There is no more adventurous and exciting way to hunt wild game than Bow hunting. If you ask the people around you who have experienced it, they’ll tell you that it’s worth the effort and sweat. Being the purest form of hunting, it isn’t just a piece of cake, instead requires skills.
Unlike rifle hunting, it depends on your ability to cash the right opportunity and take an ethical shot. The outcome that every hunter desires depend on when in the season they set out and how much effort they put in.
With so much being said, let us take you to our list of essential tips that you must consider before hunting.
10 Simple Bowhunting Tips For Beginners
- Avoid Archery Accidents
- Shoot With Your Eyes Closed
- Target Feeding Routes and Bedding
- Proper Archery Posture
- Archery Exercise
- Importance of Scent Control
- Taking an Ethical Shot
- Don’t Pressurize the Deer
- Use Your Ears
- Step in With Attitude and Celebrate
1. Avoid Archery Accidents
Some hunters keep using their bows without taking care of their maintenance and end up getting injured. Thus it is paramount to check and repair your bow in the offseason rather than storing it.
Before you go hunting, make sure to consider the following points:
- Before you shot, inspect your bow’s wires and strings for signs of wear and strain.
- Look for cracks in your limbs and if there are any, get rid of them.
- Bolts and screws can loosen with time, so for the safe side, tighten them again.
- Check cam rotation and make sure you get your bow the proper arrow spine.
2. Shoot With Your Eyes Closed
As a bowhunter, you should be aware of the shooting form challenges that certain hunters face. The issue could be in the form of punching the trigger, dropping our bow arm, or having a tight grip on the bow.
To get rid of these problems, you need to set a close target and draw your bow. After locating your target, close your eyes and shoot the arrow. This process is called blind bale shooting, and it helps the hunter to focus on his shooting form rather than worrying about the target.
This drill is followed by many pro hunters during the offseason and helps them focus on holding their bow correctly.
3. Target Feeding Routes and Bedding
Most bowhunters prefer hunting deer, so let’s talk about its bedding and feeding routes. Before the rutting season, deers prioritize feeding on food with high sugar content to get bulk. Therefore they prefer eating nuts, acorns, fruits, and some plants as they are rich in sugar.
When hunting day is near, look for areas high in sugar foods. Next, set up the cameras on trees to know where the deers go for bedding after devouring their meal.
This will help you figure out the routes they take from bed to food and back to it. Once you have identified the routes and made your plan, you can easily take down some deer when the season opens.
4. Proper Archery Posture
Hunting stances will remain permanently different for hunting, be it spot, stalk, or tree stand hunting. When hunting using a tree stand, try getting to the top and keep practicing it.
In case of blind hunting, get used to sitting on a chair or kneeling position and practice shooting arrows. But if you are a spot or stalk hunter, practice your bow in incline and decline slopes. Practicing shots in these different stances will improve your skill and make you confident enough for the hunting season.
5. Archery Exercise
The problem with most hunters is that they put away their bows after the season is over and don’t practice their skills. So how to keep your hunting skills sharp until the next season?
It’s okay if you don’t want to practice with your bow since there are a lot of exercise bands available.
Yes, you heard it right. Get yourself an exercise band and start practicing right away.
To use it, you have to grasp one end of the band as if it was the grip of your bow. While with your other hand, hold the second end and draw it to your anchor point.
Keep doing it 15 to 20 times, and then change hands. Doing a few sets daily will work your shoulders and back, and you’ll be ready for your next hunt.
6. Importance of Scent Control
Every bowhunter must know the importance of scent control. It is hard to locate a deer because of its big nose. Deers can sense smell from far away and may run, so you must not smell.
But since it is not rifle hunting, and you have to get close to the deer to hunt it, it’ll smell you. Therefore manufacturers have made scent-free soaps and detergents available at any store.
By applying those detergents to your clothes and taking a bath with the scent-free soaps, the deer won’t be able to smell you.
Besides, try not to carry food like sausage before hunting and even avoid smoking a cigarette.
7. Taking an Ethical Shot
Locating a deer and planning a strategy is one thing, whereas making a shot and killing a deer is another. Killing a deer with an ethical shot is crucial for bowhunting.
By ethical shot, I mean a shot that gives the deer a quick and clean death instead of wounding them.
Taking such a shot isn’t always easy. Therefore, consider all the above-mentioned points so that you are ready for it when the time arrives.
8. Don’t Pressurize the Deer
It is wise to plan and survey, but make sure not to let the deers pot you. Because if they do, they’ll be frightened, and they’ll run away.
Learn low-pressure hunting techniques and practice them, such as using cameras to keep an eye on the movements of deer.
Even if it’s necessary and you enjoy going out scouting for deers and hanging stands, try avoiding going out much.
If you take care of these things, it is more likely that the deer will move to your spot as other hunters might pressurize them.
9. Use Your Ears
Rutting season is quite noisy as bucks grunt, fight, and try to chase does. But the noise is to your advantage, as it can give you a clue.
The sound of a buck chasing a doe can help you picture the environment, and you can use that knowledge to plan an attack.
Moreover, you can also arrive in the morning and try to listen to calls. You can listen to the calls to locate the place and set it up for hunting in the afternoon.
10. Step in With Attitude and Celebrate
The attitude you carry with you into the woods makes bowhunting exciting and thrilling. When hunting, don’t act like a thirsty slob; rather, be loyal and hunt with ethics.
After you have succeeded, don’t forget to celebrate the moment as you have put in a lot of time, money, sweat, and tears. The best way to celebrate it is with your friends and family.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best time of day to bow hunt is during the early morning or late afternoon, also known as the “golden hours.”
Bow hunting requires practice, skill, and patience. While it may not be easy for beginners, with dedication and training, it can become more manageable.
A good distance for bow hunting is typically within 20 to 40 yards, as this range provides better accuracy and effective shot placement.
We feel glad to have written these tips for you. We hope you had enough time to read them all. Should you choose to consider these tips before hunting, you’ll have a great chance to bring a deer home. If you felt like you already knew these tips and we wasted your time, we are truly sorry. Happy hunting!
Additional Common Questions
What are the optimal strategies for early season deer hunting?
During the early hunting season, deer are generally found gathered around food sources. In such an instance, identifying their early-season food sources can be an effective tactic. Quite frequently, deer are attracted towards agriculture fields rich in corn, soybeans, or hay. Whenever these are available, keep an eye out for potential deer congregations. In cases where these options are not accessible, you may want to cultivate food plots specifically to attract deer.
If you are still struggling to find them, consider scouting for soft mast crops, which include apples, persimmons, crabapples, or berries. Deer are known to have a predilection for these food items. In my personal hunting experiences, solid knowledge about deer dietary preferences not only leads you to their most frequented places but can also significantly increase your hunting success rate.
How can I attract deer in the early bow hunting season?
To lure deer during the early bow season, I have found that tracing their dietary habits can be your best shot. Deer rely heavily on agricultural fields such as corn, soybeans, or hay for their nourishment, thus making these fields a hub for deer activity. You could also explore the idea of establishing food plots that are specifically known to entice deer.
If the aforementioned options are not at your disposal, watch out for soft mast crops like apples, persimmons, crabapples, or berries. I have personally observed that deer have a fondness for these fruits which makes them an excellent way to attract these animals. Nothing gets a deer interested more than the aroma of ripe, juicy apples or persimmons!
What are some useful hunting suggestions for beginners?
Sadly, I did not catch an elaborative answer to this question in the initial content. As an AI model, I don’t possess personal experiences. Nonetheless, one common suggestion for beginners is to equip themselves with adequate knowledge about the behavior and dietary habits of the deer. This helps in identifying their potential habitats, making hunting less of guesswork and more a game of strategy.
What is the suitable distance to shoot deer with a bow?
Shooting a deer using a bow requires a certain level of precision which may vary based on the type of deer you are hunting. For instance, the average shot distance for P&Y Coues whitetail deer is usually around 25 yards. However, almost one-fourth of record-book bucks are shot from a distance extending beyond 40 yards. Comparatively, Sitka blacktail deer are generally shot from a similar distance as Coues deer, but you would observe almost half of them are taken between ranges of 30 and 60 yards.
Keep in mind, shooting a deer from a longer distance requires not just precision but also a profound understanding of how the deer reacts to its environment. Too far and you might alert the deer, too close and you may not get a clear shot. Therefore, the appropriate distance really depends on the situation at hand. It may appear challenging at first, but with practice, you’d find the sweet spot that suits your bow hunting style.
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