2013 is here and the opening day of deer season for bow hunters is just around the corner. Every retail hunting store is advertising the new bows for sale like they are the best bow in the world. For some reason I can not help but wonder about a buddy who is going to be shooting his old bow from almost 20 years ago.
I wasn’t bow hunting 15 years ago much less 5 years ago, but Chet Niblett of Decatur, Texas started bow hunting right as the bow industry began changing at 31 years old. At the time, he purchased one of the best bows on the market and was proud to show it off, “I bought this thing in Denton, Texas at a store that hasn’t existed in a long time.” In the bow hunting world as we know it now, it is almost unheard of to hunt with an old bow like he has.
Chet just recently pulled his old Browning ProHunter II out from storage after not shooting it for the past couple of years. When he opened the case he saw a perfectly clean bow with old arrows that had a name and address taped to them, “Back when I first started this hobby we had to attach a label on each arrow with our name, address and phone number.” There wasn’t even a loop on the string to attach a release, instead they would clamp the release below where the nock attached to the bow.
Some of the old parts were dehydrated and string dampeners looked like an old frayed fishing lure, but that didn’t stop him from pulling it out of the case to have it cleaned up. He knew better than to go try and shoot it right away, “I was afraid to pull it back and sling an arrow since I hadn’t changed the string since I have owned it.”, which was probably a smart idea on his part.
Chet took his bow to a local bow shop to have the string changed and was surprised to learn he could choose what colors he wanted his string to be, “I just chose hunter orange and black, it suits me well.” He found out real soon his bow sight was outdated along with his arrow rest, but it was nothing that couldn’t be fixed with a couple of dollars and the turn of an allen wrench.
After getting all set up and ready to shoot, he still manages to pull back the same amount of poundage on it now as he did back then. “The sport has changed a lot since I first started shooting… we didn’t have all this new stuff back then, but it is nice to have it now!” It has taken him a while to his newer set up on his ProHunter II, but he likes the changes and is excited to have it in working condition again.
As Chet practices every day he becomes more confident with his old bow in hopes to harvest a deer this year and start back where he left off. “It has been a long time coming…”
Written by Trey Hawkins
Just because something is old, does not mean it is no good! Thank you Chet for setting an example!