Someday I Will Go Bowhunting

Here’s a thrill: finally doing what you have been saying for years you’d do. My “someday I will…” list was one item too long, but I checked it off the list this month. I went bowhunting. 

The decision wasn’t hasty. I’ve been thinking about it for years and made the commitment just a couple monts ago. Bowhunting is a big expense and not something you typically do just once. I knew I’d fall in love with it, and a dad with many children shouldn’t be out dancing in the wild. At least too much.

There were several factors that played into my decision to make 2012 be the year to just do it. You probably have a list of “somedays,” too. Let me share with you the factors that played into my decision to start bowhunting, and maybe that’ll shake some things up for you and your “someday” list.

1. My calendar allowed me to do it.

My main business runs on the educational season, and September used to be my busiest business month. I’ve moved that busy season up to June/July. September – the month of archery season – is still fairly busy, but I don’t have pressing publishing deadlines. Everything is published for the upcoming debate season and my final camp is in October. So the calendar year seemed to align perfectly.

Not just monthly, but yearly, too. I hunt rifle every year (but not 2011, which I’ll explain in a bit). Colorado awards elk tags with a lottery system which we apply for in April, and everyone in our party wanted to build a preference point this year. It’s a bit complicated, but just know that we needed to apply for a brand new game management unit (GMU), somewhere we had never hunted before.

Heading into a brand new GMU is a crap shoot, so we were determined to scout the area sometime before November. Looked like September was the best month for me to break out. Why not try bowhunting? Then we’d be very ready for the hunt. So that’s what got the wheel turning, and my friends were a big help.

2. My friends pushed me to do it.

I had three friends that pushed me into this (as if I fought them much). First is my good friend, Nick, one of my hunting buddies from years back. He took up archery five years ago. Now he thinks rifle is boring. He’s been egging me on to try it, and has served as a close confidant in my research.

Next is none other than Ken Davis. I worked with him and his team with the release of his new book Fully AliveHe’s an avid bowhunter – bagged seven bulls over the years – and he invited me to call him up and get the rundown. He privileged me with a lengthy training session on how to get started.

My third friend was someone I met in April. I mentioned how difficult it is to enter a new hunting unit, right? My wife and I met Stacie at a retreat in April. We got to talking about bowhunting, and guess what unit she and her husband have been successfully hunting for years? Yep, the very unit we were just starting in. Out of the 100+ units in Colorado, they’ve hunted the same one we got tags for. Stacie was a wealth of information.

The stars were aligning perfectly. One more piece that fell into place.

3. My family insisted I do it.

I skipped hunting altogether last year because of a heart condition (which nearly killed me; read the story here). Wendy knew that my call to the wild – a yearly venture for me – left me a bit empty. I also had two teenagers beg me to bring them, Lydia (18) and Micah (15). Micah had been making homemade bows for years in anticipation of Colorado bowhunting. Someday.

Family is important in a decision like this. I’ve known a few dads run to the hills and leave their wife and children behind. I don’t want that. I’ve been content with one hunting expedition per year (i.e. rifle), but this year I had the blessings from my family to move forward with archery.

We took two trips and spent a total of five days in the northern Colorado mountains. We saw a good number of elk, but didn’t get a chance to shoot at one. No matter. We hunt for much bigger things in the wild. On the hunt we are reminded how wild life really is.

Question: What has been on your “someday” list for too long? These three factors – my calendar, my friends, and my family – pushed me in the right direction. What would it take to check off one of those “somedays” from your list?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • My brother in law began bow hunting several years ago and expresses the same sentiment as your friend – rifle is boring. 😉 It’s always fun to cross something off a personal “bucket list”.