PSE’s Emily Anderson – Allure of the Bow
By Emily Anderson
I can still vividly remember the first time I held a bow. I was with my husband, Troy, in a local sporting goods store. He was admiring the row of bows, picked one up and announced, “I want to start hunting with a bow.” I knew where this was going. A new hobby, or passion as some call it, was about to be formed – a new addiction that came with an expensive price tag. Old passions had recently been laid to rest. The dirt on a bull rope and smell of rosin hanging in the air, gave proof of a recent ride. Leather chaps were now draped over the bannister, and the adrenaline and rush of an 8 second ride now had a need to be replaced. And as my husband stood there holding a bow, I knew I couldn’t say, “No.” Little did I know that I was about to step into this new arena with him… hand in hand.
But I’m getting ahead of myself; let me back up a little…
Autumn has always been one of my favorite seasons of the year. As days slowly begin to decrease the allotted time for the sun’s rays to shine, the leaves begin to turn shades of gold as if kissed by the sun. A crisp breeze with a hint of Jack Frost’s breath disrupts their golden display. They surrender and take turns falling to the forest floor which is now taking on the form of a yellow brick road for deer and woodland creatures to travel on. As more golden leaves tumble down in a natural confetti fashion, the forest appears as if a parade is about to begin. In a way it is. We call it opening day.
As summer was coming to a close the first year Troy and I were married, he asked if I was okay with him hunting that fall. Hunting was not unfamiliar to me. I understood what this entailed and was excited about the thought of our freezer filled with game meat. I had no objections to him wanting to shoot an animal for the purpose of adding lean meat to our table. I can remember the annual ritual where my dad and brother would venture off into the woods in search of wild game when autumn would roll around. However, it never occurred to me that this adventure would be something I would be interested in. When presented with Troy’s question of whether or not he could go hunting, for some reason I found myself responding to my new husband with a question instead of an answer. The question was simply, “Can I come with?” I think he was a little taken back at first, but then a smile crept over his face and we’ve been hunting together ever since.
For our first couple years hunting together, we would arm ourselves with rifles, and don bright orange. Our clothes consisted of heavy camouflage jackets and winter boots. During rifle season, it wasn’t uncommon to be hunting with a blanket of snow on the ground and frozen toes in my boots. Sleeping arrangements consisted of a GP medium tent and breakfast was usually an attempt to cook frozen eggs over a campfire. After a couple years of hunting elk this way (and without punching a tag), we found ourselves once again preparing for opening day. While in the hunting section of the sporting goods store, purchasing ammunition and admiring numerous elk mounts on the wall, Troy could no longer stand the allure of the bows. Like a chorus line beckoning to come take a look, they were all lined up hanging neatly on the racks. He gave in. Picked one up. And, I was forced to answer the underlining question of “Can I buy one?” as he stated, “I want to start hunting with a bow.”
As still fairly newlyweds with limited funds, I glanced at the price tag and thought it might be smart to delay the inevitable just a bit. I struck a deal with my husband. He could have the bow as soon as he brought home some elk meat during rifle season. Now, mind you, Troy was quick to point out that he had shot plenty of elk before he met me. But somehow my deal stuck, and not long after I was eating elk meat for dinner and Troy was shopping for a new bow.
I quickly realized that bow hunting was a whole new world, and if I wanted to continue hunting with my husband, I would need to look into archery as well. The question was how I would present this idea in a way that he couldn’t say no. I was now the one holding the bow and pleading with my brown eyes. Before the words even escaped my mouth, I was presented with the same challenge I had given Troy several months ago – Shoot an elk with your rifle first. That fall, while Troy was at work, I fulfilled the challenge by shooting my first elk and packing it off the mountain. I called him as soon as I got cell service, and proudly announced, “Let’s go bow shopping.”
Emily Anderson’s hunting journey began shortly after she got married. She enjoys the passions for the outdoors, hunting and fishing as a team with her husband. She established www.FromTheDraw.com as a way to share her stories as a female hunter. Emily lives in Colorado and is currently on an Elk hunt. She is now a PSE Staff Blogger and will be posting daily about her experiences and views on archery and hunting.