I've been practicing with my sweet bow. I'm getting better at it. I hit the target about 75% of the time. Good, not great. I've only had a handful of problems with my new hobby. I've caught the backlash of the string on my arm a couple of times, which hurts reeeeaaal bad and leaves a big nasty bruise, but it goes away. I've also lost a few of my arrows in the grass, but with a little time and a metal detector, I have reclaimed most of them. There's only one situation that sticks in my mind as a lesson in why I maybe shouldn't have a bow in my possession at all.
It was almost dusk. My brother, Dylan, and I were in the backyard at my parents' house practicing with my bow, shooting at a target at one end of the lawn from the other. We were about done for the night, when a realization hit. I hadn't arced an arrow yet and I wanted to try it. My folks live on a 5 acres of land, so I thought I'd have plenty of room. I removed the point of the arrow just in case. I angled my bow to maximum distance potential, like an ultimate Angry Birds shot, drew back and let that sucker fly.
And fly it did, all the way across my parents' field, backyard, front yard, across the street and into the neighbors fenced-in horse corral. Dylan and I went tearing across the yard. "Did you see where it landed?!" I shouted to Dylan, who was a few steps ahead of me. We paused at the high fence, straining our eyes. "There it is." He pointed to the arrow sticking straight up from the ground about 25 yards from the fence. Dylan started scouting the fence as though he were planning to go over and retrieve the arrow. "But there are no foot holds on the other side, just wire. How will you get back over?" I asked. We thought for a moment. What other option did we have? I couldn't very well go over, knock on the door and ask the homeowner, "Excuse me, can you go get my powerful, dangerous arrow that I could have accidentally shot your horses with?"
Dylan insisted he could do it, so he climbed over the high fence, walked over and pulled up the arrow and started walking back. Suddenly, I noticed something moving from the corner of my eye. I looked toward the neighbor's house in the distance where I beheld and big black dog running around from the side of the house, growling and galloping full force, teeth bared. I started yelling at Dylan to run! Run for your life! He glanced back and saw the imminent danger. It was like rocket boosters had gone off in his shoes, but the distance between him and the heathen dog closed in with every second. Dylan reached the fence and leapt, but he didn't quite make it over. He held onto the top for dear life and finally wrenched his body weight up and over and tumbled to the other side with a thud. I grabbed his arm and pulled him up. Looking back at the house, I could see the neighbors had come out and were milling around. We walked back across the street, acting as casually as we could. We finally had time to asses the damage. He had scraped his leg up and it was all my fault for being stupid and foolish. At least he hadn't been torn to pieces.
The adrenaline didn't subside for about an hour. I was so mad at myself and apologized to Dylan about a million times. He said it was fine, it made a good story and nothing bad happened, so let it go. Sometimes I still can't get over how irresponsible that was! I NEVER do crap like that. Ever. These are usually the kinds of pickles that 13 year old boys get into, not people in their late 20s. Don't you fret, though. I have taken a solemn oath never to underestimate the power of my bow ever again, and if I do want to shoot for distance I'll go find a place out in the west desert where no person or property can be harmed. Promise.