Prepare For The Hunt
A month and a half away, archery season is close. With that in mind, a few tip to get ready.
1. Inspect the quality of your arrows – With carbon shafts; the days of slightly bent aluminum are mostly in the past. Still, it can happen, and you’ll want to look for splintering as well. Examine the fletching to ensure it’s firmly secure. And if you’ve purchased new arrows, fire all of them at a target at least once to test for consistency. I bought a batch a few years back and did not do this. After bragging about my Robin Hood-like skills to some buddies, the first virgin arrow I shot sailed a foot over the target, much to their delight. The next two were in the bull. That happened again and again with that individual arrow, and we found it was lighter than the rest. I’m comfortable the garbage man didn’t hurt his back heaving it into the truck.
2. Check your string – I have my string changed every couple of years whether I need it or not. Those who bow hunt more than me will probably do it more often, but the wear and tear from shooting, humidity, heat, and time afield will fray the lines. At the very least, wax your bowstring to earn more mileage.
3. Slow down when practicing – I don’t care if you’re shooting in your backyard, at a range, or down the hallways of your dorm, take your time and make deliberate shots. Unless you’re incredibly lucky or the deer is incredibly stupid, you’re likely to get only one shot at Big Buck. Make range time all about consistently drawing back your bow to your anchor point, locating your target, and following through on the shot. It’s not a race.
4. Keep your head down – Just like in baseball, you will drastically alter your intentions by raising your head too quickly to watch where the arrow goes. You want to follow through the release all the way until it smacks the target. I know it’s easy to get excited when shooting at game, but trust me, keep your form steady and let the arrow do the work. No point jerking your head up to keep sight of the deer.
5. Practice different shooting angles – It is bitter hot outside right now and scaling a pine with my climber to fire at foam for tree stand shots is out of the question until the sun tames its fury. But, it’s invaluable practice. 99% of us will be shooting from the trees, and the impact of the arrow is always higher at that angle than on flat ground. Remember to aim lower.
6. Practice in your hunting gear – This is an important item, practices as if it was game time. All your gear, and what you plan on taking.
7. Shoot the arrows you plan to hunt with – We all know the story that expandable broad heads shoot like field points. Some do, some don’t. Check it out before hitting the woods.