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The True Essence of Bowhunting

October 14, 2016

by: Paul Atkins, Bowtech Hunting Staff

As I stood behind that tree I remember thinking, this is perfect. A perfect moment when the world was right and nothing else really mattered. And even though the deer that was feeding towards me at 20 yards had no clue I even existed, it wasn’t really about the deer. It was about that moment. A moment created through time; all the people before me, from getting my first bow when I was seven to all those years following my father through the woods learning how to be quiet and read the woods. It was special.

While I stood there with Bowtech in hand and arrow knocked I remember thinking all I need to do is be patient and this will all work out. It’s hard to put down into words the feeling you get when you know that the events laid before you are about to unfold and the slightest change in those events can bring success or failure. Either way whatever happens, it’s going to create a memory that lasts forever.  Most bow hunters know what I’m talking about, but non-hunters do not.

It’s a rare thing to be able to think about something before it actually happens. Many of us have enjoyed the experience of sitting in a deer stand or a blind enjoying life and taking in all that the great outdoors has to offer, but to actually have an animal in your sights and still be able think about things, while waiting, is a bit different.

Standing there behind that old oak tree, like all the oak trees that are spread out in front of my Mom and Dad’s place, was special.  It’s funny how you remember things from your youth; those trees are one of mine. I spent most of my young life there and once when I was eight I even got lost among them. But, like me the trees are getting older too. Most are broken down either from the occasional ice storm or just from time, but they’re still special to me.

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“Either way whatever happens, it’s going to create a memory that lasts forever.”

The deer kept on feeding and then all at once decided to lie down.  Darkness was approaching and the thought that maybe this wasn’t meant to be crossed my mind. Spot and stalk bow hunting can be iffy at best and to get a chance and have luck fall into your lap is a pretty rare experience.

As I stood there, peering around the tree at the bedded doe I got to thinking about darkness and evenings in general. I took them for granted when I was younger, hoping each would end and the next would arrive. Now that I have moved away and only get back home a couple of times a year, time is something that I wish could stop, especially when I’m bowhunting.

At last light I decided to try and get the deer up and hopefully get a shot. I knew that I would need to be at full draw when it happened or all would be lost or would it?

Like all things that are grand they never seem to last and as I blew on the call and came to full draw the deer stood up and I was ready. And, as I slid to the side of that old tree I don’t remember much, only seeing the arrow disappear into the doe’s side and the thought of my father and how proud he might be.

Now days I’ve been lucky enough to bowhunt all over the world taking numerous big game animals with a variety of Bowtech bows. Each has been an adventure and each time I was glad to have the superior archery equipment. But, as I get older I realize the true essence of bowhunting is not about the size of the animals I’ve taken, but it’s the moments we share, the things we experience and the people we love. For me bowhunting is about life.