Archery Pre-Season Practice

Posted: September 11, 2015 in Blog, New Post, Videos
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Ok, before we get started let me confess something to you all. It’s only 4 days to bow season. I should have done all this months ago… But, alas, I didn’t. I know, I know, 500 hail marys and 1,000 our fathers… Just kidding, I’m not catholic, I’d never do that but I will kick myself in the backside.

Bow hunting provides so many benefits over rifle or muzzleloader. First and foremost is longer seasons. Here in New Hampshire bow season is 3 solid months long. Muzzleloader is 2 weeks before the rifle yahoos come out and rifle season is right around a month. So, you have a lot of extra time to fill the freezer. Second is you can put more meat in the freezer. I can get 2 deer with a bow and still get another one with the rifle. Yes, that’s 3 deer. (I’ve never done this by the way.) Bow hunting also requires more skill. You have to be scentless, dead quiet, motionless and to top it all off you have to get within 40 yards to make a clean, ethical kill. This depends on your skill, I know some who can do 50 yards. None of this is negotiable. This is all very difficult but it builds your preparedness skills. Chances are when the SHTF you won’t want to use firearms to hunt as it’ll give away your location to anyone within ear shot.

These are just a few of the advantages of the bow, now let’s get on to the season preparation, particularly practical practicing.

There are many aspects to bow season preparation. From practicing with you bow to tuning it up, waxing the string, etc… Scouting locations. Preparing attractants. Getting your clothes de-BOed. Cleansing your system so the natural oders you’ll omit during the hunt don’t spook Mr. Buck. Setting up trailcams. Sharpening broadheads. ETC etc etc…. Today I’m simply going to focus on the most important thing… THE SHOT.

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So here I am, at my location all ready to go. You don’t need a lot of money to have a really good compound bow. This entire setup minus the arrows and case cost me $400 BRAND SPANKING NEW. The bow is a Bear Attitude, some of the accessories I took off my 1980’s vintage Browning that ended up having twisted limbs. You don’t need a high tech compound to bow hunt by the way but they make things infinately easier. I have the urge to go primitive from time to time and I know some day I may need to but in the meantime i’m going to use the technology available to me that I can afford.

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Try and set up on the terrain you’ll be most likely shooting from. I’m on an elevated position on the side of a ridge. My target is at roughly a 45 degree angle downslope at 25 yards. If you look carefuly you can see 4 corn poppers i’ve set out to attract the deer. Also something else very notable in this picture is the branches I could deflect an arrow off of if I got caught up in the moment. Those will be gone in the next shoot but for now I did my first 4 practice shots of the season (yes you read that right) with them in my way. You always want to test fire your bow before you start hunting for the season. The sights may have vibrated loose or gotten bumped. You don’t want to get to the moment of truth and miss because you were to stupid to practice. I’m preaching to myself here also.

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These are the first 4 shots ALL YEAR!!! Ya, I know, need to practice more. The first shot went high and is barely in the picture. It went high as I was using the correct pin BUT was shooting downhill. Opps! Gotta compensate for that don’t ya?!?! Glad I made that error here and not on a real deer. Shot 2 is a perfect heart shot (this was after i compensated for the decline shot). Shot 3 is a lung and 4, well that’d be a messy retreival. With that said, remember this target is the size of a fawn. On a real adult dear these would all be fatal shots. Not bad for not practicing.

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Here we are ready to shoot the second set of 4 arrows. I moved the target to a different location. You’ll also notice that I did some lane clearing… Let’s watch the shots and remember the angle of the shot just got steeper.

Ok, the first shot I thought was a heart shot was actually a lung shot. Either way I had just climbed the 45 degree incline and was breathing heavily. Not the optimal conditions for good shot placement. Let’s go see where I hit.

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Those tracks were closer than I thought!!!!

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This particular location is 4 miles from any paved road. You ain’t getting there with a Subaru Outback. You need something with clearance and at a minimum all terrain style tires, preferably off road mud terrain. You can see there’s a little bit of flexing involved and some mud further up the trail. If you have an ATV it’s easy to get there, other than that it’s a lifted 4×4 or you’re walking 2 miles. I friend of mine has a stock Chevy Suburban and crunched up the running boards getting there last year.

Why do I say that? Simple. The best hunting locations are going to be the furthest from civilization. The harder it is to get there the less hunters there are going to be. Now, granted, I have NEVER, in 5 years of bow hunting EVER seen another bow hunter in the woods. In 12 years of rifle hunting i’ve never gone ONE SINGLE DAY without some yahoo walking into my shooting lane or practically tripping over me WHILE BATHED IN BLAZE ORANGE BY THE WAY. Besides that a lifted 4×4 works excellent as a bugout vehicle also. We are preppers here right? The harder it is for everybody else to get to your bugout location the less people you’ll have to worry about showing up. You don’t need 4×4 with a 14″ lift and 42″ boggers though. This is not only my bugout vehicle it’s also my daily driver. It’s got 227K miles on it and it runs like it’s brand new and it’s rust free, something that’s hard to find up this way. Yes it has it’s problems but it’s paid for and here at the trailer park prepper one of our key doctrines is prepping on LIMITED MONEY.

Well, that’s all I’ve got to say for today. I’ll keep you updated but in the meantime don’t forget to Like, Share, Comment and Subscribe. Share the love and keep on prepping.

  • Chris

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