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.


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

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Early Season Kentucky Whitetail Bowhunt

Early Season Kentucky Whitetail Bowhunt

Christian Berg begins the scouting process in Kentucky on his first whitetail hunt of the season.

Canyon Ranch Roundup Part 2

Canyon Ranch Roundup Part 2

Bowhunter TV's Derek Mleynek and Equipment Editor Tony J. Peterson head to Texas for a late-season mixed bag hunt in a truly target-rich environment.

Canyon Ranch Bowhunt

Canyon Ranch Bowhunt

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

Texas Hog and Whitetail Hunt

Texas Hog and Whitetail Hunt

Bowhunter TV Editor Derek Mleynek sets up for some hog and whitetail hunting at Canyon Ranch in Texas.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Don't ruin your chances of tagging a big buck this fall. How-To

Late-Summer Scouting Mistakes to Avoid

Tony J. Peterson

Don't ruin your chances of tagging a big buck this fall.

A simple, classic steak and French fries duo gets a wild makeover with this Elk Venison Steak-Frites Recipe. Recipes

Elk Venison Steak-Frites Recipe

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

A simple, classic steak and French fries duo gets a wild makeover with this Elk Venison...


What's a hardcore bowhunter? That's hard for me to define—most bowhunters I've met are How-To

10 Best Exercises for the Hardcore Bowhunter

Dan Staton - June 30, 2016

What's a hardcore bowhunter? That's hard for me to define—most bowhunters I've met are

As a bowhunter, you need complete faith in your physical ability to hike in to your hunting ground, stalk your prey, pull your bow stealthily and pack out your animal. That means it's essential to train for your hunt. How-To

10 Workout Routines Every Bowhunter Should Master

Adam Holt

As a bowhunter, you need complete faith in your physical ability to hike in to your hunting...

See More Trending Articles

More Stories

As hunters, we need to give the respect we want to receive from others. Stories

Respect for the Hunt & Other Hunters

Dwight Schuh

As hunters, we need to give the respect we want to receive from others.

Stories

Favorite Hunt? There's Plenty to Choose From.

Dwight Schuh - January 03, 2017

"You guys are crazy," bush pilot Van Hartley growled as Roger Iveson and I unloaded the last...

Emily Schuh Berriochoa details her father's final harvest. Stories

The Last Stand: Dwight Schuh's Final Buck

Emily Schuh Berriochoa

Emily Schuh Berriochoa details her father's final harvest.

Hunters hating hunters is an old, ugly facet of our sport. Vitriol from residents to nonresidents is a part of that, and seems to be getting worse. Stories

Nonresident Bowhunter Hate

Tony J. Peterson - June 21, 2018

Hunters hating hunters is an old, ugly facet of our sport. Vitriol from residents to...

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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

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