Bow hunting can add several months to any hunting session. It is the kind of sport that’ll challenge you to be in your best form. But in order to ace your game, you need to master the right techniques.
The traits that distinguish a professional bow hunter from an amateur is their focus, training, and consistent attention-to-detail. So, if you’re an amateur hunter, here are 15 pro tips on bow hunting for beginners.
As you read through, you will find a detailed insight into everything that you always wanted to know about bowhunting.
Tips On Bow Hunting For Beginners
1.Carry Your License
Remember, authorized game officials can always request you to produce a hunting license, stamps, and permits. Since this can happen at any given time, it is always better to carry the license with you. You can keep your license and other equally relevant documents in a license holder. For an added layer of security, try keeping it in a sealed plastic bag.
This will keep your documents safe even in adverse weather conditions. Remember, the requirements and rules for hunting may not be the same in every state. Due to this reason, it is especially important to know the laws applicable to your state even before you head for hunting.
2. Choose the Right Bow
Bows aren’t available in one specific size. You will find different bows depending on your body type. While making your final pick, consider the draw length, weight, and game of your bow. Ideally, you should manage to hold your bow at the level of the target, directly point to it, and finally draw without involving much movement.
Since there are different weight limits (minimum) for these hunting bows, know about the limit that is permissible in your state.
3. Pick your Style
There are two generally two different styles for releasing your arrow, namely; the traditional and the mechanical release. The traditional release will depend on the fingers with which you’re shooting. This means you’ll need to keep your fingers on the string till you’re finally ready for shooting. Take your aim, be calm, and finally relax the fingers. This will allow the bowstring to automatically slide them off which will then release your arrow.
With Mechanical bow release, you’d be able to trigger release to your bowstring. These days, almost all bowhunters, especially the ones with compound hunting bows operate these mechanical release options. This is likely to improve your accuracy.
That said, you can always choose your preferred style of release. The idea is to hold your breath, take aim, and finally exhale upon releasing the arrow.
4. Be Calm
Hunting isn’t a sport that is to be mastered in a day. So, if you’re really looking to be a successful hunter, practice on staying patient and just stay on a ladder stand behind a tree.
Do not be antsy and call off your hunt early. Instead, be observant and stay calm. If you do not spot a certain game for a whole hour, give it another hour and check if it comes. In most cases, it’ll do. Also, do not be discouraged if you don’t end up shooting the buck you’ve been eyeing.
Most hunters shoot their best games during late-season sessions.
5. Research on the Land
Unless you’re fully aware of the hunting ground, you’ll never have a successful hunting session. So, even before you pack your bags, read up about the land you’re planning your hunt on. Once you visit the spot, take some time to assess the common trails of the games. Having a clear idea about the trails will help you in setting up the bow at just the right spot.
6. Sight the Bow
This is one of the most essential guidelines from our 15 pro tips on bowhunting for beginners. Every amateur needs to understand how exactly they should be sighting the bow. Since this requires discipline and plenty of practice, do not rush on it.
In case you’re wondering how to start, here’s a simple trick: while you’re planning to shoot at a clear target, try to assess the patterns. For instance, you’ve shot three different arrows that have landed around four inches at the left of your target.
In this case, you should adjust your sight immediately. You can either move things up or shift it along the sideways in order to make up for the patterns.
Here, it is important to chase the arrow with necessary adjustments in the sight till you’re able to hit multiple target shots.
You can also use a bow stabilizer to fix your target.
7. Tweak the Arrow Points
While practicing you will need a field point arrowhead. These devices appear like tiny bullets. It goes without mention that you aren’t supposed to use them for hunting. It isn’t just unethical, but also completely illegal for the bigger games. Your field point will usually pass directly through the target. This will lead to immediate injury.
The result: the wounded animal surviving in pain after finally succumbing to a terrible death after a few days.
So, while hunting it is important to replace your field points with quality broadhead arrows. Resembling razor blades, a broad head makes way for wider cuts.
8. Wear your Safety Gear
Let’s face it: safety is an essential aspect of every outdoor sport. So, it goes without mention that you’d need to be safe during your hunting sessions as well. If you are planning to hunt from a tree stand, always make it practice wearing your safety harness. This is especially applicable when you’re out with the kids.
In addition to this, we’d also suggest using a bow hanger. Carrying a bow throughout the hunting session isn’t a comfortable experience. With this hanger in place, you can strategically rest the bow as and when needed. You should also wear an arm guard to prevent the possibility of bruises, muscle tear and other serious issues like tendonitis.
9. Always Conceal
It is difficult not to spooking animals while you’re shooting from a distance of twenty to thirty yards. So, always make it a point to conceal. You can do this by gearing up. The idea here would be to wear hunting clothes so that you show minimum skin.
In addition to this, it is also important to mask the odor. This can be easily done by using scent eliminators and a good set of field spray. Games like deer can be aware of your presence from a distance of 400 yards. For better results, you can use scent-control gears.
10. Know your Aim
If you’re looking to ace bow hunting, it is also important to know where you should be aiming. Start by focusing on a particular spot of the game. This should be ideally located along with the vital organs of your target. Once you’re focused, shoot at that specific point. If you focus on the entire body of the game, chances are, you’ll miss the shot.
11. Be Ethical
You cannot be a successful bow hunter if you don’t take ethical shots. Focus on shooting the animal only when it’s on a broadside. This means the game should either be standing sideways or at a quarter angle. This will make the area of the sight appear bigger. Do not aim for your target’s rear parts, head, or neck. Broadside angling offers you the maximum opportunity of hit the vital organs of the animal. These include their lungs and heart. If you shoot their lungs, the game will be dead with almost no pain.
12. Focus On the Game
When you’re hunting, the game can appear at any given moment. So be patient and focus on the area instead of taking photographs or checking your phone. Since games like deer don’t follow a specific direction, it is especially important to check every possible direction while you’re up for hunting.
13. Practice Away
If you want to be a pro bow hunter, it is important to practice as much as you can. So, devote a couple of hours every day, where you solely focus on practicing. Remember, it is important to count your first chance because when the game will appear all of a sudden, you will only get a single chance.
14. Add 10 More Yards
A thumb-rule of bow hunting is to practice at least five to ten yards more than your usual range. So, if you’re looking to make a 50-yard shot, make it 70 while you’re still practicing.
This rule will not just help you land the best games, but it’ll also ensure that your range is much better than other amateurs.
15. Choose an Experienced Partner
Even before you head out for hunting solo, it is important to choose an experienced partner. Having an expert by your side will help you ascertain if your shots are accurate. Additionally, they can also guide you about the tools and techniques you’d need for a safe hunting experience. So, while you do follow our guidelines, don’t forget to take help from an expert who aces their game.
16. Use A Tree Stand
Nowadays another important archery accessory is A ladder stand or a tree stand. It is essential if you want to hide from your prey and if you want they didn’t get any smell or scent from your body.
17. For Targeting Small Game
As a beginner, most of us prefer to target bigger games because it is pretty easy to focus on. Once you become confident in targeting and focusing, you can look for small targets. For hunting small game, you need to be alert along with focus.
First of all, you need to research the area where smaller games are mostly available. Then take your suitable position to target them. Before starting, you need to prepare your mind that you may miss the speedy game like rabbit, bird, or squirrel.
If you miss once, another game may run away from the area. In this case, you need to wait patiently for more time.
For gathering a unique experience, you may go for bow-fishing. In the case of fishing, first of all, you need to know the water angel.
As the object underwater appears at a different depth than it is, you need to consider it for not missing the targeted fish.
18. Bringing Accuracy
In bow hunting for beginners, it is very important to target with accuracy. Otherwise, one miss shot will make you wait for a long period and this waiting may demotivate you for further bow hunting. So try to bring accuracy as soon as possible.
Firstly, you need to practice a lot. You have to be able to hit any object at thirty yards 8 out of 10 times and gradually have to make it 10 out of 10.
Practice it in a large 30 yards space with a pie plate. Make sure that you are not shooting from the maximum until you become confident enough.
As a beginner, the maximum distance may bring the risk of missing shots.
As practice makes a man perfect, you need to practice a lot to be a pro in this sport. As accuracy is very important, you can be trained by some expert bow hunters.
You can easily enroll in bow hunting training. It will help you to make your target sharp and accurate. If you learn the skill once, then you will figure out your convenient strategies for bow hunting.
19. Learning Animal Anatomy
Learning animal anatomy doesn’t mean that you need to study medical science. But you need to learn at least the basic concepts of animal anatomy.
Acknowledge the precise location of the animal’s lungs, heart, and stomach. It will help you to aim more accurately.
Moreover, you need to think and pursue in three dimensions rather than two dimensions.
In the case of targeting deer, the most precise place to aim is just the backside of the shoulder.
More specifically, ⅓ way above its body. As a result, if the deer is facing away then all you need to do is to shoot it from behind.
So just remember that there is no other best place than behind the shoulder to target a deer.
Try to pursue in three dimensions to ensure that in which area your arrow needs to enter to kill the target. So firstly learn where the hurt and lungs are located in a different animal.
And according to this concept, aim your game. If somehow your arrow enters in a wrong place like the corner of the shoulder, it won’t stop immediately and kill the target.
Moreover, this shot will alert other animals of that area and they will disappear. In contrast, if you just aim at the hurt or lungs of any animal, it will have immediate spot death.
So study the basic animal anatomy to make your aim more precise.
20. Gathering Information for Next Shot
After shooting an animal, your job isn’t done. To be pro, you need to observe each reaction of the targeted animal. This observation will help you in the next bow-hunting.
So once you shoot an animal then listen and watch how the animal reacts. Try to observe its moves and how it is breathing. These are the basics of bowhunting.
Now rethink where the animal was standing before you shoot. If you have the chance then capture a photo for more precise details. And also find the last spot from where the anima ran off.
Also, remember the last utter sound from the targeted animal. Specifically remember where the bow arrow stuck and what the behaviour of the animal was at that moment.
Try to remember all these small details and if possible then note them all. It will create a mind map during the next bow-hunting. Otherwise, you will feel blank without this information and every time it will make you feel like you are doing it for the first time. These small details will help you to get the right position and angle to kill your target. Moreover, it also provides a clear conception of how firstly an animal can be killed in bow-hunting. And it is necessary in learning to bow hunt.
Question: 1 What do you hunt with a bow?
Answer: The most common phenomenon of a bow hunter is hunting deer, elk, mule, bear, whitetails, and turkey. These are the frequent targets that bowhunters prefer to hunt.
However, skilled and adventurous hunters often hunt large animals like moose or wary animal-like coyotes. Besides, those hunters who have sharp and sniper accuracy can even bow hunt rabbits or squirrels.
For beginners, they can easily hunt deer, turkey, and bear with a bow. These are the easiest targets of bowhunting, to begin with.
Question 2: Is bow hunting expensive?
Answer: If you consider bow hunting as a sport then it is more expensive than other sports or games. In contrast, if you consider it as a form of hunting then I will say bow hunting is not that expensive like other hunting practices.
Moreover, it is affordable and easy to learn. This is why expert hunters suggest the beginners start with bow hunting.
You can easily reuse your ammunition. All you spent at least $500 to $600 in bow hunting equipment at the very first place of beginning. The hunters with rifles even recommend that bow hunting is cheaper than other hunting forms.
Question 3: Is hunting with a bow humane?
Answer: It depends on the individual’s perspective. No vegetarian will consider this as a humane activity. In contrast, if you have a passion for hunting and you have taken it as a sport then bow hunting won’t be an inhumane task to you.
Many have argued about this controversial fact. According to the DNR(Department of Natural Resources), bow hunting is a type of sport and any sort of sport is considered humane.
Question 4: Is it better to hunt with a bow or gun?
Answer: If it is traditional to bow hunting then it is 4,000 times harder to use a bow than rifles. Furthermore, high-tech compound bows are harder than rifle hunting. It is 5,000 times harder.
However, in the modern era, the equipment has made bow hunting easier than before. Still, it is harder than rifles. In bowhunting, you need to follow some particular angle with a straight shoulder.
Besides, you need to have sharp and spinner-like accuracy. In this case, it takes a long time to learn the bow hunting skill than rifle hunting skills.
Question 5: Is bow hunting difficult?
Answer: In the case of traditional bow hunting, it is very difficult to balance the bow for hunting. It is 4,000 times harder than rifle hunting. Because maintaining the accuracy and target, it is harder.
Although modern bow has come up with unique designs and features that make hunting easier than before, we can say bow hunting is not that difficult nowadays.
You can easily go for recurve bow hunting for beginners because it is widely regarded.
Question 6: What’s the easiest animal to hunt?
Answer: The easiest animals for hunting are squirrels, rabbits, birds, or any other small game. These animals are mainly easily available because they come out for food.
But you need to be very determined while targeting them. Otherwise, if you miss one shot then others will take off from that area. So our suggestion is to be stable and focused before making your shot.
Question 7: What is the minimum draw weight on a bow to kill a deer?
Answer: The minimum weight for drawing on a bow to kill a deer is 40 pounds. You can effectively kill a deer with a 40 pounds draw-weight-bow. According to the rules of thumb, the efficient kinetic energy to kill whitetails and deer.
And you the kinetic energy for the larger animal is 50 pounds. It means you will need 50 pounds draw-weight-bow to kill moose, elk, or bear.
Question 8: Are you allowed to shoot a bow in your backyard?
Answer: If you have a license then you can shoot a bow in your backyard. You need legal authorization for bow hunting either in your backyard or any other open space. So make sure that you have a license before bow hunting.
Question 9: Can you hunt rabbits with a bow?
Answer: Yes, you can. All sorts of the same game species are permitted for hunting. The same game species are included with feral pigs, foxes, feral goats, feral cats, wild dogs, deer, rabbit, hares, and game birds. And you can easily use 40 pounds weight-draw-bow to kill a rabbit.
All the above tips and tricks are applicable in the case of bow hunting for beginners. There are some major spots to find shooting games very reluctantly. However, if you have a partner, then it will be the cherry on top of your bow-hunting experience. So, just try to observe the moves of the animals and your preferable position.
Now that you know everything about taking accurate and perfect shots, you’re surely ready for a round of hunting!
So, simply pack your gear and head amid the wild for the bowhunting experience you’ve always looked forward to. These 20 pro tips for bow hunting for beginners will help you make the most of your games!