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My first experience with traditional equipment goes back probably 50 years. A neighbor of mine had a Bear recurve and we would shoot in his back yard at a couple of bales of hay. I am not sure if he ever hunted, but he sure could shoot a target.

Many years after that the wheelie bug hit me and I just had to have one of those fancy shooters. PSE was a fledgling company back then and I bought a brand new Phaser. I added a rest, sight and anything else my local shop said I needed. It was fun and I actually shot at a couple of deer, and in all cases it was a clean miss.

Life moved ahead and more wheelies came and went. I was still shooting PSE and they were improving by leaps and bounds, as all wheelies were at that time. I was in a local pro shop when a PSE Impala caught my eye. It went home with me that afternoon. Because I had been shooting the wheel, I figured that all the stuff that went on the compound went on a recurve. Talk about the wrong idea. Sight, rest, stabilaizer, and all the rest went on that bow. Then the realization that you can’t hold long enough to use any of it. I removed all the goodies and started to shoot that bow. I went through 3 sets of limbs before I gave it away.

The limb problem was something that I had to deal with all the time with that bow. Next came another PSE, a Coyote. Fiberglass limbs, no breakage in many years of use and it is now serving as a fishing bow. I still continued to degress (so to speak) as a long bow by Saxon was now in my arsenal. A sweet shooter from the go. A special bow to me as it brought me the full circuit.

On my retirement, my family presented me with a Samick Sage. One of the best shooting bows I have ever had the pleasure of shooting. In all the years of shooting and hunting, I have harvested carp, squirrels and rabbits, not a deer has lost its life through my shooting. Do I have any regrets about that, nope. The time I have spent in the woods is special to me.

Archery to me is not only a personal thing but something that needs to be shared. I am currently a Hunter Education Instructor with 30 years experience in Illinois. I am NBEF certified and have been involved with youth and WITO events for almost 20 years. I have designed and built two different throwers for overhead targets. One throws styrofoam balls, the other foam disks. These targets are always the hit of all the events. People who are just observers want to give it a try and has been in a couple of newspapers. Even though I use Genesis bows in my classes as well as recurves and long bows that I have acquired, all shooting is instinctive.

Now that I am retired, the adventure is just begining. My wife and I will continue to do Hunter Education classes and I have been in contact with a couple of sportsmen’s clubs to start archery programs. We are also involved with 4H.

All this because some one took the time to show me some tradional equipment and show me the ropes.

When did I have time to work!