“There’s really not a lot about bowhunting I don’t love,” Justin Craycraft says. “Bowhunting is special because success is never a sure thing.
Justin Craycraft goes on to contrast the differences in the conversations when hunters who use guns to get their deer get together, and hunters who bag their limit by bowhunting get together.
In any gathering of firearms hunters, Justin says, there will be a few photos of the shot of the day and a lot complaining about the deer they missed. When bowhunters get together, he notes, everything about the hunt is exciting. One hunter will talk about how it was almost time to draw back and take the shot, but the wind shifted. Another will gush with amazement that somehow he managed to graze the back of a buck that turned to give him an angry look and walk away. Another bowhunter will regale the crowd with a recollection of how the best buck of the season was walking closer and closer, and then bolted and ran about 100 years before reaching the blind.
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Bowhunting Is an Intellectual Sport, Justin Craycraft Says
One of the reasons Justin loves bowhunting is the mental challenge.
Before hunting season ever starts, Justin likes to try out every gadget he can find in the bowhunting section of the local sporting stores. It’s easy to feel like a kid at Christmas when picking out gear for any given hunt.
Then there is the planning and preparation for getting ready for a hunt in a faraway place. Not the least consideration is finding places to hunt that are reasonably close to roads. After all, you have to carry your deer back to your truck.
There is prep work for deer season all year round. Hunters study drone photos of deer herds in the off-season. They do predator patrol. They put out feed to direct “traffic” where they want it.
Communing with Nature is the Key
Because deer season for bowhunters is longer than deer season for hunters who use guns, bowhunters get to spend a lot of time communing with nature. They learn to tune out distractions so they can focus on deer. They come to understand the nuances of breezes, scents, and subtle noises. They connect to nature for more hours and with more depth than is ever possible with any urban pursuit.
“What I really enjoy,” says Justin Craycraft, “is tinkering with my set-up for arrows and bow, making sure they are perfectly matched with my broadheads. I enjoy getting the pins precisely set and then shooting, shooting, shooting.
Many days when he is not in the field hunting, Justin enjoys honing his skills at the local archery range.
Justin takes care to honor the lives he takes in the hunt. Justin makes sure no part of the deer is wasted and invests in improving the quality of life for the deer that remain. Sports hunter and conservationist, Justin Craycraft will tell you that bowhunting makes him a better man.
Safety Tips for Bowhunters
Safety is paramount in bowhunting. Proper handling and storage of archery equipment reduce the risk of accidents. Abiding by hunting regulations and obtaining the necessary licenses ensures compliance with local laws. Additionally, hunters should equip themselves with basic first aid knowledge and emergency preparedness.
Bowhunting and Wildlife Photography
For Justin Craycraft, bowhunting intertwines with another passion: wildlife photography. Armed with a camera, he captures the stunning beauty of nature during his hunting expeditions, providing a unique perspective on the wild and sharing his experiences with others through imagery.
The Future of Bowhunting
As a sustainable outdoor activity, bowhunting can continue to thrive when approached responsibly. Justin advocates for passing down the love of hunting to future generations, nurturing a deep appreciation for nature and wildlife. Advocacy for ethical hunting practices is crucial for ensuring the preservation of this beloved sport.
In conclusion, Justin Craycraft’s dedication to bowhunting has provided him with a unique connection to nature and the wilderness. Through this ancient practice, he experiences the joy of embracing his primal instincts, while also contributing to wildlife conservation efforts. As the sun sets on another successful hunting day, Justin looks forward to inspiring others to explore the joy of bowhunting and fostering a community of responsible and passionate outdoor enthusiasts.