What These Top Bowhunters Know That Will Help You Take More Deer
Day 1: Will Primos Tells Some Bowhunting for Deer Tactics
Editor’s Note: If Robin Hood only had known what bowhunters today know, and if Robin Hood had had the archery equipment bowhunters now use, he could have fed fresh venison to all the peasants of Nottingham. For many years, these professional hunters’ livelihoods have depended on their woodsmanship and accuracy with bows and arrows. Although the life of a professional hunter seems glamorous, after spending time with these bowhunters I’ve interviewed for this week, I realize they work harder and spend more hours even today trying to learn about bowhunting and the whitetails they hunt than any other hunters I know. Their advice always has helped me find and take more bucks with my bow.
Will Primos, a bowhunter for 45 years and the founder of Primos Game Calls in Flora, Miss., has produced the “Truth” series of videos and TV productions for numerous years. Primos has earned a major portion of his living pinpointing and taking deer with a bow. If you think the pressure’s heavy when your buck of a lifetime comes in, consider that when big bucks get within bow range of Primos, he has millions of eyes watching him draw and shoot.
“When I was just a little fellow, I liked to slip-up on squirrels and birds and shoot at them with my bow,” Will Primos says. “My first bow was a Wilson longbow, and I sometimes built my own arrows. I shot that bow off the side of my hand, because there were no rests in those days. To become a better bowhunter:
* “Respect the whitetail. When you start hunting deer at the first of bow season, they’ve had plenty of food, water and cover, and no one has harassed them all summer. As soon as they smell your human odor, the whole world changes for them. Never hunt a whitetail where he is but rather hunt him where he wants to be. If you get lucky, you may be able to spot and stalk a deer, but more than likely, you’ve got to anticipate where that whitetail will be and hunt him there. Or, you’ll have to call to that whitetail and make him come to you. Don’t get too close to the area where you think the deer is when you start setting-up your tree stand, and always respect the wind’s direction. Our company makes some fantastic scent-elimination products, but you can’t use hunting aids and ignore good hunting practices.
* “Consider your calling tactics when placing your stand. For instance, if you call a deer that starts coming to you but then stops and won’t move any closer, you may have set your tree stand in an opening where the deer can see well past your stand. If bucks can’t spot a deer where they’ve heard the call coming from, they won’t come any closer. Always make sure there’s cover either in front of or behind you that looks like it can hold a deer where a buck can’t see it. I like to set my tree stand on the edge of a cane thicket.
* “Know how and when to call the deer. Never use a deer call when the deer can see you or can see from where the call has come. If a buck’s head goes behind a big tree, then give him the buck roar or a bleat call. When he comes out from behind the tree, he’ll be looking and walking to try to identify the location of that call. The timing of when you make a call is critically important to calling in a buck.”
Tomorrow: More Bowhunting Tips for Deer from Will Primos