I am a 37 year old Bow hunter from San Diego, California. I got into hunting and bow hunting later in life (after high school), due to the fact that I grew up in the city. The only deer hunting I knew about growing up usually involved a car. I didn't know anyone who hunted so I never considered trying it. There also were not many areas nearby that were hunt able. But after graduation I bought a shotgun Found someone who would let me hunt on his "huge" 5 acre forest. I know 5 acres is not a lot of area but it was the best I could do, and it was a large tract for the city.
Now that I had me a gun and some woods I went whitetail deer hunting. I call it hunting but I snicker every time I call what I did back then hunting. I basically just went into the woods and said hey deer let me shoot you. They never listened. I did not have a mentor to teach me about hunting, and I knew nothing of deer or the woods. So those first few years were rather disappointing but I did keep doing it, I enjoyed the solitude. There also was no internet back then so I could not just Google it and find out what to do.
After five or six years I did give up because I just didn't see enough deer to keep me interested. Then I moved to the country and met some bow hunters. They invited me out shooting with them one day with one of their old bows and I got hooked on archery. I bought that bow even though it was not the proper size for me. Hey it was cheap and already set up. I suggest you not make that mistake it took me a while to unlearn my bad habits when I got a bow that was the right set up for me.
I took that bow and I practiced shooting every day for the entire summer leading up to my first archery deer season. I still did not know anything about deer but I had a better location so I did actually see deer. I did not get to shoot at any that first year because I apparently smelled bad to the deer. But I did enjoy being out in the woods and seeing deer so I decided that I would learn how to hunt. I Joined the NORTH AMERICAN HUNTING CLUB A great organization to learn about hunting with a great magazine, but still not quite "basic" enough for someone who knew zero about hunting. I did learn though and eventually decided to become an NAHC life member. I read all I could about bow hunting and deer hunting and I watched all the Saturday morning hunting shows on ESPN. By then the internet was around but not Google, so the information you could get was not exactly what A novice would need so I spent many long hours sifting through all the info trying to find what I needed. That is one of the main reasons I wanted to start this site to try and get information together in one place for the novice bow hunter or someone who was thinking "maybe I might like it."
Eventually I did find enough info so that I could feel a little confidence in the woods. And I kept practicing 3-4 days a week. So my second archery season I saw many deer and even got to shoot one. It was a small doe but it was the greatest trophy in the world to me. I experienced "buck fever" for the first time and I couldn't quit shaking for a good half hour after the shot. That feeling was amazing and that made sure I would be out in the woods as much as I could to get it again.
After that season I started researching bows to get a new one, and realised that mine was not right for me. So after months of research and saving money, I bought me a new PSE bow and single pin bow sight. It was not the top of the line but it fit me and my budget. And I have spent a lot of time in the woods with that bow. I have shot more trophies like the first one. I still consider every deer no matter how big or what gender a trophy.
I still spend a good bit of time learning how to hunt and practicing with my bow and arrow. Maybe someday I will be the perfect hunter that I want to be, but in the mean time I do keep getting better and better at both shooting and hunting. And the time I spend in the woods is my time away from life. I have no cares except the deer, and they are not the least bit judgmental now that I don't seem to smell as bad to them.
I very much enjoy a bow hunt that ends in a good clean quick kill and meat in the freezer. But I enjoy the hunt and being in the woods at least as much even if I go home empty handed. I have never had a bad hunt. I have been disappointed in the outcome of many hunts, or with my own actions and mistakes, but never with the hunt itself. I enjoy bow hunting so much it has been a few years since I even got my shotgun out of the safe for deer season. I can't wait for the time when my grandson is old enough to take bow hunting. He already wants to go every time he sees a deer he says to call me so "we" can shoot it, that makes me feel good that I will be able to bring a new generation into the field.