Needing to kill time while waiting for the rain to let up I headed toward the archery counter and promptly ran in to Chris Vaughn, whom I met a few years ago and who has sometimes showed up on here with a nice deer.
We chatted hunting for a while and then he headed out.
I was at the archery counter to check out — drum roll, please — crossbows.
Regular readers may recall that I have no problem with the law that allows able-bodied hunters to use crossbows during archery seasons. The success rate is the same as among users of compound bows. And it encourages more participation in hunting, and that’s a good thing.
I have had no personal interest in using a crossbow because I just like shooting my regular bow. That’s the bow I picked up the other day to shoot, only to find that I couldn’t draw it without a hard effort. And it’s not like I have this thing set at 70 pounds. It’s more like 53 pounds. (I may have endurance, but I’m weak even when I’m not hurt!)
I think what’s going on is that a pinched nerve (self-diagnosis) that I’ve been fighting in my neck/back for about two months is weakening my left shoulder. I can actually draw the bow no problem with my left hand. It’s the pushing against the riser part that’s hard.
I’m seeing a doctor later this week for this, and I have hope I can be ready to hunt with a bow in two months. (I backed off the limbs to probably 40 pounds and was able to shoot about 20 times last night.) But in case I won’t, I’d hunt with a crossbow if I had to.
The other appealing thing about a crossbow is that it might give my kids a chance to hunt during archery season. They will be 10 and simply can’t draw a hunting bow.
But will a crossbow fit them?
As I was looking at an Excalibur, I spotted a kid who looked to be about their size walking buy. I asked if he’d be willing to see if the crossbow fit him.
His dad was smiling during the process, and I was looking at the dad I kept thinking, “How do I know this guy?”
So I asked him.
Well, it was J.R. Mitchell, an enthusiastic bowhunter (pictured here with a deer he killed in 2008) who is always posting super positive congratulatory notes on hero shots I post — especially those featuring kids.
My wife is always kidding me about how I run into people I know just about everywhere we go. I think it’s a good thing.
It was great catching up with Chris, and great finally meeting J.R., who was just as positive and enthusiastic about bowhunting in person as he is in his posts here.
I’m looking forward to more random encounters in the coming months with others who share my love of the outdoors and living the wild life.