When it comes to bow season, your success heavily depends on how much you decide to spend on preparation ahead of the season. Regardless of what type of land you are hunting on, be it public land, private property, or a lease, there are a number of things that you can do to increase your odds at success.
Food Plots and Sources of Food
If you want to ensure that you are in a position to consistently see deer, you need to identify what and where deer will eat. This will help you in determining where you will place your ground blinds and treestands. As soon as you know where the placement of these will be, you can start deciding your strategy on how to access them and when the ideal times to hunt will be.
A few months prior to the start of the season, you should take some time to walk the property where you plan to hut. You should also access aerial views and study them as well. If farmers have planted crops nearby, identify what these crops are. Take into consideration when these crops will be harvested so you can plan accordingly.
Take note of any pole trees in the area like oak trees or persimmon trees. Find out when these trees will drop fruit or nuts, and make sure that you have a ground blind or treestand nearby prior to the start of the season so that the deer are familiar with a new structure.
Ground Blinds and Treestands
Ground blinds and treestands are effective tools when it comes to placing yourself in a good position to hunt deer. These items offer flexibility in terms of being able to hunt a lot of areas while also staying concealed. It is important that you ensure that your treestands are structurally sound, especially if they have been left outside since last deer season. Don’t forget to also look for any limbs that may need to be cut to ensure your shooting lanes and access lanes are clear. Now, if your ground blind or treestand has been stored since last year, make sure to also check its condition.
Supplements and Minerals
Deer minerals and supplements play an important role in the development of a buck’s antlers and their physical well-being. These minerals and supplements provide similar nutritional value to does and fawns. As long as it is legal, putting minerals and supplements out to lure deer to a specific area, which can help you grab the pictures you need on your trail camera. These pictures can then be used to examine the health of the deer herd, the buck-to-doe ratio, and just take inventory of the deer on the property.
When preparing for the upcoming season, trail cameras can be your best friends. They ultimately take care of the scouting for you around-the-clock so that you don’t have to go into the woods, reducing the pressure on the animals.
In order to prepare optimally for the season, you will want to set up the trail cameras around the beginning to middle of July in the north and Midwest. If you live in the south, you can wait until early August. It is during these times that antlers have started to develop well, making it much easier to recognize and identify the bucks.
During the summer and early fall, try to place your cameras along the edges of fields, over supplemental feed sites (as long as it is not illegal), and regularly used water sources.
One of the most important parts of preparing for the upcoming season is practicing shooting. When a shot presents itself out in the woods, you want to be able to know that you can take the shot and shoot accurately. However, if you have not practiced, you won’t be able to know that for sure.
Archery is considered an art, and it takes a lot of discipline. As an archer, it is important to be familiar with your equipment and understand which arrows, broadheads, etc. to use. Once you acquire the proper gear, you need to take the time to practice in a variety of environments. One mistake that many people tend to make is practicing in the same type of setting and from the same distance. The one thing that you can rest assured will happen is that you will never experience a similar situation in the woods as you set up for practice.
For that reason, you need to practice in high-stress, uncomfortable situations at various distances. You should also sometimes practice in your gear. Don’t forget to try to get your heart rate up every now and again so that you can simulate the adrenaline that you will experience during the season. This will allow you to truly focus on your breathing as you take the shot. So, you may try to take a run or do some burpees ahead of your practice.
Before the season, you should take a thorough inventory of all of your gear. You will want to replace anything that has worn out. If you are looking to upgrade any of your gear, now is the time to do it. Get in touch with Full Draw Archery if you need help determining what you need.