There aren’t many phrases get a hunter’s blood churning faster than deer season. Bow hunting whitetail deer is a challenge that few hunters can pull off, but the thrill of achievement and pride is worth every second of frustration when you bag your first kill of the season. When pair with the right bow hunting products, the following techniques will make your time more enjoyable and help you reach your hunting goal.
Speed Is Critical
Finding the right balance between speed and accuracy is a constant struggle. A long, heavy bow provides stability through your shot, but that comes at the cost of slower arrows and shorter ranges than the ultra light designs. A light bow is a much faster bow, and it offers several distinct advantages for experienced hunters. First, you can use a heavier arrow, which means its penetrating power is high and will result in cleaner kills. Second, a faster arrow can be shot on a flatter trajectory than a slow shot from heavy bow, which significantly increases the effective range of your shot.
Before you head out to your hunting spot, spend some time at the range adjusting the draw weight and length of your bow. Take the time necessary to find a reasonable balance between accuracy and speed.
Always Follow Through
There’s a reason why baseball players follow through on their swing: it keeps the bat moving smoothly through the hit. The same principles are at work when you fire an arrow. It’s tempting to drop your bow arm as you fire the arrow, but that tiny bit of movement alters the trajectory of your shot downwards, and your accuracy suffers. Practice staying in shooting form from the time you draw the bow until the moment you see the arrow strike.
Take a Knee
The most common shooting position with a bow is standing; however, the time you spend getting from a seated position to a shooting stance is more than enough to spook the deer and send them out of range. Whitetail deer can be hunted effectively from the ground, so try a kneeling shooting position. This position allows you to crouch out of sight when your prey approaches, and permits a fluid transition into a shooting stance from a seated position. From your knees you still have enough height to maintain good form for a comfortable shot.
Watch Where You Aim
Whitetail deer are prone to crouch as soon as they hear a threatening sound, and that causes far too many shots to miss high. From both a broadside and off center position, you want to keep your shot lower than you expect. The best placement is about four inches above the buck’s front shoulder. If the buck doesn’t move, the shot will penetrate the heart. If it does move, the broadhead will still puncture the center of the chest cavity and destroy major organs, like the lungs.
Take Your Time
Finally, landing a shot is exciting, but don’t immediately start tracking a wounded animal. Depending on the extent of the damage, it can take several minutes for the animal to die. Rushing to track it will only cause the animal to run further and faster, making it more difficult for you to find the body. The trail will still be there if you wait a few minutes before you start tracking.
Whitetail deer are a challenging prey, but with patience, the right equipment, and the right approach, you’ll be well prepared for the season.