Bow hunting can be a fantastic hobby and a great way to connect with nature. If you have no experience in it whatsoever, you should be prepared for quite a bit of studying before you can venture out and enjoy the actual hunt.
Being able to hit your game is the most important aspect of bow hunting. Becoming a good archer will take a considerable amount of time, as well as proper training. Before you spend a fortune on the best equipment out there, it would be good to rent some of it first. You may find it great now, but how will you feel about archery in two or three weeks? This is exactly why you should rent the equipment first. If you are still interested after some time has passed, you can safely buy your own equipment. Although you may want to go into the woods and hunt small game after shooting for a day or two, be patient. Master all the basics first, find the equipment that suits you best and make sure to have a good mentor as well.
After you have mastered the bow and arrow and know how to choose the best crossbow for hunting, you can proceed to the next step. No, you won’t shoot prey just yet. There is one more thing you should learn before you are able to hunt: you have to know your game. Knowing the weaknesses (and strengths) of your game, their food sources, their travel routes, bedding areas and vocalizations is key to successful hunting. Learning a thing or two about the animal anatomy will be of great importance, as you will find it easy to determine the best shot angles for lethal shots. There is a lot of information that you should know, but luckily, you can find all of it online and on various hunting forums. Having an experienced hunter with you is the best course of action though. Scouting your prey is yet another thing you will have to do.
You can’t expect successful hunts if you wander around the woods aimlessly. With scouting, you will find out where the animals bed, where they feed and what their preferred travel routes are. In order to avoid disrupting any travel routes, you should first scout the area from afar. Once you determine the peak hours, move closer when there’s the least chance the animals will appear. Search for tracks, rubs, scat and scrapes – if you find fresh ones, this is good news, but if you find both fresh and old ones, it’s even better, as this shows that the animals use this route regularly. You can remember these locations, mark them on your map or add them to your GPS. As reported by HuntingExpert.org. After scouting, you should choose your stand location, a location where you will wait for the kill – an overlook area is a good choice.
This is when the waiting game begins; you shouldn’t pick the same stand location too often, as the animals will be able to pick up your scent – make sure to regularly switch your locations. In order to get a good shot, you should be able to come to full draw and make sure you aren’t detected while doing so. Starting with smaller game is a good choice, as you will be able to practice your stalking, stealth and shooting. After being successful with smaller game, you can test your skills with larger game as well.