Corey Haas’ breakthrough for archery came around 13 with an aluminum arrow found while pheasant hunting at Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife with family and friends.
Fascination with that arrow turned into a lifetime pursuit.
“I get a little obsessive compulsive with some things,” he said. “I did with a bow.”
By 16, he took his first buck in Will County. Jump ahead 27 years and Haas, 43, a union electrician from Channahon, was the creative force behind the Bow Shop Bible app, released around Christmas.
Archery season for deer in Illinois opens Oct. 1.
Last weekend I discussed the app with Haas, who was raised a duck and goose hunter. His late dad, Alan, was a noted taxidermist in Lockport.
The intersection of technology and outdoors fascinates me.
Explosive changes in GPS altered fishing and anchoring. Crossbows are vastly different than other bows. The monofilament fishing line I grew up using, compared to the modern braided line, is like a horse and buggy is to a Tesla. The Vasque boots I hiked the Appalachian Trail with 40 years ago, compared to modern hiking boots, are what cement blocks are to slip-ons. Changes in optical equipment—cameras, scopes, binoculars—greatly altered both hunting and birding.
Haas feels that nexus of technology and the outdoors and has thoughts.
As he texted later, “The Bow Shop Bible app is the most complete compound bow tuning resource available. The app not only explains how to tune your bow, but it backs up the training with slow motion video. You see how the tuning procedures affect the dynamic reaction of the arrow at 1,000 frames per second for a new level of understanding.”
Earlier, Haas created shootingime.com to help people. Then he found that affiliated marketing with people who never hunted creating outdoors content cut into his traffic.
“I wasn’t helping as many people,” Haas said.
He realized he would like to make an app to put bowhunting information at the fingertips of bowhunters.
“A buddy came over and he said, `Let’s do it,’ “ Haas said. “My buddy [Matt Runde] created this app. The main goal is to help archers become more successful and lethal.”
“Just because you hit where you aiming, doesn’t mean you have good penetration,” Haas said.
He noted there is more need for people to work on their own equipment with some archery shops being casualties of the pandemic impacts and online sales.
Haas learned the nuts and bolts of web sites and apps—search engine optimization, taking and editing video (Adobe Premiere)—with earlier web sites.
Just after the app was released, big moves came at the Archery Trade Association Trade Show in January when Lancaster Archery Supply became a backer.
“The main goal is to reach people, not just to make more money,” said Haas, who wants to see bowhunters become accurate and lethal in the field.
Technology in bowhunting and archery accelerated around 2003-04. That made me ask if he had interest in the recent pull to go the opposite direction toward the more primitive.
“I stick with a compound [bow] because of the lethality and accuracy,” he said. “They are very efficient in releasing stored energy.”
That led to a discussion of a tightening of the pin gap (distance between sights for various yardages) with advancements in technology.
“Out in the field [now] and have a distance error, chances are that I will stay in the vitals,” Haas said. “In 2008 or ‘09, pin gaps were much wider.”
There is good reasons why he focuses on the lethal aspect.
“Anybody that has been bowhunting for long, probably has had the bad luck of losing a deer,” Haas said. “The reasons for the loss of that animal can be for a variety of reasons.”
Poor equipment, bad decisions, misjudged distance, bad luck (animal spooks), arrow deflections, and buck fever (a subject I know) are common reasons.
“Control the controllables,” Haas said. “In my time as a competitive archer, the last thing I wanted to do was point my finger at my equipment. If I made a mistake, I knew I couldn’t blame my equipment.”
There’s why he believes in helping people do the best with their equipment.
“We owe it to ourselves and the animals we hunt to perform at our highest potential,” Haas texted. “In the archery world, that means mastering shooting form and the tuning of equipment.”
More information is at bowshopbible.com. The Bow Shop Bible app ($29.99) is at the usual places.