I live a fairly routine life. One day is pretty much like another. Still, I'm comfortable in my routine and it makes things move smoothly. Yeah, right. My work days are spent in a medical setting where
I have to hustle to keep up with the events at hand. After work, the rest of my day, and sometimes part of my night might involve a gunsmithing project, a car repair, or writing on my latest book or blog.
Sometimes, I have more to do than time to do it, so one item or another gets shoved to the bottom
of the stack to await its turn as the project of the day. That's life.
I've had to drop some things altogether. I rarely shoot my own bows any more. I sold many of
those I'd acquired over the years. I wasn't using them, and various other projects needed money to
move forward, so I did what guys do. I sold some bows and moved on. At my age, I've finally realized I can't do everything I want to do. Yet, with four grandchildren coming up in years, I have the huge responsibility of passing down a few useful skills that I've learned to them. It's what grandpas
do. One of those skills is using bow and arrow.
My own old Bear compound bow, a Whitetail Hunter model, was getting long in tooth, so my beloved Pamela got me a Barnett Vortex Hunter for Christmas. With a draw weight range from 45
to 60 pounds, it shouldn't be too taxing on me for target practice. What is taxing is the way
salesmen have cluttered up the simple practice of archery. What began as a bough and a string
shooting a stick has turned into the bow and arrow equivalent of the space race. Wooden laminate
bows have long since been replaced by alloyed versions that would make any android glow red with
envy. Bow sights have gone from a simple brass pin to fiber optic cable. By now there's probably LED modules in use. Some guys probably stick cameras on their bows, along with the string silencers, recoil reducers, nock points, whisker biscuits and carry handles. Carry handles? A bow is a carry handle with limbs.
Then there's the mater of releases. Sure, a release takes string pressure off the fingers and moves it back to the wrist. It may even be more accurate. To me, it over complicates the use of a bow. Besides,
I like the feel of the string when it smoothly flows free of my shooting glove. It's part of the experience
for me. Unless I'm too weak to pull the string back with only a gloved hand, and that day may come sooner than I expect, I'll put off buying a release. Nor do I need arrows that glow in the dark, because I
don't shoot in the dark. What I could use is an arrow that cries, "Hey stupid, I'm over here!" when I lose it. Beeping and whistling don't seem to help. What should be the relaxing pull on a string and release of an arrow has become lost in a technological nightmare.
Sometimes, I think a simple recurve it the way to go. Master it, and you're prepared for life with
little maintenance and a spare string or two. Life is complicated enough. Get rid of all the bells and
whistles you don't need. You can't do it all, so make the most of what you choose to do. Go simple.