DON'T SAY NO TO THE CROSSBOW
My Brother’s Dilemma
Editor’s Note: My brother, Archie, always considered
himself a bow-hunting purist. He shot the longbow first,
next the recurve and finally the cam-bow. He thought
of a crossbow as simply a rifle powered by a string.
But then when Archie's ATV fell on top of him and nearly
crushed him, he wondered how he would bow-hunt during
the upcoming bow season. At that time, Alabama just
had passed a law enabling disabled hunters and older
hunters, both terms that applied to my brother although
he'd never admit it, to use crossbows if they made application
to the state. To receive a permit to hunt with crossbows,
hunters had to prove they had physical limitations that
would justify the need for them to use crossbows. The
idea of shooting a crossbow presented a real dilemma
for my brother. Would he shoot what he had called a
rifle powered by a string, or would he give up hunting
deer from October 15th to the end of January during
Alabama's deer season?
Many people say wisdom comes with age, but I also believe
wisdom can come with disability. Given the choice of
having to give up bow season or shoot " a rifle
powered by a string," my brother has given up his
adversarial position on the crossbow and has since become
one of its biggest advocates. "Well, shooting a
crossbow is just like shooting any other kind of bow,"
Archie says now in defense of his position. "You
to use a different form. Besides, there needs to be
an alternative for a man like me who has bow hunted
all his life and now can't bow hunt because of a physical
disability." Another factor affecting Archie's
change of heart involves his having the 70-year-old
mark well within his peep site, in less than a year.
Archie's convinced he's not close to 70 years of age.
But for some reason, the person who filled out Archie's
birth certificate must have lied. Archie doesn't feel
70, look 70 or act 70. Although Archie will admit that
he doesn't find pulling a 65-pound bow nearly as easy
as he did 20-years ago, he also realizes that the longer
he hunts, the more difficulty he'll have pulling the
heavy bow he's accustomed to shooting. Once again, he
has to look at the options of, "Do
I give up bow hunting, or do I adapt my physical abilities
to hunting with a crossbow?"
Because I've watched my brother go through this process
of first having to accept the idea of hunting with a
crossbow to looking at the future of his bow hunting
and seeing its dependency on the crossbow, I have softened
my resolve against the crossbow, particularly after
my ATV accident.
TOMORROW: DON’T THINK YOU WON’T EVER NEED