John's Journal...


My Brother’s Dilemma

Click to enlarge 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 dilemmaClick to enlarge 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 just haveClick to enlarge 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, Click to enlarge"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.


Check back each day this week for more about DON'T SAY NO TO THE CROSSBOW...

Day 1 - My Brother’s Dilemma
Day 2 - Don't Think You Won't Ever Need A Crossbow
Day 3 - Ban Bow Hunting Or Promote It?
Day 4 - Be a Real Bowhunter: Shoot a Crossbow
Day 5 - Tight Quarters: The Crossbow’s Best


Entry 268, Day 1