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    How to Bow hunt – Beginner’s Guide to Successful Bow Hunting

    Bow hunting has become increasingly popular over the last 10 years, as it sports more of a challenge and a greater rush of adrenaline than gun hunting.  This increase in popularity has brought many new bowhunters who are looking for a wealth of information on how to bow hunt successfully. The purpose of this article is to give you an overview of how to bow hunt and give you a few tips that will increase your bow hunting success.

    Bow hunting requires quite a bit more skill, patience and time than gun hunting and requires a different set of techniques and equipment.  With bow hunting you will need to be able to get closer to animals and will need to be able to correctly place your shots to ensure a fast clean kill of the animal you are hunting.  One of the biggest things to remember is that whether you are using a compound bow, long bow, crossbow, recurve or other type of bow, they are not like a gun, and they cannot shoot even close to the distance of a gun.

    The first step in learning how to bow hunt it to know the animal you are going to be hunting.  It it absolutely crucial to know where and how they travel through the bush, their food sources, what attracts them, repels/scares them, their sensitivity to sound, sight and smell, their mating rituals, their kill zone etc.  All of these things are important as you will need to be able to lure, track, or call them in as close to you as possible to get a decent shot.

    Next you will want to do more research on the area you will be bowhunting.  This means that you will need to walk the area to determine possible hunting spots, animal travel, food sources, bedding areas, and trails.  The more you know about the area you’re hunting the better the chances of you being able to successfully track and or ambush the animal you’re bowhunting.

    Once you have know all about the animal you’re hunting and the area where you’ll be hunting you will need to get your equipment ready. Depending on the animal you’re hunting you will want to setup a blind or treestand in order to keep the animal from seeing you.  You will also want to mark off yardages from your treestand, blind or hunting spot so that you can accurately estimate the distance of the animal.

    After getting your hunting spot(s) ready you are almost ready to start bow hunting. You will need to begin practicing shooting with broadheads, and you will also need to [tune your bow] so that the arrow is flying as straight as possible.  This will allow the broadhead to fly straighter and hit harder.

    Learning how to bow hunt can be frustrating and requires a great amount of patience and practice both on and off the field.  There are so many aspects of bowhunting that cannot be taught only learned from experience. However, here are just a few more pointers on how to bow hunt successfully:

    - Remember that in a treestand your target looks further than it actually is.

    - If you shoot an animal wait 30 minutes before going look for it

    - Don’t use strong smelling soaps,fabric softeners,deodorants, colognes or anything else like that.  This will be an unatural smell for the animals and will spook them.

    - Don’t shoot at an animal that is further than you are used to shooting at, this will just work to wound the animal, and your chances of killing it will be slim.

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    Tree Stand Buddy Overview – The Safer Easier Way to Put up a Tree Stand

    Tree Stand Buddy Tree stand Bracket System
    Tree Stand Buddy is a very unique and useful tree stand bracket system that has been designed to work with your tree stands to provide an easier safer way to move, put up, take down and manage your treestand.  The Tree Stand Buddy comes with a bracket which fits onto your single or double post tree stand and a receiver which you can fasten to the tree with regular ratchet straps.
    The TBS receiver comes with a metal loop that you can use to hoist your stand up into the tree or lower it down from the tree.  This of course saves you from the dangers and time it takes to carry your stand up or down with you. Once in the tree you simply slide the bracket located on the back of your stand into the receiver piece that has been fastened to the tree and it provides a noise free tight fit that keeps your stand from moving and making noise.
    A few of the benefits of using the Tree Stand Buddy include:
    - Easier, faster and safer mounting or unmounting of your tree stand
    - Easy take down of your tree stand to prevent theft.
    - Allows your stand to be set up the same time every time.
    - Buy separate receivers for easy relocation of your stand to your different hunting spots
    - Strong sturdy and tight fit to keep your stand in place and quiet.
    Tree Stand Buddy Commercial
    You can find more information about this treestand bracket system that will save you time and effort here: Tree Stand Buddy Information
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    10 Bow Hunting Tips for a Successful Hunt Part2

    7. Keep your Shot Distance Reasonable
    I see this time and time again and I can’t re-iterate it enough.  It does not matter one bit whether you are shooting a compound bow or a crossbow, they are not guns you cannot shoot animals at 100 yds and expect it to go well.  I would strongly recommend not shooting anything over 60 yds as this is getting just too far and by that time the kinetic energy needed to kill the animal starts dropping considerably.  The key to being a good bowhunter is to make clean kills to ensure a quick painless death as well as the maximum chances of recovering the animal.

    8.Know the Vitals of your Intended Target
    Knowing where the vitals are on the animal that you are hunting is crucial to ensure that you make a quick, clean kill.  It is strongly suggested that you do a search online or gather the location of the vitals before you go hunting for that specific animal.  This information can be found online, or in books.

    9.Check Bow and Equipment for Damage
    Imagine this, you’re sitting in your stand waiting for your trophy animal and all of a sudden you hear something, you slowly get up and turn to see a HUGE Buck walking your way.  You slowly turn and draw your bow waiting for that buck to cross your shot path.  The Buck comes into the prime position you aim and all of a sudden your sight slides off, or your string snaps or your release lets loose before you’re ready.  Sure enough the Buck gets spooked and off it goes.

    Nothing sucks more than getting all the way out to your hunting spot, setting up all your gear getting ready for your shot and then realizing you have broken, loose or damaged equipment.  Make sure you inspect all of your equipment to make sure it is in perfect working order before heading out.  This will save you a ton of embarrassment and kicking yourself in butt.

    10. Know the Local Laws and Regulations of the Hunting Area
    Aside from missing your trophy because of faulty equipment or a mistake, one of the biggest things that suck is being ignorant to the local hunting laws and having an officer come by and take all of your equipment, animal and fine you out the ying yang for breaking the said laws.  Trust me save yourself a lot of money and trouble familiarize yourself with the local laws and regulations before going out.

    Bowhunting is almost always an enjoyable time and can be very rewarding if you are able to get your hands on that beautiful trophy animal.  If you’re tired of watching and hearing about all these other bownunters snag their animals while you’re left year after year with nothing, follow these tips and you’ll greatly increase your chances of having a successful hunt.

    10 Bow Hunting Tips for a Successful Hunt Part1 

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    10 Bow Hunting Tips for a Successful Hunt Part1

    Every year as fall nears bowhunters anxiously get ready for the hunting season whether it be for big or small game. and without fail there are always those bowhunters who bag their limit year after year and those who don’t get anything at all.  Here are 10 bow hunting tips that will help you to increase your chances of bagging your trophy animal year after year.

    1. Practice
    Simply put you need to regularly practice shooting your bow if you want any chance of being able to bag your trophy animal. The more you practice the more accurate and confident you become in your ability to shoot consistently well.  Shooting a few shots to see if  “you still have it” right before you go out does not work and will definitely come back to bite you when you’ve got your eye and sights on that beautiful animal.

    2.Research your Hunting Area
    Researching the area where you will be hunting is one of the major keys to a successful hunt.  Research can include mapping, scouting, baiting and other techniques that allow you to become familiar with animal travel and feeding patterns for that specific area.  Once you are able to figure out where the animals are and how they travel you will be able to find yourself a great place to set up your tree stand or blind.

    3. Set Yardage Markers
    Once you have that perfect hunting spot you should choose some land marks and measure their distance as marker so that you can more easily tell roughly how far the animal is when you take your shot.  You can choose landmarks or place  markers ( rock, branch, corn cob etc) for 10, 20, 30,40 and 50 yds. This will greatly help when your adrenaline starts pumping and you have to quickly figure out how far to shoot for.

    4. Pack Appropriate Gear
    Bowhunting requires specific gear which includes knife,flashlight, tools, clothing, arrows, safety items and more.  Forgetting some of your gear can really put a damper on your  hunting session or entire hunt.  Make sure that you pack everything you will need in a backpack in the event that you do bag an animal.

    5. Be Sure of your Shot and Target Before Firing
    These are 2 important points that should be exercised by every bowhunter.  Some bowhunters will shoot at anything that resembles a deer in hopes of bagging their trophy animal.  This is very dangerous and can land you in serious trouble if you shoot the wrong type of animal or worse a fellow bowhunter.

    It is also necessary to be aware of your shot before you take it.  Shooting an animal in the spine or anywhere else but the lungs/heart can leave the animal wounded and could mean a lost animal or ruined meat.  Always be aware and sure of your target and where you’re shooting or don’t make the shot at all.

    6. Stay Put after Shooting your Trophy
    This is an absolute *Must* for all bowhunters out there no matter what kind of game you’re hunting.  When you shoot an animal it will undoubtedly start running away with adrenaline kicking in full throttle.  In a sudden surge of excitement and exhilaration, bowhunters will often jump out of the tree stand and quickly start following the animal.

    This of course is never a good idea as you greatly increase your chances of spooking the animal again and having them continue running until you lose them.  After shooting an animal watch carefully the direction the animal runs off to and then wait for about 30 -45 min.  This should allow enough time for the animal to feel less spooked, bleed out and drop to the ground usually only a short distance away from where it was shot.

    10 Bow Hunting Tips for a Successful Hunt Part 2

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    Broadheads Mechanical vs Fixed Blade – Which are Better?

    When it comes to broadheads for bowhunting, there are basically 2 types you’ll have to choose from – Mechanical or Fixed blade.  When asked most archers are unable to agree upon or answer the question “Which is better?”.  In this article I am going to explain the difference between the two and discuss the pros and cons to both the fixed and mechanical blade broadheads.

    Fixed Blade:
    A broadhead with blades that are constantly exposed.  These broadheads usually come with 2,3 or 4 blades and are the simplest form of broadhead that has been around since the beginning of archery.

    Mechanical Blade:
    A broadhead with blades that are hidden (folded into the broadhead housing) either held in with elastics, o-rings or pressure fittings.  These broadhead blades have tips that cause the blades to expand upon impact pushing the blades into a fully exposed cutting position.

    Now that we have an understanding about the differences between mechanical and fixed blade broadheads, I would like to take the time  to go over some of the main pros and cons of each to give you a better idea of what each is capable of and to help you in deciding which to chose.

    Fixed Blade:
    Pros:
    - More effective for steep angled shots.
    - Less chance of mechanical failure (blades not opening/parts breaking).
    - Increase in penetration at lower poundage.
    - Efficient cutting ability(begins to cut on contact).

    Cons:
    - Decreased accuracy under certain conditions (windy.thick brush)
    - Greater risk of personal injury.
    - Flies differently than field points which means increased setup and tuning time.

    Mechanical Blade:
    Pros:
    - Flies similar to field points which means less tuning.
    - Less chance of accidental injury.
    - Increase in accuracy as there are no blades to deflect off things or get grabbed by the wind.
    - Better in thick bush(less chance of blades hitting brush while in flight).

    Cons:
    - Greater risk of deflection at steeper angled shots.
    - Risk of mechanical failure to expand blades.
    - Less efficient cutting ability(starts cutting only after blades have opened, this is getting better with newer mechanicals ie. Grim Reaper broadheads).

    As you can see there are pros and cons to each and that is why most hunters are often unable to agree as to which broadheads are better. If you are hunting in thick bush or its a windy day you may want more slender, less obtrusive mechanical broadhead, whereas if you’re going to be making steep shots or shooting less weight you may want to go with a fixed blade.

    When it comes down to the final decision its all about personal preference.  Personally I shoot a fixed blade because I like the increased penetration at any angle and the simplicity of the broadhead design that I feel cuts down on potential mechanical failures that can result in a lost and injured animal.  As long as your bow has been paper tuned and sighted in for broadheads the accuracy is very often not affected.

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    How to sight in a bow – Complete Guide

    Whether you’re new to the sport of archery or you’re buy a new bow you will need to know how to sight in a bow properly and effectively in order to ensure you’re bow will hit where you’re aiming when you release the arrow.

    *Note that before you start sighting in you should paper tune  your bow in order to make sure the arrow is shooting straight from the bow. Click here to see our “How to Paper Tune your Bow” article

    In this article I will guide you through how to properly sight a bow.  In order to get started we will need the following tools/items:

    -Allen wrenches
    -Field point Target
    -Measuring Tape
    -3 arrows with field points
    -Stake/Wooden Marker

    We’re going to start by taking our tape measure and measuring out 4 distances of 10 yds from the target and placing a marker in the ground at each 10 yd increment.

    Next take your gear and tools and set up so that you are about 5 yds. This will allow you to safely see where your initial arrow flies without missing the target and losing or breaking an arrow.

    We are going to begin by taking care of the left to right changes first and then adjusting the sight for height later on.

    When adjusting your sights keep 3 things in mind.

    1. Adjust your sight in the same direction that your arrow is hitting.  So for example if your arrow hits too much to the right you will adjust your sight to the right a bit.

    2. Adjust the whole sight first for 30 yds and then adjust your pins for the other yardages.

    3. Keep your adjustments small, a slight adjustment to the sight can mean a huge change in where the arrow hits the target.

    Using your 30 yard pin aim at the center of the target and take note of where your arrow goes.  If it is too far left move the sight left and shoot again until the arrow is hitting right on or within a half inch of where you are aiming it.

    Once finished move back to 10 yds and repeat, fine tune the left to right based on where the arrow hits the target. At this point your left to right should be taken care of and we can begin dealing with the high and low of the arrow.

    When shooting at the target from 10 yrds with your 30yd pin you should expect the arrow to hit about 3 – 4 inches higher than where you aim. If this is the case then move back to 20 yds, if not then adjust the sight so the arrow hits higher and then move back to 20yds.

    Repeat this process again at the 20yd pin and then move back to 30 yards.

    At this point you will be able to fine tune your sight for up and down, left and right using your 30 yd pin.  At 30 yards your arrows should be nearly dead on or very close to it.

    Once you have your 30 yrd pin shooting the way you want it to, you will be focusing on fine tuning your other yardages by making adjustments to the actual pins (10,20,40,50 etc) instead of the entire sight.

    After completing these steps your bow should be properly and successfully sighted in and you will only need to further fine tuned if need be.

    Below I have included a great video to give a visual representation of what I am explaining in this article

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    5 Mistakes Every Bowhunter Should Avoid

    Every bowhunter at one time or another has made a mistake that has cost them an animal or has cost them a good clean shot leading to hours of trailing. Those of us who have been bow hunting for a number of years have discovered most of these mistakes and have worked hard to learn from and correct them.

    In this article I’m going to take you through some of the biggest mistakes that archers make so that you can catch them before they ruin your hunt.

    Missing the Kill-zone

    In order to bring down an animal as fast and as painless as possible you need to shoot the animal in the kill-zone. The kill-zone is right where the lungs and heart are housed together. This kill-zone placement varies a little on different animals and also depending on the animals’ position (standing, laying down).

    Poor placement of an arrow on an animal will turn your hunt into a nightlong event as the animal will take longer to die. Before you venture out hunting it is a good Idea to familiarize yourself with the vitals, of the animal you will be hunting. This will help you to better judge where you should be shooting. Practice is also a huge importance. You can do this by going online and looking for pictures or what I would recommend is getting a 3D target, the best out there in my opinion are the Rinehart targets: Rinehart Targets Broadhead Buck 3-D Archery Target
    Rinehart Targets Bowhunter Buck 3-D Archery Target

    Misjudging Distance

    This is by far one of the most commonly made mistakes that causes hunters to wound or lose their animals. This is mostly due to 2 reasons. The first reason is that the archer has not had enough if any practice judging yardages and therefore is very inaccurate when it comes to guessing the range of the animal.

    The second reason is that some of the hunting scenarios in the bush make it hard to judge distance because of the tunnel effect or hills or some other obstacles you may run into. The good thing is that this problem can be fixed by placing markers around your tree stand or hunting spots so that you can more easily identify the different yardages.

    Another great option is to get a hold of a rangefinder( Ranger Eye 800 – Laser Range Finder) these will definitely help to make sure you don’t misjudge your distances again.

    Equipment in Poor Condition

    In my opinion nothing is as frustrating as going hunting getting all setup to shoot at an animal and then having something break on your bow because you have neglected to ensure that all of the components of your bow were in good condition. This is a very common mistake as well.

    People often forget that a bow is a piece of equipment that needs to be taken care of and serviced just like a vehicle or a machine. Your bow should be tuned, sighted in, and checked for anything that could be worn out or broken on a regular basis, especially before going on a hunt or to a competition shoot.

    If you practice with your broadheads at all they will become dull so before you begin your hunt take your broadhead sharpener and touch up the blades a bit. I would personally recommend the one I use it is a bit expensive but it works great G5 Montec Diamond Stone Broadhead Sharpener

    Arrows have to be spined correctly to the poundage of the bow. If the spine is too stiff or too loose the arrow will never fly accurately.

    Following Up Too Soon

    I have definitely made this mistake myself, and it is very easy to do. There’s nothing like finally getting that shot on a beautiful animal, and seeing the arrow hit the sweet spot and the animal run a short distance and then lay down. Adrenaline and excitement overwhelm you and automatically your climbing out of your trees tand and rushing towards your trophy.

    As you near the animal you see it twitch and then you see it spring to its feet and start off again, and all you can do is stare in disbelief. This is the problem with following up too soon. Although animals that have been shot in the kill-zone die fairly quickly remember that the animal is running on adrenaline which causes them to be able to keep going if they feel threatened again.

    The general rule that I follow is to wait about 20 min if the animal was hit in the kill-zone, and about 35-40 minutes if you feel that shot was good but not the greatest. Following this rule you will increase you chances of recovering your trophy animal and not have to chase it for hours.

    Drawing Too Much Weight

    Way too many bowhunters are obsessed with speed and therefore crank down their bows to the max draw weight possible so that they’re shooting the max speeds possible. Now don’t get me wrong, speed and kinetic energy is important but its not the only important thing to worry about. Accuracy is just as critical as speed and energy. By having your draw weight set beyond your ability to comfortably draw your bow, you will just handicap yourself and inhibit our ability to correctly and effectively shoot your bow.

    Believe me when I say, the few feet per second you stand to gain is not worth the probability of missing your trophy animal. Remember too, that drawing your bow is relatively easy when not in hunting gear and standing on the ground. It becomes more difficult from a tree stand not too mention that the degree of difficulty is compounded with cold temperatures and layers of clothing making it all of a sudden nearly impossible to draw your bow.

    Too often I’ve seen archers at a archery range that can barely draw their bow. I sometimes can’t help but wonder what happens when they are out hunting.

    Mistakes will be made and there is no use in stressing out about them. The key is to figure out what you did wrong and try to learn from your mistakes each time you make one. By understanding and learning from your past mistakes you greatly increase your chances of becoming a better bowhunter.

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