Archery offers challenge of traditional hunt
The hunt is on
By Dave Mathieson
OXFORD - An arrow or a bullet? Both will do the trick when deer hunting but arrows offer the added challenge of drawing the animal in close.
With deer season now upon us many hunters are accepting that challenge.
"It's an awful big trick to get a deer with a bow and you should be proud if you get one," said Steven Dormiedy. "A lot of people are ashamed if they get a small buck but I wouldn't be. I know fellows who have hunted 25 years and have never shot a deer with a bow and they're very good archers.
"Standing up, drawing your bow, aiming your bow and being calm enough that the deer doesn't pick you off is very difficult."
Dormiedy, who owns and operates 3D Archery in Oxford, has been hunting with a compound bow for close to twenty years and is always impressed with the sensitivity of a deer's senses.
"If there's more than one deer eating apples, good luck drawing your bow. They'll pick you off so quick," said Dormiedy. "You don't hear my bow when I draw it and I've been in situations where the deer is looking the other way and I drew my bow and the deer runs into the woods and I never know why."
Dormiedy hunts from a hunting stand but said there are bow hunters who stalk their prey.
"I've tried stalking them before but good luck," said Dormiedy. "There's a few people around here who do it well but it's very hard and it takes a lot of patience."
Ideally, Dormiedy likes to get the animal within 20 yards of a shot.
"The whole goal in archery is to get close to the animal but ethically I think a 20 yard shot is perfect," said Dormiedy. "Hunting with a bow is more personal. You can see a deer blinking its eyes. It's unbelievable."
Dormiedy said an arrow travels at 300 feet-per-second.
"A well place shot always passes right through the deer. I've never had one stay in an animal in my lifetime."
And, of course, there's the added advantage that an arrow can be retrieved after a kill, whereas a bullet is spent after it's shot from a rifle.
Each year Dormiedy hunts for both bear and deer and he's already taken his bear, which he shot in Mount Pleasant.
"There a lot more bear around than deer," said Dormiedy. "When I first started hunting bears I was 16-years old and you were lucky to get a bear at a bait stand, now you'll have five or six and you say, 'Kkay, which one will I choose."
The bear he killed this year weighed 200 pounds and will part of his winter storage.
"200 pounds is a good size. I find the bigger ones don't taste as well."
He also said bear is much easier to hunt than deer.
"A bear's eyesight isn't the best but their nose is hard to beat," said Dormiedy. "But once a bear goes into eating mode you can stand up in the tree stand and make noise and they won't do anything except look at you and maybe growl."
Dormiedy said that compound bow and arrow technology has made leaps and bounds in the last ten years and, therefore, the sport is becoming increasingly popular.
His wife is a competitive archer and recently came in second place in a Canada-wide competition.
"My wife shoots a 50-pound bow and it will compete with my 70-pound bow," said Dormiedy. "Hers is all pink. They make them for both genders now."
The sport is also becoming popular among kids and he said it doesn't take long to learn.
"If you have a good instructor or a friend who knows archery well, it will take you about a month of practice to be good enough to hunt," said Dormeidy. "So if you haven't tried it before, it's doesn't take long to learn."