Did you know that 83% of US hunters prefer big-game hunting especially deer hunting?
But, hunting deer with a bow is never easy. To be successful in bowhunting deer, you need to have a good understanding of the basics and you need to come prepared. Here are a few tips on how you can step up your game.
9 Bowhunting Deer Tips
This is a given. But most don’t practice enough. Serious bowhunters practice every single day. Even if it’s just one shot, they still practice. Do you have to practice every day? Of course not. But it helps every time you do. It’s not about what bow you use, it’s about practice.
The weather is one thing you can’t predict when it comes to hunting. This is why you need to practice even during the offseason. Practice during windy conditions and practice in the rain and snow. It is time-consuming, and you’ll be uncomfortable but you’ll see the difference the next time you hunt during adverse weather conditions.
One thing you need to remember when you’re practicing during summer is your attire. What you wear can affect the draw length, anchor point, and arrow flight. Since this is the case, you also need to remember to practice archery while wearing your attire for the cold season.
Learn about your adversary.
This is a crucial first step. Prepare first. The battle is won before it’s ever fought.
Take the time to know everything you can about deer. This includes learning about their habits, life cycle, movements, and body language. Visit your local zoo and observe.
Learn Your Deer Anatomy
Where is the best place to shoot a deer with a bow?
The best shot for deer hunting is of course in the vitals. More specifically when the deer is standing broadside. When they are in that position, it’s prime time for a heart shot. You want to aim a few inches higher than the armpit area. It’s commonly argued that this isn’t the safest shot. At the end of the day, it comes down to preference.
A safer bow shot hunters like to use is the lung shot.
For this shot, you want to hit both lungs. So aim for the middle of their lungs, which is only an inch or two few inches higher than the heart to pass through both of the deer’s lungs.
You should aim for the middle of the lungs, which is slightly higher than the 10 ring. So aim your shot just behind the front leg and below the shoulder. An arrow ripping through that placement is the shot all bow hunters hope for. Because hitting the deer with a double lung shot that’s clear of the heart is usually a much quicker death. The shot causes their lungs to collapse and they quickly suffocate to death.
This video shows you the deer placements you want to aim for.
Scouting is one of those things where you get better the more that you do it. Don’t make the mistake of only scouting a few days before opening. Scouting should be done once the season ends and again during early spring. Make sure to look for droppings, trails and antler scrapes and rub.
Tree Stand Placement
Taking into consideration what you learned during scouting, pick an area that deer frequent. Place your tree stand in an area where you can get a clear shot of your quarry. Watch the wind so that any potential target won’t pick up on your scent. Also, you’ll have to clear several shooting lanes just to be sure. Since a deer can detect any recent changes in an area, make sure to set up your tree stand a few weeks before the season starts.
You also need to remember not to overuse a stand. Set up different tree stands and use them in a rotation. You leave residual scent even hours after you leave your stand. Give it time to dissipate and you’ll have an even better chance.
Know your limitations
Only you can know for sure what your effective kill range, or simply EKR, is. You’ll learn this through practice and experience and once you know it, you can limit yourself to this distance for a higher chance of success.
The Element Of Surprise
You need to be positioned in your stand before daylight breaks since deer are most active from dawn until about 11 in the morning. After this, you can take a break and then, continue hunting when it’s 4 in the afternoon.
Bowhunting deer requires a lot of patience since you need to be still and quiet while you wait for long periods of time.
Also, you need to remember that deer have a keen sense of smell. You need to be free of any contaminants that may allow your quarry to detect you even before you take a shot. Use unscented soap and shampoo. Don’t apply perfume nor have other people’s perfumes brush on you.
One Shot, One Kill
In most cases, you only have one chance to shoot your prey before it detects your presence. If you miss, the deer will flee upon hearing your shot. Armed with countless hours of practice and the proper equipment, aim for the deer’s front leg. If it’s a hit, the arrow will pierce the deer’s lungs, killing it right away and giving it no chance to escape.
Securing your kill
If you successfully shot the deer but it’s still alive, you’ll have to wait for a while before you start tracking it through its blood trail. If you start tracking it too early, there’s a chance that you’ll spook it, making it take off. Most of the time, you’ll find the wounded deer within two hundred yards from where you shot it.
Here’s a video showing an actual deer shot.
Do you hunt with a bow? I’d say it’s more fun than with a rifle.
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