LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - While the traditional deer hunting season begins in November, another hunting season begins this weekend - one that many find much more challenging: Bow hunting season.
22-year-old Nick Saylor has been bow hunting since he was 16 and says he puts lots of time into honing his skills.
"It takes practice, lots of practice [and] lots of skill," said Saylor.
Like many, Saylor wants to prove his skills with one flight of an arrow this weekend.
"Bow hunting is a hunting of patience," said Jeff Mercer, a bow salesman. "You've got to wait for that deer to get in range."
What draws hunters to it is a challenge. It is not using a high powered scope, it's using your own eyes and your own skill. With rifles, long distance shots are possible, but compound bows and crossbows have effective ranges of 25 to 30 yards, meaning you have to be close.
"You've got to be very quiet," explained Mercer. "You get one shot."
"Eyesight and the level of the bow, the tips mainly, just how good you feel and how comfortable you feel when you pull the shot," said Saylor.
Having a steady hand and knowing the right moment to release is the difference between bagging a trophy and leaving a wounded deer with an arrow in it. It's an exercise in patience and discipline.
"One shot, one kill," said Saylor.
White Tail Deer Bow Hunting Season begins this weekend, running from October 3rd through November 6th.