I try to limit myself to shots I feel sure I can make and 40 yards is about the maximum distance that I can practice at regularly. As much as I love to hunt, I would rather pass on a shot than take one I feel is marginal. There will always be another opportunity, and if not it just wasn't meant to be. All the practicing this summer has taught me one thing about my abilities as an archer. No matter how much I shoot my bow, there is always a little room for improvement. My groups have definitely improved over the summer, but Robin Hood I am not. 
Sight pins need adjusting but the group's not bad

In spite of that, I do feel like I'm ready for the fall woods. Bow hunting is one of the most exciting and challenging types of hunting that I do, and I'm ready most of all to have a reason to be in the woods whenever the chance comes up. I'm sure that one way or another, there will be stories from the woods that make it to this blog over the course of the season. They may be happy, sad, or funny, but no matter what they are the memories will all be worth it. 

Thanks for stopping by!

- Joseph


  1. September is like a hunter's Christmas! Dove season, bow season... Nice Post!

    1. Thanks Bill! You're right, I look forward to September every year, it's the start of a lot of wonderful opportunities.


Feel free to leave a comment and tell me what you think!