If you typically wait until the last minute to prepare for deer season, then this year is the time to change your ways. You need to start preparing right now for opening day so that you can be ready and confident that you will have a successful season ahead of yourself. Here are 12 ways that you can do this:
Practice always makes perfect, but there is nothing better than actually doing it. So, to really hone your skills, the best thing that you can do is to get your bow and go kill whatever is in season, such as a turkey or hog. This is far better than a backyard target. When you’re able to kill a wild animal, your confidence soars.
Think about this: if you wait until fall and you have a shot at a huge buck, are you going to make that shot or are going to falter? If you have only been practicing on backyard targets, chances are you could falter. There’s no sense in wondering when you can get real practice and know that you’ll be able to make that perfect shot come fall. Of course, don’t stop practicing on those 3-D deer targets, as those are helpful; it’s just nothing can replace the real thing.
If it is legal in your area, consider putting out some mineral for your deer. This should be done in the spring, as it will help to develop the deer’s antlers and improve their health overall. Be cautious when buying the mineral and make sure to read the labels. Deer need nutrients, proteins and minerals, so you will want to find mineral blocks that have these three things in them. Make sure to put up a trail camera so that you can monitor the areas where you place the mineral.
You don’t want to wait until the last minute to get your bow serviced because, more than likely, there are plenty of other people that are going to be doing that. So, if you wait, there’s a good chance that you are going to be stuck on a long list of hunters waiting for their bows to be serviced. And by the time you get yours back, will you have enough time then to get it sighted in and ready to take with you hunting? Alternatively, if you wait until a week before deer hunting season starts to purchase a brand new bow, is it enough time to truly become confident shooting it and proficient with it? Probably not.
The lesson here is that you don’t need to wait. You need to get your bow tuned up now or buy a new one now. This gives you adequate time to get used to any changes that were made during the servicing or allows you plenty of time to get used to the brand new bow.
If you’re one of those hunters that leave your stands in the woods so that you don’t have to take them down and set them back up year after year, it is important that you check them before hunting season to make sure that they’re safe. Weather, squirrels, etc. can cause damage to the straps and other important workings. Even if it is safe now (a few months prior to deer hunting season), it doesn’t mean that you can jump climb on in once hunting season arrives. It is important to double-check it every single time that you hunt. Also, don’t forget to use a safety harness with a lifeline.
If you did take down your tree stand at the end of deer hunting season last year and stored them in a garage, shed, etc., you need to fully inspect their workings. Make certain that the straps are safe and the bolts are tight. Check and fix any squeaks and pops.
If you take your tree stands down after the season is over, go ahead and get your tree stands up. You don’t want to just hang them anywhere, though. Right now, you only want to hang your tree stands in the areas where you are always able to hunt successfully season after season. Yes, you could wait until closer to deer season to do this, but there’s no time like the present. So, go ahead and get it done so you’re ready to go when the weather starts to cool down.
As soon as you make changes in the woods, you can bet money that the deer are going to notice. More than likely, you have probably clipped a couple of twigs or branches and lost yourself a deer or two throughout the season a time or two. Thankfully, this can easily be avoided by creating some shooting lanes. The thing is, though, that it needs to be done early enough before hunting season that you don’t leave your scent behind and create a lot of commotion, as this will put the deer on high alert for an extended period of time for that particular area and put a dent on your hunting season. So, you need to get out now, cut out some shooting lanes near your tree stands. This provides ample time for the deer to adapt before fall.
While it would be wonderful if you always had time to locate your rangefinder and use it when you shoot at a deer, this isn’t always the case. Plus, rangefinders are not always 100 percent foolproof, even though they are pretty accurate. So, it pays to hone your skills when it comes to judging yardage. If you typically hunt from a tree stand, you should hang one in your backyard and try to guess how far you are from different objects. Use your rangefinder to confirm your estimates. When it comes to deer season, it really can make all the difference when you come face-to-face with that once-in-a-lifetime, now-or-never shot.
3-D tournaments are a fantastic way of having fun with some of your friends and keeping your archery skills in check when you are hunting real-life game. Plus, if you can perform under the pressure at a tournament like this when you hard-earned cash is on the line, then you probably won’t have a problem when you’re faced with a big buck in the woods.
Believe it or not, cardiovascular exercise, such as running, can help you when deer season comes along. The reason for this is because it will improve your lungpower, which helps you control your breathing. This is an important part of hunting because you need to be able to remain calm when you see that dream buck of yours step out in the field in front of you. And cardio helps ensure that you have no problem walking from your truck to your tree stand or wherever you’re hunting from.
Prior to the season opening, it is important that you do some practice shooting with your broadheads. Don’t trust the packaging, as there are accuracy variances from one arrow to the next. Practice shooting will only will ensure that your bowhunting equipment is ready to go and shooting precisely, but it will also help boost your confidence.
Take the time to research the moon data from some of your previous rut hunts and compare it to the same data for this upcoming November. If possible, schedule that week off. When you go out into the woods this time of year, literally anything can happen. Regardless of the circumstances, though, deer are going to rut. However, when it comes to the activity during the day, the weather and the moon will impact the deer’s activities. So, go ahead and put in the request for your time off so you can be there.
More often than not, you have certain expectations for the deer season, including locations for your stands. When those expectations (plan A) crash and burn, it is important that you have a plan B, C, and possibly even a D. Make sure that this is addressed well before deer season starts to save yourself the headache during the season when your plan A begins to fall apart.
Alright, there are the 12 ways that you can start preparing right this minute for deer hunting season. It’s a bit of a complex process, and can consist of far more than what is listed here, but it is something to get you started. If you don’t start not and simply procrastinate, deer season is going to sneak up on you and you aren’t going to be ready. Get started now with these 12 tips so that you can have a successful season.
For more tips or to check out our deer hunting gear, get in touch with us at Full Draw Archery in Huntsville, Alabama.
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