From comics to the tree stand and back again.
By: Todd Hassett
It’s that time of year again. The leaves are beginning to change and fall from the trees, the air is finally starting to get colder, and camouflage becomes the color choice for most weekend mornings. As I talk to friends and listen to their stories of previous years in the woods and sitting in tree stands; I hear tales of father and son hunting trips. Times that fathers passed along generations of knowledge down the line in hopes that the tradition would not be lost on the recent generation.
My story is a little different. I did not grow up in a family filled with hunters. I did not participate in father son hunting trips. I never had the weekend away with “the boys” to a hunt camp where you would sit around the evening camp fire and tell tall tales of the monster deer that got away or the nice trophy deer that wasn’t so lucky. Once when I was in my very early teen years my father offered to take me on what became his final hunting trip. I had no idea what a hunting trip entailed, so I packed a book bag full of comics, a Walkman, and my Gameboy (the original hand held video game system). Upon my father’s arrival to get me and the gear loaded into the car he asked what was in my book bag. When I told him he explained that that was not what to do on a hunting trip. So I decided that this trip was not for me, and since we were leaving at 4:00 in the morning I really wasn’t in the mood to sit in the woods with nothing to do. Add the fact that at that point in my life, the only thing I had ever shot was a bunch of empty cans with a .22 single shot rifle… I decided to go back to bed.
Fast forward to about ten years ago and the hunting bug had never really ben something that I was too worried about. But at that point in my life something changed, and what brought me to my love of hunting was something that not many people would expect. Comic books.
At this point in my story im pretty sure some of you reading this are going “what the hell”? How do reading comics transition in to hunting for whitetail deer? Well that’s what this is all about.
Ever since I was young; super heroes were always a big part of my life. From action figures to movies. T.V. shows to comics. I have always been in interested in super hero stories. When I was young Batman was my favorite family of stories. As I got older my tastes changed toward some of the lesser popular heroes. Seven years ago my new favorite hero got their own T.V. show. Arrow aired seven seasons ago and I was hooked from the first episode. For those that don’t know, this is the adventures of DC comics Green Arrow. As the seasons went on, my interest in archery was rekindled from my youth. Within the same time frame the first Avenger’s movie was released introducing the world to Marvel comic’s archer Hawkeye.
Although both of these characters are similar in nature, there are subtle differences between the two. As I continued to watch these movies and television shows it rekindled my love of comics, so I started reading the comic books based on both of these characters. As I continued to read the books I noticed the tech that each of these archers used in their adventures. From trick arrows, to specialized gear for the mission at hand. This revelation got my mind working; why don’t people use this sort of equipment when they hunt? From specialized arrow heads to arrows that can be traced after they have been shot. Why doesn’t this tech get used every day in the woods?
The only time I have seen hunters us things like drones or night vision is during the filming of hunting shows. But in the world of comics, our heroes use this type of tech in the “field” every day. What about arrows that can be tracked with GPS? To me this makes perfect sense. If you miss your shot or if the arrow does not go through your intended target and it runs off into the woods, the ability to track the location of your arrow seems like a no brainer. Yet to date there is only one nationally known company that makes trackable equipment for arrows. This seems a little like the hunting industry is just starting to catch up to the ability to innovate modern tech into this ancient way of feeding your family.
Through my reading of comics and my continuous watching of movies and television shows, I was able to compile a list of the most used arrows in the comic world. I have also compiled a list of current archery tackle that currently exists and is available to the modern day hunter if they so choose.
• Router arrows
• Grappling hook arrow
• Voice recording arrow
• Ensnarement, Zip Tie, Bola, Rope Tying arrows
• Flash bang
• Remote detonator
• Cable net
• Double tear gas
This list is the most commonly used types of arrows in the comic book and movie/T.V. world.
Now this is a list of the currently available types of arrow heads and archery tackle available to the everyday archer and hunter.
• Fixed blade
• Removable blade
• .357 cal. Exploding heads
• Small game tips
• Field tips
• Convertible heads
• Bluetooth trackable nocks
• Lighted nocks
• Bow fishing kits
Now these two lists are not identical, but there are some similarities. I’m not saying that with a quiver full of these different broad heads and extra tackle that any of us could become vigilante archers saving our home towns from criminals (although that does sound fun). But with the addition of these different options of tackle and the addition of tools like drones, G.P.S., night vision, tactical cameras, and wireless linked game cameras; we may not become masked archery heroes, but these tools can help us all be the heroes our family needs to put meat in our freezers.