8 Bowhunting Tips That Will Make You A Better Deer Hunter
Are you ready to try your hand at deer hunting with a bow? In my opinion, this is one of the most challenging, yet personally rewarding experiences that any hunter can have. Catching a whitetail from close range is a testament to your patience, stealth and skill. It takes a truly committed hunter to master the art of archery and once you do, there will be absolutely nothing you can’t do. This is a primal, perfect way of landing your prey and it will make you more adept in all other forms of hunting. Following are a few tips to help you.
- Get Ready For The Wind
Practicing with your bow during adverse weather conditions will prepare you for anything that you’re likely to face on the big day. Unfortunately, few hunters take the time to practice their shots during the off-season. You’re virtually guaranteed to run into windy conditions and thus, you want to know how to alter your actions to account for this factor. You should also consider practicing in both snow and rain. While it’s sure to be uncomfortable and time-consuming, this practice will definitely provide a worthwhile payoff if you happen to encounter weather troubles like these during your hunt. Your goal is to make your practice conditions as true to real life as you possibly can. You should also practice shooting from various heights, distances and angles. Not only will this prepare you for a broad range of potential challenges, but it will also give you the best opportunity to test the reliability and accuracy of your equipment.
- Learn How To Effectively Mask Your Scent
Your own human odors will spook deer off. You certainly don’t want to add to these by smoking, washing with any heavily scented soaps or leaving common, food smells on your clothes or skin. Keep your hunting clothes tightly sealed in a plastic bag. You might even want to throw some dirt and leaves into this bag in order to further mask suspicious odors. This will infuse your clothing with fragrances that are naturally-occurring. When showering, use scent-free soap and other scent-free products as part of your grooming routine. A lot of hunters use odor eliminator right after they’ve put their hunting clothes on and before heading over to their hideouts. Be sure to respray your body, your hat and your hair immediately after you have walked to your stand. This additional measure will ensure that you’re undetectable.
- Get Aerial Photos Of Your Scouting Area
Those with massive budgets for deer hunting are able to book their own, private flights over their scouting area to collect images. This, however, is something that you can do even if you have a restricted budget. Take advantage of free, online satellite photos to know more about the terrain. This will give you a better understanding of what to look for before traversing this space on foot. You can also use the location information collected from these same platforms to get hyper-local weather details. Understanding the likelihood of strong winds is incredibly important when hunting with your bow.
- Identify Your Limits
Find out just how far you can shoot with any accuracy. Then, adjust this distance to account for internal pressure and external weather conditions. This is actually one of the top reasons for practicing in all weather conditions and at numerous distances. You don’t want to over-estimate yourself and blow a fabulous opportunity. Know just how close you need to be in order to successfully land a kill shot even when the wind is blowing and your adrenaline is flowing. Keep in mind that it’s vital to only ever take ethical shots. If you can’t hit your target with accuracy, feeling good about what you do will be hard. You always want the kill to be merciful for the deer.
- Understand Your Equipment Needs And Gear Up Properly
While this might seem like a no-brainer, it’s always well-worth review. This is just as important for taking ethical shots as it is for ensuring that there are no wasted opportunities. Rather than considering one brand as being far better than every other, make sure that you understand which equipment is going to work best for you. Moreover, always know the limitations of your gear and how everything is designed to operate under specific conditions. Choose a quality climbing tree stand and safety harness and spend time practicing a careful and quiet entry. Be sure to change your arrow veins as well. You want to use a vein that has a three percent helical and that’s just three inches or less in length. This will ensure that the arrow immediately cuts into the wind after having cleared your rest. The result is a flatter trajectory and rapid, and better spinning.
- Play It Safe
Being smart about how you hunt is especially important early on in the season. You never want to press too hard on these animals at this time. Coming in too close to bedding areas is an invasion of territory that you’re guaranteed to regret. Not only will this throw off the early season, but it can also scare deer out of the area for the whole season. Keep in mind that large, mature animals don’t get to their impressive sizes due to lack of instinct and cunning. Mature bucks are quick to pick up the signs of predators and any wrong move could be disastrous, no matter how minor it might seem. Once these animals know that they’re being hunted, your chances of landing one will be virtually non-existent.
- Get In The Right Mindset
Leave the distractions behind. In fact, if you have distracted friends, think about leaving them behind as well. You don’t want to be caught paying attention to your mobile phone or daydreaming when a massive buck comes walking into your area. Think about the singular focus that animals maintain while hunting. They aren’t distracted or multi-tasking. Instead, they’re solely focused on being stealthy and landing their prey without giving away their positions or their intentions. If you want to hunt deer, make sure that this is where your head is the entire time you’re out.
- Use Your Safety Harness
Don’t get caught in your treestand without your safety harness. You have to account for far more than the possibility of falling. You also have to think about the heavy equipment that you might be bringing down with you. Using a safety harness is all the more important to do if you intend to head out on your own.
Hunting deer with a bow is a truly unforgettable experience. You’ll need to rely on your instincts and cunning more than ever before. But, with good practice, proper equipment and the tips above, you can bring in a large, prize-worthy buck with a single, clean and ethical shot.
Jennifer is the founder of BuckWithBow, a great blog that focuses on helping you learn how to hunt deer with a bow. As an experienced bow hunter, she will guide you through the Do’s and Don’ts of the bowhunting world and transform you into a better hunter. Whether you are an experienced bow hunter or an absolute beginner, you will find BuckWithBow a gem!