The phrase sounds innocent enough, but if you were in the presence of my wife while I uttered these words for the ump-teenth time, you would see her eyes roll, you would catch the wince as she prepared for the sucking vacuum that is traditional archery to empty our checking account.
Traditional archery was a natural fit for me. Not only was the shooting fun and the bows beautiful, but you could make just about any item you could use for the hobby yourself (just like fly fishing!). So not only did I end up buying a bow, but I had to have arrow cresters, dipping tubes, fletchers, fletching cutters, shaft spine testers, arrow quivers, golves, string silencers, etc. The list was endless.
But there was only one problem. Even though I was a great arrow maker, a fine fletching cutter, a fair quiver maker......I was a terrible shot. This minor problem seemed easy enough to overcome. I'd just practice more. Well, practice I did. I practiced every day before work. I'd shoot the range on weekends. I was ok. I had some minor form problems, but I could usually hit a pie plate at about 20 or so yards, and that's about what you need to be able to do to ethically hunt with a recurve.
So, off to the woods I went. My quarry was elk. I won't bore you with stories of stalks and wind currents and out witting the mighty wapiti. I'll sum up my hunting experience with a simple word.... MISS. And did I miss. Not just once, but every time I had an elk within my self imposed limit of 20 yards. I don't think it was "buck fever" because I missed cows (female elk) too. I had never had as many opportunities to be that close to elk during any other season of elk hunting, and none of them had much to worry about.
Feeling a bit bummed about the whole season and my poor shooting abilities. I swore off the recurve. It was hard for me to do. I had flirted with traditional archery for almost a whole decade. I'd dabbled in shooting, even tried bowhunting a couple of prior years, gave up, started again, and bought and sold a pile of traditional bows. But, looking back, I think it was the right thing to do. Although I do wonder if my failure wasn't because of the bow I was using...You know, there was this really sweet Black Widow recurve I saw on ebay the other day, it's got longer limbs than that old clunker I was using before........