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Bowhunting after surgery

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  • Bowhunting after surgery

    I'm facing open heart surgery in the next few years to replace a defective aortic valve. Right now the Dr. has advised me no heavy lifting but says shooting my longbow is OK. I explained it was a very heavy bow, #90, but he still thought it was OK. Life after surgery is supposed to be just as good as before replacement but I can find no real info on it as far as bowhunting and pulling a heavy bow. Has anyone else undergone this type of procedure or any experience along these lines and can maybe shed some light on this? Thanks

  • #2
    90 pound bows may have caused your heart condition. (tongue and cheek) Like stressing over the ability to shoot such a bow in the first place. Life has some much more to offer and so does bowhunting with reasonable poundage. I would focus on having the life saving procedure and the important things like family and just getting your wind and sails back up. A 50 pound bow will kill anything in Alaska if you put the arrow where it belongs. Besides, experience talking here roud:, heavy bows will lead to future surgeries of the shoulders and elbows and delay future hunts.

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    • #3
      Be sure to ask your Dr. about different options for connecting the ribs after they unzip you. Old style staples may tend to bind and I've heard that they are using nylon type clips now. More flexible?? I have not had my chest split (yet) but after surviving two widow makers the thing that got me back in shape was cardiac rehab. Take that rehab serious and you'll do fine.

      Good luck, Daryl

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      • #4
        Heart failure cannot be cured though there is a range of treatment options available to manage and improve quality of life.

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        • #5
          My dad had open heart surgery in his 80's and shot a compound afterwards. He also had a pacemaker installed and was pissed when they told him not to shoot any big rifles off his left shoulder. He is (was) left handed and when he asked if they could have put the pacemaker on the other side they advised him they sure could have. He chewed some ass and asked why they don't think of these things when dealing with a left handed person. He got a blank stare in return. Yeah, they might have a diploma on the wall, but it doesn't always mean 'walking around sense.'
          Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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          • #6
            Having spent over 20 years working with open heart patients I can tell you that your sternum will be totally healed (unless a complication or infection occurs) in 6 weeks. You can shoot a bow but will be de- conditioned from not doing such for a while do start lighter weight. Having a pacer implanted definitely can affect shooting sharp recoiling rifles so I advise using lighter recoiling rifles or muzzle breaks. The cardiologist would dictate range of motion restrictions after pacemaker implantation and cardiothoracic surgeon about sternal precautions. Let them know your hobbies and plans and often they can optimize things for you.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by AKBEE View Post
              Having spent over 20 years working with open heart patients I can tell you that your sternum will be totally healed (unless a complication or infection occurs) in 6 weeks. You can shoot a bow but will be de- conditioned from not doing such for a while do start lighter weight. Having a pacer implanted definitely can affect shooting sharp recoiling rifles so I advise using lighter recoiling rifles or muzzle breaks. The cardiologist would dictate range of motion restrictions after pacemaker implantation and cardiothoracic surgeon about sternal precautions. Let them know your hobbies and plans and often they can optimize things for you.
              My dad was upset to learn that the pacemaker battery could have been put on his right side. He is a lefty. Pretty much ruined his gun hunting.
              Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by SmokeRoss View Post

                My dad was upset to learn that the pacemaker battery could have been put on his right side. He is a lefty. Pretty much ruined his gun hunting.
                Three back surgeries, one more to go. Carpal tunnel 2X's. One bicep tendon torn off. One of the first questions I ask the surgeon is; Am I still going to be able to bow hunt? It's the priorities in life that count.

                Patriot Life Member NRA
                Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
                Life Member Disabled American Veterans


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                • #9
                  SmokeRoss: It is a real shame someone involved in his care did not talk to him about placement prior to implantation.

                  it can be humbling for archer’s to not be able to pull heavier bows as they learn, age or recover, but realizing limitations can make you a better hunter/shot. Fact is the newer compounds are so much faster than they once were, that folks can drop poundage and still have a setup that can shoot proper arrows/heads to hunt anything.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AKBEE View Post
                    SmokeRoss: It is a real shame someone involved in his care did not talk to him about placement prior to implantation.

                    it can be humbling for archer’s to not be able to pull heavier bows as they learn, age or recover, but realizing limitations can make you a better hunter/shot. Fact is the newer compounds are so much faster than they once were, that folks can drop poundage and still have a setup that can shoot proper arrows/heads to hunt anything.

                    at 67 years old I find it a challenge to draw my bow that is set up at 80 pounds. But I work up to it. And when I shoot all the way through a moose, I'm glad I didn't back off. Maybe some day I will, but not today.
                    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SmokeRoss View Post

                      at 67 years old I find it a challenge to draw my bow that is set up at 80 pounds. But I work up to it. And when I shoot all the way through a moose, I'm glad I didn't back off. Maybe some day I will, but not today.
                      Lol- I totally understand. Shoot what makes you smile and feel confident. Stay well snd safe!

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                      • #12
                        Well I lucked out. Although I have 3 herniated areas on disks none are in an area that requires surgery. The surgeon says no fusion at this time. BUT..... One vertebra has grown/deteriorated around the spinal cord and the area is at 4 mm, down from 9 mm. So we are going to do a spinal release to open the area which is a day surgery and I should be good in 3-4 weeks.

                        Patriot Life Member NRA
                        Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
                        Life Member Disabled American Veterans


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