Bow hunting is a challenging sport that takes serious practice and preparation. Here are a few helpful tips before setting out.
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In this article:
- Practice Before You Hunt
- Use Your Rangefinder to Sight in Your Bow
- Learn How to Accurately Pace Off Your Yardage
- Set Your First Pin at 20 Yards
- Figure Out Your Maximum Limit for Your First Sight Pin
- Sight In Your Second Pin at 30 Yards
- Practice at “Odd” Distances Between Pins
- Don’t Forget to Practice at Close Distances (5, 6, 7 yards)
- Practice the Shots You Know You Might Take
Bow Hunting Tips for Your Next Whitetail
Practice Before You Hunt
If you set out on a hunt without sighting your bow beforehand and spending several hours practicing your shots, you're likely to have a disappointing time. As with just about everything in life, with bow hunting, it pays to be prepared.
Learn how to properly use your bow hunting gear to help hone your skills in becoming an effective bow hunter.
1. Use Your Rangefinder to Sight in Your Bow
Your rangefinder yardage should match exactly how your sight pins are set. That's what you'll be using in the field. Always consider the durability, battery life, distance range, and features when choosing your rangefinder.
Rangefinder Definition: A precision tool for measuring the target distance to determine the shooter's/weapon's effective range.
2. Learn How to Accurately Pace Off Your Yardage
Apart from your bow hunting equipment, knowing how to accurately pace off your yardage is very important. Don't guess and don't rely on a hunting buddy to tell you how far something is.
3. Set Your First Pin at 20 Yards
On a whitetail hunting setup, start out by setting your first pin at 20 yards. See how far that 20-yard pin will take you. While aiming at this distance, step back to 21, 22, 23, and see where your error starts to drop off.
4. Figure Out Your Maximum Limit for Your First Sight Pin
The previous tip leads to figuring out the maximum limit for your first sigh pin. Most hunting setups will get you out to at least 25 yards and maybe more.
5. Sight In Your Second Pin at 30 Yards
Thirty yards distance is easy to remember. You have to know the in-between yardages of your setup.
What sight pin do you use in deer hunting with a buck standing out there at 26 yards? That is why you need to practice at those in-between distances.
6. Practice at “Odd” Distances Between Pins
Don't assume you might raise your first pin or lower your second pin when a deer is standing at these odd distances. Know exactly how low or how high your arrow will hit.
We sometimes get in the habit of only practicing at even distances. Practice at odd distances too.
7. Don't Forget to Practice at Close Distances (5, 6, 7 yards)
Do you think close distances don't need any practice? You actually need to know where your arrows hit at 5, 6, and 7 yards.
Sometimes, we have up-close skillet shots. There are unfortunate times when we miss them simply because we haven't practiced up close.
8. Practice the Shots You Know You Might Take
After knowing the distances around your stance, practice the distances where your confidence is soaring when you take the shot. You know when you're going to have a great dinner just by aiming at the target.
Check out this video by BowHunting Tips about things to keep in mind before the hunt:
Now you know what you need to prepare for before going bow hunting, you can hunt with really good shot placement. What's important is for you to commit your best performance every time you take the shot. The bow performing at a very optimum level depends on the best practices of the archer.
Do you consider these tips helpful for your next whitetail deer hunting trip? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.