John's Journal...

Tips to Better Bowhunting

Shoot Instinctively and Watch Human Odor

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: 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. Click to enlarge Therefore the accuracy in shooting must be must greater with a bow than with a rifle.

If a hunter will learn to shoot the bow without a sight and depend on his instincts for his aiming mechanism, he will be a much-more-consistent shooter and a far better bowhunter than the archer who relies totally on bow sights.  Instinctive shooters seem to be better bowhunters than sight shooters because the instinctive shooters are not called on to judge distance like the archers are who are using sights. The instinctive shooter will develop a pattern within his mind that the instant he sees the deer in front of him, no matter what the distance, his hand will come up to just the right position to hold the bow. Then when he releases the arrow, it will fly straight and true to the target. Although I am not sure how all this happens, experienced bowmen do know that the instinctive shooter does not try to determine the distance that he is from the animal to shoot accurately. What’s required to become an instinctive shooter? Well, the answer is simple – practice. But practice alone is not the only answer. Only perfect practice produces perfect shooting.  The best way to practice is to try and shoot objects at varying distances without knowing the distance. Learning to shoot instinctively is much-more difficult. But the bowmen who learn to shoot this way stay in archery longer and usually end-up taking more deer than men who depend on the sights.Click to enlarge

Once the skill of instinctive shooting is learned, then you don’t Click to enlargehave to guess distance.  But oftentimes the people who depend on bow sights and their own ability to guess distance wind-up frustrated with the sport because of their inaccurate shooting. Their inaccuracy however, is not due to their ability to place an arrow in a target at a specified distance. Their error is in determining what that distance is. If a sight shooter doesn’t measure the distance from his tree stand to certain objects on the ground, so that he learns exact distances and knows when to shoot and which pin to use when shooting, then he has a very-difficult time in hitting the deer. But the instinctive shooter eliminates judging distance.

Be Aware of Human Odor:

The human scent is one of the most-foul, obnoxious smells that ever will enter a deer’s nostrils. There are many scent cover-ups and scent disguises on the market that the bowhunter can use. However, the most-reliable way to prevent the deer from smelling human odor is to wash yourself thoroughly before you hunt and hunt with the wind. By that I mean make sure the wind doesn’t blow your odor in the direction from where you think the buck is coming. And rather than hiding the human scent, bowhunters may be better off knowing that there is no way the wind can carry their scent to the deer, which can be accomplished through the proper tree stand placement.

Tomorrow: Place Your Tree Stand Properly and Use Back Cover

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 3