A classic Katie moment

by Katie on August 18, 2011

Alternately titled, What happens when Katie gets a bit cocky. Or, Wherein Katie gets a double serving of humble pie.

So, there we were, Monday night…it was the first time Brandon had actually joined me for one of my evening bow-shooting rounds since we decided a couple weeks ago we were going to turn my September antelope hunt into my first archery hunt. Consequently meaning, I must shoot every single day, maybe twice every single day, before the hunt next month.

So that’s what I’ve been doing. It’s just usually after Brandon has been in bed for the night (to get up sometime between 10pm and 2am to bale hay), so with the exception of the pictures I’ve taken of my nightly groupings (or lack thereof), he hadn’t really seen me shoot. For all he knew, I could have just been jamming arrows in the cotton bale and taking pictures for him to think I was making progress.

Anyway, back to the shooting. We had made some adjustments to my sight that morning, so I was basically just slinging a few arrows each at 20 and 30 yards to make sure my sight pins for those distances were set right.

Well, we found out my 30 yard pin was dead-on alright.

I had shot my number one and two arrows at 20 yards, and they were right in line with the target. Pleased, I moved back to 30 yards, and released my number three arrow. Bingo.

Feeling rather confident, I drew back with arrow number four, and …SMACK!

I jumped from the sound, and Brandon hopped off the front porch swing.

“You just got a robin hood! Go check it out!”

Sure enough, folks, this is what we found:

Arrow number four driven right through the middle of arrow number three.

Brandon was snapping pictures with his phone left and right, and told me, “You may never do this again in your life. I never have. Go get the real camera.”

I did. And (in the words of Travis VanHaren), I’m not gonna lie, I was feeling pretty darn good about myself.

Brandon was vigorously sending out text messages to archery-hunting friends with my little accomplishment, I took about 30 pictures (as evidenced above), and we were both riding pretty high on life. In fact, there were probably visions of dead antelope floating about overhead right about then.

There was still quite a bit of excitement in the air as I retrieved my arrows (all but the number three, of course, which was left in shreds on top of the cotton bale for inspiration) and headed back to my 40-yard marker. Clearly, I was too advanced to shoot any closer than that.

Brandon was still replying to text messages, and mentioned the next thing I needed to work on was drawing back slowly, rather than yanking my string back and sending my antelope prey scattering across the prairie.

And I wish this was where the story ended.

He was watching intently, 20 feet away, I was focused on my target, in deep concentration, drawing back as slowly as I possibly could. At full draw, intently staring through my peep with my sight set on bulls-eye, I asked him if I had pulled back slowly enough. He admitted he hadn’t really payed attention to that part, so I reset my focus on the target, and touched off my release.

And…WHACK!

Again, we heard an alarming sound. But we both knew better than to think it was anything good this time.

“What happened?” I asked, as I stepped back in horror.

“You didn’t put an arrow in. You dry-fired,” Brandon explained.

“What? How? Oh no! That’s bad for it.” I kept stammering. Then I looked down. And wanted to cry.

My string hung limp from my bow, and looked to be tattered in one spot. One month before I was supposed to kill an antelope with it. The day I finally had everything all set on it to actually be able to kill anything with it.

While I stood there in shock, with tears in my eyes, Brandon was practically rolling on the ground laughing. At me. Not with me. And already sending out text messages with my blunder. And exclaiming, “What a classic Katie moment! Classic! You got cocky, and messed up! Classic Katie!”

When he finally recovered from laughter, and I could actually speak, I started talking about taking it to the bow shop the next day to get it restrung, how expensive that was going to be, how angry I was at myself, and how embarrassing it was going to be walking into that bow shop with all those pros being the little girl who had to tell them she dry-fired her bow.

“Katie, you’re exaggerating. They won’t think anything of it,” Brandon said, “It happens all the time.”

“Oh really? People walk in there all the time and say, ‘I forgot to put an arrow in my bow’?” I retaliated.

Brandon chuckled and said, a bit sheepishly, “Well…more often than you think…”

At least he was trying to make me feel better, instead of just laughing at me. He got a few points for that.

I do have a happy ending, though. I walked into the bow shop with a red face the next day, (passing by a couple guys who looked down at my bow, and said, “Ouch.”) but after getting my string back on and testing it out, the guy informed me my string was fine and I was good to go. So it wasn’t as bad as it looked.

And I was back to shooting that evening. A bit more focused on what I was doing, and a lot more humbled.

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