The Little Things

After taking some extra time to ensure his arrow would clear the blind's window opening, BOWHUNTING Editor Christian Berg was able to make a perfect, 30-yard shot on this handsome Oregon tom.

I was hunting turkeys in Oregon with some folks from BowTech this spring when I got an unexpected call from my buddy Bob back home in Pennsylvania. It seems he had a huge longbeard strutting just 15 yards outside his blind, but when he drew for the shot, he didn't realize his arrow was below the window opening.

You can guess what happened. The longbeard lived to strut another day, while Bob was left to repair a nice gash in his blind and search the woods for his errant shaft. When I talked to him, he was beating himself up pretty good!

As fate would have it, the very next morning I found myself settling into a blind in the pre-dawn darkness. And guess what? When I sat in the camp chair inside and drew my bow, the arrow didn't clear the window. After a couple moments of concern, I figured out that if I simply placed my daypack on the seat, it lifted me high enough for a clean shot.

Being aware of that little detail paid dividends less than an hour later, when a pretty 2-year-old bird with an 8-inch beard came in for a closer look at my Montana Decoy hens. While sitting atop my pack, I drew my Destroyer 340 and zipped a Rage broadhead through the bird's chest. Thanks Bob -- you get an assist on that one!

As bowhunters, we sometimes fall into the trap of believing the outcome of our hunts depends on having the fastest bow, sharpest broadhead or latest high-tech camo clothing. But as Bob and I illustrated, the difference between success and failure usually boils down to the little things, like a poorly adjusted window opening. Who among us hasn't spent thousands of dollars on gear and invested hundreds of hours in practice only to be foiled by a loose screw, noisy rest or creaky stand platform? What's maddening isn't so much that these things happen but that we let them happen because of inattention to detail.

The bowhunters I look up to -- guys like Randy Ulmer, Patrick Meitin and Bill Winke -- are absolutely obsessed with the little things and devote as much time as necessary to eliminate any problems within their control. Bowhunting is hard enough; we don't need to make it even harder with our own mistakes.

On p. 101 of this issue, you'll find an article by professional shooter John Dudley on the importance of proper nock fit. Many, if not most, of you have probably never spent five minutes worrying about your nocks. But as you'll learn in Dudley's piece, they are one of the many "little things" that deserve your serious attention.

Archery insights like that are among the things that setBOWHUNTING apart from the archery magazine crowd. When our writers offer advice, I suggest you listen. Their tips won't increase the speed of your 10-year-old bow, but they will increase the odds of filling your tag.

And that's no little thing.

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