Saturday, August 15, 2009

How To Achieve Greater Archer Success


Bow hunters are always looking for a shortcut. What can I do to make each trip more successful?

First of all, don’t expect every trip to be successful in terms of killing a deer. It won’t be, and besides, if it was possible, deer hunting would soon become rather boring and tedious.

I’ve come today with a list of things hunters can do to increase their success rate, but I’ll probably forget a few and that will make for another blog on another day.

*Practice shooting every day if possible. Learn your bow, what it will do, and practice often with it. Everything else in these tips will fall apart unless you can hit what you are shooting at.

*Hunting isn’t just from October through November. It should be a year ‘round activity. Of course, you can only shoot in season, but scouting is often overlooked by lazy hunters. Spend time in the field every week, and especially from mid-August through the end of September.

*Pick ground blind areas and tree stand sites with care. Know why deer move to those spots, where they come from and where they are going.

*Don’t go above 15 feet in a tree stand. The downward angles are acute, and missing or wounding a deer become more likely for many people. Those deer shot at nose-bleed elevations on the television could have been shot from 15 feet just effectively.

*Learn how to be scent-free. Above all else, hunt downwind of where deer travel. If the wind switches so you are not downwind of the deer, move before they get your scent. Wear clean, tall rubber boots to hunt in, and stay away from gasoline or cooking odors.

*Sitting still is so crucial, and yet many hunters fidget and wiggle around, making noise and spooking deer. Learn how to focus your mind and body into silence with no movement. Make a movement only when deer are feeding or looking away, and move in slow motion. Herky-jerky movements are easily spotted by nearby deer and they tend to create more noise.

*Learn to see deer. Forget about seeing a calendar photo of a big whitetail buck. Often, bucks are first seen by a flicking tail, moving ear, sunlight off antlers, but often the first sighting is just a piece of the horizontal body outline. Look as deep into cover as possible, and anything that moves in-between will be seen. Learn how to pick apart the cover in search of deer.

*Learn how to get to and from a stand without scaring deer. Each stand should have at least two entrance and exit routes, and mix them up. Go in one way and out another, and try not to use the same stand two days in a row. You must pattern deer; don’t let them pattern you.

*Study deer at every opportunity. Watch and study their actions and body language, and get accustomed to seeing deer at close range. Buck fever is a fear of failing, and the best way to get rid of that problem is to find a place where deer can be studied at close range. The more you see deer, the less often buck fever will set in.

*Pick a spot. Good deer hunters never shoot for the center of mass; instead, they pick an exact and precise place where they wish to hit.

*Always take high-percentage shots. This means taking only broadside or quartering-away shots. Wait for the deer to give you the shot opportunity you want. Don’t take the first shot a buck offers. Allow them to move and turn, and present you with the optimum shot opportunity.

*Always know what other deer in the area are doing. Don’t get so intent on the animal that you forget that other deer may be looking around for danger. Keep track of the deer, and one with its head down and feeding or looking at another deer is preoccupied. If the animal is in the proper position, aim, pick the exact spot, and don’t lift your head until the arrow hits and the Game Tracker string flutters out. Always use a Game Tracker because it will help you recover a wounded deer.

*Listen to your gut instincts. If you have bad feelings about taking a shot, or worry about missing, don’t shoot. Your gut instincts are always right, and if you ignore them, a wounded deer may be the result.

*Use your senses of hearing, seeing, and smelling. Those three senses are what a deer will be using to try to stay alive once hunting season begins.

*Believe in yourself, your bow, and your shooting ability. Confidence is an important part of hunting, and if you feel confident, you will be. If you dither over choosing a spot to hunt, forget it.

There are many other tips, but these are enough to start with. Master these, and we’ll consider a graduate course in the future.

Posted by Dave Richey on 08/15 at 06:54 PM
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