I have embarked on a new journey. A few weeks ago I picked up a recurve bow. I have been hunting with firearms my entire life. For the last few years I have had a really strong desire to get into archery, though I kept putting it off. I went back and forth between whether or not I wanted to start my archery journey with a compound bow or a traditional bow. About a month ago I went to Cabela's and shot a compound there for the first time. Within a few short minutes I was shooting nice 2" groups at 12 yards or so. To be honest, it felt way too easy while also much more complicated than what I wanted. About a week later I ended up finding a good deal on a used Sage Samick Recurve bow with a 45lb draw on Craigslist, and since then I have been shooting every day and it is becoming more and more of an obsession.
I have been reading and learning a lot lately about the philosophy or lifestyle of ReWilding. The idea is that indigenous people were significantly healthier than we are as a society today. Chronic disease, cancer, heart disease etc were virtually nonexistent in indigenous people prior to being acculturated. So ReWilding is a movement of people who are attempting to mimick elements of indigenous life ways in order to live healthier and pass on healthier habits to future generations.
What does this have to do with bowhunting? Some indigenous people were hunting with longbows with a draw weight of over 90lbs. Today, you might see a compound bow at 70 or 80, but almost never will you see a hunter using a longbow or recurve today that is above 55 or 60lbs... We are weaker versions of our ancestors and I find that to be somewhat sobering to think about. Recurve and longbows are very simple when compared to their cousin the compound bow which is much more complex to tune and maintain with more moving parts, sights etc etc. Our ancestors used traditional archery and we would not be here if they hadn't. If the simplicity of traditional archery worked for them, then I feel like I ought to give it a try. I guess I would also add that there is something about the wood and the craftsmanship required for some traditional bows that really appeals to me. As a musician, I have spent many of my days playing acoustic instruments, with no distortion to cover my ass. In some ways, a traditional bow feels more akin to that for me.
But romanticism aside, can I shoot it? Well, yes, and no. I am not as consistent as I want to be. I am 8 out of ten on a 10 inch target at 12-15 yards, and about 50-50 out at 20... So I have plenty of work to do. That said, I have had a fair amount of success as a turkey hunter in my life, and I have on many occasions been well within 15 yards of turkeys. So, with a fast approaching spring turkey season, that is becoming goal number one for me. as a new archer. Fill at least one of my turkey tags this year with my bow. More to come.
Stay Tuned. Good Luck. Be Safe.