Guest Post: 6 Tips to Help You Be a Better Bowhunter -Jennifer Walls

October 4, 2016 — 3 Comments

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No matter if you are preparing for your first deer hunting experience or a seasoned buck hunter, it is crucial to integrate principles of deer behavior and instinct into your hunting strategy. In this manner, you can maximize your time on the hunt to better ensure a successful season, no matter where you may be. We’ve compiled a list of tips and strategies below that may be applicable to nearly all deer hunters.

Tip 1: Your Smell
In general, human odor frightens deer. So even if you are wearing appropriate camouflage manufactured to elude deer vision, your scent may give you away.
Before each hunt, we recommend showering with scent-free cleansers. On the way to the hunt, avoid foods with strong odors, as these smells will linger onto your clothes. To ensure that your hunting clothes avoid any and all smells, try sealing them in a plastic bag, opening the bag immediately before your hunt. In this fashion, your hunting gear will only absorb the odors of your surroundings after unsealing the bag, allowing you to further blend in with your environment. Should you use odor eliminator for further precaution, be sure to apply it only after you have ascended your tree stand.
Although we recommend that hunters eliminate their own scent, the use of smell can still prove to be an effective tool for attracting bucks. Veteran hunters often cite doe estrous as an effective tool, but it is important to be strategic about when you use it. For instance, bucks do react to sexual instincts, but if they smell doe estrous in late October, rather than during early-season, then the bucks may become more confused than excited and avoid your hunting area.
Tip 2: Your Sight
Although deer can distinguish between different colors, deer generally have worse vision, particularly depth perception, than humans. In this manner, various kinds of camouflage patterns may help the hunter evade the deer’s line of sight, so don’t fall for the marketing campaigns arguing that the most expensive camouflage gear will guarantee a successful hunt.
Since deer can distinguish between various colors, the pattern of the camouflage becomes less important than potentially breaking the pattern. Numerous hunting groups fall victim to this hunting trap every year: venturing out in camouflage gear and blue jeans. For these groups, it is likely that the deer never see the hunters, but rather, they are able to discern a break in the pattern. As a result, they logically dodge this unknown variable in their environment.
In this case, commit to one camouflage pattern for your gear to elude your prey’s line of sight.
Tip 3: Your Sound
University of Georgia research teams have led numerous studies, which strongly suggest that deer hearing senses are on par with those of humans; luckily for the hunter, humans hear better than deer at long distances.
Obviously, any hunter should keep quiet, no matter what; however, hunters should exploit this comparative advantage over deer when it comes to hearing over long distances. Consider using various bleat calls to incentivize the deer to come out from its habitat or hiding spot at greater distances; the deer will spend more time and energy discerning the sound, erroneously assuming that another deer is calling, rather than surveying its surroundings for potential threats. The use of a single pin bow sight may come in handy for measuring these distances before each shot.
Tip 4: Your Intel
Considering that we live in the digital age, there are a variety of strategies and tools that hunters may leverage to gain more specific information on their hunting range without having to spend money and time traveling there.
Deer hunting is a tradition thousands of years old with stories handed down from generation to generation; at the same time, anyone with internet access, along with even the slightest interest in deer hunting, can go online and read about the experiences of past hunters in cyberspace. Perhaps these hunting forums may provide others with unique insight that may not be available when you travel to your range.
Geospatial platforms like Google Earth may help any hunting group better plan their trip by adapting your hunting routes to distinct geographic markers. Further, predictive atmospheric technologies will help your team adapt to emergent weather patterns, which may also impact deer movements.
While the most active times for deer are at dawn and dusk every day, consider what other threats to the deer movements and livelihoods exist in the hunting area. Consider conducting a bit of background research on the current levels of biodiversity in the area, and how local fauna and flora might impact deer movements throughout the day.
Tip 5: Your Environment
Shooting lanes undoubtedly facilitate hunting activity, giving hunters a near-unobstructed path to taking down their prey; however, as mentioned earlier, deer are incredibly sensitive to certain smells. Thus, it becomes increasingly important to set up during the summer, rather than during the season. If you keep trimming your shooting lanes during the season, deer will likely react to the smell of freshly cut forest and link it to human disturbance.
On another note, hunters should practice assembling and dismantling tree stands before the season starts. That way, hunters will be less likely to make loud noises that will disturb not only deer, but the entire ecosystem. In terms of where to set up your tree stand, try going for a lower tree to expedite the assembly process. As discussed above, since deer do see well in environments with low light.
Tip 6: Your Safety
Just like any other activity, safety should remain a top priority. Before the hunting season begins, be sure to take advantage of tick repellant, especially when scouting. The last thing anyone wants to deal with is a severe illness before hunting can even start.
During the hunting season, it is vital to put on a full-body safety harness when hunting from a tree stand, as the majority of falls and injuries related to falls happen as hunters climb in and out of their tree stands. In the long run, a fall also indicates constant human disturbance to the local ecosystem to deer and other sport-hunting prey.
Hope these tips help! We wish you a safe and successful hunting season this year.
Author Bio:
Jennifer is the founder of BuckWithBow, a great blog that focuses on helping you learn how to hunt deer with a bow. As an experienced bow hunter, she will guide you through the Do’s and Dont’s of the bowhunting world and transform you into a better hunter. Whether you are an experienced bow hunter or an absolute beginner, you will find BuckWithBow a gem!

3 responses to Guest Post: 6 Tips to Help You Be a Better Bowhunter -Jennifer Walls


    Great post!
    All the tips mentioned are truly important and can really help increase your hunting skills. To me it is always initial to early start scouting targets and areas before hunting season.
    Thanks for sharing this!



    Lets me tell you another tip more abaut the smell:
    When you are under tension, stresed, you generate ADRENALINE. The adrenaline have their own particular smell all the animals can identify.
    For that the dogs bark at the people who are afraid by the dogs.
    For that you can see in african documentals antelopes an another game near the lions WHEN THE LIONS AREN’T HUNTING but taking distance when hunt.
    Be relaxed, confident, and not become tense and nervous by the expectative or the proximity of the deer and you can get closer aproaches or the deers come more near of you stand.
    The ADRENALINE SMELL scares more any kind of wildlife who any another odor.

    Ricardo Gasco, a.k.a Sombra, (Spanish Bowhunting Monitor of the Hunting and Nature School of the Valencia Hunting Federation)


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