October 1 is the opening day of the Illinois Virginia archery season, and you might very well be reading this on your smart phone while sitting in a deer stand or at the blind.

This is what I do these days. I never thought I would see the day when I would give up my paper journal for an electronic version, but now I would hate to go back.

Rosalie and I are sitting at the breakfast table reading at our own pace – she on the laptop and I on my smartphone. No more dividing the pages and mixing everything up. However, the electronic version does not work very well in some cases. It is difficult to get it to work properly at the bottom of the bird cage or cat litter box.

Let’s say it’s 7 a.m. on Friday, October 1. If you are in the season, I hope you have already scored a nice big doe for the freezer or a monster for the wall and the freezer. I intend to have done one of these two things before 7 a.m., or at least I intend to have missed a few opportunities to do so.

Sometimes I get as much satisfaction from the opportunity as I do from getting the job done. I can take a photo or two and say, “This is the one I could have harvested. Plus, I don’t have to get dirty in the skinning and dressing process. The season is still young and other opportunities will present themselves.

I just found out that all the batteries from the shots fired on my arrows ran out because they were fired inside the bow case. I find it hard for this to happen on a regular basis. I saw a new brand and I think I’ll have to go through Stewarts Archery to see if he has the new version. He doesn’t seem to be that sensitive to this problem. I bet Jon has a solution that only money will cure. This merchandise seems to cure most of my wants and desires if there is enough.

I would like to improve my old bow this year, but I spent too much money to build a new stable and the things associated with it. My old ten-pointed crossbow is 22 this year, I think, and it has served me well. But the new versions are so much narrower and lighter.

Larry Miller, archery coach of the St. John’s Lutheran School Eagles, discusses the team.



It’s amazing that manufacturers can still achieve similar performance with much smaller and lighter models. I’ll probably still have to use my old bow for another year or so, but it’s still cool to watch the new ones.

I particularly like the idea of ​​models with the “inverted arc” which brings the weight of the arc closer to the operator. This really balances the weight better and makes it more maneuverable. The performance figures are not much different from those of conventional models. Maybe Santa will bring me one? Probably not!

Technology similar to advances in the bow world has also occurred in arrows and broad tips. I started with wooden arrows in the 60s and then tried fiberglass arrows (fiasco) and even tubular steel arrows. Then came upgraded aluminum shafts and finally carbon fiber models.

I still like aluminum arrows, but carbon arrows stay straighter. Jon once said, “With the carbon fiber boom it’s either straight or it’s broken”, and I found that to be true. They fly as well as my old aluminum ones and I have a few arrows that have killed several deer – my “lucky arrows”.

I still have to get an arrow or two with light hits, though. These are especially cared for in low light conditions in the early morning and late evening.

Make sure to dress quickly in these hot, early-season weather. It is important to quickly cool the carcass and bring it to the processor or hang it in a cooler.

If this is not possible, it will be enough to dress it and skin it and fill the body cavity with ice packs for a while. The quality of your meat will improve dramatically with proper care.

I wish you safe and safe hunts and success for the 2021 season.






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Dave Shadow


Dave Shadow is a National Fishing Champion and Outdoor Columnist. Contact him at [email protected]


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