For those of you out there who share my frustrations, I apologize for the break in Hunterella action. Hopefully, snippets of stories on Twitter (@RealHunterella) and Instagram (@RealHunterella) were enough to tide you over as my work schedule ramped up to overload. On the downhill slope now, I have a great line up of stories to kick off the 2017 season. And it all begins with one big change...
I love my bow shop. Greg at Crooked Creek Outdoors is one of my greatest resources and cheerleaders, and I have learned more in the last year from a wooden bar stool than I have in all my years of grad school. Whether I have a good day shooting or not, sitting at the counter, swinging my feet as the stories pile up higher and higher always ends my day on a good note. Last July, during one of these visits, Greg convinced me to give a new bow a try--what would it hurt, and there weren't any other customers in the shop, so we had time to kill. I was completely happy with my Eva Shockey by Bowtech and had no interest in buying something new, so to humor my friend, I slapped on a release and stepped into the tuning room. All it took was one little pull of my index finger for my mind to be blown (to see the reaction, click here). Right there, right that minute, I promised myself that I would buy a Halon 6, whatever it took. Period.
All fall and winter, I picked up extra jobs around my teaching schedule to sock away cash for my bow. Baseball scoreboard, game supervision, Saturday detentions, basketball stats book...you name it, I said yes to it, hoarding every extra dollar like a Depression-era housewife. I promised myself I would not give up on my Shockey until archery deer season closed, as I hadn't recovered a kill from it and didn't want to send it off into the sunset without closing the deal. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the job done. This nags at my soul in ways you cannot imagine, and as I placed my order for the new bow, a hefty load of guilt went with the heady rush of spending so much money on something new. I even toyed with the idea of ordering new limbs for my old bow, allowing me to increase draw weight like I needed and giving me one more chance to close the deal on a hunt. Unfortunately, my time with my bow was on life support, and I was only trying to find ways to delay the inevitable.
Watching her be stripped down on the day my Halon arrived was more difficult than I imagined. First the stabilizer and wrist strap, followed by the quiver mount and rest. As the sight came off and she laid there bare, I lifted it gingerly, forgetting how light it was compared to the new bow. Piece by piece, my old parts found their way on the new bow, and as it was turned and tuned, I watched Greg expertly tailor each adjustment with a new appreciation of a) exactly how much that man knows about bows and b) exactly how little I really understand about them. If he ever offers a (paid) internship at the shop, I really should sign up.
I'm still in the early dating phase with the new bow. We are learning each other's strengths and quirks, but with 60# limbs and almost zero vibration, I like where this is headed. I still have the Shockey bow, quietly waiting on a new owner to take her out in the woods and on the range, but something keeps holding me back from listing it as officially "For Sale" on ArcheryTalk. Maybe I'll get one of the other girls at the shop to make the investment in a great bow, and I'll get to see it from time to time and hear how she's faring this fall in the woods. Maybe.