Labor Day weekend is here, and most of you are wondering where did your summer go? Last week’s weather reminded us that fall is right around the corner and probably gave bow hunters a little incentive to begin preparation for the upcoming season. Normally, the general archery season for deer, elk, and mountain lion begins the Saturday of Labor Day, but not this year. While the antelope 900 series archery season has been underway since the middle of August, bow hunters will have to wait another week to go scentless and camo up as the general archery opener is Saturday September 6th.
If you are like mem you have been preparing for the hunting season for the past few weeks. Hopefully, you have been shooting your tuned up bow on a daily basis and working on your shooting mechanics. Shooting your bow is an important part of preparation, as well as getting your body in shape. Getting in shape for stalking elk or deer is good idea well in advance of the opener. If you haven’t started, you still have time.
My exercise routine goes like this: I first start out walking a mile and half up a steady incline with my tennis shoes and shorts for a couple of weeks. I then walk for a week carrying my bow. The fourth week is when I put my camo clothing on that I wear hunting including my boots and backpack and I also carry my bow. Each morning, after my walk, I fling up to a dozen arrows at a block target in the backyard. My shooting distances vary from 20-60 yards. I wouldn’t take a 60 yard shot at an elk or deer but the added distance makes a more likely shot of 25-30 yard seem that much closer. I then shoot sitting on a chair and on my knees so I can get used to drawing my bow in those positions all the while varying my shooting distance. When I practice shooting my bow, I also use my range finder so I can get a feel for the exact distance that an object might be with my naked eye.
A few years back, when I decided to take up the sport of bow hunting, I had no idea how much went into being a successful bow hunter. I received some great advice when I first started and have been learning ever since. One of the other ways I try to get ready for the hunt is I try to watch some videos on YouTube that feature up close elk hunting with hunters calling in a bull elk into a close range of 10 yards. Even though watching this unfold on a computer screen is helpful, it doesn’t compare to the adrenaline rush you feel out in the field if you happen to get that close to live elk.
The key, of course, is when you do get that close to a bull elk, you keep your composure and get off a well placed shot. A bow hunter will tell you that staying focused in the heat of the moment is easier said than done. Maybe this will be the year I am able to put it all together.
(Written by the Captain – aka Mark Ward)