Archery is a rewarding sport, but it's also a learned skill. And when it comes to bow hunting, there’s a whole lot for an archer to know on top of the mechanics of shooting.
Finding an area to hunt is one challenge. Not scaring your prey away is another. Then, there’s the aspect of what equipment you should use — and there are a lot of options to choose from. On top of all of that, there are many conditions an archer can’t necessarily control, but rather, must adapt to, including weather and terrain.
It’s with all of the above in mind that we offer you the following five tips for bow hunting that will help you make this season better than any other before it. So grab your gear and let’s get down to business.
1. Master Your Shooting Skills
Almost anyone can shoot a compound bow. Not many can shoot a bow accurately.
Developing a complete understanding of proper archery form and technique is absolutely essential, not just to being able to make ethical killshots, but also to ensuring your safety and the safety of those around you.
There are many components to an archer’s stance, from head placement and foot placement to your anchor point. Check out our YouTube Video on the most optimal archery stance to use .
Stance aside, shooting involves gripping the bow correctly with it resting on the pad of your thumb. With compound bows, it’s best to have a relaxed grip .
Learning how to properly release the bowstring while shooting is also important; many archers use release aids to reduce excess torque and improve shooting accuracy.
2. Scout Your Hunting Area
Once you know how to shoot, you need to know where to hunt. In the bowhunting world, this is called scouting.
Realtree offers ten scouting tips that we recommend. We’ve outlined them briefly below for your convenience:
- Use technology to your advantage here: take a look at different maps to familiarize yourself with the terrain you’ll be hunting on.
- Next, stake out edges and transition lines — areas where two habitats meet.
- Put up trail cameras as you identify hot sign.
- Find and mark specific bedding areas so you know how far away to stay away from them during the hunt.
- Analyze trails leading to and from specific bedding areas so you have an idea of how easily you can slip away when needed without being spotted by deer.
- Find food and water sources and note how far they are from beds. (If you’ve done any digging for early season bow hunting tips, you know how important focusing on food sources can be already).
- Gauge the area’s hunting pressure.
- Plot your findings on a map or using an app.
- Conduct flash hunts.
- Be responsibly aggressive.
3. Stay Hidden: Concealment & Stealth
There are many bow hunting deer tips you’d be wise to heed. But this one is among the most important: stay hidden. While it may sound obvious to say, you want to remain as invisible as possible , not just to the eyes of deer, but also the noses and ears of deer.
This requires that you understand three concepts:
- Scent Control : This involves understanding wind direction and hunting the wind with your face, sure. But it also involves using scent killer, burying your own excrement and urination.
- Sight Control : Even in camo, deer can spot you based on your movements. But moving very slowly can help. Other important to-dos are to keep to the shadows and enter your hunting area before first light.
- Sound Control : Everything from breathing to walking creates sound that deer could potentially pick up on. But there are mitigating factors you can control, such as wearing thin soft-soled boots, taping moleskin over archery equipment that might clatter and clank, and use terrain to your advantage. Just as important is making sure to make use of cover noise.
4. Choose Your Equipment Carefully
Everyone has different use cases and preferences when it comes to equipment. So we’ll keep this as general as possible. When choosing equipment, here’s what you’ll want to consider :
- Arrow length & material
- Bow type, material, and brand
- Adjustability, durability and beginner-friendliness of bow sight
- Accessories like a quiver, finger tab, armguard and release aid
5. Control What You Can. Adapt to What You Can’t
There are many different aspects of bowhunting that you can’t control.
Factors that can negatively affect hunting success include everything from foul weather to changing terrain, to animal behavior itself.
The good news is that there’s plenty you can do to maximize your bowhunting success , including:
- Learning when and how to ready your bow at the right time
- Take the first high-percentage shot you can — otherwise you could miss the shot altogether
- Learn when and how to draw at the right time
- Learn how to be decisive when picking a spot to shoot (this requires an understanding of deer anatomy and ethical hunting practices)
- Scope out potential shooting obstructions in terrain, flora, and fauna before shooting
There’s always more to learn when it comes to bowhunting tips and hacks. Keep an eye out on our blog for more helpful posts.
Looking for bow hunting tips from a tree stand, specifically? Check out Tectonic’s blog post “ Bow Hunting from a Tree Stand? Here are 5 Tips to Keep in Mind ”
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a way to level up your hunting game, virtual archery practice is a great option. For that, there are always Accubow virtual training bows. Explore high quality archery training devices at AccuBow today .