Apr 252014
 

Bow hunting is thrilling, but it can also be quite a frustrating experience if you can’t hit your target. In order to be accurate, you will need an appropriate bow. Choosing the right compound bow takes some time. Here are the factors you have to consider:

The draw length – the distance a bow draws before the string stops. Too short of a draw length will decrease the accuracy of the bow and increase the aiming difficulty. The anchor point can’t be reached at short draw lengths either. If the draw length is too long, the archer will experience bad shooting form, which leads to higher levels of torque and tension and increase in inaccuracy. Proper draw length will give you consistency, form, safety and accuracy.

The draw weight – it should match your strength. It’s true that the heavier the draw weight, the faster the speeds will be, but it’s more important to find a draw weight that you can hold steady and without much stress. As a hunter, you should be aware that you might be drawn back for longer periods of time while you wait for the shot. If the draw weight you chose is too heavy, you won’t be able to hold it for long, which will nullify your chances to get a successful shot.

The length of the bow – this also plays a major role. The length determines maneuverability, as well as stability. Shorter bows are better for hunters as they can be controlled much more easily on treestands or in the fields. The average size of hunting bows is 30 to 32 inches.

Speed and noise – Faster arrows translate to more kinetic energy. If a bow can fire heavier arrows at higher speeds, you will get more penetration. Hunters prefer silent bows; the most silent bows are the ones with lowest energy loss – the lower the energy loss, the less energy transfers to vibration that causes sound. You can also purchase vibration dampeners to silence the bow.

Ready-to-shoot or a bare bow? As the name suggests, a ready to shoot bow will come with all the accessories (arrow rest, quiver, sight). If you purchase a bare bow, you will need to purchase the accessories as well. Also make sure to match the arrows to your bow – the arrows should match the draw length and weight of your bow.

 Posted by at 8:06 am
Apr 182014
 

That doe you have been waiting for is only footsteps away from your shooting range and you are ready to deliver the shot. Then, in an unfortunate turn of events, the wind changes course and the doe runs away while you are mid-aim with your bow. She picked up your scent. This happened to everyone at least once.

scent controlChecking the wind is the first step to a successful hunt. The wind should work to your advantage, not disadvantage. Always make sure that the wind is blowing your (or any other) scent away from your game. If the wind changes direction, change your location.

Avoid any scent that may spook your game – this includes perfumes, colognes, tobacco, scented toothpaste, cigarette/cigar smoke and similar. Strong foods are a no-no as well. Make sure you don’t bring your hunting clothes to a smoke filled room or wear them while cooking. You may not feel the odor that much, but the doe or buck you are after will pick it up in no time.

Choose appropriate clothing – there are several lines of scent controlling clothing that are available to hunters. None of them can control your scent 100%, but they can control it much better than regular clothing. Make sure to grab a scent eliminating detergent as well. Foot odor is probably the most common issue, but there are several companies that also make boots that will control the odor. Avoid travelling to your hunting spot in your hunting clothes – change there.

Don’t forget to mask your scent. You can do so with scent control sprays – skunk secretions, raccoon or fox pee are quite popular masking scents. Attracting scents are more popular than masking scents nowadays, especially the doe-in-rut scents. These don’t attract bucks every time, but seeing a buck on every third hunt is a good percentage, don’t you think?

It’s not enough to have the best camo and bow brand if your game will pick up your scent before you are ready to make your move. Spraying some scent eliminator isn’t enough. You will need at least several scent control products (both the masking and attracting ones) to hunt successfully.

 Posted by at 10:09 am
Apr 172014
 

Bow hunting has a special feel to it. It brings you closer to nature than any other form of hunting. Bow performances are getting better and better, which is good news for you – if you tried to shoot a compound bow past the 40-yard mark in the past, many would laugh at your attempt to do so. This isn’t the case anymore and you can easily land a precise shot way over the 40-yard mark.

accuracyWhat you should be aware of when increasing your shooting distance is that all mistakes grow exponentially with distance. You probably don’t consider shooting a deer from large distances, but if opportunity presents itself, you should have enough accuracy to do so.
Every aspect of shooting is important if you wish to achieve better accuracy: your stance, your grip, your anchor point, release, even your breathing. A good stance is important, of course, but it’s hard to achieve this during hunting trips, especially if your target is out of your comfortable shooting range. Kneeling down with your feet that are close together and sitting on your heels creates a very stable position. Make sure you can hold this position even if your legs are tired.

Your grip also plays a major role: a bow with thinner grip means less torque, which means that you will have more accuracy over longer distances. The feeling you should get from the bow is a push towards the palm of your hand when it’s fully drawn. Finding the anchor point is a bit tricky – it takes some time to find a good one, and the only way to do so is by practicing regularly. You will be able to execute shot after shot much quicker without lowering your accuracy once you find it.

The release is also important – the hardest type of release to achieve is the unanticipated/surprise release – this type of release boosts your accuracy the most. The most common way to achieve this is by using the push and pull technique, which takes some time to master. If you are unsure how to achieve this, ask archers that are more experienced for some tips.

Holding your breath during full draw and aiming is something many archers are struggling with. Don’t do this – the oxygen levels in your brain will lower after only eight seconds, making it more difficult to hit your target.

Mastering new techniques and finding your perfect stance will increase your overall performance quite a lot. In order to be able to hit your game from farther away, keep practicing all year round.

Apr 112014
 

Bow hunting seems like a marvellous hobby. If you have no experience in it whatsoever, you should be prepared for quite a bit of studying before you can venture out and enjoy the actual hunt.

Deer HuntingBeing able to hit your game is the most important aspect of bow hunting. Becoming a good archer will take a considerable amount of time, as well as proper training. Before you spend a fortune on the best equipment out there, it would be good to rent some of it first. You may find it great now, but how will you feel about archery in two or three weeks? This is exactly why you should rent the equipment first. If you are still interested after some time has passed, you can safely buy your own equipment. Although you may want to go into the woods and hunt small game after shooting for a day or two, be patient. Master all the basics first, find the equipment that suits you best and make sure to have a good mentor as well.

After you have mastered the bow and arrow, you can proceed to the next step. No, you won’t shoot prey just yet. There is one more thing you should learn before you are able to hunt: you have to know your game. Knowing the weaknesses (and strengths) of your game, their food sources, their travel routes, bedding areas and vocalizations is key to successful hunting. Learning a thing or two about the animal anatomy will be of great importance, as you will find it easy to determine the best shot angles for lethal shots. There is a lot of information that you should know, but luckily, you can find all of it online and on various hunting forums. Having an experienced hunter with you is the best course of action though.
Scouting your prey is yet another thing you will have to do.

You can’t expect successful hunts if you wander around the woods aimlessly. With scouting, you will find out where the animals bed, where they feed and what their preferred travel routes are. In order to avoid disrupting any travel routes, you should first scout the area from afar. Once you determine the peak hours, move closer when there’s the least chance the animals will appear. Search for tracks, rubs, scat and scrapes – if you find fresh ones, this is good news, but if you find both fresh and old ones, it’s even better, as this shows that the animals use this route regularly. You can remember these locations, mark them on your map or add them to your GPS. After scouting, you should choose your stand location, a location where you will wait for the kill – an overlook area is a good choice.

This is when the waiting game begins; you shouldn’t pick the same stand location too often, as the animals will be able to pick up your scent – make sure to regularly switch your locations. In order to get a good shot, you should be able to come to full draw and make sure you aren’t detected while doing so. Starting with smaller game is a good choice, as you will be able to practice your stalking, stealth and shooting. After being successful with smaller game, you can test your skills with larger game as well.

 Posted by at 10:16 am
Apr 112014
 

If you have learned to love bow hunting smaller game, the thought of trying out your skills and expertise on larger game surely crossed your mind as well. If you wish to hunt larger game, you may have to learn a thing or two about your equipment specifications, as well differences between the various categories of big game.

There are three major categories of big game: thin hide and light bones, thick hide and heavy bones and extremely tough skin. White tailed deer, black bears, caribous or leopards are considered thin hide game. Bison, grizzly bears, moose or elks are considered thick hide game, while elephants or rhinos are considered tough skinned game.

Hunting Big GameIf you have no experience with big game hunting, you shouldn’t try to kill tough or even thick-skinned game first. You should start with thin hide game. There are some rules to hunting big game that you will have to learn as well. First of all, you should be aware that even though you are hunting larger game and you will be able to hit it easier, if it spots you, you won’t be able to make an efficient hit. Knowing when to come to a full draw without catching the attention of your prey takes some practice, but you will master it quickly. Learning the best kill shot angles is also of utmost importance. Once you hit your game, remain calm, even if it’s your first big game shot. You should be sure on whether or not your hit was efficient. If the animal doesn’t fall immediately, you should wait for at least 15 to 20 minutes if you are sure you hit the heart or the lungs. Once the time has passed, start searching for the animal – follow the blood trail and never abandon the last sign if you haven’t found a new one. If you lost trace, do a grid search.

The killing efficiency of your equipment is determined by the kinetic energy that your bow and arrow can produce. Even though many like to determine the efficiency based on the draw weight, this is a poor choice. The design of the broadhead is very important in the equation, as well as its sharpness. The kinetic energy of your arrow is measured in foot-pounds and it’s determined upon impact. The weight of the arrow and its speed are the two determinants of foot-pound of energy it can deliver and its penetration power.

The speed of the arrow is affected by many factors: its weight, draw weight, string and cable material, cam configuration, let off percentage and more. The weight of the arrow includes the whole arrow. If the arrow is heavier, it will deliver more energy. The arrow speed is measured when it’s one yard away from the bow. If you multiply this with the weight of the arrow and divide by 450,240, you will get the kinetic energy it delivers upon impact in foot-pounds. The most efficient range to kill thin hide animals is 25-39 foot-pounds of energy. Thick hide animals require more – 40 to 80 foot-pounds of energy, while the largest (extremely though skinned) game will require 80 to 129.

With knowing your equipment and your effective shooting range, you have the best chances of delivering a perfect shot.

 Posted by at 9:59 am
Feb 222014
 

Deer season is here for only a limited amount of time, and many hunters don’t even touch their equipment once it’s over. This is a big mistake, especially if you are a bow hunter. Not touching your bow for six, eight or more months will cripple you – keeping your hunting skills at an all-time high is the best preparation for the next season, and you can do so with small game hunting. Several weeks of pre-season practice can’t compete with round-the-year hunting.

Hunting small game doesn’t require the same equipment as hunting big game; you can do just fine with practice arrows.

Squirrels are a good choice for small game bow hunting. The squirrel hunting seasons are quite long. In order to be successful at hunting them, you will have to sneak around trees and search for them in the treetops. Whether you wish to shoot while they are still on top of the three or you prefer waiting for them to come down to the ground is up to you. If you miss, they will usually be a bit spooked, but won’t really run away. They will stay close, so you will have more than enough chances of landing a successful hit. You should know that squirrels have very good sight, so you should camouflage in order to have better chances at hunting them.

small game hunting

Rabbits are another good target. Their population depends on what time of year it is, but they are quite widespread and there are always plenty of them. The most common places you will find them are edges of overgrown fields, briar patches or honeysuckle thickets. If you are hunting during snow season, you should easily spot them. A rabbit usually freezes in place when it sees you, so you should carefully search for their shiny eyes or pink ears. When hunting rabbits, you will usually be required to sneak around, so make sure you have the appropriate clothing as well – briar pants will keep you secure in the most unpleasant thickets.

One more species that is considered small game (not in all states, so make sure to check before you hunt them) are raccoons. The highest chances of spotting them are in near vicinity of recently cut cornfields, especially during dusk or dawn. It’s best to wait for them near such cornfields and once they arrive, ready yourself for shooting them down.

Groundhogs and marmots are considered pests and states usually have open season on them throughout the whole year, as their populations are quite vast.

You may think that small game hunting isn’t as thrilling as hunting does. Have you ever tried to shoot a rabbit? It’s actually more complicated than you might imagine at first. It takes some practice to approach such a small target without spooking it. You can choose your preferred game – rabbits, groundhogs, squirrels or some other small game species that’s abundant in your area. This is one of the best benefits of hunting such small game – most of them are free to hunt all year round and there are plenty of places where you can hunt them. The actual hit is easily done; chasing is the biggest thrill with small game.

Feb 052014
 

Bow hunting can be one of the most exciting hobbies on the planet. The thrill of the hunt can be addictive, to say the least. If you thinking of indulging in this sport, take note that it’s not quite as simple as it might first appear. You should be prepared for quite a bit of studying before you can venture out and enjoy the actual hunt.

Being able to hit your game is the most important aspect of bow hunting. Becoming a good archer will take a considerable amount of time, as well as proper training. Before you spend a fortune on the best equipment out there, it would be good to rent some of it first. You may find it great now, but how will you feel about archery in two or three weeks? This is exactly why you should rent the equipment first. If you are still interested after some time has passed, you can safely buy your own equipment. Although you may want to go into the woods and hunt small game after shooting for a day or two, be patient. Master all the basics first, find the equipment that suits you best and make sure to have a good mentor as well.

hunting targetAfter you have mastered the bow and arrow, you can proceed to the next step. No, you won’t shoot prey just yet. There is one more thing you should learn before you are able to hunt: you have to know your game. Knowing the weaknesses (and strengths) of your game, their food sources, their travel routes, bedding areas and vocalizations is key to successful hunting. Learning a thing or two about the animal anatomy will be of great importance, as you will find it easy to determine the best shot angles for lethal shots. There is a lot of information that you should know, but luckily, you can find all of it online and on various hunting forums. Having an experienced hunter with you is the best course of action though.

Scouting your prey is yet another thing you will have to do. You can’t expect successful hunts if you wander around the woods aimlessly. With scouting, you will find out where the animals bed, where they feed and what their preferred travel routes are. In order to avoid disrupting any travel routes, you should first scout the area from afar. Once you determine the peak hours, move closer when there’s the least chance the animals will appear. Search for tracks, rubs, scat and scrapes – if you find fresh ones, this is good news, but if you find both fresh and old ones, it’s even better, as this shows that the animals use this route regularly. You can remember these locations, mark them on your map or add them to your GPS. After scouting, you should choose your stand location, a location where you will wait for the kill – an overlook area is a good choice.

This is when the waiting game begins; you shouldn’t pick the same stand location too often, as the animals will be able to pick up your scent – make sure to regularly switch your locations. In order to get a good shot, you should be able to come to full draw and make sure you aren’t detected while doing so. Starting with smaller game is a good choice, as you will be able to practice your stalking, stealth and shooting. After being successful with smaller game, you can test your skills with larger game as well.

Feb 012014
 

Just before last season started, you went to the archery shop to make the final adjustments to your bow and you ended up waiting for it for days. Do you remember how mad you were when you noticed that you don’t even have enough arrows to practice? And just think about everyone else in the shop – it was crowded! Do you really want to go through all of that again this year? If your answer is no, and it should be, you should start your preparations early.

bow huntingThe first thing you should do is check your gear. Everything should be in good condition – if your bow needs quick adjustments or repair, bring it to the shop early, or you will end up waiting forever to get it back. As the season draws near, the archery shops will be more and more crowded. Check your arrows – do you have enough of them, do you have every type you need? Check if all of your gear fits you and make sure your safety equipment is still in perfect condition.

Practice makes perfect. If you plan hunting deer and actually be successful at it, you should go through all the lessons you have learned earlier, especially if you haven’t picked up your bow since the last season. It’s easy to hit a deer, but this isn’t everything there is to it – a responsible hunter will make sure to minimize the suffering – the time from a successful shot to death should be minimal. In order to be successful in this, you should know the best angles to deliver a deadly shot.

Learn everything about your game. If you go hunting without any proper knowledge of your game, your chances of success are slim to none, especially if you plan to hunt deer. You have to know how to camouflage yourself – deer have excellent hearing, even better smell and their eyesight is also very good. It’s hard to even make it into bow shooting range if you have no idea how to sneak past all of this. Get familiar with the area where you will hunt, learn about the most common routes of your game, their food sources and their bedding areas.

Prepare your clothing. Make sure that your clothes are free of any scent, including yours, before you put them on. It’s best if you wash them with some scent free detergent a few days before you go into the woods. Also make sure they remain scent free – you can do so with use of some plastic bags. In order to really blend in, you can add some leaves and other vegetation from the area where you will hunt into the bag. This way, the smell of your clothes won’t differ much from the rest of the vegetation there. Make sure to shower with some scent free soap before you venture out into the open. Clear your preferred hunting spots – if you clean and prepare your preferred spots before season, the animals won’t be as alarmed because something changed in their environment. Once the season starts, they will already be used to the changes.

Jan 272014
 

Sometimes you just feel like you aren’t able to find any small game, or the doe you were about to shoot notices you and runs off. We all have our bad days, so don’t break a sweat about it. It’s especially hard if you prefer bow hunting, as you have to make sure that you are at your most effective range and that you are at full draw or your shot will fail to hit the target. If you miss more than you think you should, there is probably some tiny thing you have overlooked. Here are some tips on how to improve your hunting success.

Choose good quality binoculars. Even though you may find your pocked size binoculars quite good, you should try looking through proper high quality binoculars. You will notice the differences right away. Most game is usually active at dusk or dawn, so having binoculars that will help you see better will increase your success immensely, as you will notice them quicker and you will be able to have more insight about their routes.

hunting binoculars

Game doesn’t really have much consideration for any kind of borders, so it may have a steady route through someone else’s land. If you find that you would have a great hunting spot there, do not hesitate to ask for permission to hunt there. It takes only a minute to do so. Never trespass! A kind request is your best chance to enjoy the hunt on that property. You can seek permission to do so every year, and it’s a good idea to share your bag with the owners. Help them with some chores – if a fence requires mending, do not hesitate to help. This goes a long way.

If you wish to get most chances while hunting deer, you should have your stand near acorns – they are most attracted to them. They like white oak acorns the most, as well as burr oaks. Pin oaks, red and black oaks are also a good lure, but are only second pick when compared to white and burr oak. You should also know that once the rut has started, the bucks won’t care about food as much. The does will still care about it however, so you will have the best chances if you hunt in doe feeding areas at that time.

If the day is dull, you should wear amber shooting glasses. As they increase the contrast and brighten the woods, you will be able to recognize movement much easier. You should also be sure to mask your scent every time – storing your gear in a plastic container with vegetation from the area where you hunt helps a lot. If there are cows nearby, your game is used to the scent of their droppings – when you go to your usual hunting spot, step into some of it. It’s not very appealing, but it really does wonders with masking your scent. Make sure not to eat any onions or similar food, as you might give yourself away because of the strong smell.

You know what they say: the devil is in the details. Enjoy your hunt!

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