This will be my thirty-sixth year to bowhunt. It seems like every year
that passes by the more I appreciate the fact that I still have the
right to bowhunt. I think when I was younger I took it for granted. Itís
amazing when we get older how we have a different perspective on things.
It may be called maturing.
In the next thirty days, our bow season will start here in Texas and I
must admit that I am as excited about this yearís season as the first
one back when I was 15 years old. If I lose that enthusiasm, I guess it
will be time to hang it up. When younger, I was a very competitive and
an over the board intense hunter. Always putting pressure on myself to
try and get the biggest deer or whatever it may have been I was
pursuing. The last five years I have learned to relax and again I feel
that has to do with maturity. When you hunt for the pure enjoyment, it
is amazing how you enjoy what youíre doing. To bad I could not have
realized that thirty years ago. Now, some of you reading this may think
that this sounds crazy and you have always enjoyed yourself while in the
woods. If this is truly the way you feel, I admire you. The point I am
trying to make is donít be so intense that youíre not having fun. Like
that old saying, make sure to smell the roses.
A facet of our sport that all hunters must take serious is safety.
Always, and I repeat always, wear some type of safety harness. For years
I never wore one and itís unbelievable I did not kill myself. When I
first started bowhunting there was no such thing as any safety harness
to put on while tree stand hunting. To be honest, I did not even think
of safety. There was an incident years ago that made me a believer. One
afternoon a friend and I went to put up a deer stand. He wanted to put a
stand up about thirty feet up overlooking a heavily traveled deer trail.
He was just about ready to secure the chain on the tree when a limb that
he was standing on snapped and he fell and landed directly on his back
and head. It happened so fast that momentarily I went brain dead. I
immediately leaned over my friend and noticed that his eyes were rolled
back in his head and I momentarily thought he was dead. Scary!!!!!!!!!!!
I knelt down and said ďJohn, are you okĒ. Knowing he wasnít. Thoughts
went through my head like, who is going to call his wife and kids and
tell them that their father and husband is dead. Realty set in and man,
I was nervous and scared. I knelt down for five minutes thinking my
friend was dead when he let out a faint moan. I immediately told him to
lay still and not move. I then asked him if he could move his arms and
legs. He raised his hand and there was slight movement in his legs which
gave me some relief that he was not going to be paralyzed. He must have
laid there for an hour before he tried to sit up. He finally sat up and
in moments he slowly made it to his feet. To make a long story short, he
broke a bunch of ribs and did not have any internal damage. He was a
very lucky man. The point I want to make is never and I mean never get
into a stand without wearing some type of safety device. There are many
different safety systems on the market and I suggest you pick one that
you feel comfortable with. Last year I went to Cabelaís and bought the
Hunter Safety System. What sold me on this safety harness is the
simplicity to put it on. Four buckles and thatís it. What ever safety
harness you choose, just make sure to make it as much a part of your
arsenal as your bow.
Another factor that is important is shot placement. Patience is the key
here. Donít rush your shot. If the animal does not give you the right
angle, you are better to pass. This is easier said than done. I remember
a few times where I rushed a shot and was kicking myself later. We owe
it to the animal to make a quick and humane kill. You may think that
only new bowhunters who are inexperienced may be the ones that are prone
to forcing a shot, quite the contrary. To this day there are still
instances where I have to practice some self talk to calm my nerves.
Believe me when I say itís a constant battle. As my mother used to tell
me ďpatience is a virtueĒ.
Thirty Six years ago the thought about controlling my scent never
crossed my mind. I did use a cover scent which was skunk urine. The
first time I used it my mom was not real happy about the smell when I
came home from a hunt and walked into her kitchen. . Years had gone by
before I had given scent control any thought. I started paying attention
to scent control when hunting in Texas twenty four years ago. The deer
on this particular lease were totally unforgiving. If you had a drop of
sweat on your body, they would snort you from the next county. It was
unbelievable!!! I started washing my clothes in baking soda. After
washing them I would hang them out on the clothes line, and then put
them into a trash bag. That sort of worked. But there was still a real
problem with walking to my stand and trying to control my odor. I used
to get to my stand, dripping with sweat, it was brutal. Then there were
some various sprays that you could spray on your clothes to help contain
your scent. They worked pretty well. Then scent control evolved into
clothing that you could wear to help contain all scent. Awesome!!!!! I
bought one of the first scent lok suits that came out came out on the
market. It was made by a new company called Scent-Lok. I met the owner
Greg Sesselman at a show in Dallas, Texas and he was telling me about
his new product. I thought if this stuff works the way he is explaining
it, itís all over for what ever I am hunting. Now, I always wear
Scent-Lok when out hunting deer. I also bathe and spray my garments with
Wildlife Research products. I have been using these products for years
and I will tell you that I am only snorted a couple of times a year. I
have actually taken scent control to a new level this coming hunting
season. There is a company called Elimitrax. They have a boot system
that fits on your legs like hip boots. You strap the leggings to your
belt and you are virtually odorless. They are water-resistant and for
the most part indestructible. On their web site they said Elimitax has
been documented to be undetectable to both game animals and trained
bloodhounds. I do know from my coon hunting days if you can fool a
houndís nose, you are on to something. I canít wait to use them. By the
way, they are very light and easy to walk in.
I also ordered two new bows from Bow-Tech. I got the Allegiance and the
Tribute. I shot the Allegiance the other night and it is smoking!!!!
Smooth shooting and fast as a rocket.
I can not wait for opening day. I went to Cabelaís today and some of my
friendís were watching me shoot. They could not believe the speed and
how quiet the bow was.
In summary, I hope all reading this has a great 2006 bowhunting season.
And remember to enjoy each and every minute the good lord gives you in
the wild. Now that I am older, it is amazing looking back at how all the
bow seasons have passed by. Last but not least. If you do not have a
safety harness, make sure you get one before opening day. I do not want
opening day to be your last day.