Before we proceed to learn how to start bowhunting, it is essential to have a random idea of what bowhunting actually is. It is simply the practice of hunting animals through archery. Many hunters and outdoor enthusiasts have adopted this technique as their basic hunting style which in dispensation has become a contemporary use for sport.
Tag Along with an Experienced Hunter
Before you hunt solo, learn in the field. “If possible, go alongside an experienced bowhunter to help you your first few times.” They have the tools and techniques for safe, effective hunting.
Carry Hunting Licenses on You
State game officers and officials can request licenses, permits, and stamps at any time. Have a dedicated compartment, pocket, or license holder.
Use a sealed plastic bag to waterproof documents before tossing them in your hunting bag or pack.
Licensing requirements and hunting rules are different in each state. Be sure you know the laws and regulations for where you will be hunting—for your safety and the safety of others.
Bows are not one-size-fits-all. Your bow should suit your body according to:
- Draw length
- Draw weight
Check your bow’s fit: You should be able to hold the bow at the target level, a point at the target, and draw without much movement.
There are minimum weight limits for hunting bows, so find out what that limit is in your state. Choose the right game for your hunting bow. If you are only comfortable with a lighter bow, look for seasons for fowl or small mammals. Work up to bigger animals and heavier hunting bows.
Choose a Bow Release Style
There are two ways to release a bow: traditional “shooting fingers” and mechanical releases.
The traditional release of a bow relies on your ‘shooting fingers.’ This means that your fingers remain on the bowstring until you are ready to shoot. Aim. Be sure and still. Then relax your fingers so that the bowstring slides off them, releasing the arrow.
Mechanical bow release aids use a trigger to release the bowstring. Today, most bowhunters, especially with a compound hunting bow, use a mechanical release or release aid. Releases increase accuracy. They are held in your hand, attaching to the bowstring until triggered, this makes it easier and allows more time to aim and deliver a steady shot.
Relax, regardless of release. Some hunters hold their breath, exhale on release, or use techniques to remain still for the truest shot to avoid trajectory-ruining jitters.
Numerous release types help tailor the shot to your body. Each bowhunter needs to choose the most comfortable style.
Sight Your Bow In
Every new bowhunter needs to learn how to sight their bow in. This takes discipline and practices before hunting. You will need to adjust your sight to your own style shooting.
How to sight your bow in: When shooting at a bullseye or target, look for patterns. For example, four arrows you shoot all land 4 inches right of the bullseye. Use that to adjust the sight. Move it up or sideways to compensate for your patterns. You will want to “chase” your arrow with sight adjustments until you can hit multiple bullseyes.
Change field point Arrowhead
The type of bow and arrows you use changes with the target.
Practising: You’ll use field point arrowheads. Field points are shaped like small bullets. Do NOT use these hunting. These are not only unethical and unsportsmanlike to hunt with, but illegal for large game. Field points are likely to pass right through an animal, which will cause little immediate damage. The wounded animal could survive for days, enduring an agonizing death.
Hunting: Change from field points to broadhead arrowheads. Broadheads are similar to razor blades, allowing a broader cut. Broadhead Arrowhead
Stay safe from the moment you step off the ground until you come down. When hunting from a tree stand, wear a safety harness. If you are hunting with children, be doubly sure everyone is wearing safety gear.
Use a Bow Hanger
Since you cannot be holding your bow all day long while bow hunting especially when you are in a tree stand, Plan and be prepared. Strategically screw a bow hanger in the tree for a safe, convenient place to rest your hunting bow. You could be there for hours waiting for the perfect moment.
It’s tough not to spy on an animal when you’re shooting from only 20 to 30 yards away. Infrared, scent control balaclava
Gear up. Show as little skin as possible when donning hunting clothes and camo. Make sure you have gloves and face-covering or a face paint kit. Mask your odour. Use field spray and scent-eliminators. A deer can smell you from 400 yards away. Consider adding scent-control hunting gear to your wardrobe. Add cover scents to pump up the concealment. And be careful to stay downwind. “If you don’t learn to play the wind, you won’t even see a deer.”
Only Promising Shots
When taking shots, take it when the animal is on its broadside, that is to say when it is sideways or angled slightly to you. These two positions are advised as they give you the chance to hit the most crucial organ (lungs and heart), which is a promising shot. If it’s your first-day hunting, be sure not to negotiate for an angled position as your chances of hitting the vitals have reduced. However, do not aim for the neck, head or rear.
Don’t Rush In
Now that you’ve successfully shot your target, what’s next is that you go for it. Mind you, rushing down to your shot target is not a good idea. The best bet is that you wait a little while or you’ll push your deer to run away, and you might end losing it forever.
The total time you’ll spend waiting will depend on the shot. If it’s a double-long shot, waiting an hour should do. However, you may have to wait up to 12 hours if you missed the lung.
Even if you are a professional archer already, learning how to start bow hunting is a brilliant way to expand your options. Apart from the fact that you’ll automatically learn archery, it’ll also educate you on animal behaviours and habits. The list is endless.