Stay Sharp In The Offseason

A few springs ago, I introduced my bride to archery. With the progression of time and experience she began to show a marked interest in participating in the bowhunting side of archery.

Eddie Claypool

Shockingly, by early summer she also told me that she’d like to go with me on my yearly trek to the high country in search of elk. Realizing the task at hand, I began to explore all avenues of preparation available.

Having local access to interactive archery (shooting blunts at a video screen showing animals in their native habitat), I signed her up for a go. The opportunity to face motion picture quality images of live animals — while being faced with the necessity of making decisions concerning timing and execution of shot — turned out to be a tremendous lift to her confidence, enthusiasm and ability.

Though our elk hunt didn’t result in her harvesting an elk, her enthusiasm wasn’t dampened. Due to her time spent in the video archery, she was confident in her ability and was bound to prove it to me. All the preparation came to fruition in a whitetail stand in late-October when she made a clean, one-shot kill on a doe — her first animal with a bow!

Attend ‘Outdoor’ Expo’s

Another option for the off season is to attend some of the gatherings for sportsmen that are sure to occur in your area. Nothing can help the post-season doldrums often experienced by a hard-core bowhunter more than the ability to see a plethora of trophy bucks on display.Also, the ability to visit with other outdoorsmen that share a like interest is part of the fuel that stokes the fire of an impassioned bowhunter. Attending such shows also is an excellent way to keep up with all the new gear that becomes available each year — a lot can be said for seeing this new “stuff” firsthand. Being able to “lay hand on” a product can take a lot of guesswork out of the selection process when you later order your gear from Sportsman’s Guide.

If you are interested in going on a guided hunt, for a far away species, many outfitters attend these shows, displaying their “goods.”

Just being able to fantasize about such adventures can go along way toward keeping the excitement alive. For me at least, attendance at one of these shows is like the proverbial “little kid in a candy store” setting — it’s too good to be true!

Be sure to find a variety of archery gear at Sportsman’s Guide.

Eddie Claypool provides tips on bowhunting, with an emphasis on whitetails. Over the past 20 years, Eddie has harvested 50-plus Pope & Young animals. Most of these animals were taken on public ground, though some came from private ground that was accessed through hard work & a handshake. He has not been on guided hunts, nor has he hunted on “managed” properties. Elk, Mule Deer, Antelope & Whitetails are his favorite species.

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