Bowhunting is coming and you need to be ready! The beginning of the season can be exciting and tough all at the same time. Whether this is your first year of hunting or you are a seasoned veteran, there are always new tips you can incorporate. I will break down some deer hunting techniques for archers based on your skill level. Even if you only try out one new technique this year, it could change the way you hunt.
Tips for Opening Day
If you are like most of us, you’ve spent a majority of the summer filling yourself with preparations. You’ve had an overwhelming desire to get back out where you were meant to be. There are some techniques and tips you can use to make opening day a little better for you.
Don’t Neglect the Importance of Scouting
In the early season, it will be essential to know where the deer are feeding. Use game cameras or some good old fashioned pre-seasoned scouting to gain insight into the deer’s movements. The best time to hunt is when deer are actively feeding on the food sources.
Patience is Essential
I know you are excited on opening day; we all are. The key to a successful first day is patience. We all want to kill an opening day buck, but it is important to be sure that buck is ready. By taking that shot without being sure, you can also disturb a productive area and force the deer to change patterns. You don’t want to be careless and ruin your chances of getting the big one.
When you are practicing, be sure that it is done in low-light. Most of the time that you will be hunting, it will not be in broad daylight. To adequately prepare yourself, you need to practice in an environment as close to the actual event.
Techniques for Beginners
As a beginner, there are lots of things that you’ll need to remember as you head into bowhunting season. Try to focus on several of these tips to make your time more successful.
Practice Shooting Technique
The majority of beginners go wrong when it comes to their shooting techniques. Some of them shoot too long of a draw length and others tend to lock the left arm while shooting. The most common shooting mistake is an improper grip. If your yard group looks like a shotgun pattern, you will want to work on your form again. Take an advanced shooter with you and listen to their expert critique. Practice makes perfect so you’ll want to spend as much time as possible getting your technique down.
Take Advantage of a 3D Course
Another great way to get ready for bowhunting season is to practice on a more challenging 3D course. You won’t want to do this until your shooting technique is down, so focus on my first tip until that is perfected. Then, take some friends to a 3D course on work on guesstimating yardage, practice incline and decline shots and see if you have what it takes to shoot properly.
Your human smell will keep deer far away. Before every hunting trip, be sure you shower with a scent-free soap. You’ll also want to avoid contamination of your hunting clothes before you get to the field. Wash them in an unscented detergent and then keep them sealed in a plastic container with leaves and dirt from around your stand. Once you arrive at the hunting location, you can put these on and they should be reeking of the natural, hunting location scent.
You could also use an odor eliminator once you reach your stand. Pay careful attention to your hat and hair.
Watch the Arrow
Be sure that you eye the shaft through your sight-pin bracket all the way to the target. This will help to promote a better follow through and prevents the dropping of your bow arm.
If you are a seasoned bow hunter, there are plenty of tips and techniques available to help you step up your game as well.
Try Out Google Earth
Start playing around with Google Earth and you can enjoy the bird’s eye view of the area where you’ll be hunting. Make sure you zoom in and use their detailed imagery to help you pick the best location for the treestand. In addition, you’ll be able to spot deer trails in fields. What an easy way to plot out a course right from the comfort of home.
Look Over Your Hunters Log From Last Year
You know that keeping a detailed hunting log is important, so you should have plenty of information to review for this year. Which of your stands brought you the most excitement? Were there certain stands that performed better during particular winds or temperatures? By examining this data, you will set yourself up for a greater chance of success this year.
If you aren’t keeping a detailed log, now is the year to start!
Use a Mock Scrape
Did you know that bucks make scrapes all year long? These are a territorial sign to define the buck’s home and let others know to stay away. By using mock scrapes, you can cause a buck to become agitated and patrol his area.
The location is the most important thing to give consideration to when creating your mock scrapes. Use travel corridors or edges to install your scrape. You’ll want it somewhere with plenty of deer movement and a nice location to put your tree stand.
Remember to be scent-free when setting it up. Wear rubber gloves and scent yourself as if you were hunting.
The Faster the Better
Since you are an advanced hunter, I am going to assume you can shoot your bow accurately. This is a must to take this step. Increasing the speed of your bow has some major advantages. A faster arrow will become flatter. In addition, your exact range estimation won’t be as important.
The best part is that you’ll be able to shoot a heavier arrow with a heavier head without giving up trajectory. That means better penetration and more momentum. Most bows can be set up to maximize the speed or accuracy. If your accuracy is spot on, adjust the speed so you can ensure to shoot the arrow really fast.
Head to the Ground
Try some different techniques this year. You don’t have to hunt from a tree stand. A natural ground blind can work great when hunting in deer woods, pronghorn prairie or elk timber. Just be sure that you have a good back cover to hide your silhouette. Invest in a good stool so you can be comfortable and have an easier time drawing.
You may even want to consider kneeling to take a shot. This hides the human shape and allows you to be out of sight while the deer is approaching. Be sure to slowly rise and draw the bow only when the angle is right for the shot. While you are on the move, this is an easy position to take when needed and should be practiced to ensure a good shot.
Get Out There and Enjoy the Hunting Season
Whatever skill set you possess, bowhunting is coming and you are going to have a great time. Adopt one new skill or technique at a time and perfect it before trying something else. Keep detailed logs of what works for you and what doesn’t. Soon, you’ll be bringing home the biggest core.
About the Author
Philip Routh is an Outdoor section editor at ASmarterTip.com. He plays with bow and arrows since he was a kid. But later this become one of his greatest passions so he decided to write about what he learned during the time spent outdoor. If you’re an beginner bow hunter you can use his tips during your hunting trips but even if you’re a pro one, you will not be disappointed!