For generations, willingly taking advice has not been considered one of man’s strong traits. I will admit I have contributed to that legend a time or two in my youth. However, as I have aged, I would like to think I have grown wiser. One thing I have learned with age is listening to those who have gone before me when trying anything new usually pays off in more ways than you can imagine. This was no different when I was planning on making the switch to traditional archery. My plan in 2013 was to find people who have experience and ask for advice and learn from their experiences to help my introduction succeed. That planned culminated in two great doe harvested my first season with a traditional bow.
Sometimes we don’t appreciate how good we have it when things mostly go as planned until an event opens our eyes. This aspect of my transition into traditional archery came to light this evening when I was shooting my newly modified recurve. Last year, taking advice from Kevin Merrow and gaining knowledge from the Tradgeeks website, I chose a 35# Samick Sage recurve to learn how to shoot instinctively with traditional gear. The season I had last year will be one I will remember for the rest of my life, as it renewed my passion for the sport of archery. Fast forward to 2014, I ordered a custom bow (48# @ 29”) unfortunately; the bow will not be ready for this season. At the end of my 2013 season I vowed not to hunt with anything but a trad bow, so my “old” Samick Sage came to the rescue. Again, I went back to the well of knowledge for more advice, after bouncing the idea off Kevin, I ordered 50# replacement limbs to up my bow’s weight which will allow me to expand my hunting range for this season, problem solved. But that is not the true point of this story.
As I sit here this evening after shooting my “new” Samick Sage, the reality of trying to practice: form, release, anchor and ironing out issues that seemed to pop-up almost weekly; for a new trad shooter would have just been compounded by struggling with a heavier draw weight. When I was shooting tonight it hit me like a ton of bricks how easy it would be for a new trad archer to hang it up and just go back to the compound. Which is what might have happened to me last year if I didn’t take some very good advice and not let my pride get in the way of learning from someone else’s advice. Now, I can assure you even though this evening’s practice was nowhere near as good as it needs to be as I condition my body to get use to the extra 15# of draw weight. I know how much fun and how rewarding harvesting a deer with a traditional bow is and I will rely on everything I learned last year to make the needed adjustments. As I train my muscles to comfortably handle the new increase in weight and prepare for another great traditional season, take some advice from me. If you are new to traditional archery, gather as much information as you can from reliable sources and seriously consider starting out with a bow weight you can comfortably draw and hold to be consistent with your shooting, it will be more fun than I can express to you in words. Good luck!