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Bow Hunting Tips
- compliments of www.WhiteTail.com

Secure bow string release
Set your shooting distance
Pace off distance to target
Arrow penetration
New bow string
The key to success
Packing your broadheads
Watch those squeaks
Use carbon arrows
Enjoying good company
Know the wind direction
Carry more arrows
Sight in for your stand
Sharpening your broadheads
Pull back before
String Serving
Sighting in your bow
Use Pendulum Sights
Decrease weight /protect shafts
Shooting from a tree stand
Bow hunting strap-on seat
Forget pacing off yardage
Stump shooting
Silence your bow string
Bring in the deer
Finding your arrows
String jumpers
Mark your bow sights
Don't pull back too soon
Practice shooting from your tree stand
Find Deer That Don't Bleed
Good sights will pay off
Make the shot count

 

 

 

 

Archery, bows & arrows

Secure bow string release

To keep from losing your bow string release, tie it to your hunting clothing. You can use a leather boot string or plastic "coiled chain" with a snap. It looks like a phone cord with a snap on the end and only costs a couple of bucks. Tie your release to one end and snap the other end to your belt loop. The "coiled chain" works best.

Tip sent in by Anonymous


Set your shooting distance

To keep from wounding game know your shooting limits. Set your personal shooting maximum. It will probably be between 30 and 40 yards. Don't shoot beyond your limit.

Tip sent in by Anonymous

Pace off target practice distance

Practice pacing off when you are out target practicing during the summer. While standing at your target, take your arrows and throw them in various places around you. Pace off the distance to each arrow and practice shooting from that spot. Try far quartering shots and close broadside shots and vice versa. If you can be accurate from these areas on the first few shots of practicing, you will be effective during the season. But the biggest thing is to know your yardage and how far your target is at all times. That's where pacing off on every shot will come in handy.

Tip sent in by Bob Brayley
West Gardener, ME


Arrow Penetration

When you sight-in your bow during the off season, be sure to check the penetration depth of your arrows at your farthest shooting distance. If you are not getting adequate penetration at this distance, you need to keep moving closer to your target until you get good penetration. Set this distance as your maximum shooting range. Poor penetration will just wound game.

Tip sent in by Graham
Fairview, PA

New bow string

Treat yourself to a new bow string every year. When you have a nice buck in your sights, you don't want your bow string to fail. That buck won't wait around for you to put that spare string on!

Tip sent in by Bobby
Phoenix, AZ

The key to success

When you are target practicing with your bow practice shooting from different angles. Then try shooting from different distances by moving farther back and then closer to your target. Now try shooting from different heights, similar to shooting from a tree stand. Now that you can hit your target from real hunting like situations, practice being a stealth hunter, it is a major key to your success.

Tip sent in by Colby Blount
Clinton, MS


Packing your broadheads

It is critical to have a safe and quite place to pack your broadheads when you are hunting big game. Before you travel wrap each blade of your broadhead in scotch tape and then put the broadhead in a 35 mm film canister along with some cotton balls to keep them silent.

Tip sent in by Brandon Jones
Salt Lake City , UT


Watch those squeaks

Since I started bow hunting, I have learned some hard lessons. Deer won't stick around if they hear any unnatural noises. Test your bow to make sure that it is silent as you pull it to full draw. If you have a squeaky wheel, give it a small amount of oil. Also test your stand for squeaks. While sitting in your stand, listen for squeaks as you shift your weight and twist from side to side. Also try putting felt on your arrow rest. When you draw your bow, the arrow will slide smoothly and silently across the felt.

Tip sent in by Justin Mikkelsen
New Era , MI


Use carbon arrows

I use Easton carbon arrows they are great! In my opinion they are the best. If you can afford the extra cost, fill your quiver with extreme precision and accuracy with carbon arrows.

Tip sent in by Bubba Richards
Guntersville, AL


Enjoying good company

If you are hunting with a close and safe friend try to set up where you can see each other. My dad and I do this and we have been able to see each other take some nice deer. This makes the whole hunting experience more exciting by seeing your close friend in action. This also works equally well in rifle season.

Tip sent in by Zack Tadlock
Springdale, AZ


Know the wind direction

Tie a piece of sewing thread to the end of your stabilizer, so that it hangs down about five or six inches. Just watch the string and you will constantly know the slightest breeze direction.

Tip sent in by Matt Rich
Elkmont, AL


Carry more arrows

It is not a good idea to hunt with only one arrow. Make sure you carry at least five arrows. If you shoot and miss a deer they may not know you are there and just keep standing. If you have more arrows, you could get another shot. This would have worked for me if I would have though about it sooner.

Tip sent in by Justin Wagner
Botkins, OH


Sight in for your stand

Many people over look the fact that when you're in your stand, you're shooting downwards. You will need to sight in your bow for both flat shooting and stand shooting. You might want to use two different sights.

Tip sent in by Eric Leugers
Botkins, OH


Sharpening your broadheads

I have learned that sharpening your broadheads is easier if you use an actual knife sharpener. The sharpeners that I'm talking about are the ones that are usually blue and they have two sharpeners that cross at the top. They also have a handle and a finger guard. These sharpeners only cost about $5.00.

Tip sent in by Eric Leugers
Botkins, OH


Pull back before

When you are bow hunting you always want to pull your bow back at least 30-45 seconds before the deer gets to you. Don't pull back more than you can hold, if you do your arms will get tired and you will be shaky when its time to shoot the deer. Try to pull back when the deer is looking away from you or when its head is behind a tree or brush. Always make sure your arrows are straight. If they are not, they will misfire. When you get your sights sighted in, you might want to tighten them with pliers. If you hand tighten your sights they can easily get loose and move, if they bump up against something.

Tip sent in by Kyle Roark
Joplin, MO


String serving

Extra pieces of "super braid" fishing line make an excellent double serving. Double serving refers to the serving that is placed over the factory plastic serving to prevent chafing from release aids. I recommend using 80lb line and super gluing the knots. Super braid fishing line also works great to secure peep sights.

Tip sent in by Jason Lamagna
Hyannis, MA


Sighting in your bow

To set your bow sight pins, start with the top pin and sight in for 20 yards. Compound bows should shoot flat enough to be accurate from 0 to 20 yards with a 20-yard sight pin. If your arrow hits high move your pin up. If your arrow hits low move your pin down. If the arrow hits to the left move the pin to the left. If the arrow hits to the right move the pin to the right. Always chase your arrow with the pin. The second and third pins can be set for 30 and 40 yards or any yardage you anticipate shooting.

Tip sent in by Earl Varner


Use Pendulum Sights

When bow hunting from a tree stand it is best to use a pendulum sight. Amazing sight automatically compensates for distance, height of tree stand and bow poundage. Just aim and shoot. The sight will swing to the exact point of impact if you have it sighted in properly. 0-30 yards is the best for this type of sight.

Tip sent in by Butch Sansom
Stafford, VA


Decrease your bow weight /protect your shafts

Snap on quivers leave your knocks exposed and your shafts unprotected. Have you ever had dirt get into a knock or had an arrow twang when it hung up in the brush? Try using a plastic tube cut to arrow length then cover tube with camo duct tape. In one end place a piece of Styrofoam to protect the broad heads. Just push the arrows into the Styrofoam and it will keep them protected and secure. Use a PVC pipe cap for other end. A small wire fishing leader can be used to secure the cap so it won't get lost. Attach a strap and you can carry your new quiver over your shoulder, just like the Indians used to do.

Tip sent in by Dan
South Hampton, PA


Shooting from a tree stand

If you shoot from a climbing tree stand and you shoot with your quiver attached to your bow, reverse your quiver with the vanes up instead of being down. When attached in the traditional way, vanes down, in most cases the vanes extend beyond the length of the bow and will rub or hang up on the top part of a climbing stand particularly on a short, in close shot. Reversing your quiver can eliminate this problem.

Tip sent in by The Olde Bowhunter
South, GA


Bow hunting strap-on seat

When bow hunting from a climbing stand it is often difficult to shoot your bow on close shots or shots to the rear without the bottom limb of your bow being inside of the top part of your climbing stand. The result will be the bottom bow limb banging against the top portion of the stand upon firing, resulting in a missed shot or worse the bow being jerked out of your hand. I experienced this problem for years and finally came up with a workable solution this past season. Take a small strap-on seat up with you in a backpack. Once at the height you plan to hunt, lower the top portion of your climbing stand until it almost touches the lower portion you stand on. Attach the strap-on seat (there are several on the market) to a comfortable sitting position. Then when drawing and shooting the problem will be eliminated. It's as though you are shooting from a hanging stand. As always, be sure to wear a safety belt regardless of the type deer stand you hunt from.

Tip sent in by The Olde Bowhunter
South, GA


Forget pacing off yardage

Pacing off yardage or pulling a tape measure is a set-up for failure later on in the woods. When you practice with your bow, shoot at what your eye says is 15 yards or 25 yards, etc. In doing so, you will never encounter calculated yardage in the woods. With practice you will be able to judge the distance by just looking. So don't handicap yourself, from the start. Practice and be prepared, before you pursue your favorite game.

Tip sent in by Scott Appleby
Rawley Springs, VA


Stump shooting

I whole-heartedly believe in stump shooting as being one of the best methods of shooting practice. Roam around the woods with judo points or rubber blunts and shoot anything that could be a potential target (rotten stumps, clumps of dirt, leaves). Pay close attention to where you hit each time. This will set your instincts right on target for knowing your distances. One of the biggest problems with people hitting too low or too high on a deer is because they lack the judgement of distance. Stump shooting is a must!

Tip sent in by Nick
Eureka, MO


Silence your bow string

Silence your bow string with "limb saver" string leech. The string leech delivers maximum noise reduction and up to 65% reduction in string resonance with only 1-2 feet per second speed loss, in most cases. The string leech will not take all the sound away, but it will dampen most of the sound when you release your arrow.

Tip sent in by Bob
Towanda, PA


Bring in the deer

At the beginning of bow season when acorns have not yet started to fall, get a hand full of pebbles or something small like an acorn and drop them from your stand every few minutes. Deer will think its acorns falling from the trees and come on in to investigate. I have had deer come from over 100 yards to within 15 yards. This really works when deer are close by, but not close enough for a shot!

Tip sent in by Billy Few
Covington, GA


Finding your arrows

Try putting a 1/4-inch piece of reflective tape around the end of your arrows between the noc and the fletching. This will not affect the flight of your arrow, but will make finding your arrows in the dark much easier. You just shine your light around and the tape will make your arrow light up like bright eyes.

Tip sent in by Michael Ellis
Mobile, AL


String jumpers

Another way to beat the jumping of strings, as we archers like to call it, is hold your sight pin low. That way when the deer crouches to spring, the vital area will be lower, thus causing a hit anyway. The distance to hold low varies depending on arrow speed and the distance to your target.

Tip sent in by Sean Conners
Ocala, Florida


Mark your sight pins

Once you have your bow sighted in, place a mark on your sight next to each pin. Place the mark near the center or above or below the pin, whichever is easier for you and your particular bow sight. While you are hunting, you can tell at a glance if your pins are where they are supposed to be. In case of an accidental shift in your sight pins, you will be able to return them to their correct position. You can always re-sight your bow at a later time, if you want.

Tip sent in by Ryan
Austin, TX


Don't pull back too soon

When your in your tree stand don't pull back your bow until the deer gets close to you, if you pull back to soon by the time the deer gets to you, your arm will be tired and you will be a lot shakier. And another reason you don't want to pull back too soon is because when you're standing there with you're bow pulled back you're going to be making more movement than when you don't have it pulled back. So wait until the deer gets within shooting range to pull back, unless you think you won't have a chance to pull it back when its within range. Don't try to pull back when the deer is looking in your direction.

Tip sent in by Eric Trierweiler
Saranac, MI


Practice shooting from your tree stand

Before season, make sure to practice shooting from your tree stand or someplace that is elevated. When you are shooting from a tree stand your arrow flies totally different, than it does on the level. For example, when I am shooting at a deer 20 yards away I use my 10-yard pin. The amount that you hold low depends on several factors. These factors are the height of the tree stand, the distance to the target and the speed of your arrow. This is why you should practice shooting from your tree stand, at the height you plan on using, at several different distances. Make a mental note of where you are hitting at these distances. If you are unable to shoot form your tree stand, you could practice shooting from the top of a building, barn or shed.

Tip sent in by Jeremy Grate
Sioux Falls, SD


Find Deer That Don't Bleed

When bow hunting you can buy a string called tracking string to find the deer that you shot late in the day. It connects to the end of your arrow. So when you hit the deer all you have to look for is the string and find your deer at the end. If the arrow manages to fall out that should unclog the hole in the deer to let the blood drip out. (Some hunters claim the string screws up their shots.)

Tip sent in by Jon
Ishpeming, MI


Good sights will pay off

One thing I have learned is that you should have good sights on your bow. I have tried many different sights and hadn't found one that I liked. I recently bought a Trophy Ridge sight and I love it! There is no need to tighten them up with pliers or any tool for that matter. Once they are on you need nothing but your fingers. They don't use bolts or screws they have self-lockers on them! Before I would bump my bow and move my sights, now I don't need to worry anymore. I would recommend these sights to any bow hunter!

Tip sent in by Jeff H.
Bradford, PA


Make the shot count

If you are going to take a shot at animal, ensure you focus on a double lung shot, listen to the tips of the other hunters at this web site, read, reread, learn, relearn, practice, practice. When the time comes, if the right shot is not there let the animal walk off unharmed, he will give you a shot another day if you have done your homework and have not spooked him. Make the shot count and do not allow yourself to become so competitive that you ruin the sport for the rest of us. Always remember that most wounded deer will eventually die from their wounds. I love the sport and have a lot to learn. I had that first big buck right under me, but did not take the shot because I was not sure of myself with the angle and distance. Instead, I stood there and watched him as he tried to figure out what was different in his woods that day. I learned from him (the buck) and am forever thankful that I did not take a shot, which I didn't think I could make.

Tip sent in by BowHunter2B
Quantico, VA

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Baiting Deer

Try some apples

Before you leave on your hunt, cut up some apples into quarters and put them into a container or bag. After you are setup at your favorite hunting spot, throw the apples one by one to where you want the deer to be. Any deer that are down wind and smell the apples will be tempted to come and eat some sweet juicy apple bits. This will work even better if you set out apple bait, in this area, prior to hunting season. Check to make sure that baiting deer is legal in your hunting area.

Tip sent in by Jordan Eischen
Saskatoon, SA


Peanut butter attractant

If those expensive "Wonder Scents" aren't working out for you, try this cheap and most of the time this trick works. Take rubber gloves and liberally smear your favorite peanut butter around your stand setup. Place it on trees, fallen logs, whatever might be in the area. If you are bow hunting, I would recommend your peanut butter sites be 20 or more yards away from your stand. Gun hunting, naturally you can go further out. Hey, it's cheap and effective. Give it a try. Check to make sure that baiting deer is legal in your hunting area.

Tip sent in by Sean Conners
Ocala, Florida


Peanut butter on a tree

What you do is find a nice tree a little ways from your hunting stand. Nail a hole threw a peanut butter lid and cut the bottom out of the peanut butter jar. Nail the lid to the tree (make sure it is easily accessible and that the deer can reach it), screw the peanut butter jar to the lid and deer should come and lick out the bottom of it. You need to do this a little while before hunting season. Make sure it is legal to bait deer in your area first and always remember to remove the empty jar and lid from the woods.

Tip sent in by Deston Olsen
Marmaduke, AR


Make your own drip & lick

Cut up some apples about the size of quarters and mix real well with syrup or molasses and place in a bag. Then go to your hunting spot and pore the apples and syrup into a sock or pantyhose and tie it to a tree, clear a 3-foot area under it. The syrup or molasses will soak through the sock or pantyhose and slowly drip to the ground. Deer will smell it a long ways away and come to the spot and lick it. I did that one-day and then walked in another day to check it and the branch and apples were gone, and there were deer tracks all under it. Before you do this make sure it's ok to bait deer in your area.

Tip sent in by Kyle Christian
Booneville, MS

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Deer calling, calls & decoys

Secure your deer call

If your deer call doesn't have a lanyard on it, you can make one from a leather boot lace. Put the lanyard or lace around your neck and it will be there when you need it.

Tip sent in by Anonymous

Know your partner's call

If you hunt with a partner, know the sound of his calls. If you know the sound of your partner's call you won't waste your time sneaking up on your partner.

Tip sent in by Anonymous

Don't call to often

When your hunting during the rut and all the bucks are going wild, don't use your deer call to often. Do your calling and then wait about 15 minutes before you call again. If you call to often, it will sound unnatural and the deer could run the other way.

Tip sent in by Bob
Phoenix, AZ

Organize your calling

If hunting with a partner, simulate a group of deer by calling back and forth to each other. This may encourage a buck to walk in and see what is going on.

Tip sent in by John McCaskey
Ohio


Stopping a deer

Here is a trick I use and have great success with. If you have a hard time tracking a moving deer that is in range, try blowing a snort call. I have seen that calling will most often stop a deer dead in its tracks. The animal will be on the highest alert so be prepared for a quick shot. This trick is most effective when your viewing area is more open.

Tip sent in by Sean Conners
Ocala, Florida

Stop that wounded deer

After the shot has been taken (bow or gun) give one or two blows on your grunt tube. Sometimes this will stop or at least slow him down, minimizing tracking distance. Sometimes with small (subordinate, yearling) bucks they will spook even more. No deer hunter should be without a grunt tube, they work if used properly.

Tip sent in by Message board user - Coyoteseeker

Stop a running deer

If a whitetail deer is running away and it hasn't yet winded you, you can give a short whistle and about half the time the deer will stop and look around to see where the whistle came from. This will give you time for a quick shot, before it runs away for good.

Tip sent in by Message board user - Deerhunter

Stopped in their tracks

During muzzle loader season my brother and I decided to do a deer drive. I went to my stand and my brother would drive this wooded area towards me. When you set up your deer drive, make sure the guy on the stand is down wind of the drive area. After a short time, I could hear the deer running and then I could see them. There were five deer and they were running like a freight train. I pulled out my coyote call (rabbit distress call) and gave it a blow. Those five deer all stopped dead in their tracks. If you prefer a standing shot, try the rabbit distress call.

Tip sent in by - Anonymous

Give it a whistle

When you have that buck coming to you in your shooting lane, and he has his head down grazing. Give a little whistle and the majority of the time this will stop the deer and he'll raise his head to see what's going on. This will allow you time for that perfect shot.

Tip sent in by - William McCullough
Camp Pendleton, CA


Try dove decoys

Next time you are watching your favorite area from your stand, place 3-4 dove decoys on the ground. Doves are very skittish and will take flight at the first sign of danger. Any animal that comes along and spots the doves will think all is fine. Naturally, doves must be native to your area for this to work. If they are, give it a try.

Tip sent in by Sean Conners
Ocala, Florida



Bring your whole bag of tricks

Always carry more than one call. If the grunt call isn't working try using a softer or deeper tone than you have been using or switch to a fawn bleat. It also doesn't hurt to have the rattling antlers ready. No one sound will attract all deer. So find a call that the buck you're after will respond to. Good luck and remember above all else to be safe.

Tip sent in by Russell Wright
Sterling, WI


Start out calling low

When using a grunt call, start out calling low. You never know when a buck might be close by. Start out calling low and the buck might come right on in. If your first two calls don't bring in a buck, then you can raise your volume to reach the distant bucks.

Tip sent in by Daniel
Zachary, LA


Try a decoy with scent

If deer decoys are legal in your state or province, try using two of them, say two deer or a deer and a turkey. Place them so they are staring at each other. This gives the illusion that the animals are looking at each other. Put some of your favorite doe in heat scent close by.

Tip sent in by Sean Conners
Ocala, Florida


Call while walking

While walking to your hunting area during hunting season, try using the Tending Grunts, this call works best while you're on the ground and moving through the leaves. The Tending Grunt is used when a buck chases a doe as the rut approaches, he will make 7-15 soft grunts in rapid succession, while trailing her. It's a buck's way of asking her to stop so he can breed with her. While doing this call I've had many deer run up on me unexpectedly, so keep your ears and eyes open!

Tip sent in by Paul G.
Byesville, OH


Use a turkey call

When walking to your stand use a turkey call. Use the turkey call often as you walk. This will make the deer think you are a gobbler and not a hunter. Also when sitting in your stand or even in a ground blind try using a turkey call along with your deer call. I found when I was turkey hunting I saw a fair amount of deer. After that I tried a turkey call during deer season and it works! Use the call just like you would if you were trying to call in that big tom. Before you know it, there will be a deer showing up in your hunting area. The deer hear the turkeys and figure that it is safe to go to that area if the turkeys are hanging out there. Plus both deer and turkey feed on the same clover and grasses, so if the turkeys are there, the deer will think they can find food in that area.

Tip sent in by Brandon10
Willsboro, NY

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Camping

Hello the camp

Whenever you approach a hunting camp, weather it is your group or another group, it is always a good idea to announce your presence. "Hello the camp" is somewhat of a standard for hunters to say as they approach a camp. This will keep from startling the other hunters.

Tip sent in by Anonymous


Camping supply list

When your camping make sure that you have all the supplies that you will need. Because the smallest supply might make the biggest difference. Make a list of all the camping supplies that you think you might need for camping. While you are camping, if you think of something that isn't on the list, add it to the list. If you find that you are not using some of the supplies, remove them from your list.

Tip sent in by Steve
Endicott, NY

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Caring for meat & trophy

Field dressing gloves

For field dressing game carry a pair of field dressing gloves. You can purchase these at a hunting supply store. Better yet go to a farm supply store and get shoulder length vinyl inspection gloves, these are stronger. The gloves also make a good storage place for the heart and liver. When you are through field dressing, hold the heart or liver in your hand and roll the glove off your arm and around it. Your arms and hands will remain clean and dry.

Tip sent in by Anonymous


Field dressing your deer

Once you locate your down deer, turn the deer so its head and front shoulders are lower than its hindquarters. This will allow for opening the deer's abdomen with gravity keeping most of the pressure off of the abdomen wall. Make sure that you don't cut any of the internal organs or intestines.
This would be a good time to split the pelvic bone. Now you can turn the deer so that its head and front shoulders are higher than its hindquarters. You can now proceed to cut through the diaphragm. At this point you will probably encounter a lot of blood, this is normal. Now you can cut loose the heart and lungs and start pulling everything toward the rear-end of the deer. Cut loose everything that is still connected to the inner abdomen and pull to the rear end of the deer. This will allow all of the blood to drain out as you remove the internal organs.

Tip sent in by Pat Janes
Hannibal, MO


Always bring a sharp knife

When deer hunting, you should always carry a good sharp knife. When it is time to clean your deer you can put this knife to good use. If you are also skinning your deer, one sharp knife might not be enough. I usually bring a utility knife with extra blades so you don't need to sharpen your knife in the middle of your project. It just takes a minute to put a new blade in the utility knife.

Tip sent in by Stephen
Westtown, NY

 

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