I am a weapon illiterate. I’ve never found the need to own a gun. Given my impulsive nature, that decision might have protected the lives of loved ones when I was still drinking. That’s probably not really true. The only time I fired a deadly weapon-as opposed to a BB or air gun-it was at a BFI dumpster and the sheer concept of bullet power scared me so much that I handed the gun back after a single shot. I don’t think I could pick up and fire a gun at a living being in fear or anger. Who knows? I’m glad I haven’t had to make that choice.
Bob doesn’t have that trepidation when it comes to weapons. He’s calm and careful when it comes to guns. I’ve watched him show his kids hunting tips and safety is paramount. I like that but I still don’t want to take the weapon lesson.
Recently, Bob bought a cross-bow. I wasn’t aware that cross-bows are used in modern times by every day hunters. I saw the archers use them in Shrek, but that’s the time period that I thought they were useful.
I really thought the firing mechanism was inspired by guns but it might have been the other way around. Archeologists have found crossbows in 2,500-year-old Chinese graves, and some historians believe that they existed in China as early as 2000 B.C. Bob’s looks less like the early crossbows and more like DaVinci’s revised designed for a crossbow.
DaVinci designed a giant crossbow is somewhat estimated at either 40 or 80 feet wide, to be mounted on an equally enormous wagon. Even though the giant crossbow would have been a bear to load, it would have caused devastation when its projectiles hit their targets.
Bob bought his crossbow in stages, getting the bow first and then the cocking mechanism, scope and practice target next. Our Academy has a special archery department, allegedly fully staffed with trained archery professionals. It says that in the archery catalog that they have in the department.
The reality is that Academy spreads their archery professionals between several locations. When the kids-and they were kids; it isn’t just my advanced age-finally answered the page, there were 5 or 6 archers vying for their attention. Bob knew which cocking mechanism and scope he wanted, but he wasn’t sure about the practice target. The prices ranged from $20 to $200; the $120 to $200 targets looked about the same except for a designation on the less expensive target that said “For Broadhead Arrows Use.”
Our Academy professional told Bob that you can really use any arrow with the target, not just broadhead arrows. So the less expensive target came home with Bob and he set up archery alley in his backyard.
It is just as scary watching a crossbow arrow fly past at 300 feet per second as listening to a gun first. I was so nervous about Bobby opening the door to see how the shooting was going and either him or one of the dogs getting hurt that I could hardly watch and appreciate Bob’s target practice.
And after the shooting was done, we think we found out why the target is designed for broadhead use. Whatever material is used on that darn target is not conducive to easy arrow retrieval. Bob got the arrows out but not without thinking he was going to have to do surgery on the target.
Lesson learned: when in doubt, don’t ask the cute Academy archery department kid.