Now is the time to be preparing for this years’ bow season. Hopefully you dusted off your bow a while ago and have been practicing. Practice makes perfect but there is not just one thing that that you need to do for success. Here are some tips to ensure this season’s new stories won’t include excuses.
1.) Know your Bow! Practice, practice, practice! Remember, you will get one good shot, maybe. I find that I have several close encounters before there is a realistic shot window.
2.) The 1st shot of each practice session is the most important. After that, it is about practice, muscle memory and repetition. I normally shoot less than 2 dozen shots at each practice session. Make every shot count and practice often. Practice from different angles and heights. Most of my shots are from my knees. This requires practice.
3.) Shoot close! The longest bow kill I have ever made is less than 20 yards. I practice and am proficient at longer ranges but for me closer is best. The hunt is about getting close. Why deal with the scents, camoflage , blinds and other gimics if you are going to shoot longer ranges? A real bow hunter gets closer and makes an ethical, accurate kill shot.
4.) Shoot the first legal critter that you are hunting. Meat in the freezer tastes a lot better than a mouth full of “Woulda, Coulda, Shouldas” Over the course of a lifetime of hunts you will encounter and accumulate trophys. If you are just hunting for antlers and give the meat away, learn to play golf instead.
5.) Scout your hunting area. There is no sense in hunting where the critters aren’t. Look for sign and changes in your hunting area. Think about your stand placement and minimize any changes to the site. Deer spend their lives in the area you hunt. You are just a tourist.
6.) We only have so many hunts in our lives. Cherish each hunt since this year could be your last. Maintain your health, exercise and know your limitations.
Every hunt is a success when shared with friends and family. Meals you harvest always taste better when you are the hunter and cook. Hunt ethically and celebrate the adventure.
(Written by Montana Grant; Photos courtesy of Montana Grant)