Paul Ryan, Master Bowhunter

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Bowhunting takes patience, he says, and even experienced archers like Ryan are unlikely to have a target range outside 40 feet (inside that, "he could shoot six or eight and put them all in inside a CD or DVD"). Hunters with guns, by contrast, are usually more mobile and can strike from as far as 100 yards out.

Because they need to be so close to the deer, wardrobe selection can be as important as one's ability to crank a bow.

"People like Paul will try to wear deer scents," McAninch says. They'll also make sure to plant their stands downwind from the deer, so they don't give away their positions. "Bowhunters will spend weeks in advance trying to understand where the deer feeds. He'll look for all those type of things based on the prevailing winds."

So how's Ryan's shot?

"Most bowhunters won't brag," McAninch replies with a laugh. "but he'd probably say he's pretty good. He can shoot well."

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