Bow hunters get first crack at the woods in most states and early hunting seasons are just around the corner. Procrastinating through the spring and summer is all too easy and a lack of preparation leads to reduced confidence and accuracy in the field. Get busy and stay ahead of the curve. You won’t regret the early efforts when opening day arrives.
Work Over Your Bow
Before anything happens, your bow should be set up for practice with the same sights, rests, string and accessories that will be used during the hunt. Take this time to consider changes, maintenance and options for the bow itself. Make sure the string has plenty of life left because it must endure a few months of shooting before jumping into the hunt. If you plan on changing to a new string, now is the time. You will have plenty of opportunity to break in the material before the season arrives.
Also, match your practice arrows to field arrows and use field points with a weight that matches the broadheads in your hunting quiver. Just before the season, you should shoot with a few broadheads and arrows that match the hunting specifications to ensure the bow is sighted perfectly for the hunt.
Mix Up the Targets
Leading into bow season, shooting on a near daily basis is essential. Practice like crazy but avoid setting a routine that lacks variety. During a hunt, shooting from different angles and positions is not uncommon. Practice shooting off a knee, at variable distances and from angles that resemble a tree stand and setup targets in areas with trees and breaks in the landscape. Shooting on a level surface is still great for daily repetitions but utilizing breaks in the landscape shifts the perspective and requires your eyes to focus on the target in an organic environment.
Shoot block targets but also incorporate realistic targets to focus tight groupings on vital organs. If you utilize ground blinds and tree stands in the field, practice shooting from the same positions. Setup your stands and blinds and use them during practice to ensure everything is functioning properly and ready for the season.
Scout and Prepare
It’s never too early to start scouting and preparing. Setup game cameras, clear treestand sites of limbs and debris to create clean shooting lanes and watch from a good distance to pinpoint the perfect hunting locations. In the west, that means glassing the big country that elk call home and in the whitetail river bottoms that means glassing fields, looking for funnels and building a strategy to intercept animals. It doesn’t matter what species you are after, early season scouting can pay off big time when the season opens.
Prep Your Hunting Gear
If you need help getting your hunting gear ready for the season, please don’t hesitate to reach out! Hunting Gear Outfitters is stocked with Caribou Gear game bags, Jet Boil systems, lightweight backcountry meals from Peak Refuel and Heather's Choice, boots, knives and more! We only carry the gear we personally use in the field.
Start getting prepared! Hunting seasons will be here before we know it.
By Zach Lazzari