So friends, today we are going to talk about a fast growing hobby amongst hunters called bow hunting Maybe you’ve been hunting for a while, or you saw a super cool movie about Native Americans, or Amazonians where they are just shooting down wild boars left and right, and you thought, ”I am totally going to get into that!” Well bow hunting is alive and well in the world we live in today, and you’re not alone if you are truly interested in taking up this ancient art form. I know you are excited to learn the bow hunting basics from the tips I am going to provide…
But I hope you are also ready to embark on this journey, because bow hunting is no joke of a sport. It takes dedication, persistence, and a wealth of knowledge to master these fine weapons. So do you have what it takes? That’s what I thought! Okay let’s begin.
Bow hunting tip: First thoughts on a bow
So are you ready to connect with your hunter-gatherer ancestors in a way you could have never imagined? Well you’re going to need a bow first. Picking a bow is not the most simple decision or process. Bummer, I know, but this all is part of the art of bow hunting.
Several things go into picking a new bow. Most modern bow hunters practice with a compound bow, so this is what we’ll recommend you for your first bow. They look complicated at first, but you’re a dedicated student of the bow hunting game, correct? Great, so some things to consider are: How we want to use it, the draw weight and length, the arrow speed, the bow length, the mass weight First let’s consider draw weight and length.
Take a look at yourself. Are you a big, muscular person? I ask because your draw weight and mass will be very important for when you are out there on your hunt. You don’t want your arm to be sore for weeks after every hunt, right? Well if your bow’s draw mass is too heavy and strong, then this is exactly what will happen.
On our hunts, we ideally want to be able to have the bow loaded and drawn at all times, so that when that deer shows his or her pretty face, your loaded and ready to fire! Also you don’t want your draw to be too long, especially when it’s cold out and you’re bulked up in all that winter hunting gear. Make sure your bow draw mass and draw are as comfortable as possible, without losing out too much on your bow’s power.
As beginners, we want to keep the bow length and weight as light as possible while still maintaining a kill speed. Don’t worry too much about the bow speed, because we need all the accuracy we can get in the beginning stages right? A hit to an animal’s kill zone won’t make much of a difference if the arrow is traveling 2 miles per hours slower, so feel it out and get bow that is comfortable and easy to use for you.
If you feel unsure still, don’t worry about it and just ask your local bow shop for some advice on a good bow to pick. But for those of you with a bit of experience who want to upgrade, you can always test out new bows at most bow shops, all you have to do is ask! Test out some heftier, advanced bows to see if you can hang with the big time bow hunters.
Practicing your bow shooting
So here comes one of the most obvious bow hunting tips, but, There’s no two ways about it bow hunting is no joke, and you won’t be perfecting this great art form in a few weeks. You need to be dedicated to learning the skill. You have to have passion for practice and study of this great sport. So if you still want to learn bow hunting, let’s carry on!
A lot of bow hunters have just one bow that they practice and hunt with, so no worries if you think you need one for practice, and one for the real deal. Ideally we want to practice with what we hunt with right? The best shot out there in the wild is going to come from the bow we spend the most time with. So congratulations, you just got a new best friend, your new hunting bow! So from the start, we want to develop good form and technique. The best way to get rid of bad habits is to start without them all together!
When you start practicing your shot, 15 to 30 yard shots are good for practicing shooting for your hunts. Practice at all these distances so you develop an instinct as to how far away you are from your target. And don’t get too worried if you’re sore after your first few practice sessions. Your bow shooting muscles have yet to develop, and after months of practice you’ll feel like a bow hunting beast with how easily you are cranking out shots!
Time to bow hunt!
Now it’s time for some fun. This is the time where hundreds of thousands of hunters throughout history have found their weeks’ worth of dinner, the bow hunt! Embrace this time in your hunting career, because it is a challenge, but a rewarding one at that. Scouting prey is done very quietly and sneakily in bow hunting. This is because there is much less room for error when we’re using a compound bow instead of our trusty rifle.
No worries though, because if you’ve been practicing your shot, you should be able to hit your target. This is where judging distance comes in handy. When you see a prey and are ready to take that shot, we need to have a good idea the distance of how far your prey is from you within 2 or 3 yards. Always be mindful when practicing what distance you are from your target, and this will just come naturally.
So you snuck up to your prey, and delivered a great shot! But wait, it didn’t die, and it ran off! “What do I do?” you may ask. Well now it is all about the blood trail. Don’t worry my friend, because if you have placed the shot correctly, the animal is no doubt too wounded to escape from you in time. One thing we need to notice is how the animal ran away, or left the scene of the shot. Take notice of the direction it went. Also mark the spot of the shot, and follow the trail. No need to hurry on this one because if that arrow is sunk deep in whatever prey your hunting, they couldn’t have gone far without giving in. Follow the blood trail and take your time. You’ll even need to wait a certain amount of time before following the blood trail fully. Yes, patience is key in all of hunting, and it could be an hour and it could be 5 hours. Take notice of the thickness and how consistent the trail is.
Hunting with a bow is tough…
So through all of this you may be saying, “Man, archery hunting just seems harder, I may just stick with my good ol’ rifle.” This is perfectly fine. Bow hunting isn’t for everyone. And If hunting with a rifle is more your speed than check out our list of guns for hunting. But If you want to stick with it, ask yourself this, do you want to miss out on the opportunity and feeling you’ll get from your first archery kill? How about the great feeling from the first deer you bow down. The thing is that bow hunting can be just as rewarding as hunting with a rifle, and it’s a great skill to learn. It will be a challenging journey to learn this old art of bow hunting.
We need to learn how to shoot with power and accuracy. We need to know how to blood trail and track down a wounded animal. We need to know bow size, weight and drawback length. You’ll have to work for your prey a bit harder, but the hunt will give you a feeling only our hunter gatherer ancestors can relate to. The beauty of all these things is that it will work your mind as well as your body more than if you just stuck with a rifle on your hunts. Trust me friend, although tough, it will be a fun and rewarding journey!
Alright, so there are the basics of bow hunting for you. Remember, this is a wide and rich subject that you will be studying for years to come, but as long as you pick up little by little on your journey, it will be a great experience. Now get out there, get your bow, and always enjoy your hunting experience no matter what weapon you choose! Always be sure to put safety first and practice safe bow hunting. Hopefully these bow hunting tips will be enough to get you off the ground. Comment below if you have any questions!