When you go hunting for your first time with a friend, you’re probably going to be overwhelmed by the amount of gear that your friend will have with you. When I first went, it seemed like he had every imaginable gadget and tracking device to make sure that we found those deer. There were rangefinders and he told me he had a good rangefinder for archery. For beginners, you dont need all of those things (at least not yet). You dont want to go out and send a bunch of money on a hobby you may not end up liking. Here are the bare-bones essentials for a successful bow hunting trip.
1. A bow that fits you
There’s nothing what can be worse for a bow hunter than an improperly sized bow. You need to talk to someone knowledgeable about sizing bows and try a few out and see how they feel before you pick one up. Bows are not cheap, and they will last a long time. Make sure you get the right one right from the start.
Obviously, you wont come home with a trophy whitetail if you dont have anything to harvest the animal with. Make sure you get arrows for your bow that you can carry with you out in the field. There are many different types of arrows, so make sure that you select the right ones for your bow.
3. Sharp Broad heads
Broad heads are the arrow tips and are key to a humane harvest. This is not an area to skimp with cash, so make sure that you get a nice broad head with a sharp point and a grain that is applicable for what you are hunting. A quality broad head will make bringing down that trophy white tail buck much easier than it will with a poor broad head.
4. A Tuned Bow
This could be pretty easy to find. If you’re interested in bow hunting and you have some friends that have bow hunted for a while, this will be easy. Ask them to show you how to tune your bow up for you. Tuning is a huge component of bow hunting, because it will make sure that your arrows fly straight and true. A poorly tuned bow will cause you to come home with a lot of near miss stories, and trust me – there’s nothing worse than those.
If you cant find a friend to help you (Or a shop) there’s a good guide from field and stream on how to tune your bow.
5. Practice, Practice, Practice
After having a bow that shoots straight and true, you need to get out there behind it and figure out how well you shoot. If you’re anything like most beginners, you’ll be pretty terrible but you will show improvement every day. When I first started bow hunting got out and shot every day in a row for a month (about 1 hr) then every other day for the next month for an hour or so. It took me a while, but I got quite a bit better as the months wore on. It’s one of the most important things you can do to improve your bow hunting skills.
6. Tracking Skills
Typically when you’re out hunting the deer are not standing there waiting for you to sneak up on them and shoot them (though sometimes they are). You’ll need to learn to track them and find out where they are feeding or bedded down for the day so you can get a quality shot off from close range. Tracking isn’t difficult to learn, but it’s a lot harder in practice than it is in theory.
The easiest way to learn to track is to go out with a friend or two and have them show you the ropes and ask lots of questions.
7. Sharp Knife
This may sound odd, but a good sharp knife is essential for a deer hunting trip. Assuming that you’re successful, you’ll need a way to gut out the animal at the kill site so your meat doesnt get ruined. From that point, you can either cut it up yourself or take it to a game processor. Knowledge about how to gut out a deer also helps. If you’ve never done it, see the video below for a quick run down
That’s all that you absolutely need for a good bow hunting trip. Here’s to success!