Skip to main content

Hunting the Very Hard Way





By M.R. James, Founder/Editor Emeritus




TAKE A MOMENT. Flash back to July 2002. Imagine that somehow you've swapped identities with Bowhunter Editor Dwight Schuh, and you suddenly find yourself standing in his size 13 Scent-Lok Silent Stalk camo sneakers. As Dwight, you've already enjoyed a good spring, tagging a pair of strutting Nebraska gobblers and a record class Saskatchewan bruin. You've also hit a couple of jackpots in the annual license lottery, drawing a resident Idaho moose license and nonresident Montana elk tag in a favorite Big Sky hunting area. Anticipating a truly great year, you're preparing to launch the '02 summer/fall bowhunting season in the Territories with an early August quest for shaggy muskoxen. That Arctic trip will officially begin 5 busy months of seasonal travels to various bowhunting camps scattered all across North America.

Yes, '02 promises to be a year to remember. You're shooting pinpoint groups on the practice range and rigorous preseason workouts have left your 50-something body well conditioned. Even that nagging ache in your left shoulder can't dampen the enthusiasm and optimism you feel.

Recommended


But then you visit your doctor, simply to check out the source of the persistent bow arm discomfort. And his diagnosis slams you like a kick to the gut. Your left rotator cuff is separated, torn completely in two. You need corrective surgery, immediately. To delay the surgery until after bow season only increases chances the operation will fail to successfully reattach the torn tissue. Bluntly speaking, such a surgical failure could effectively end your bowhunting career.

So what would you do?

Think carefully before answering, keeping in mind that to Dwight Schuh bowhunting ranks somewhere just below God and family and country on the short list of things that matter most in life. Understand that to him bowhunting's not just part of a successful writing/editing career; it's a challenging lifelong passion. A way of outdoor life.

Now, with these facts firmly in mind, honestly answer the question. What would you do?

Here's what Dwight did

He immediately scheduled corrective surgery, hoping against hope he'd be able to salvage some days afield at the tag end of the '02 archery season. But during the early days of post-op recovery, the germ of an idea formed in his active mind. Maybe€¦if only€¦He reached for the telephone and called Kansas bowhunter Drew McCartney, president of the Physically Challenged Bowhunters of America.

"Sure," Drew told Dwight, "shooting with a mouth tab can be learned in relative short order." And Drew should know. After losing an arm in a work related accident, Drew has continued to bowhunt by drawing and releasing arrows with his teeth. He's collected deer, bear, cougar, and other game animals, as have dozens of other physically challenged bowhunters. Drew promised to promptly send Dwight some mouth tabs.

Dwight's next call was to an old friend, Randy Walk, Hoyt's president. Could Randy help him find a suitable left-handed hunting bow, muy pronto? If so, and if Dwight could master shooting the bow one-handed, using a mouth tab, he just might not have to forgo all of his planned 2002 hunts. And in a matter of a few short weeks, Dwight was consistently grouping arrows in the kill area of his McKenzie targets at distances out to 30 yards. "I was really surprised how quickly I picked up the technique," Dwight said. "Soon I was shooting almost as well with a mouth tab as with my release."

The results? Let's just say you'll be reading stories of Dwight Schuh's unusual but very successful one-armed muskox and moose hunts in 2003 Bowhunterissues. And his amazing hunt for that Idaho bull moose will be broadcast next summer on this magazine's American Archertelevision show. Even as these words are being written, Dwight is busy hunting whitetails in a couple of states. So there'll likely be more Schuh successes to report.

Admittedly, Dwight Schuh is not your average bowhunter. While many (most?) would have written off the '02 season, or maybe resorted to using a crossbow or some firearm, he found a way to continue to bowhunt, using conventional tackle in an unconventional manner.

That's exactly the kind of dedication and passion that sets Dwight apart from other less serious editors, writers, and bowhunters. And that's precisely the kind of leadership example that sets Bowhunterapart from its competitors.

You should be as pleased as I am to know that this magazine is in such creative and capable hands€¦even if on occasion Dwight uses only one to get the job done.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Curt Wells goes after all 5 species of deer in North America.  Here he reflects on a 2013 whitetail hunt in Kansas and an Alberta mule deer adventure in 2010.
Bowhunting

Whitetail and Mule Deer Hunts from the Past

On this edition of "Better Bowhunter" Danny Farris goes over multiple options for hunters when it comes to movable sights.
Bowhunting

Equipment for Extended Ranges

Having the proper gear is just one step toward a successful hunt. Curt Wells gives tips on how to effectively use binoculars to maximize your hunting experience.
Gear

Moment of Truth: Binocular Tips

Curt Wells hunts blacktail deer in his quest to take all 5 species of deer in North America.
Bowhunting

California Blacktail Bowhunt

Bowhunter team members Rudy Bachraty and Mike Carney set their sights on Colorado for a Cross Mountain elk hunt.
Bowhunting

Bugling Bulls of Cross Mountain

Curt Wells joins Andy Cardwell and Mark Land of Muzzy for some exciting nighttime bowfishing action in Kentucky.
Bowhunting

Bowfishing with the Boys from Muzzy

The winner of Bowhunter's Youth Essay Contest, Alex Young gets to experience a turkey hunt in Wyoming.
Bowhunting

Youth Turkey Hunt in Wyoming

Bowhunter TV Editor Derek Mleynek and Tony J. Petersen head to Texas on a mixed-bag hunt which includes hogs, whitetails and axis deer.
Bowhunting

Texas Mixed-Bag Hunt

Bowhunter Equipment Editor Tony Peterson sees plenty of action while hunting whitetails and hogs in Texas.
Bowhunting

Canyon Ranch Bowhunt

Bowhunter Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Bowhunter App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Bowhunter stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Bowhunter subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now