Saturday, February 18, 2012

A morning shoot...

     A heavy frost and a bite in the air...The sun is bright for once this winter with a blue bird sky as its rays feel warm against his back as he steps back and forth to fight the chill while he waits his turn to enter the timber and take his shots. A dad notices the youngster throws a larger shadow than he should and shakes his head as he wonders where the time has went...

     The dozens of boots that went in before have turned the semi frozen trail into a soupy mess of mud. He slips and slides into the shade of the trees and a shiver as the distinct temperature drop becomes evident hidden away from the sun. He spies his quarry and takes aim...intense, burning focus...right behind the shoulder. Draw, exhale, release in one fluid, graceful motion...thump as the brightly fletched green and white arrow connects with the target...The rest of the morning is a repeat of the first shot as multitudes of animals; deer, caribou, elk, bear and hogs fall prey to his arrows as the older archers take notice of the boy and his recurve...


     The finale, a grapefruit sized ten ring on a plastic bobcat some 35 yards distant...calm as can be, a real cool customer...bow arm canted, shoulders tense as he pulls 45 pounds of stored energy back to the corner of his mouth...anchor, smooth release as the cedar missile cuts a path through the air and archs towards its target...the satisfying thud of wood striking foam...No sights, no range finder, no unnatural calculations...just the sinewy muscles of a gangly teenager and the primitive, instinctive part of the brain taking over from hours of muscle memory...the older set again takes notice as the boy's chest seems a little wider and his shoulders a little more broad and upright...A heartfelt handshake and "great shot" from another gentleman bowhunter and in an instant, the kid's voice even sounds more mature, deeper, almost manly as he replies a humble "thanks"...


     And the dad steps back and let's the teen stand a little taller, a little stronger, a little more independent and dad thinks to himself that he's done something right as he grins a smile of satisfaction...