April 13th: 9th Annual Ms. Wheelchair Colorado Pageant & Benefit Car Show
April 13th: Outdoor Buddies Fundraiser Banquet @ the Wildlife Experience
May 10th: Kiowa Creek Sporting Club. Clay shoot for Craig Rehab
June 8th: Get Outdoors Colorado Denver City Park, Colorado
June 8th: Wild on Wheels Lakewood, Colorado
July 18-20th: Barta Boys and Girls Club Billfish Tournament Beaufort, NC
August 8-11th: No Barriers USA Summit in Telluride, Colorado
Anybody who tells another person how to hunt, with what weapon to hunt with, what technique and technology to use is a jerk. That being said however, I have the right to choose the way I want to hunt, to choose how I want to hunt and I have the right to choose too, as long as it is legal.
I started with the BB gun, then the 22, then the high powered rifle and onto the compound, the recurve and ended up my life committed to the longbow. I was on the US Olympic Biathlon team as a JR in college and trained with the US army in Fort Richardson AK, I know how to shoot. As life progressed into my early 20’s, I realized if an animal was within 600 yards, I had a clear shot, conditions being correct, the animal was dead. With the compound bow, anything within 60 yards was toast.
As I progressed as a hunter, a woodsman, I realized for myself that plenty of animals could be shot from 60-70 yards but to close the distance between 10-20 yards was an entirely different world. It became my passion to get close, spot and stalk, no tree stands, no corn piles, no box stands, no artificial chemicals, no scent suppressant chemicals and clothing, no cameras in the woods, no ear magnification devices, and no game fences. As my philosophy intensified, I started to make my own homemade cedar arrows and the joy of releasing an instinctive shot from my longbow became incredibly enriching. I have no need for a range finder, no need for holographic fancy sights, just a string and a stick.
Let it be known however that I have participated in every weapon that exists, everyday still is an incredible challenge and I am no better, no nobler, and no more necessarily skilled than anyone else. This is my Philosophy.
I still remember as a young boy in NY, I think I was around nine, my Dad and I were stalking the edge of a corn field, I had a model 94 Winchester 30-30, the mist made our walk quiet and there was a slight fog that drifted in and out of the corn. My dad and I walked together very slowly and a small doe, bedded down at 30 yards, stood up. I instinctively raised the gun and shot immediately, the doe collapsed and I had my first big game animal.
My dad has passed away but I will always remember this as my greatest trophy of all time. We high fived and hugged and I cleaned the animal with Dad’s help. We ate the back strap for dinner that night; I made moccasins and a hat from the hide with Dad. I made a gun rack from the hooves. All weapons and all time in the field are of great value.
To me, the most exciting thing is to enter the animals’ unacceptable zone when you are close enough to pounce like a cougar and when you draw your bow to see the primeval fear in the animals’ eye this to me is success. The truth be known to be proficient with any weapon takes practice, skill and commitment. My weapon of choice is the long bow, I DO IT THE HARD WAY, THE BARTA WAY! I hope in our discussions on tredbarta.com, we can address in a civil manner, the many opinions that surround our sport today. I’ve always said if you stand for everything, you stand for nothing. I’m a long bowman, and I’m very proud of my craft. Of my hunting shows on “The Best and Worst of Tred Barta” on NBC SPORTS, 70% end up in failure. I either miss or don’t get my game, but in that failure, success is only a fleeting moment away and that’s what excites me. In my shows nothing is ever staged, I don’t use any food plots, or fenced fields, I want to show the hunt as it really is, in the most challenging and fair playing field for the game. In that challenge lays the true accomplishment when it happens.
It is a fact that I have blood cancer and I’m paralyzed from the chest down and will be in a wheel chair for the rest of my life. As I have no core muscles, many people think I should take up the gun, compound or crossbow but I’m not ready yet….someday it may be inevitable, but for now, I’m enjoying this new challenge. I shoot the longbow and you want to talk about the hard way, it is really tough. Not only am I hampered in the stalk, but with no core muscles my angle left to right is limited to 15 degrees. When I was near death in the hospital, I couldn’t pull 20 lbs. and today I shoot 55 lbs. I have taken white tail deer, black bear, goose, and ducks in my wheel chair and will pull my stick and string as long as God allows me to. My wife shared with me the Colorado state motto: Nil Sine Numine, Nothing without Divine Will.
What a privilege it is for all of us to harvest God’s creatures.
Wishing you a great season, be safe, let’s get ourselves and our children in the field. Wind in your face, fair chase.