Archery deer hunting is growing but there are a lot of people in the woods with bows who should not be there, YET. They are missing fundamental knowledge or skills to hunt deer effectively and reliably with a vertical bow. On this episode I talk about five crucial areas that every archery hunter needs to know about and develop proficiency in before they begin taking shots at whitetails.
Archey is a very fun, challenging, and rewarding pursuit. Hunting with a vertical bow is appealing for a wide variety of different reasons. And most people can learn to do this effectively. However, too few hunters understand the challenges unique to this style of hunting and go unprepared into the woods only to have problems, failures, and worse. Often, they should hunt with a rifle or a crossbow until they develop the needed proficiencies for a vertical bow.
Understanding these five things will save you from a lot of difficulties and disappointments. There is no shame in going into the woods with a different tool if you are not ready or able to do what it takes to hunt properly with a bow. We are talking about an investment in preparation, it has nothing to do with the character or ability of the person. Anyone could prepare if they have the time, energy, and health to do so. And maybe they can and will in the future, but for now they should hunt with the tools they are able to use with greater proficiency.
The first and most obvious of the five reasons you should not hunt with a bow is you do not practice enough. This is about skills and conditioning. Proficiency in archery is a perishable skill. It decays quickly with time. A few weeks can cause you to lose a lot of ground. There is head knowledge and skill you will retain for your lifetime, but conditioning means everything when it comes to being able to reliably hit a target under field conditions.
Ideally you want to learn to shoot, from an instructor or expert of some type. Then you need to practice, a lot, and for a long time. You should start practicing around two months before the season starts. Start practicing 3 days a week and then bump it up to 4 or 5 once you get your initial conditioning. These do not need to be long sessions; 20 minutes can be plenty. But you need to shoot often and throughout the hunting season to stay sharp.
This is not just about being able to hit a target but being able to draw even when stiff and cold, under field conditions, with cold weather gear, in a tree, holding a draw for a long time, fighting off nerves, and finally taking an ethical shot. This is taxing on your body. You must practice a lot to able to do it when it counts. If you are not able to practice enough, you should probably use a crossbow for that season. Crossbows require a much lower level of conditioning.
The most responsible and wise hunters know their limits and deficiencies and takes the appropriate action to make up for them. Newer hunters especially do not have enough experience to know what they do not know. They have blind spots. We all have blind spots at times, but when we are just getting started, they can be very large blind spots. I can tell you from experience, the best and fastest ways to learn is to practice, study, and learn from the mistakes of others. If you want to hunt with a bow, get one today and start practicing. But wait, even till next season if needed, until you are prepared and can check off all five things mentioned in this episode.
Listen to the entire podcast episode to hear all 5 reasons why you should not hunt with a bow.