Humans have been hunting since the dawn of our species, and the bow is one of our oldest inventions other than the spear, and the big rock. While we’ve greatly improved our arsenal since those bygone days, there is something pure and primitive about bow hunting that we can’t let go of. And if you’re living off the grid, it is a great skill to have in your arsenal if you want to supplement your stores with some fresh meat. If you really want to improve your bow skills, though, check out these tips from In Search of White Tails, Grand View Outdoors, and Outdoor Channel.
4 Bow Hunting Tips to Turn You Into Hawkeye
Tip #1: Practice Putting The Arrows Where You Want Them
This seems like the most basic tenet of bow hunting; shoot until your hand and eye can sink the shaft every time. However, just because it sounds simple, that doesn’t mean it is.
If you want to be a successful bow hunter, then you need to be able to nock, draw, and fire quickly and accurately. You should practice shooting from a number of positions, as well as while you’re moving. You should also shoot at a moving target, if at all possible, so you can get used to leading, and gauging time and distance between your arrow and your quarry. After all, being able to hit the bulls-eye if you have all the time in the world to aim is great, but sometimes you only have a heartbeat and a half to make your shot count.
Tip #2: Practice Your Draw
Drawing the bow is a strain on the body, especially if your shoulders, upper back, and hand strength aren’t where you need them to be. However, being able to draw your bow and hold the string to your cheek while you aim is only one part of the equation. You also need to be able to quickly draw an arrow, and nock it to your bow. This is especially helpful if your first shot misses, or doesn’t land where you want it to, only injuring your animal instead of killing it. Accuracy and power are important, but being able to fire quickly is also a big part of successful bow hunting.
Tip #3: Know When You Can, And Can’t, Make A Shot
While Hollywood archers from Legolas to Robin Hood always have perfect aim, you don’t have the luxury of a team of special effects artists, and the ability to do 20 or 30 takes to get the shot right. If you’re looking at a deer, a turkey, or even a rabbit, you need to know before you even think about letting go of the shaft whether it’s going to hit. Just releasing and hoping for the best is a great way to go home empty-handed, and with your arrows lost somewhere in the underbrush.
Tip #4: Pick Your Gear Carefully
Different archers prefer different equipment when they’re on the trail, and before you go after serious game it’s important to know what works for you. For example, you might prefer a traditional bow with no bells or whistles, but you might like an attachment that holds additional arrows in a more convenient way than a hip or back quiver. You might have a strong back and upper arm, but your wrist might buckle when put under pressure, so a wrist brace is a necessity. Maybe you prefer simple arrows, or you like your ammunition tough and deadly so that if you hit, you know you’re going to drop your prey.
Evaluate all the tools you have available, and experiment to find the ones that work for you. Every bow hunter is different, and you need to know what works best with your style. Also, when you’re in the field, make sure you have back-ups in case a piece of gear goes missing, or gets damaged, so you’re not out of options.
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