Avoid the Common Mistakes Bowhunters Make When Hunting Deer
Day 1: Don’t Be Too Anxious and Overzealous When Bowhunting Deer
Editor’s Note: Bowhunting for deer already has begun in some states and starts in numerous states during October. Good bowhunters can be better hunters if they don’t commit sins that decrease their odds for bagging any deer, especially trophy deer. This week, we’ll look at five of the most-common mistakes even good bowhunters – sportsmen who have taken several deer and who have hunted for 4 or 5 years – make.
Most sportsmen want to be trophy deer hunters. Once a hunter gets into the sport of deer hunting and begins to read about Boone & Crockett or Pope & Young trophy deer and about the hunters who take these types of animals, he’ll often set a goal for himself to become a trophy hunter. However, most of these outdoorsmen don’t put in the hours or take enough deer to become good hunters ¬– much less trophy hunters. And, these hunters are making very-big mistakes and missing out on a lot of the fun associated with the sport of deer hunting. As a trophy hunter, the outdoorsman may hunt all season and not even see a P&Y set of antlers. A buck must have extremely-large antlers to make the book. A hunter may search his entire life for a trophy deer that’s B&C size and never find it. He’ll have to let numbers of nice deer walk by without ever harvesting them. One of the best reasons for becoming a hunter is to take deer and be outdoors. The bowhunter who becomes a trophy hunter too quickly misses the best of hunting, because he’s so obsessed with taking a trophy. Too, if a hunter hasn’t bagged quite a few deer, he won’t be mentally ready to take a trophy, even if the shot presents itself. If the hunter ever will have shaking knees and shortness of breath before a shot and be so nervous he can’t hold his arm steady – it will happen when a big set of antlers comes into range. Only by:
* learning to deal with the emotional problems directly affecting the shot can the hunter expect to be successful;
* taking numbers of deer can the hunter learn to control his emotions at this moment of truth.
The bowhunter who wants to become a trophy hunter should have bagged at least six to 10 deer before he tries to become a trophy hunter, and 20 deer would be even better. This idea of being a trophy hunter has been overplayed. Everybody shouldn’t hope to be a trophy hunter. Trophy hunting isn’t the ultimate in hunting. A hunter doesn’t have to become a trophy hunter to be a good hunter.
Too, many good bowhunters don’t harvest deer as often as they can, because they don’t know when to take their shots. They either shoot before they have good shots or wait for the best shots and never get a shot. Experience is the best teacher a hunter can have to learn when he or she can take a shot. When an animal presents you with a good shot that you feel you can put him down with, that’s the time to shoot. Never hurry a shot, however, don’t wait on that best shot. Often a deer won’t give you the shot for which you’re looking. You may wait around for that best shot, never have it presented to you and have to watch a nice deer walk away. Don’t play with a deer, don’t watch a deer, and don’t take a head-on shot either. But when you’ve got a good shot, take the shot.
Tomorrow: Don’t Wait for Perfect Hunting Days or Perfect Hunting Weather When Bowhunting Deer