John's Journal...

Tips to Better Bowhunting

Understand the Deer’s Habits Where You Hunt

Click to enlargeEditor’sClick to enlargeNote: 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.

Some bowhunters go into the woods and have some knowledge about deer and deer movement,but they don’t know the individual habits of the deer in the region they plan to hunt during the time theyare hunting. Deer movements and feeding, bedding and rutting patterns will vary greatly in different regions of the country. There will also be quite a bit of difference in the deer’s behavior pattern even within the same county. So, unless tClick to enlargehe bowhunter understands the deer in the region he plans to hunt, he may be thebest shot in the world but never have a target. A man familiar with hunting deer in one region who has been successful may try and utilize his same hunting techniques in another area. Then he may be frustrated because he doesn’t see any deer. So just knowing generalized deer behavior is not enough. You have Click to enlargeto understand the deer’s behavior in the places where you plan to hunt.

And even knowing that, the outdoorsman must also understand how a weather change will affect the deer within his region. What do the deer do when rain, sleet and/or snow falls?  What do they do before a front, after a front and on sunny days? I’ve heard sportsmen say, “Boy, I sure hope it rains tonight because we will have good hunting tomorrow if it does.” Well, those people have just missed their best hunting because the deer primarily will be moving just before the rain. You’ve got to learn what deer do before, during and after a weather change. Successful bowhunters understand deer. Unsuccessful hunters not only don’t know about deer but also don’t take the time to learn.

Tomorrow: Shoot Instinctively and Watch Human Odor

Check back each day this week for more about "Tips to Better Bowhunting"

Day 1: Know Your Equipment
Day 2: Understand the Deer’s Habits Where You Hunt
Day 3: Shoot Instinctively and Watch Human Odor
Day 4: Place Your Tree Stand Properly and Use Back Cover
Day 5: Some General Tips for Better Bowhunting


Entry 526, Day 2