When I turned 15, my uncle gave me his old Martin compound because he bought a new one. IT was well used and needed some TLC. But the fact he wanted me to learn so I could hunt and he knew i could never afford a new one, it was awesome.
I ended up working on the farm a few extra weeks for money to buy upgrades and equipment. New arrows, field tips, strings and silencers to start. I never did go hunting that first year, though I did take my bow course. I was to interested in learning the bow.
The following summer, I spent more money and got better sights. Neon tipped so they were easier to see. Upgraded the quiver and tried the automatic release. Out of all of the upgrades, the auto release was the only thing to go. I felt I had no control as i couldn't feel the string on my fingers.
I spent hours outside at my uncles shooting. Learned how to control my breathing, how to adjust sights on the fly. The whole nine yards. My uncle even taught me a trick to learn how to shoot from behind cover. Basically take a few arrows and toss them up. Shoot from where ever they land. This worked great, as he had massive willow trees in his back yard that hung low. So there where times, where I had to kneel just to shoot.
This actually helped, because unlike gun hunting, bow hunting, very seldom will you drop your target with one arrow. And if you have to track, you need to make sure you can get the final shot off, even if you don't have that 100% direct shot.
It got to the point, I didn't go hunting much with the bow. I just spent all my time shooting. Maybe I should have gotten into a club or something, but there was nothing like that around. I remember not hearing anything but what I wanted to hear. I could zone out and "hear" the target. It was very peaceful. Kinda of weird for a deadly weapon.
I no longer have the bow. Sold it a long time ago when I went to college. Who needs a bow in a major city like Pittsburgh? I've been thinking for awhile now of getting another one. Just for something to do. These new bows look like something out of sci-fi movies. Twisted and bent, screaming of distortion. Other then re-curve, what happened to basic compounds?
Anyway, just a little reminiscent of days gone by. This image is not my bow, but identical to the one I had, minus of course my customization's.