I was sitting on the side of a hill waiting for the chance at my first deer.  I was concealed by nothing but 4-5 shrub brushes pulled around my cousin and I.  We sat there through the morning watching the brightening of the sky slowly spread its warmth across the ravine.

I slowly started seeing the light brown and gray colors moving in the distance.  They are like ghosts appearing from nothing and acting as if they had never been anywhere else.  I felt like they could hear the slightest sound and was even leery to blink at the thought of them hearing me.  I didn’t know how I would act, but the adrenaline, focus, and intensity of all my senses seemed to be on edge.

The crosswind kept all of our smells away and I was good at moving silent.  The only thing different was the shooting position.  It was awkward, but I was determined and I had my cousin to make sure things went right so I wasn’t too worried.  My shot was excellent and there would be no need for tracking.  At the end after much of the emotion had faded was a resoluteness and sense of accomplishment and confidence that would last forever.

Perhaps your first hunting experience was like mine, perhaps not, but the tips and advice on how to go about it made a huge difference in my success.  I’ve read lots of bow hunting tips throughout my life and many of them are very helpful, but I want to focus on some of the basic ones that will make you more successful a majority of the time.  I love to focus on the basics, because the basics work and they work for almost everyone.

So without further squawking on the topic and in no particular order.

My 5 bow hunting tips to be successful

Practice shooting from a hunting position – The only time most people will ever shoot sitting down or leaning over is from the shooting stand.  If you want to harvest an animal for months on end, then why would you only spend at most a week or two practicing shooting that very specific shot?

What makes more sense is to practice shooting that shot at least once or more per month, I recommend much more, so that you feel very comfortable with that shooting position.  Having some new element thrown at you when you are out is not a good surprise most of the time.

Smells matter (most of the time)– A much debated topic and one that is truly valid.  Bad and wrong smells can break your best hunting efforts.  At the same time, I’m sure you’ll notice that there are lots of factors that go into smells, most important being wind.  I recommend studying how the wind works in your hunting area.

On the opposite side of the fence is that smells don’t matter than much.  Depending on where you are and what the deer are accustomed to can make a huge impact on how they react.  They deer are more likely to react and leave the further away you get from any type of civilization.  That being said, I’ve also seen deer stare at unnatural things for about 20 minutes and decide it’s harmless.  They are fickle and tricky.  I prefer the conservative side of removing as much unnatural smells as possible.

Noise makes a difference – Deer have big ears don’t they.  I have made a noise with a deer call, a doe bleat to be exact, and had a buck walk to within 15 feet of where the sound came from.  Their hearing is amazing and they are very good at figuring out the direction it came from.  Having silent clothes and equipment will make a huge difference in a successful venture.

Safety saves – It’s basic and simple, but some common sense things can save you in most situations.

  1. Tell someone when and where your going hunting.  Cell phones can get broken easily or have no reception.
  2. Make sure that all your equipment is in working condition and that you have at least a basic set of field tools with you.
  3. Have water and anything else you might want or need such as food, a hat, a compass, etc.

One good shot is better than a million bad shots – When it comes down to it.  The most important part of the entire experience is making a good clean shot that is placed correctly.  If there is any doubt that it is a bad shot or that something is behind the target, then don’t take the shot.  You must make the decision and know what you are capable of as well as what you can not do.  I’d love to hear your success story instead of how a poor decision made your hunt go wrong.

Hunting is a very complex skill that can take a long time to master, but if you’ll practice some of these bow hunting tips starting now, then you’ll be improving your chances of a wonderful hunting season in the future.

photo credit