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Discussion Starter #1
A lot of us who have been hunting for many years sometimes forget what it was like when we were just getting started in hunting - all of the trials and tribulations experienced before achieving a successful hunt.

Well, after having shot the same bow with the same pendulum sight, and having harvested many, many deer over the past 18+ years, I have had a chance this year to re-experience the "learning curve" and the disappointments and thrills of a "beginner" hunter.

Having obtained my NJ Disabled Hunter Crossbow Permit and having purchased a crossbow, this was the beginning of a totally unfamiliar, yet new and exciting way of hunting for me.

First obstacle - I didn't get a chance to order the crossbow until about a week and a few days prior to opening day. My crossbow didn't arrive until the Friday before opening day (Saturday) of the fall bow season!!!

I tried to familiarize myself with the mechanics of this new hunting "contraption", and took some practice shots at Targeteers in Saddle Brook - 3-4 shots, to be exact. I benched rested the crossbow, and hit the bullseye each time without having to make any adjustments, so this gave me somewhat of a false sense of security as to my level of confidence in my shooting ability and my equipment.

Second obstacle - The weight of the old Browning Trophy Magnum compund bow that I used to shoot versus the weight of my new TenPoint Pro Elite crossbow (8# 11 oz. w/o scope, quiver, & accessories)required me to make additional adjustments to my hunting style due to my disablities. That crossbow gets pretty damned heavy after being on post for 3 hours, even with it resting across my lap!!!

Third obstacle - I have always been an excellent judge of distance out to 200+ yards (usually within +/- 3 yards) while on the ground and flat terrain. But, now everything has changed.

I no longer could rely on my old Keller Pendulum sight to "judge" the distance for me while in the tree stand. Shooting a red dot scope now has forced me to become a better judge of distance from an elevated position, and in varying light conditions. Judging distance really became challenging, adding in the additional scenario of shooting up hill in one direction, downhill in the other, and into a creek bed behind me.

I found that the distance that I actually measured wasn't what I had expected to find, negating my inital first guesses at the actual distance - I was off by ten yards in some instances!!! I think it's time to buy a decent range finder!!!

OK - So after having practiced relentlessly on paper targets, and knowing I can hit the target at 10 - 60 yards accurately and consistently enough to break arrows while grouping them in the center of the bullseye, it was time for me to harvest a deer.

Well, after approx. 7 weeks of shooting the crossbow (both practicing and hunting), overcoming &/or compensating for the obstacles listed above, missing 3 deer, and harvesting 2 does and 1 spike during the regular Fall Bow season, and harvesting 1 other earn-a-buck doe, yesterday, to satisfy my Permit Bow season requirement, I FINALLY feel comfortable to say that I have achieved (1) a feeling of having the confidence in my shooting abilities and (2) the familiarization and trust in my equipment to rest assured that I WILL have many more successful hunts for many, many, many more years to come!!!

The point I'm trying to make is that having had this experience, and having talked to many other bow hunters over the past few days, weeks, and years, I've come to the conclusion that there are many hunters out there who could be great hunters if they they only had the confidence in their shooting ability and trust in their equipment.

It does take time practicing on targets and actual hunting in the field to get to know your own shooting abilities and to gain trust in your equipment that is in your hands.

After a few successful hunts, obtaining the ultimate goal of being able to enjoy the hunt without worrying and/or questioning your personal shooting abilities and equipment is very relieving. It is not out of reach for anyone, but you MUST put the time in to be successful - something that we tend to take for granted so often. You HAve to pay your dues !!!!

LESSON LEARNED: Putting in the time to familiarize yourself with your equipment and practicing (on the range and in the field) to gain confidence in your shooting ability + confidence in your equipment = a good start to many successful hunts.[cool][up]

By sharing this experience I hope that I helped other site members see that your will to succeed must be in your heart and soul, and you can't give up no matter what obstacles and "changes" confront you, even if you're stubborn like me and are very reluctant to change. (Yeah, I am an Ol' Dawg and a stubborn Polack - BUT, I'm too stubborn to quit, also!!!):D;)[smirk][up]
 

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OUTLAwJT If you don't mind me asking, what kind of dissabilities do you have??
Reason I ask is because I'm in the same boat you are in. I went out and bought the Mathew's switchback, figuring with the let off, that I would be able to handle it better then the old Browning Mirage. Well my back went out again last week, and on two occasions while hunting, with shooting opportunities, I have not been able to pull it back. I'm afraid to go into spasms while on the tree.
I don't know if you went through the same MENTAL hangup's that I'm still going through. I always feel that I can do it, but in the long run I think I'm hurting myself more and more.
I have triple fussions of my neck, with the donor bone coming out of my Hip, which is also a complete and different operation. I actually had two Surgeons doing the surgery at the same time.
I had my back done twice. Yes I do feel better, but when it goes out (like right now) its pure HELL[mad]
I have both Shoulders reconstructed. And for the grand finally, They did my right hand. Carpol Tunnel big time which still comes back on occasions.:(:(
 

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Discussion Starter #7
El Jefe - I have bi-lateral Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and bi-lateral Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

I had bi-lateral Carpal Tunnel Release surgeries, and bi-lateral rib re-section surgeries (first cervical rib was removed through the armpit on each side). Also, had an unsuccessful trigger finger release on my right hand.

I have loss of use and loss of range of motion in both hands and both shoulders, and have moderate to extensive nerve damage in the hands, wrists, upper arms, and chest.

Drawing back the bow and even just holding the bow was nearly impossible, so I applied for the disabled hunter crossbow permit and also checked off on the permit for modifiying the compound bow, in case I didn't qualify for the crossbow. Needless to say, I qualified for the crossbow.

You should check it out:

http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/disinfo.htm

I've been through various occupational therapies, accupuncture, etc, over the past 8+ years....I even had Cold Laser Therapy sessions on my wrists a few months back, but I've shown signs of regression in the last few weeks, and I'm awaiting authorization from the insurance company to undergo six more treatments.

Good Luck with everything and if there's anyway I can help you get set up, let me know:

[email protected]

Jon
 

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good post JT, see an old dog can learn new tricks:D[up]
 

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I'm also a stubborn pollack so I know where your coming from..OJT get a range finder!(nikon440) I always said what in heck you need that for? Stupid junk..Well I got one and made the best 3 shots I've ever made. Glad you got your mojo back!:D
 

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Hey, JT, you should try what I do. In NJ I struggle with the pain of shootng my compound one day, then the next day drive to Pa. and use my crossbow with my Pa. handicap permit ! Talk about changing hats [sad]
NJ says my handicap is not enough for their " permit criteria ". My empty bottles of ADVIL and Aleve say otherwise.
Well said though, you need to practice with whatever your using
PS: you should have bought a HORTON :D:D:D
 

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Discussion Starter #14
never knew he had mojo!
I got my "mojo" back for hunting AND I've got "wojo" in my hunting club - GO FIGURE!!!:D:D:D

I don''t know if the second part is a good thing?!?!?!?[confused]:p;)[smirk]:D
 

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Discussion Starter #16
nightstalker911 -

Did you undergo the current tests - 9 whole peg test, pinch-grip test, etc....?

Also, did you apply for the compound bow modification permit, also?

I'm sure you'd qualify for at least one of them from what you've told me in various other posts and e-mails.[confused]
 

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Discussion Starter #18
YUP. HE'S OFFICIALLY A ZONE 11 HUNTER!!!!!

NOW I JUST GOTTA GET HIM OVER THERE TO CHECK IT OUT AND GET HIM SET UP!!! [cool][up]
 

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Discussion Starter #20
We have kielbasa and pierogies for at least one meal every weekend at the big "B" club!!![up][up][up]
 
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