Posts Tagged turkey hunting

Using Tennis Advice So That Ira Can Finally Drop His Turkey

I shot a turkey yesterday morning, only the second time with a bow in eight years (that’s 16 seasons).

first bird with a bow in five years—5/27/09

first bird with a bow in five years—5/27/09

Before I describe the whole hunt in another post (which may not interest you), I want to tell you how tennis prowess and peak performance was used in my turkey hunting. And I think it can be applied to other sports as well. This had all been explained the day before by my friend and tennis coach, Frank, when I asked him what allowed the very top players to dominate the game.

One squash coach told me (see April 21st post) that it’s easy to swing the racquet perfectly, but adding a ball that you’re supposed to hit on the swing changes the dynamic enormously. Similarly, aiming at and hitting a stationary, life size, 3-D turkey target is one challenge. But shooting a moving, walking turkey that might see you raise your bow and fly or turn away from you at any second is totally different.

Turkey stories aside, and in accordance with Frank Adam’s advice, I was able somehow to enter a kind of numbness or zone. I was on automatic, totally instinctual. I never calculated distance to the bird, the angle down, what the horizontal length was (see the May 2nd post about Bow and Arrow Lessons). It all just sorta, kinda happened. I wish I could explain it. Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Can You Serve a Tennis Ball While on Your Knees? Or Win Points by Walking or Not Moving?

Went to a pro squash match in Wilton CT. These players rank from 56 to 120 or so, and the quality of their game was way above college level. They can really whack the ball and retrieve seemingly impossible shots. Lots of long rallys. However I have to say the general play was not as strong as the other pro match I saw, when some players were as high as 24 or 36.

I’d invited a former college roommate to meet me there. Michael had never before seen a squash match. His droll comment was that “You had to be in pretty good shape to play this game.” It definitely takes endurance and flexibility. He did say he had heard over the years of heavyset guys who could place the ball so well that they won points and games in spite of their inability to move very fast or for long.

He also told me about a grossly overweight tennis coach in high school he would watch who could just stand in the middle of the court, barely move his feet, switch the racket from one hand to the other, and then win many points against his students. It was because he could place the ball so perfectly. Hard to imagine, even though I face excellent placement from many of the older guys I play doubles with. This coach would also SERVE from the baseline ON HIS KNEES, again to emphasize that you don’t need a powerful serve to win points. Just place the ball with great dexterity.

I’ve played against a guy who shifts the racket back and forth between hands. Weird. So I can vouch for that skill. But what do you think? Can anyone be even a decent competitor without a strong service game? Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , ,

You Have to Take a Shot or at Least Hit the Ball Over the Net

Up at 3:45 am to be settled in the woods before first light, which is now around 4:40. I am determined to harvest—don’t you love that politically correct word—a tom turkey eventually. One position, no movement for an hour, waiting for the birds to come out of the trees. I was about to give up…then my patience was rewarded: one lone hen flew down too far away. Still glad I out-waited her. Still glad I woke up so early.

In a nearby hayfield I called in three toms to my woods. (You make the sounds of a hen to appeal to the tom’s mating urge.) One approached my clucks curiously. He was only 25 yards away, but between two trees just two feet apart. There were lots of small branches to dodge between him and me. The opening might only have been a few inches. It would have to be a Robin Hood shot that only Kevin Costner can do in his movie. Licking the arrow feathers (the fletching) like Kevin did in the film might have helped. I decided to wait for a better shot. The bird turned away, and I never saw him again.

I should have taken what I had. I gambled and lost. How often do we do this in our lives? Wait for something that might be better? Girlfriends. Wives. Jobs. Business opportunities. So many times we pass up our chance for now and curse ourselves later when we realize what we missed

My first tennis coach said that you have to first hit the ball over the net. That is 50% of how you win the point. Even if it is a poor shot that your opponent smashes right past you for his winner. Hitting into the net is a sure loser.

Now no one hits into the net intentionally. Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Week of Casual Conditioning—Frisbee, Tennis, Squash, Beach Running, Hiking After Turkeys

It’s been a busy week. I went to NY City last Wednesday (the 6th) to pick up my son from the end of his junior college year. I thought I could take it easy when we arrived home. However within five minutes of returning from my seven-hour round trip and unloading the car, I was “invited” to play Frisbee. Turns out my son wants to try out for the NYU Ultimate Frisbee team next fall and needs to practice. It was too good a chance to bond with my boy, so I re-learned how to throw and catch. I still have some bruises almost a week later.

After an hour of running after the spinning disc—no leaps, jumps and falls—I gave up and admitted I was tired. I had really been pushing hard and hoping he would want to stop first. In fact he played for another hour with his friend who happened to drop by shortly after I called it quits.

The next morning I was playing tennis doubles for 90 minutes, then an hour plus of practicing my spin serve with one person. My tennis game is really improving. Yet I am impressed that players who are not as good as I am overall are very comfortable correcting my game. And you know what—they often make good points, even if I think that I should be the one giving advice.

Then I fit in an hour of squash practice—mostly return of backhand serve. Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

You Need to Keep on Exploring Even If You Keep Receiving Different Advice From Different “Experts”

Well it’s been a month, and I am still exercising and playing sports. Blogging—even just to myself, because I haven’t yet designed my web site—is forcing me to stay on track. And also knowing that I am going to go public puts some good pressure on me. I know that I am improving.

Yesterday I fired some arrows, lost one in the grass, missed the target lots of times…until I finally started hitting it. Later in the afternoon, I even scouted the farm I was going to hunt this morning, when the turkey season started for three weeks.

I woke up at 4:15, but it was raining pretty hard, so I went back to sleep—no fun sitting in the rain when it is 40 degrees. At 6:40 three toms (males) were gobbling in my garden 25 feet from the bedroom window! Sounded like they were laughing at my laziness and worries about a little rain—did I think I was going to melt? Didn’t that happen to one of those wicked witches in the Wizard of Oz?

Yesterday I also took another squash lesson, this time from the head coach at another prep school only 30 minutes away. Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , ,