Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 56

Straight from the Bowstring Straight from the Bowstring The Naturalist’s Eye The Naturalist’s Eye By Tom Tatum By Tom Tatum By Marcia Bonta By Marcia Bonta By Marcia Bonta Comfort Zones M OST PEOPLE ASPIRE to a seemingly simple goal — living a life of comfort. In the course of our daily lives, we seek to operate within the parameters of comfort zones where we feel secure and at ease — comfortable in our own skin. Bowhunting is no different, but it’s also an aspect of our lives in which the idea of “comfort zones” can mean different things. When bowhunting, as with other pursuits, comfort zones represent those places and situations, both physical and psychological, where we can function free of anxiety and agitation. If we are “uncomfortable” in any respect of the word while bowhunting, that discomfort may ultimately result in a failed effort with the “stick and string.” For the dedicated archer, the concepts of comfort and zones of comfort include many variations, both literal and figurative, that can influence the outcome of any bowhunt on any given day. Range and Accuracy What ranges, quite literally, fall within your personal comfort zone? How far can you send an arrow at a deer with assured accuracy? Just as the classic key to real estate is “location, location, location,” the key to a worry-free shot in the field is “practice, practice, practice.” Of the dozens of successful shots I’ve taken at deer, all have been at ranges of 30 yards or less, with most around 15. Quite frankly, with the exception of the occasional 40- or 50-yard shot sometimes required in the course of a 3-D archery shoot, all of my target practice is done at ranges from 20 to 30 yards. I’ll also practice elevated, simulated treestand shots at 3-D targets placed at distances of 5 to 30 yards. It should come as no surprise then that those same ranges mirror my comfort zone when the moment of truth arrives out in the wild. Not only could I never be comfortable taking a shot at a deer beyond 30 yards, nowadays I would never even attempt one. I’ll admit to taking (and cleanly missing) a few longer shots in my younger years, but in almost every case it was a factor of underestimating the range — a problem that experience and modern rangefinding gadgets have rendered null and void. Even if I diligently practiced and effortlessly connected on 40- and 50-yard shots under the ideal conditions of my backyard 3-D target range, I would still balk at taking any shot beyond 30 yards under actual hunting conditions. There are just too many things that can go wrong (unseen brush and twigs, sudden movement of the deer) for me to have a sufficient level of comfort in chancing such a distant and, by definition, iffy shot. Equipment An archer’s familiarity with his equipment also provides an important element of comfort. A bow and arrow combination that an archer has used for many years can fit him like an old shoe. A change in your release device or switching up your broadheads or arrows could result in a loss of faith in your equipment, unless and until you practice sufficiently with the new tackle. However, in terms of equipment, contentment with familiar gear can also be a case of ignorance being bliss — false comfort, if you will. At one point in my bowhunting career I was comfortable shooting wooden arrows drawn by my GAME NEWS

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009

Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009
Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Contents
The Ghost of the Orchard
Deer Wrestlers
Hunting with Hounds
A Just Reward
Mixed Bag
Cheaper by the Dozen
The Ranger and the Grouse
The Thanksgiving Day Bear
Squirrels The Hard Way
National Police Shooting Championship
On the Road Again
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
The Naturalist’s Eye
Straight from the Bowstring
Fun Game
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - The Ghost of the Orchard
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Deer Wrestlers
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Hunting with Hounds
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - A Just Reward
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Mixed Bag
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Cheaper by the Dozen
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - The Ranger and the Grouse
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - The Thanksgiving Day Bear
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Squirrels The Hard Way
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - National Police Shooting Championship
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - On the Road Again
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Insert 1
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Insert2
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Cover4
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