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Archery Hunting for Whitetail deer

When archery hunting, the main thing to remember is that you need to determine what your preferences are, there are many types of hiding places that you can use. A ground blind is my first choice, being a bit shy of high places. While many people will think that a tree stand is more effective, if you use a bit of common sense and take the time to research the habitat and terrain that you are hunting in, you can be bag as many deer as will a hunter that is 30 feet off the ground…..without the motion sickness that comes with a windy Autumn day in a tree.

A couple nice sized young males in a field at sunset

When archery hunting, scent is a main factor, you need to not only cover the human scent and take the time to note from which way the deer come in the morning and the evening, but which way the wind blows. On any given day, the wind may blow in many different directions and you need to be downwind from the prey.To sum it up…know your prey. Animals are creatures of habit, a deer will follow the same path from its nighttime feeding grounds back to the thicket where it spends it day almost step for step every day. When frightened they will run, but will follow almost the same trail time for time. They will usually when trying to hide, run to low lying areas, such as creek beds and thickets, as you study the habits of the deer you are looking for, you can anticipate their moves and intercept them, giving you a better chance for a kill.

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When choosing an outfit for hunting you will want a good quality camo. As with anything else, what type you choose depends on what sort of area you are hunting in. For forested areas, you might want to choose a mossy oak, or tree bark, and for more arid surroundings you will want something with a tan background such as our troops wear in the desert. The key is to not only blend in with your surroundings but to break up the outline of your body, deer tend to notice the outline, movement or scent above all other things. Many times I’ve made a bit more noise than I should have and gotten away with it, but if you move to quickly or they catch a glimpse of skin that is uncovered, it will spook them almost immediately. Also some people will say that it doesn’t matter what color it is as long as you have camo patches to break up your outline, while this is a matter of personal opinion, I say it makes a huge difference, no one will ever be able to convince me that deer are color blind.

Whether using a compound bow, which is the preference of many today because it consists of pulleys and wheels which while you are drawing the bow make not much of a difference, but once it is drawn the tension decreases considerably, or a recurve which will maintain the full poundage of the draw throughout, you must practice, practice practice. While there are many ways to shoot from pendulum sights to pin sights, I prefer instinctive.

You may have to practice a bit more, but with sights you have to mark out certain distances from where you may be sitting and if a deer comes in between one of the markers, you still have to guess. The easiest way to evaluate your shot is to set up some hay bales in the back yard and just shoot. You should probably set up a backdrop so that you don’t lose too many arrows though. As you aim down the arrow you will be able to calculate where you shoot, for instance when I shoot I sight down the arrow, but I shoot high and to the right, so when aiming I need to aim a bit low and to the left of the target.

Probably the most important thing to remember is patience “Good things come to those who wait”. It takes a lot of time and effort to bring down your first deer with a bow, but if you spend the time getting to know their habits and habitat, the wait is more than worth it . When someone comes home with a deer that they’ve shot with a gun it is quite an accomplishment, however, when you have met the game in it’s own territory, studied its habits and came out on top anyway there is nothing that can beat the feeling that it gives you.


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