My indispensables for a summer of trad shooting.

When the days are longer, I get off work with a little more sunlight then during the short half of the year. Taking time to shoot, these are some items that I always have with me for those after work sessions since I’m a 30 minute drive from home. Most are pretty obvious, but here are the whats and whys:


1.) The Bows


With the addition of the Zipper at a higher poundage (I’m probably drawing 54 lbs at my length) I like to have my 45lb Stalker in the van to hone in on form issues when I’m struggling with consistency. I don’t tend to shoot both bows unless I’m trying to practice something specifically where I want the lower weight to slow things down. I’ll be hunting with the Zipper this fall. *The bows come inside with me and stay unstrung until I use them. The hot temps inside a car can be as bad for your bow as they are your puppy dog.



2.) The Tab


I can’t believe I lost my tab. Don’t know where it went, or what I did with it, but it’s definitely my fault. Turkey season ended and my van was about as messy as a 14 year old boys locker and somewhere in the re-organization of it all I misplaced it. I always shot with a homemade tab Kevin gave me when I made the switch from a glove and haven’t looked back….. until I couldn’t find it. Thankfully I jumped on and ordered a black widow calf hair tab that (after some slight hacking and slashing) I’m extremely stoked on. Note to self, don’t lose your tab.


3.) The Target


Ok, I know what you’re thinking. This is a pointless to read. Of course you need something to shoot at.


4.) The Tackle Box


It wouldn’t be the end of the world if this guy stayed home, but I have to have it. The last thing I want is to get a bug to fletch some arrows, tie on some new silencers, or change out a nock point and not be able to. During turkey season it came in handy when I broke the paracord on my tab (me and tab issues is a reoccurring theme). It pulled through and I was able to replace it at the van and keep hunting. Also, my blunt tips and broad heads are in there. One of my arrows in the quiver has a broadhead on it for one or two shots a day to get comfortable with my sight window with a Grizzly sticking out in front of my eyes.


5.) The Pack


I love my icon 3200. Right now it has a platypus bladder and 30lbs of weight in it. Though I’m not hunting out west this year, I like to practice shooting with a pack on sometimes. I typically carry in and hang my tree stand when I hunt PA whitetail so in the off chance that I’m walking in for an afternoon set with my tree stand, camera gear, and climbing sticks on my back it’s good to know I’ll be ready (or semi-ready) if I need to let an arrow fly with a pack on.


6.) Arrows


I lose arrows. Maybe I’m unique in the fact that when I’m shooting longer distances I don’t always hit the target, but I’ve definitely buried some arrows beneath the ground. This isn’t the main reason I bring my backups, I’ve been shooting the backups with 3 arrows loaded on the quiver, just like I would be if it’s my first shot at an animal. 3 arrows loaded doesn’t make a huge difference in weight, but if you have the arrows, why not practice how you’d hunt?



The moral of the story is I love to shoot and like to be ready even for the impromptu post-work sessions. I’m making it a point to try to shoot everyday this summer and constantly improve. If I’m not trying to improve and grow I’m simply moving backwards.

Make it a point this summer to be the best you can be come the fall. Stay safe, shoot straight.