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Location: Arizona
Joined: 06/07/2002
Posts: 506
My Beginning Adventure...

I was talking to my buddy the other day about old times, and the subject of us both getting into bowhunting came up. We both started at the same time, and the same way, learning together... two uninfromed virgins on a mission!

When I first moved here we were having trouble getting drawn for the rifle hunts we wanted, and for a couple years in a row ended up picking left-over tags in a second draw just to go anywhere. Then the hunts seemed too short in days for me, etc., and the following season so long a wait to even apply again. In a way, that was a blessing in disguise in coming years for a few reasons, and glad it worked out that way now.

I noticed at the time back then that archery hunters had two seasons, could go anywhere, and had about 2 and a half months or so of time to do it in. That seemed like the way to go for me, I had "the fever" and I wanted to spend more time in the field, even if it was harder. I got my buddy talked into it, and we both got kitchen passes from the wives to spend some money... though not much, ha!

So... not knowing squat about bowhunting, or knowing anybody that did, I decided to dive in, LOL. I started reading some magazines I could find in the market, and asking around found a guy that knew something about it, and gave me some tips, but not much else in the way of help. First thing I learned was that you had to be measured for a bow which shows just how much I knew, heh. We got that done, and decided to buy from a catalog by pluck and luck, LOL. Yeah, I know, should have gone to a pro shop, or at least tried picking one up first for feel and all, but... Wacko

I soon found an ad in a magazine for a place that had all kinds of discontinued models for sale, and ended up with my third somewhat random choice over the phone, finding my first two sold out. I ended up with a Jennings T-star (I think that's the model?) that was 48" ATA in length, and with two smallish wheels. I wasn't even quite sure what it would look like at the time, but soon a pretty green bow arrived at the door. I bought a sight, plunger rest, etc. and started out shooting fingers with arrows that flew like slow telephone poles, ha ha.

It also weighed a ton, a real boat anchor, and after an all day hunt sometimes I could barely lift it up to the tailgait of the truck at the end of the day without using two hands, LOL. I used a hip quiver eventually to help that out some after some frustration trying to use a quiver slung across my back; and to this day still prefer using one. I also went from using to a glove, to tabs, and finally said screw it I can't hit a barn door consistantly and bought a release. My frustration eased some then... but not completely until I bought the correct type rest... live and learn  Oops!

I had to use that bow for about 12 or 13 years mostly because of money issues, new babies seemed to come along, a mortgage, and all that goes with that, but I made it work.  I still have it retired in glory, and learned almost everything I know the hard way with that thing. A lot of disappointments with missed shots, blown stalks, etc., but also some great days and stories to talk about over campfires. Wink

The rest is history, and bowhunting became my passion...

So what did any of you guys start out with?

Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
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I first got interested in bow

I first got interested in bow hunting when I was a sophmore in highschool and in the Boy Scouts.  We made our own long bows from a kit that we bought from an archery shop in Farmington, Ut.  There was also a kit for the arrows so that is the way that we went.  That bow sat for a couple of years before I decided to give hunting with it a try.  At that time you could hunt the entire state of Utah for almost 2 months for the archery season and then go rifle hunting in October.  So I first started out with a 55-60 lb long bow with cedar shaft arrows with my own design on them. 

I didn't even take a shot at a deer with it for around 5 years but that first deer with it was the trophy of a lifetime.  Taken by a bow that I had made with my own hands and shot with an arrow that I had made myself, what a thrill.  I hunted with that bow until 1978 when I bought my first compound and thought that I had gone to heaven.  It had a 60 lb draw weight with a 50% letoff, I felt like I could hold it at full draw forever.  I used that Browing compound to take my first elk.  A nice big old cow that happened to wander a little too close. 

Now I hunt here in Colorado with archery tackle and usually draw a late season cow tag for the rifle.  I hunt other states with what ever tags I can draw.  I keep hoping for another Arizona archery tag to go chace the Coues deer that have evaded me. 

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Location: Arizona
Joined: 06/07/2002
Posts: 506
I first got interested in bow

That must have been a good feeling using a bow you made yourself.I have never shot a long bow, but been interested at times in trying/getting one.

I know when I retired that Jennings, my new bow was like being in heaven, LOL. Not that it was that bad, just older technology and somewhat slow, making yardage estimation very important.

Thanks.

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Location: Fruita Colorado
Joined: 02/02/2009
Posts: 1951
How I got started

I was very fortunate that my father got started when he was 15 or 16 years old by my uncle. My dad took his first buck with a bow when he was 16 out in Bookcliffs.My dad and uncle both got into guide and outfitting early on. So naturally dad had us in the woods before we could walk. He had us shooting recurves when I was 6 years old (1976) and I recieved my first compound when I was 12. It was a Ben Pearson 20-30 pound bow and then I won my first split limb bow a Darton SL50 when I was 13 at a archery shoot and I took my first muley buck with it.

As a family our time was archery season and it was all about family. The rifle season was for the hunters from Tennessee and Alabama mostly and I still got to go with them hunting also. I have taken most of the big game I have taken throughout the years with a bow in hand. I have shot mainly Dartons all of my life and a Martin Fire Cat in the 90's an then back to a Darton in 2001. Now I shoot a Bowtech.

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Location: Arizona
Joined: 06/07/2002
Posts: 506
How I got started

That's cool your dad got you started early. My dad was big into shooting, and got me into that when I was young. He also used to shoot in trap and skeet competitions, and had us doing that too. He was not into hunting though at all, so I was an adult before I started doing anything about that, and I think about 30 before trying a bow in my post above. It sure would have helped starting out if I had known somebody else that did it at the time, but it didn't take all that long to figure out how to make the best of it and have fun.

Thanks.

Location: From Grand Junction CO, stationed in Arizona
Joined: 08/01/2010
Posts: 534
In the beginning

I too was very fortunate that my father got started when he was 15 or 16 years old by his oldest brother Gary. My dad fell in love with it and continues to this day.  He has taken a deer with his bow all but 4 years since he started back in the 70’s.  He had me in the mountains at 4 months old on my first hunting trip.  He put a fiberglass bow in my hands at the age of two and I followed him around at all his archery tournaments and on the mountain during hunting season.  I got my first compound bow, a darton SL-50, at the age of 13, it was a hand me down from my cousin Quinton (elkkill06).  He killed his first buck with it and I killed my first deer with it at the age of 15 (I still have that bow Quinton).  As a teenager all I had was a bow in my hand and a couple arrows in the quiver but still managed to make it into the mountains ever year.  My dad and my cousins, Quinton and Quinz, helped me out a ton letting me stay with them giving me hand me down camo and showing me the lay of the land.  I have since acquired my own hunting and camping gear and am fully self-sufficient in the mountains.  I have ventured out from our family mountain and have hunted in different states and now I am the one returning the favor by introducing my friends to archery hunting and showing them the tricks I have learned over the years.  This year I get to bring my son on his first hunting trip for deer and elk in Washington State.  I can only hope that he loves the outdoors more than his play station so we can share the fun times on the mountains like me and my father did as I developed as a hunter.  My son is only 10 but he is already a veteran bow hunter haven taken his first animal, a rabbit, with a bow at the age of 6.  It has always been a family affair and I hope to keep it that way long into the future.

I attached a photo of my first hunting trip too. (i'm the bald one holing my hands together)

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ManOfTheFall's picture
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Location: Dover, Ohio Tuscarawas County
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   Unfortunately I didn't get

   Unfortunately I didn't get my start in bowhunting until I was 30 years old. My friend introduced me to it and I have became a die hard bow hunter ever since. I rarely pick a gun up any more. Bow hunting is definitely where it's at.

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Location: Arizona
Joined: 06/07/2002
Posts: 506
Unfortunately I didn't get

Same here, about 30 or so I think. Sure missed out on a lot of years of great fun, and wish I had been exposed earlier to it.

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Location: Arizona
Joined: 06/07/2002
Posts: 506
In the beginning

That's great. Like I mentioned above, my dad had me shooting and into guns early, but was not into hunting. In fact he used to tease me a bit as an adult when I started hunting about Bambi etc. Just not his thing...

All my kids hunt though, I broke them all in early too!

Cool picture, thanks.

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Location: Fruita Colorado
Joined: 02/02/2009
Posts: 1951
Very cool !

Conrad,

I personally just want to say you have turned into quite an accomplished bowhunter. You always have been welcome and always will have a spot in my camp.

I get a smile on my face just remembering seeing you as a little guy following your dad around at all the archery shoots (I sure wish I hadn't thrown all my trophies away and your dads scalp) Laugh

I am truely glad to see your kids growing up the same way as we got to and my kids got to. I hope Gabe and you both have excellent hunts and I am sure I will see you around 2nd season.

Thanks for sharing your story and taking me back down memory lane. Thumbs up

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Location: zone 20 Saskatchewan
Joined: 08/14/2009
Posts: 772
Great story

My story started out and the age of 13 my dad came home with a new bow for me for all the extra work that had been going on, on the farm. I shot lots and became very good for the bow it was back in the day but after a few seasons with no kills and becoming a teenager with less hunting time on my hands I put it away and grew out of it.

25 years later I get bitten by the mule deer bug and where I live its a draw season which you can get drawn every 4 or 5 year but there is a open archery tag you can get over the counter. So my brother and I headed out and picked up a couple bow and started learning and I mean learning the hard way! But with some help from the pro shop and the internet it has all come together and now I’m a total archery addict.

On the up side the first animals that we had a chance at with our new found skills was antelope and what a success it was and really nailed down the addiction!

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