Fred Bear is legend for promoting Bowhunting. He has said, “There’s more fun in hunting with the handicap of a bow than there is in hunting with the sureness of a gun.” Fred Bear was right. Your journey into bow hunting is one that will prove to be an adventure that will last a lifetime. Here are some tips to get you started on your journey into Bowhunting:
Find a Mentor
There are more opportunities today to find people to take you hunting and teach you how to become a more successful Bowhunter. Apps like Powderhook and Go Wild are great apps to begin your journey. As well, almost every state has programs to help hunters learn how to become better hunters.
Find a Great Bow
The quality of bows today has increased. We live in the golden age of Bowhunting. Our world has never been better. Compound bows, traditional bows and crossbows have gotten faster, more forgiving and better shooting than ever before. Whether you are looking for a used bow or a new bow, the options are endless.
We recommend looking at compound bows today, something that is light, fast and forgiving. Compound bows need to be smooth drawing for beginner hunters, and they need to be as quiet as possible.
Choose a Great Release
When I first started shooting we used finger releases, and you learned how to shoot with three fingers. Today’s releases are quick and fast, and they can help you with muscle memory and trigger control for each and every shot. Releases are adjustable today, and they come in many options. When you are at the archery shop, test four to five of them and find the one that works for you. The goal of finding and adjusting a release is to get the release set in your hands so it becomes a part of you.
Select the Right Arrows
Long gone are the wooden arrows that we shot back in the 70’s. Aluminum and carbon arrows have increased in quality year after year over the last three decades. Today, you can balance your arrows to within the inch and create arrows that are exceptional. Bowhunters are now practicing archery out to distances of 100 yards on a regular basis. Arrows for Bowhunting need to be weight forward and as heavy as possible to have a strong down range effect to penetrate properly while Bowhunting.
Find A Quality Quiver
For beginning hunters we recommend using light quivers attached to the bow. In the tree stand you can always remove your quiver, but practicing with the quiver on and off the bow is important so you know how well the bow shoots in both circumstances. We recommend shooting with the quiver for almost all situations except the tree stand. While hunting in the tree stand removing your quiver can help you to decrease the movement while in the stand.
For hunting we started hunting with hip quivers but today most hunters use bow quivers. They attach to the bow, but they can only hold 4 to 6 arrows on average.
Get Your Bow Tuned And Sighted In
The quality of your bow is only as good as the quality of your sights and the quality of the tuning of your bow. Make sure your cables are in great shape, the draw length of your bow must fit your body and the arrows should be matched perfectly to your bow. Have your peep aligned by a professional and your knock point and rest aligned so your bow can be properly paper tuned. Having your arrows matched to your bow weight and speed will help to make sure your bow shoots more accurately.
Find your local bow shop and make sure your bow is tuned and adjusted to you at the beginning of your adventure into Bowhunting. Do not skip this step as it is an important part of the process.
Practice makes perfect and archery shooting is all about muscle memory. Your goal is a proper shooting form and absolute consistency. Whether you are an experienced shooter or an absolute beginner, look for a mentor and a quality shooter to help you with your form. Once you have your form down it all comes down to repetition and shooting each and every day.
When you begin practicing it is all about form, and shooting at short distances can really help you. Once you get your form down and really consistent you need to begin to enjoy the process of shooting. Whether you practice longer and longer distances or you make practice a game, enjoy shooting because shooting is a large part of why so many people enjoy Bowhunting.
Practice Shooting From Where You Are Going To Hunt
If you are going to hunt from a blind or a tree stand, you owe it to yourself to practice your shooting. Shooting from a tree stand is very different from shooting inside of a blind. Practicing from a tree stand requires a little bit of effort and shooting from a blind, teaches you how you are going to have to move once you are in the blind. Taking the time to understand how you will shoot in these situations will make you a better hunter. “When a hunter is in a tree stand with moral values and with the proper hunting ethics and richer for the experience, that hunter is 20 feet closer to God.” – Fred Bear
Select The Right Hunting Gear
Your gear is one of the most vital parts of hunting and can make the experience more enjoyable. Taking your time to find the right hunting gear is incredibly important. Combining knowledge with the right equipment can increase the probability of a successful hunt. We suggest you look at some of the great blog and review websites as well as some of the Facebook groups out there that focus on hunting. We also look for hunting gear for backpacking and outdoor gear websites. Quality is all about buying the most comfortable gear you can afford and taking care of it.
Do Your Research
Research can mean different things to different people. We begin with looking at aerial maps for the properties we hunt. We look at Basemap so we can understand the property boundaries and we then walk the property we are going to hunt and look for trails, pinch points, and set up trail cameras. Usually we like to do this research in May.
Set Trail Cameras
Cameras can help hunters and is undoubtedly a must-have for those looking for night hunting adventures. And the best part is that these devices are not as expensive as we think they are. Brands like Seek make compact thermal cameras; these have a -40°F to 626° of temperature sensing range, making it an ideal and cost-effective solution for hunters.
We like to set up trail cameras on the properties that we hunt, and we set these cameras up on thed trails near the stand locations we are planning on hunting. We look for trail cameras that are cellular driven and we label and lock all of our trail cameras so anyone who is less than honest understands fully we take the security of our equipment very seriously.
Hunt Where The Deer Are
Once hunting season starts we hunt where the deer are. We watch the various stand locations, we pay attention to the wind and we hunt every single day we have available to hunt. If it is raining, sunny, windy, foggy or snowing, we hunt. Wind direction tells us which stands to hunt and we hunt where the cameras have told us the deer are located.
Take Ethical Shots
The most important pro-tip we can give any Bowhunter is always take ethical shots. The biggest deer in the world might be 40 yards in front of you, but if you haven’t practiced past 30, shooting at that deer would be unethical. Know your limits, take your time and be respectful of the animals that are in your sights and have the patience to wait for just the right shot.
Bow hunting may come with difficult challenges, but with discipline and practice, it can be a rewarding sport. We hope these tips will help you to find success and a life of adventure in your Bowhunting pursuits.