This past Sunday, I spent some time scouting for Montana’s upcoming archery season, which opens on September 7th. There wasn’t much moving, but it was also mid-afternoon by the time we made it out, so I took into consideration the time of day.
If you haven’t already been out there scouting your hunting area(s), and you are planning on getting out there, take a look at the following 10 back-to-basics pre-season hunting tips from supremearchery.com:
- PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE – Be sure to practice with your broadheads, and also make sure that you are comfortable shooting in the type of attire that you will be hunting in;
- SCOUT EARLY AND OFTEN – This site recommends that you get out there scouting after deer season ends and then again in March/April. “Scouting is just putting a giant puzzle together. The more you do it the better you get.”
- TREE STAND PLACEMENT – “Always set up within reasonable range of the trail or area you plan to hunt. A Reasonable range is 20 yards or closer.” Hunters are also reminded that a mature whitetail knows when a tree that was there before is no longer there–it is compared to a person walking into their house and noticing the coffee maker being gone.
- KNOW YOUR EFFECTIVE KILL RANGE (EKR) – “That magical distance that even under extreme pressure you can place your arrow in a nine inch circle. Not once, not twice, but nine out of ten times.” Once you figure out what your EKR is, you won’t be spending as much time tracking your animal as you will be admiring your kill.
- ASK QUESTIONS – Never be afraid to ask a knowledgeable hunter questions. This holds true for the area you are hunting, too. If you have permission to hunt on private land, the landowner can have a lot of valuable information for you–especially if the landowner is a rancher, as they spend so much time outside on their land.
- PLAY THE WIND – “Above all else play the wind to your favor.” It is recommended to have several stands set up for every type of wind direction, rather than setting up one stand and sitting in “bad wind”.
- DON’T OVER HUNT – “Rotate your sits”…in other words, don’t overhunt one stand in particular. Mix it up. Regardless of how difficult it will be to stick to moving stand locations when you see your prize buck, they say that if you stick to this rule, “it will pay you back in tenderloins.”
- HUNT HARD – HUNT LATE – “Hunt as often as you can without jeopardizing your marriage and employment; everything else though is negotiable.” It is recommended to hunt as late as you can in the mornings, and during the rut stay out all day if you can.
- MAKE EVERY SHOT COUNT – “It is not unusual for a whole season to come down to one shot. This holds true when hunting and patterning mature bucks.” Make sure you shoot as often as you can and do not skip practice. Maybe add some blunt/judo tips to your quiver to shoot before you head back for the night.
- KNOW YOUR ADVERSARY – Learn EVERYTHING about the animal you’re hunting–including their regular habits, mating and life cycle. It is even suggested to go to a zoo and see them up close so that you can “be accustomed to seeing them within bow range.”
And there you have it. Ten tips for bowhunters to take into consideration for this month’s archery season. The more prepared and educated you are, the better your hunting experience will be. The countdown has begun.
(Cover photo: myhuntinglands.com; Above photo: Jason Maxwell)