Archery has woven its thread throughout my life since I made my first stick bow in the 2nd grade. There have been periods where other things took precedence over archery and the practice was pushed aside (trying to support a family has a way of pushing EVERYTHING aside).
In these later years, archery has become a “way of life” for me. The old saying is: guys think about sex every 4 seconds, well, in between, I’m thinking about improving my archery skills. I realize not every hunter has the dedication to diligently practice throughout the year come rain, sleet, snow, 95 degrees and 8 degrees; however, I can say there was a time I couldn’t devote that focus on the World’s Oldest Sport. I would hate to have had someone dictate to me because I was not performing at my optimum accuracy; that I couldn’t buy an archery tag and go to the woods with my bow.
There will always be some folks who will shoot beyond their capacity be it with long bow, compound, muzzle loader (I have to laugh about that term. Has anyone seen what passes for a “muzzle loader” these days?) or modern, center fire rifle. I continue to believe that most hunters have a sense of right and wrong and abide by a code of behavior.
Since I stumbled on to the muzzle loader topic, I find the parallels between primitive archery hunters complaining about compound bows to be in the same vein with “traditional” muzzle loaders objecting to the use of modern muzzle loaders. The difference for me is a modern muzzle loader requires no more skill to use than a modern rifle whereas consummate skill with the compound requires continual time at the butts.
Contrary to many opinions, the compound bow does require practice. Most of the “bowhunting” magazines suggest at least 4 months of preparation before heading a field. This is a completely different requirement than Billy Bob taking his scoped ’06 or modern muzzle loader or crossbow off the rack, picking up the same box of 20 rounds he has had for three years, and heading to the range to “sight in” with two of those rounds.
I find it easy to judge Billy Bob harshly.
I have to place the compound archer (and traditional muzzle loader) in a different category.
Things in life change. The best we can do is pass on our standards of behavior to the next generations and make them understand the reasons for those standards. No one is forcing Billy Bob into buying that cross bow or scoped “muzzle loader”. It is all about peer pressure and advertising.
And that brings me back to: Who taught he and his peers their code?
It was most likely parents and grandparents.