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Thursday, April 28, 2016

EVERYBODY has problems! (Really?)

Let's say his name is Harvey. We had a chance to talk crossbows. I make the darn things. As an Outdoor Writer, he hunts and shoots them.
Like most Outdoor Writers, there is a passion for the fishing and hunting game so the conversation flowed freely.
I asked him how he did last year. (Today, we all assume that means whitetail hunting, 50 years ago, the response could have been a report on last year's squirrel and rabbit season.) The tale begins and the excitement and emotion in his voice made me feel as if I was there and this was no ordinary story.

Outdoor writers have embraced "blogging". Here I am with a young lady from Maryland who is all about hunting, fishing and blogging about those experiences. 

The writer replied that he had the opportunity of a lifetime but missed a tremendous buck last year. By the way, these types of bucks do not appear every year - you are lucky if you see a monster in a decade of hunting and even more fortunate to be in a shooting position. Hours and hours and hours are spent just to be in the position for that lifetime whitetail. The opening meant this story would not end well but Harvey had my attention especially since he was hunting with a crossbow. He didn't have a Kodabow - it was another brand....but OK, not everyone buys a Kodabow.

He related that he was in his tree stand and spent the morning glassing game going past and then the monster appeared. The big buck moved in closer as he centered the target in his scope. The moment came .... that millisecond right before the shot when everything lines up and the hunter's confidence level is so high, that thoughts of being at the butcher by 10:00 AM begin to cloud the thought process. He slowly squeezed the trigger. It was an easy shot. He was so lucky! At that point, ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE!
An Outdoor Writer takes in the benefits of the Kodabow EL-2 Sling  Imagine the need to take a quick shot and you get the picture.  Other benefits like the unique Kodabow Anti-Dry Fire (ADF) System are always impressive. Always ask for a demonstration that actually shows the ADF system functioning on a crossbow and see what type of response if offered. 
As the trigger was pulled, the arrow shattered sending carbon fibers in every direction. The string on his crossbow broke and loose string ends were flying in the wind. He said it scared the heck out of him as he watched the buck run in response to the commotion. There would be no trip to the meat processor today. No pictures. Just a walk back to the truck with a defeated crossbow. Harvey reached into his pocket and the cell phone came out. He showed me a picture of the buck. Another hunter killed the buck during rifle season and the photo was right there .....the big buck next to photos of family and past vacations. Obviously the memory still loomed large.

What happened? Harvey said the crossbow was a compound type and eventually was repaired with a new string and cables at a dealer. I  said a few different reasons could have caused the issue. The string or arrow could have been defective. He agreed. I said the most likely reason however, was that his arrow was not seated properly. This bow used a "half moon nock" and the string is moving up and away from the rail as the trigger releases the bowstring. The system depends on the arrow nock "catching the string" in the recess or slot of the nock -  named for its crescent shape. He said he might have not put the arrow in correctly. These type of arrows require that the nock be oriented to the string. Place it on the rail 120 degrees out of phase and there is nothing to stop the string from jumping up and over the arrow. He related that the dealer thought that the arrow position might have been just a bit forward but not so forward that the Anti Dry Fire system was not activated so the bow fired. Harvey said his arrow might have been in no - man's land. It was in far enough to fire but not inserted completely to function. I thought to myself --- "thank goodness Harvey was staring down a Whitetail and not a Cape Buffalo."

That's me ....  shooting a Bravo Zulu! 
Life is short. We can be blunt. I told Harvey that if he was shooting a Kodabow that morning, he would have killed that buck. The truth is the truth. I explained that our bowstring is moving down towards the rail as the trigger is pulled and not trying to hop over the arrow. We use a "Flat Nock" and arrow orientation is not critical. I showed him the external indicator on a Kodabow that monitors the position of the arrow on the rail and shows if the arrow slips forward, a hunter is alerted.

Harvey totally understood as he popped a few arrows downrange with a Kodabow. He gets it now. (Note: The Kodabow operating system is a preferred choice for hunting Dangerous Game because the visual confirmation and arrow control is absolute.)
The writer said he never expected last year's outcome when he purchased that crossbow because it was supposed to be good. I leaned back and thought about how effective and powerful the marketing in the Outdoor Industry has become to the degree that even a seasoned Outdoor Writer can get all confused. If you purchased every recommended item to go turkey hunting from the mail order catalog sitting in your mailbox, you could spend $4,000 and still not significantly improve your success for bagging a turkey. Most gear is nice to have but unnecessary. My guess is that Harvey's new Whizbang 350 with a history of epic failure will be retired by the time next season rolls around.
He will become a Kodabow man. We have heard this type of unfortunate story many times. After all, a monster buck doesn't appear every year.  Around here, we think a Kodabow is nice and necessary but actually provides a huge edge to improve your success. As Harvey headed over for a cup of coffee, I thought I heard him say to himself, "I should have had a Kodabow."  He is still hurting.