We Are Athletes, And This Is Our Sport

I wrote this a little over a year ago. Love it or hate it, I think I nailed it. And I think our hunting community will agree based on the influx of fitness fanatics that have joined the movement over the past year.

Julie McQueen...

I am an athlete, although I can’t throw a football for more than 10 yards, and my dunking skills leave a lot to be desired. The similarities, however, between myself and the professional ball players is uncanny when you stop and think about it… 

I’m here to discuss the similarities between my sport and the sports that are more commonly accepted by the general public.

Football requires that the athletes condition and train day in and day out for the physical requirements of their sport. They must know the drills and catch the ball when it’s thrown in their direction. They need to block the opposing players entire body force when it’s in the way, and they have to do all of this with their heavy padding on to protect their bodies. 

My sport requires that I climb up mountainsides with a heavy pack on my back. I need to…

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Archery and Draw Weight – How I Really Feel

My draw weight on my Mathew’s Jewel is set at 52lbs. I’ve been bowhunting for around 15 years, and I’ve never had it set any higher than that. I don’t particularly want it any higher because I’ve always struggled with my right rotator cuff, and I’d like to stay in this game as long as possible without sustaining injuries.

Why am I telling you this?

I want people to know that you can have a smaller draw weight on your bow and you can still be lethal with it. I’ve harvested a lot of big game animals with my bow over the years. I shoot small game, I shoot big game, and I practice every chance I get. I’m a firm believer that shot placement is crucial. If your arrow is flying slower than someone else, then make up for it with your aim and closing the distance between you and the animal. Find a way to make it ethical, as long as it’s legal. (Some states do have a minimum draw weight requirement, so be sure to check on that.)

I’ve heard a few “celebs” in our hunting industry lately saying that they want to get up to a 70lb draw weight. Daniel Lee draws that much weight, and I respect him for it. He shoots faster and better than I do. But that doesn’t mean that I have to do what he does just to level the playing field. I hope everyone will learn to think for themselves. Doing what a “celebrity” does just to be more like them isn’t healthy, especially when a lot of what you see is actually smoke and mirrors.

My message is this: Be you. Do what you can do, practice hard, and set your own goals. Nobody else can tell you what’s best for you or what the standard should be. If you want to draw 40lbs back, do that. If you want to draw back 80lbs, then I’m very impressed and I’m your fan. If it’s legal and ethical, then just enjoy yourself and make memories your own way.

Julie shot this red stag with her bow from 42 yards on a spot & stalk hunt. Her bow was set at a 52lb draw weight.

Julie shot this red stag with her bow from 42 yards on a spot & stalk hunt. Her bow was set at a 52lb draw weight.