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My Little Person – only in physical stature, in all actuality she’s larger in heart and personality than most I know, including myself – didn’t kill a turkey again this season. But that’s not from lack of drive on her part – she just picked the wrong two guides: Chevy and me.

Chevy isn’t that bad anymore and he had a great season (in one of these columns, I’ll identify Chevy but that will be a long one). Me, well let me just say that my turkey flaring device sent seven jakes and two long bears on a run – when they flew down from the roost after gobbling all over my hen tree call – in the direction of our next county. And we haven’t seen them since. I think she sticks with me because I taught her to shoot the crossbow, and she insists on hunting turkey with it and not a firearm. Maybe, too she has faith in me because I did help her become a successful crossbow deer hunter.

Next year, Good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise. She might be out there with a different guide, but she’ll still be carrying her crossbow.Debbie Snyder, my bride, should be an inspiration to all you Bubbas out there that leave the little woman behind when venturing out on the hunt (her ex thought women didn’t belong in the deer woods). It’s a shame the efforts of long ago women’s rights activist never approached the, “Let us go hunting, too,” theme. If they had stopped the, “leave the little woman behind in the kitchen to clean the next critter I bring home,” attitude a long time ago perhaps the anti-hunting sentiment wouldn’t be so strong. I just saw a lot of fuss about Betty White hosting Saturday Night Live at 840 years old – one of those old time anti-hunting activists. She was one of the original members of the Disney Syndrome.

Maybe if we’d (or our mentors had) started taking the little woman hunting a long time ago, we could now relax. A major part of that 50 percent of the population would now understand why we hunt. And as typically smaller in physical strength, those recruited to archery hunting would be there to fight the crossbow fight. Debbie Snyder is – I don’t care how much let-off (or if the draw-weight is reduced to the point the broadhead doesn’t stick in a 3D deer) the compound has, she can’t hold it with her left arm extended.

Hind sight is 20-20 our early hunting mentors had converted to taking the little woman along earlier we might have defeated two opponents at the same time: fulltime anti-hunters and part time anti-hunters, the bowhunter groups opposing hunters using crossbows.

I was doing crossbows-101 for Indiana DNR staff, Hoosier Outdoor Writers, members of both the state Senate and House Natural Resources committees and the public back in the mid-1990s. Some of the public that attended was the state bowhunter group to voice their opposition to crossbow hunting opportunity being expanded in Indiana. A female state senator had just shot a center-shot arrow from the crossbow when one of the bowhunter-group did me a favor and voiced very loudly, “See those damn things are so easy even a woman can shoot one.” It’s attitudes like his that are helping to see expansion of crossbow hunting opportunity, but the negative is those attitudes enforce the opposition to hunting in general.

I’m at a point in my archery-hunting career that I gain as much enjoyment vicariously as I do actively pursuing the sport. When the freezer sometimes gets low on venison (I write sometimes because Debbie does a pretty good job of filling it), I get the drive to go find a nice plump doe to fill it. But those big horned bucks I’ll leave to Debbie and others with that still-young drive.

I realize I am preaching to the choir. I know that every one reading this column does their best to introduce kids and women into the field of crossbow hunting for deer. But I just wanted to remind you to give this advice to those thick skulls that still think women don’t belong in the crossbow hunting woods.

Posted in: Crossbow Hunting

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