The Art of the Bow

When I moved to the middle-of-nowhere South Dakota as a newlywed bride, I was eager to adapt to life in my husband’s country, my husband’s heart home.

I was eager to display my enthusiasm to learn all things hunting, to show him his gal has got a lot more to her than what meets the eye. Well, this was displayed earlier on, as I was surprised how interested I found weaponry to be. But opportunities would grow now that we had our own home in the country.

Target shooting

It was six years ago I first learned to shoot, first held the weight of the barrel in my hands. Rifle. Handgun. Whatever husband decided to pull from his or his father’s gun cabinet.

Gun cabinet
Interesting,
I thought. Loud, but interesting. And easy, like, where’s-the-next-competition easy. Cock the gun, turn off the safety, fixate on the target using the end of your gun as a guide, and shoot. If you’ve got a scope, that helps. So easy! {Cue soft chuckle from Country Man} What I’ve learned is, the last thing a person needs to do is be overconfident. It’s a fine line to walk, confident but not cocky…

… because is there anything more predictable than a person who minimizes a skill you’ve worked on for years by exclaiming, “so easy!” after a first attempt? Recipe for disaster, in my experience.

Of course, the untried often seems simple when you’ve pegged it as difficult and you succeed on first try. Consistency, however, is the true mark of a skilled shooter, and consistency I do not own yet.

This year, my husband is teaching me the art of the bow.Β  I don’t have my own, will soon, but borrowed Country Man’s 67 pound draw weight handmade recurve. I am able to pull it back six inches with my own strength, which isn’t much.

For now, I will watch and learn as Country Man practices up on his 70 pound draw weight compound bow.

Country Man's bow

Country Man's arrows

Country Man's bow

South Dakota bow

See – look… how… easy that is! Easy easy easy! I can do it, too!

Ah, dang it. There I’ve gone and said it.

Disaster, let’s do this.

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44 thoughts on “The Art of the Bow

  1. Whoa! I am impressed. I come from a big family of hunters but I’ve never had any interest myself. I prefer to listen to my brother’s stories instead. My older brother was just here today (he lives in Florida and was up in northern Maine to bear hunt) and I asked him how the hunting went and he said, “well we basically got up at 4 am each day, sat out in the rain for five hours and that was it. No bears at all.” Sounds like my kind of hunting. πŸ˜‰

  2. My dad was an avid hunter…rifle and bow. The shooting of the rifle I could get into. The bow…good grief! I couldn’t get it pulled back at all. Talk about a workout. If you ever get to the point where you can get that bow pulled back and be accurate in your aim, then you will have mastered something, indeed!
    Girl power!!!!!

  3. I grew up knowing how to shoot a 22 pistol, but never got into anything more powerful. My mother, a widow at 88, had a neighbor call the sheriff and say she was shooting at them. two police cars and the Sheriff came to the door, asked if she had a gun and could they see it. She took them to her bedroom where she kept the 22 in a night table. They took it out, confirmed it hadn’t been fired recently and left it in pieces in the middle of the bed. My sister, who lived next door, came over to see what had happened. By the time she got there, my mother had reassembled the pistol and put it back in the drawer. She had told us if we ever got into the house at night not to open her bedroom door without knocking if they didn’t want to be shot. She lived in the country.

  4. I’ve always had an extreme aversion to guns, but I must say, now that I too am out in the country with my husband, he has convinced me to shoot his childhood BB gun (target: tin cans and plastic bottles) and man is it a thrill!

    You go, girl! (All the girlfriends I’ve convinced to try the BB gun have put the men to shame. ;))

  5. πŸ™‚ I’m so glad you visited my blog! I can’t wait to catch up with yours…my honey is going to be taking me out to learn to shoot now that I’m living in the country as well…I’ve tried tomahawk tossing, but not bows yet. πŸ™‚

  6. Oh WOW! You are such a sweet wife! I’ve never fired a gun, and can’t foresee doing so anytime in the near (or distant) future, but it really sounds like fun. I remember doing archery from high school, but it was with a little high-school gym bow and arrow, not even remotely as serious-looking as the bow in those pics!

    Have fun (and hopefully continue to avoid Disaster).

  7. When my husband went bow hunting, I always wanted my own. I am a lefty shooter so left handed bows were hard to find, especially for someone as weak as I am. We never purchased a bow for me and he recently gave his bow to our son-in-law after the hubby had shoulder surgery and decided he didn’t want to bow hunt anymore!
    We do each have our own guns that we shoot on occasion and enjoy doing that together.
    Enjoy learning many new things with Country Man! I am sure he is a wonderful teacher and a great way to spend quality time together.
    Mylene

  8. Even though I spent the late fall of my senior year in high school deer hunting in Northern Idaho it wasn’t until my son was old enough to hunt that we really started getting into guns around here. I have two of my own now but do prefer the quiet of my son’s compound bow.
    ~d.
    p.s. Don’t hose shooting competitions look like a blast?! We love watching “Top Shots” here. Oh, and in total agreement with the “confident but not cocky” statement! πŸ˜‰

    • It’s funny, I first learned the rifle but always felt drawn to the bow. Like you said, rifles can hurt, they’re loud, and overall designed for a man to use. I guess it’s time to follow that gut instinct and learn the bow – more female-friendly, in my opinion. And I sure hope there is no disaster either! But really, you just never know. Thanks for stopping in!!

      • I wonder if they make a rifle with a lighter bullet/charge for women.

        You’d think that the need for upper body strength to pull the bow would make it harder than a rifle instead of the reverse. There’s always the crossbow, where you crank it back and hold the string on a ratchet until you fire.

  9. Your country man and mine would be great buddies. After listening to the justifications for the stock pile of various guns (including muzzle loaders), and bows I’ve come to the conclusion that my husband utilizes any and all weapons simply to prolong his hunting and field exposure.

    Growing up in hick country I was knocked down on my butt by the kick of a shot gun and haven’t shot one since. The boys used to show off their gun inflicted bruises as a right of passage. I thought I was missing out on something cool until my physical mass was hurling backward. So for now, I shoot the no kick guns and leave the biggins’ to the big boys πŸ™‚

    Have fun and update us on your experience.

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