Bow hunting is definitely harder than rifle hunting, yet if you practice enough and get the right equipment that is specially adjusted for the shooter and learn how to do it correctly, it is well worth the time and effort. There are some things that just come with experience and take years to learn, even if more seasoned bow hunters have given you the scoop. Don’t get discouraged, though, because it is definitely a very challenging sport that few try and even less are actually successful at every year. Here are a few tips that will increase your chances of harvesting a deer each year.
1. Use a tree stand- While deer hunting can be done from the ground, especially with a rifle, when you are hunting with a bow you are going to be moving more and a tree stand is going to be your best friend. This is probably the most important thing when it comes to bow hunting.
2. Make sure you wear full camouflage and are scent free- This is essential when both walking to your stand and climbing up to wait. You will not only want deer to not see or smell you, as they may just give their warning snort and run off before you make it to the stand. Wash your body and clothes in scentless soap and be as stealthy as you can when climbing up your deer stand. Don’t smoke cigarettes and make sure you eat before you leave the house. Spray the bottom of your boots even or tie scent drags to them and hang them up in trees around you, maybe 20 or 30 yards away. You can even measure how far you place them to be able to use them as a reference point when you have a deer in your sights.
3. Don’t over call- Make sure if you use a call, which you may not have to, that you don’t make too much noise in the woods that the deer can tell it’s not real. They can tell something is up if it sounds too unnatural. Although it may be tempting to try different calls or make it sound like there are numerous deer in the area, be patient. Most of the time you should wait around 15 minutes between calls, depending on the scenario you are trying to create.
4. Be prepared- Make sure you have your bow in your hands and ready to draw by the time the deer approaches shooting range, which is usually between 15 and 35 yards. A lot of hunters keep their bow in their hands or on their lap the entire time they are in the tree. Make sure you have plenty of extra arrows with sharp broad heads because if you miss a shot, you may get another one. It happens quite a bit, actually, especially if you have a quiet bow. This is one benefit to bow hunting.
5. Stay calm and breathe- Wait until the deer is standing broad-side at a distance you know and are comfortable with. Don’t waste a shot trying to shoot at them through limbs or before they are in shooting range. You might be surprised at how many of them will actually walk right up by the tree you are sitting in if you are just patient and stay calm. Wait until their heads are turned or behind a tree to pull your bow back. Don’t pull it back before they get into shooting range because it may take a little while and you don’t want fatigue to set in before you even get an opportunity to shoot.
6. Don’t rush your shot- A common mistake a lot of bow hunters make is a deer walks up into the shooting zone, they put their peep sights on them, and if they see the kill zone they shoot. Find a small little spot on the deer as a target and take your time. Make sure your string is positioned on your face correctly and the correct sight pin is on that small spot of the kill zone and just in not the entire sight. If you have practiced enough with your bow the rest will come naturally.
Further reading from the writer:
Tree Stand Deer Hunting: Nature’s Sport
Age Old Secrets to Successful Deer Scouting
Home-made Beef/Deer Jerky Recipe
Top 10 Deer Hunting Rifles
Squirrel Hunting Tips