John's Journal...

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

Day 5: More of Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland’s Tips for Successful Bowhunting for Deer

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 ViewRonnie “Cuz” Strickland of West Point, Miss., the vice president of Mossy Oak in charge of TV and video production, grew up in Mississippi. For many years, he’s picked productive tree-stand sites for himself as well as for the hunters and the cameramen who film Mossy Oak’s TV programs and videos. Here are some of Strickland’s top strategies for successful bowhunting for deer. Strickland emphasizes that you need to:

Click for Larger View* “Bet on your first strike. I like to put my tree stands up 3-4 weeks in advance of the opening of bowhunting season, especially if I’m using a ladder stand. But I’ve had the most luck by going to the spot that I’m hunting and going up a tree with a climbing tree stand on the day I’m hunting from that place. I want to get my tree stand up above the deer’s line of sight, and I prefer to be in a place that deer has no reason to expect me to be. The first time you put a tree stand up is when your odds of taking an older-age-class buck will be best from that stand.

* “Cover-up. Your face and hands are the parts of your body that a deer is most likely to spot. If you get in a tree stand and are ready to put-on your headnet or gloves but are missing those, then you can paint-up like old-school bowhunters did before the advent of gloves and headnets, if you keep face paint in your daypack. Too, I like to pull my headnet on and put face paint on my face around my eyes to disguise the pale skin that may show through the eye holes.

Click for Larger View* “Don’t be a muscle man. Successful bowhunting isn’t about how strong you are. It’s about how accurately you shoot. I realize some bowhunters shoot 60, 70 and 80 pounds. But my bow’s set on 58 pounds, because I want to be able to draw my bow by pushing the bow straight away from me, not by sticking my arrow straight up in the air, pulling and pushing to get the arrow back and then bringing my bow down to aim at the target. Then you can draw quieter and with less motion than if you have to go through a gymnastic move to get your bow to full draw. Today’s bows are so fast that you don’t have to shoot 70- or 80-pound bows to deliver the arrow quickly. I’ve shot before all the way through a 700-pound elk with my bow set at 58 pounds.

*Click for Larger View “Don’t ‘mamp’ the deer. If you watch the bowhunting pros on TV when a deer’s walking, to stop the deer, they’ll say the word ‘mamp,’ trying to sound like a bleat. However, when you mamp a deer, the deer will automatically know something is wrong. To solve this problem, I cut shooting lanes. Then the deer will stop just before or just as he passes a shooting lane. When a deer drops down before he jumps, many people call that jumping the string. But the deer’s just dropping-down to spring-away from the danger it’s heard. If you mamp a deer, it will drop-down deeper and quicker than if you don’t mamp it. If the deer doesn’t stop where I want it to, I may shush it or give a low whistle, because I don’t want to startle a deer before I take a shot at it.

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 5