It was early 2000’s and I wanted to start bow hunting, but had no idea where to start. There was not an easy source to access back in the early days of smart phones and pagers/carrier pigeons. Obviously, a little exaggeration here, but access to good information was a lot more limited. Sure, I could go and talk to the archery guys over at Sportsman’s Warehouse or Dicks Sporting Goods (we didn’t have Cabela’s or Bass Pro quite yet), but did they really know their stuff? I could Youtube some archery subjects and find some good information, but again there was some limits to what was available. Then there was your typical archery shops. Depending on who you talked to, you could possibly get really good advice, or more likely talk to someone who knew just enough about the subject to sell me a bow. Regardless of the hurdles, I still wanted to get started and began to ask around, and that’s where I feel like I hit the jackpot.
Henry Ferguson and I met one Sunday afternoon in a nursery class in church (this is where our wives sent us when we couldn’t stay quite during Sunday school). We certainly seemed to have a lot in common and I knew he shot a bow. Long story short, within a couple of weeks I was purchasing my first bow from a friend of Henry’s who was a pro shooter for Matthews. I’ll never forget the nickname of that Matthews LX I bought from him in the Conoco parking lot one fall afternoon. He was a little reluctant to sell “the meat getter” to me because it had been such a good bow for him. There was something special about buying a bow that I knew had been out in the field and already successfully shot big game animals. Needless to say, my excitement level ticked up quite a few notches that day.
Over the next few months I would go to the range with Henry and receive instruction on how to properly shoot a bow. You see, when you have someone who has gone through all the ups and downs of shooting, target panic, learning new technology, and learning proper fit, you have a distinct edge in becoming successful in shooting a bow. Shooting a bow well, translates into a lot more success in the field and harvesting big game animals. My learning curve was shortened greatly because I was learning from, what I considered to be, a top notch teacher. Success came quickly the first season of archery deer hunting as I harvested my first buck at the base of broke elk mountain (different story for a different time). Every year since that season that I have held a deer tag in my pocket, I have killed a deer. I attribute a large portion of that success to proper instruction in shooting my bow.
So, as someone who may be just starting in the sport. Or, even someone who has been in but wants to learn to shoot a little better and have more success out in the field when it really counts. I say, why not take advantage of the technology that we have been blessed with today and learn from your own Henry (literally). Here are some other things we have done to bring success to our adventures.
Like with everything else, success comes from practice and enjoyment comes from success. I promise that your enjoyment level in the field will increase as you have more success - I know mine has.