Little Arrows Falling ‘Round You Everywhere
Many of the younger generation wouldn’t remember the 1968 song, Little Arrows sung by Leapy Lee (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvXDxobNteA)
But some of you might know the lines… the lyrics go like this…“There’s a boy ( in this case a girl!) a little boy, Shootin’ arrows in the blue, and he’s aiming them at someone, but the question is at who?. The chorus says, Here they come pouring out of the blue…
I’m sure this is what the quarry I pursued this archery season were singing after they experienced arrows falling ’round them from the sky!… but in spite of my misses I had a great season. Yes I was disappointed in myself for not coming through in the crunch, but the opportunities I had were so exhilarating!
My first opportunity came on a cow parading right down the game path in front of me. I had ranged all the bushes so I thought I knew the distance… but still misjudged the range and shot right over the top of her. She had no idea what had happened and turned and paraded back in the direction she had just come from, giving me another opportunity… again I misjudged the distance… and again shot over her back. I was by myself as Gary had gone on up the canyon and was several ridges over… I was kind of glad he didn’t witness the two misses, but I had captured it all on camera so he eventually saw it anyway!
Two weeks later I was on the mountainside again, and Gary, who had tagged out the week before was determined to bring an elk within bow range for me. We had heard a weak little half bugle in our favorite side canyon so decided to move in close enough to see if we could get this lazy bull stirred up. Gary set up about 70 yards uphill from me and began some very alluring cow calling… sure enough the bull began to get a little more interested. He was still only giving out sick little half bugles, but closing the distance. After what seemed an eternity, but was really only 25 minutes, I could hear him crashing through the brush right behind me. He was snorting and blowing and just when I thought I would burst from all the pent up adrenaline pounding through my veins, I spotted his dark legs through the thick brush to my right. I remember thinking he would bust through the brush and cruise right past me and I would have a 12 yard quartering away shot. So I drew back just before he cleared the brush… and at that moment he let out a guttural bugle… and stopped. When I drew back I was facing downhill in the direction I anticipated he would come… but now he was 10 yards away uphill to my right… so I slowly turned to my right and in the process of turning I lost my full draw and was no longer anchored against the wall, and felt very awkward… I let down and when I did he saw the movement and spooked uphill. I remember thinking he is still in range and quartering away so I drew back again and settled the 30 yard pin right where I wanted it to go… but it didn’t go where I wanted it to go and I watched with sinking heart as it sailed over his back. So many emotions surged through me… but overriding the terrible disappointment was the feeling of wonder at all that had just transpired.
This was the first time I have been able to get the opportunity to draw back on an elk in the eight years that I have bow hunted these magnificent animals. It only fueled the fire for more … There are no words to describe the feelings rushing through you when a bull elk is crashing through the brush behind you and you hear him blowing slobber… and then just to totally unnerve you, he bugles right behind your ear!
Here’s a little video of falling arrows…