Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 34

The Countdown to Bow Season - 1987

I

DREW BACK until my knuckles hit their anchor point at the corner of my mouth. Taking
careful aim, I let one fly, paying close attention to my follow-through.
Then, I turned to swing open the Caprice Classic's stretched passenger-side door.
"You're really into this, aren't you?" my Pop-Pop asked, remarking on the imaginary bowshot
I got off before hopping in the car to head home from the plant farm.
If he needed an answer, he'd need only to stick around a minute after pulling into the driveway.
By then, I'd surely have my new compound in one hand and three beet-colored arrows in the
other, making my way to the straw bales that recently had been cased alongside the garden.
It was 1987, and it seemed like everybody was getting a bow. I was 13 years old and I'd just
gotten my first. It was a new world for me.
I'd shot a bow maybe only once before, during a Cub Scout competition that didn't go so
well. And that bow looked nothing like the camouflaged, wheeled machines that hung on the
archery-shop wall. If I had my choice, I probably would have picked a Hoyt - that was what
Rambo used, at least according to the display poster at the shop.
But after trying several in determining my dominant left eye wasn't going to compensate for
my weaker left arm, I walked away with a youth model Forked Lightning. As the weeks passed,
I'd be working my way up to the 40-pound maximum draw weight, with the goal of getting there
by hunting season.
Even so, the bow seemed incredibly fast at the time. This wasn't Cub Scouts anymore.
We left the bow shop with directions along winding roads, one of which passed under the
Interstate and came out at a hillside farm where they still baled straw the old-fashioned way,
in weighty, tightly packed squares. Two of them went home on the bed of the truck, and Dad
promptly built a neat house around them with stained walls, a shingled roof and all.
Ten-yard intervals to the target could be marked pretty closely by the fruit trees that lined our
new range. And the paths from those points to the bales quickly became worn as the backyard
became a gathering place for friends to enjoy an evening trying to top the others' best arrows.
Occasionally, shots were taken while kneeling.
And when the days shortened, and the sessions slipped into twilight, we'd hear shooters spout
off about the advantage they held because they'd drilled out their peep sights to provide a morespacious view of the target. The best advantage of all, though, came when my dad mounted a
spotlight to a board and ran an extension cord from the house, allowing us to shoot even later.
Through it all, I learned so much about shooting and hunting; about others' techniques and
their experiences afield; about my own physical abilities.
But for all the fond memories those days and nights on the range bring back, few are as vivid
as what I experienced that fall - like the afternoon a red squirrel managed to slip through the
paws of a pouncing bobcat, 15 yards from the stump on which I was seated; or the opportunity
to pose at the game pole with my dad, in front of his own bow buck.
Almost 30 years later, the prospect of those in-season memories-to-be-made still triggers
excitement as the clock counts down to the bow opener.
And at times I feel just like I did when the world of bowhunting still was brand new to me.

Travis Lau
34



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - Intro
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - Cover4
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