Tips to Better Bowhunting
Know Your Equipment
Editor’s Note: Bowhunting can be a complicated skill, because it combines two sports that both have a certain degree of difficulty. Archery itself requires a great deal of eye-hand coordination and the abilities to release properly, judge distance and place an arrow where you are looking. Then when you add hunting skills to archery to produce bowhunting, you have not only got to be able to find the deer and see him, but the deer must be within 30 - 40 yards of the bowman for most of the time and standing or walking a particular way. Then you can place the arrow in one of the vital organs of the deer to bring it down. Since a broadhead shot from a bow does not have knockdown power of either a shotgun or a rifle, an arrow must be placed so that bones will not deflect it. Therefore the accuracy in shooting must be must greater with a bow than with a rifle.
Here are the most overlooked aspects of successful bowhunting for deer. Many people who go bowhunting don’t know what a bow will do. These may be good gun hunters and excellent woodsmen who think, “All I’ve got to do is to be in a place where I can shoot an arrow 20 yards, and I can kill a deer.” However, there is more involved in to shooting the bow than that. I find that a large majority of sportsmen who go into the woods to bowhunt don’t know whether they have the proper arrow for the bow they are shooting. Other woodsmen don’t know that they must employ the right length of arrow for their individual draws.
I believe that a bowhunter, to be successful, must be as attached to his equipment and know his bows, arrows, broadheads, strings, sights and other tackle as well as he knows his wife. He needs to go to an archery shop or a sporting-goods dealer who can help him determine what his draw is, and what length of arrow he needs. And, he must know the spine of the arrow that is best suited to the bow he is shooting. The spine of the arrow determines how much flex the shaft will have when it is released from the string. If the spine is too weak, the arrow will shoot to the right. If it is too stiff, the arrow will veer to the left. The spine of the arrow will have a dramatic effect on the sportsman’s ability to shoot. The bowhunter needs to remember what the spine of his arrow is. Then if he is in the field and loses his arrows, he will know what spine of arrow to ask for to replace his lost shafts, and his bow will shoot properly.
One of the worst mistakes that a beginning bowhunter or any bowhunter can make is to buy a piece of equipment and not totally understand how to use it. The best advice I can give to a bowhunter who is buying equipment or who has been hunting for several years and already has his equipment is to seek out information from older bowhunters or from archery dealers to make sure he has the right equipment for him and that he understands how to use it the most effectively.
Tomorrow: Understand the Deer’s Habits Where You Hunt