John's Journal...

What These Top Bowhunters Know That Will Help You Take More Deer

Day 3: Preston Pittman Shares His Bowhunting for Deer Strategies

Editor’s Note: If Robin Hood only had known what bowhunters today know, and if Robin Hood had had the archery equipment bowhunters now use, he could have fed fresh venison to all the peasants of Nottingham. For many years, these professional hunters’ livelihoods have depended on their woodsmanship and accuracy with bows and arrows. Although the life of a professional hunter seems glamorous, after spending time with these bowhunters I’ve interviewed for this week, I realize they work harder and spend more hours even today trying to learn about bowhunting and the whitetails they hunt than any other hunters I know. Their advice always has helped me find and take more bucks with my bow.

Click for Larger ViewPreston Pittman, owner of Pittman’s Game Calls of Pickens, Miss., a world turkey-calling champion, has won almost every turkey-calling championship in the nation. He’s also considered one of the country’s top bowhunters and shares with us his top keys to deer-hunting success. Pittman tells us his 4 Ps for successful deer hunting. You must:

* “Have persistence. One of the most-overlooked elements of deer hunting is persistence. Besides hunting on the weekends, find some time during the week to hunt when fewer hunters will be in the woods, and the deer will experience less pressure, which will increase your odds for success. The other part of persistence is not giving up. If you’re not persistent enough to continue to hunt when you’re not seeing deer, you may not get that chance to take a buck of a lifetime. Be even more persistent if your trail cameras have told you that there’s a big buck in the area.

* “Have patience.Click for Larger ViewWhen you’ve only got a day or two per week to bowhunt deer, and only so many days per season to hunt, when a buck comes in, you’re tempted to rush the shot, rather than waiting on the deer to present a shot you can make. You may think, “I may never see that buck again. A bad shot is better than no shot at all.” But I promise you, this philosophy is a losing one. If you don’t have the shot you need to effectively take the animal, let the deer walk. You can come back to that same place and hunt that deer another day if you don’t spook it.

* “Practice. To practice for bowhunting deer season, I suggest you climb into a tree stand while wearing your safety harness and get about the same height from the ground from which you expect to hunt. Face the tree, and have your hunting buddy set a 3D target up at an unknown distance. When your buddy is out of the way, have him tell you to turn and shoot. You’ll have to quickly determine distance, draw your bow and choose the pin sight you need to use to shoot accurately. Shoot at the target from different distances and angles. And sometimes you may have no shot, because your buddy has placed the target so the deer’s too far away, at a bad angle or behind a bush where you can’t take the shot. You also can sit in your tree stand and have your buddy put the target behind you. By practicing shooting with your bow in these various ways, you’ll be able to play like you practice, as football players say. You’ll be accustomed to having to shoot at unknown distances at different angles and various positions from your tree stand. Remember, each time you draw to shoot at the target, you only get one shot. Practicing with your bow will teach you how to judge distance, where to put your pin sight on a deer that’s turned at different angles, and how to determine the flight of an arrow from a tree stand, since you’re not shooting from level ground. You also can see the path the arrow will take once it enters the deer. Click for Larger ViewThe angle that the arrow hits the 3D target will tell you at about what angle the arrow will come out of a deer, which will let you know whether or not your shot has been effective.

* “Position yourself properly. The wind will determine your position, although I advocate wearing Scent-Lok clothing, while you’re hunting. Odor-killing products wipe-out the scent coming from your body. However, eliminating the odors your clothing collects as you head to your tree stand is just as important an aspect of successful deer hunting. Click for Larger ViewSince the smell of your breakfast or fuel from your stop at a gas station can linger on your clothes, spray-down thoroughly with a spray that eliminates or neutralizes odor just before you walk into the woods. Even when you take all of these precautions, always hunt with the wind in your favor. Too, trail cameras can tell you when and where the animals will come to a feeding spot. Then you can position your tree stand to get the right angle for a shot and always have the wind in your favor. Make sure you’ll have a shot at the range that you feel comfortable taking.”

Tomorrow: Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland Tells Us How to Take More Deer with Our Bows

Check back each day this week for more about "What These Top Bowhunters Know That Will Help You Take More Deer"

Day 1: Will Primos Tells Some Bowhunting for Deer Tactics
Day 2 :More Bowhunting Tips for Deer from Will Primos
Day 3: Preston Pittman Shares His Bowhunting for Deer Strategies
Day 4: Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland Tells Us How to Take More Deer with Our Bows
Day 5: More of Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland’s Tips for Successful Bowhunting for Deer


Entry 577, Day 3