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Tips for Bows

Mistaken Identity

 

A Tip for Whitetail Deer Hunting


In this article I would like to make a point of how you can effectively use live deer as a decoy in your hunting efforts. I learned these lessons from observations I have made from hunting experiences. This knowledge is rarely gained from magazine articles, book or product sales reps but this the type of thing you must learn on your own that will assist you as a hunter in understanding the behaviors of whitetail deer.


In one hunting situation I was in an oak grove with a creek nearby. It was an ideal area to be able to see for some distance. That morning I began with a fawn bleat and used this twice in about 30 minutes until a doe and her fawn came into the sound. Once I saw them coming near, I switched to a doe bleat. She closed in to within 40 yards. I made another doe bleat after about 10 minutes, hoping this would attract a buck in the area. The doe was unconcerned with the bleat and continued to graze on vegetation. Within a short time, that is exactly what happened. The buck assumed that this doe was the one that had called. When he approached the doe, she quickly rejected him and he became very frustrated and would not give up on the situation. Until finally the doe stopped and urinated on the ground to show buck she was not in estrus. He sniffed things over and was then even more confused. Of course it was a case of mistaken identity, based on the fact that the buck did not get the welcome he expected. But the point is that all of the pieces of the puzzle had been there for him until he was proven wrong. As I patiently waited for the buck to move into an opening and give me a clear shot with my bow, I watched the situation play out. Soon he began to look around to see if another doe was near by. Still I had no shot. Eventually he slowly left with a disgruntled grunt. I, too, was frustrated, as there was not a clear shot for me to take on this respectable 8 point. But, it was a fantastic observation of communication between these whitetails.


On another hunt a few years ago, I was up on a tree stand on the edge of a field in middle of the afternoon. I had just been quietly sitting there waiting for the evening to set in, when a doe appeared and quickly moved to the center of the field as she intended to graze on the soybeans left after the harvest. I decided to use the same tactic as before and began to doe bleat. It only took about 10 minutes for the action to start. On this occasion I saw an average sized 8 point come up through a draw and quickly made ground to the center of the field. As he approached her, she began to run in a circle around him for some time, trying to avoid his advances. At one point the doe turned toward him with her head down and stopped, displaying an aggressive stance. He tried to circle her and she began to run again. Eventually she stopped. After some sniffing the buck quickly figured out that this doe was not in estrus. She went back to eating and he stood there looking around confused. Sniffing in other directions he began to circle the edge of the field, acting rejected and trying to solve the mystery. I then used a “doe bleat” again hoping the buck would begin to walk my direction as he circled the field, but he was not fooled. Finally he seemed to mope away slowly into the trees, so no shot with a bow was ever present.


  • There are a variety of points to be made here. One point is that deer react to sounds like a spider does to a fly in the spider web or like humans react to the cry of a child for help. They can’t ignore it. Deer calls work!
  • Another point to be made is that during pre-rut and rut, bucks are taken with visual stimulation before any other forms of enticement. Learn the patterns of the does and where their main food source is that they graze on. Having an actual doe in your area is better than trying to use a plastic decoy.
  • While hunting you may have to pass on taking a doe, in order to allow a buck to take interest in her. If you already have meat in the freezer, it can work to your advantage to be patient if you want to hold out for a buck to respond to the situation. Especially if the doe that is near you exhibits signs that she IS in estrus. These signs include frequent urinating; strutting as she walks slowly, with her tail out straight. Obviously not relaxed and eating but instead frequently looking into the trees and other areas around her. Bleating and responding to doe bleats by coming in closer to a “doe in estrus” bleat. Often other does that are in estrus will come into this call to see if other bucks are circling the area seeking a mate as well.

I hope you enjoy this article. Please write comments in the comment section of the Women Hunters page. You can also read other tips for whitetail deer hunting by going to my biography page and reading the articles at the bottom.


Wishing you the best of hunting,

Synthia Wilson

 

 

"Mighty Mouse" Maximizing low poundage bows

He was one of my favorite cartoons, smaller than all his large, overly-muscled, super hero peers but just as effective. That was an enduring quality to me as a little girl. After all, I was small and wanted to do big things too. Mighty Mouse never let his size be a factor in the task he had at hand. Although as an adult you won’t hear me loudly singing, “Here I come to save the day!” I do have some information that would make the Mouse proud with its significance to low poundage shooters. Here is a little secret I learned over the past 28 years of bowhunting about being smaller than my peers but just as effective.

Years ago bows were hard to draw. Unfortunately, most women I instruct remember picking up their father's or boyfriend's bow, trying to draw it back and not being able to budge it. Soon to follow would be the words, “I can’t pull it back” Translation: I am too weak to shoot a bow; I will never be able to do it, end of story. With this memory lodged in their brain, sadly, they never attempt to pick up a bow again.

Bow manufacturers have come a long way since the dark ages of bow building in understanding the need for lower poundage, easy drawing bows for smaller shooters. Mathews is not only the innovator of the single cam technology but in my opinion created the perfect women’s bow without even knowing it. As Mat McPhearson developed a lighter, physically smaller yet more powerful bow, he was unaware that he was an answer to prayers from smaller hunters.

While the largest balance of bows created are for big shooters, there are several models of really great bows for women and children to choose from. I always suggest to beginning archers to purchase a simple bow for target shooting first like the Genesis bow. This unique bow is non-draw length specific so it fits all shooters and enables the archer to develop form and gradually awaken the muscles used in shooting.

For those on the smaller side determined to hunt or move up in bow quality, I would strongly suggest the Mathews Mustang (for shorter draw length shooters), the Prestige or Black Max 2 for mid range draws. Not only will you be able to shoot accurately in a hurry, but they are among the fastest bows in the industry; factors that are critical to a successful hunt. These bows can be purchased in draw weights (as low as 20# for the Mustang) that you can pull and hold for a reasonable length of time without straining, even as a beginner.

What about effectiveness in the field? Here’s the secret: After purchasing your bow and getting acquainted through hours of practice, you will know you can hit the mark, but what about penetration? Veteran hunters know that two holes in a game animal provide a better blood trail than one. This requires a pass-through shot. While this can be achieved quite easily with a 70 pound bow and almost any combination of broadhead, the lower poundage bow requires a little bit of artistry to complete this picture.

Let’s strap on a Tru Ball release and turn our attention to the arrow shaft. A thin but rigid shaft is a must for good penetration. Easton Axis or A/C/C arrows have fit this bill for perfectly for me. It has been my experience that a super lightweight arrow doesn’t have the penetration of a slightly heavier shaft. I also like the idea that the Axis shafts are either perfectly straight or broken. I waste much less time on worrying if my arrows were bent in transit or altered after a practice session and can be confident that my arrow will fly true in the field.

Of perhaps the greatest importance are broadheads. Cut-on-contact heads have worked without fail for my hunting setup regardless of the draw weight I’ve used.  From my starting weight of 35 pounds to my current weight of 56, I’ve been blessed with very consistent pass-through shots. After watching my 12-year-old daughter pass through two deer with her 35 pound-bow tipped with a Steel Force cut-on- contact head, as well as passing through four bear and countless numbers of large whitetail myself over the years, I am a sold out believer. Having experimented with three, four, and five blade heads in the past, I always come back to the cut-on-contact heads. This is the type head the Indians used and they definitely got the job done.

Hunting with the right set up can make even low poundage bows as effective as their higher poundage counter parts. Tammy Koenig consistently shoots through large game animals like this 350# Minnesota brute with little effort.
Add a drop away rest, the likes of my Trophy Taker Shaky Hunter and a great Toxonics sight and you’re ready to hunt, Mighty Mouse! Don’t get me wrong, you may find other set ups that will work but this is the recipe that has served me very well over the years. Put quite simply: it just flat out works. If you want to short cut heartache, you might consider starting with this equipment as it has proved it can deliver.

Mighty Mouse was a little guy with a big plan. If you are a smaller shooter only able to take advantage of minimal draw weight, fear not. Remember that shot placement is everything. Learn the location of the vitals on your animal and train yourself to concentrate only on that as your game approaches.  Practice enough that your shooting becomes automatic and set up your bow with equipment to get the job done humanely. With the info you are now armed with you can do as well or better than your larger, stronger hunting peers. You may be smaller than your hunting buddies, but with the right set up you can be mighty (cape optional)!

For more information on Mathews bows log on to www.mathewsinc.com to look closer at the other equipment Tammy uses visit the following sites: www.steelforce.comwww.eastonarchery.com , www.trophytaker.com , www.toxonics.com , www.truball.com.   Don’t forget that Tammy Koenig is giving away a Mathews Mustang bow to one lucky lady. To sign up just log on to www.leadingladiesoutdoors.com.

 

Five Easy Steps to Increase your Bow Pulling Abilities

With just a little work you can build up the muscles to smoothly draw your bow.

The physique of the majority of women is so that the greater muscle mass and strength is located in the hips and thighs. Often, the bow drawing muscle groups in the upper body are underdeveloped and weaker by nature. This is not to say that almost any individual is capable of quickly building the strength to draw a hunting bow with dedicated practice. Here are a few of my simple suggestions for building and maintaining your bow drawing abilities.

1. Begin by pulling only what you can comfortably draw without a hint of struggle, even if it is a very low weight. Injured muscles and a defeated spirit are unwanted and absolutely unnecessary.

2. Shoot often, it is better to shoot six arrows twice a day than 60 arrows once a week. Quit shooting before your muscles start to tremble and it becomes hard to hold steady on the target.

3. Let both arms share the work by pushing and pulling with the same amount of force... however!!

4.The upper back should be responsible for the major drawing efforts. Practice squeezing the points of your shoulder blades together as tightly as possible and holding for a count of five throughout the day. This not only strengthens the back muscles but also simulates the feel of a correct bow draw.

5. Once a week, at the end of a practice session, tighten your limb bolts 1/4 to ½ a turn. Put your bow away and forget the small weight increase. On most bows this will only amount to 1 or 2 pounds which is hardly detectable, however over time it will certainly accumulate to an appreciable weight increase.

Don't expect to instantly be pulling heavy weight equipment but if this method is followed over the course of a summer a very substantial 10 to15 pound increase is very attainable, all without strain or injury. The muscles required for correct archery are hardly used in any other activity, this is why archery is the very best exercise to strengthen those muscles.

 

TOO MANY CHOICES!

With so many styles of releases on the market today, which one is right for me?

The wrist strap style is the most popular for hunting, as it stays available on the wrist with a choice of a Velcro or a buckle strap. The buckle is becoming the more popular, as it is quieter and allows for always using the same hole so that it does not change draw length and therefore, impact point of the arrow. These usually have an index finger trigger that can be either straight or curved. Companies offer many models, and sometimes several have the same actual release head, but you pay more for adjustability for draw length or various styles of straps. Some adjust by cutting the shank off, or by placing the shank in a choice of screw holes, or by shortening a rope connection to the strap.

Hand held releases have been considered more accurate by many top target shooters and are becoming more popular with hunters, as well. Many will stay fastened on a loop or a ball, ready to draw the bow. These often allow for a slightly longer draw length bow. Your anchor point may be different, as these are made to rotate your hand with the palm facing outward. They have a thumb or a pinky trigger, or no trigger at all for "back tension" shooting which is thought by pros to be the most accurate style of target shooting, though may not be as practical for hunting. A safety is available on some models to avoid misfiring. Any release can be shot using back tension whether it has a trigger or not! Just place your finger on the trigger, but instead of moving the finger, you move the proper back muscles, which will automatically pull the finger against the trigger. (This takes a while to learn properly and to perfect.) Hand held releases can be purchased according to your preference of using two, three, or four fingers on the release.

Releases are adjustable as to how much trigger pressure it takes for the shot go off, however as you loosen the trigger too much you may find the bow will misfire. On most releases, the trigger tension is related to how much weight the jaw can hold. When feeling a release you have in mind to purchase, be aware that a trigger will go off much easier if it is not pulling back the weight of the bow, so what feels like a hair trigger when you pick it up, will not be near as hairy when holding back the weight. The index finger trigger also will hit your finger in a very different place under the tension of the bow than it will by just holding it. If you think it is much too short to reach your finger, try it under pressure before adjusting it.

Release heads also offer choices. A dual caliper jaw opens both sides of the jaw at once, and is good for loop shooting as well as shooting off the string. Some manufacturers of single caliper releases where only one side moves don’t recommend them on a loop, as they can occasionally get hung up for an unexplainable miss. Some heads have a hook, which is easy to hook on a string loop. Another option is a head sporting rollers that hold the string. If you are not using a loop, a trigger with a rope attached is considered very accurate, as there is less chance of torquing the bow string and you don’t loose the small amount of speed you would with a loop.

With some triggers you can feel the movement (travel) all the way till it releases, while others are a crisp surprise shot. Some people prefer models where you pull the trigger to open the jaw for loading and it closes on the string by removing your finger, while others require the trigger pushed forward to close. T.R.U. Ball has several models where the archer can adjust the location of the trigger to fit his/her hand.

Release heads come in both a hard plastic type material, or metal varieties. Some of the less expensive metal jaws tend to sharpen and cut into the serving or the bowstring.

The release is the thing that lets the string go, paying more attention to this piece of equipment and experimenting with as many as possible can pay off in the end.

 

Tuning Arrows to Traditional Bows

In the years since I began shooting traditional bows I have sought to achieve perfect arrow flight as a means of obtaining maximum accuracy. In the early days, I would spend hours bare shaft tuning a particularly spined shaft only to discover that after cresting and fletching, the finished arrow simply did not produce the desired result. To say that I was frustrated was an understatement.

In order to determine why my efforts were falling flat, I spent some time on the discussion boards of some of the internet’s traditional bowhunting websites gleaning information on tuning techniques and testing them on my equipment. Thanks to the good advice from some master traditional bowyers and a fair amount of trial and error on my part, I have finally incorporated a few fool-proof tuning techniques into the mechanics of my traditional archery experience that have elevated my accuracy and provided for a forgiving projectile.

There are a few ground rules that I use when tuning arrows to a new bow. First, is that every bow is different and should have a set of arrows tuned specifically to that bow. Simply using arrows tuned to a bow of similar specifications will not guarantee optimal performance. Second, the arrows must be tuned to the bow using exactly the same set-up as you plan to use in the field. That means a quiver if a quiver will be used while hunting, the same type of string silencers and string material that will used, brush buttons, etc. This is important, because everything added or removed from the bow or string will make a difference in how the bow performs relative to a set of arrows. Third, do not attempt to tune the bow in strong wind. The effect of the wind on the shooter and/or the arrow can provide false information to the shooter, thus rendering the whole tuning exercise a colossal waste of time.

The first step in tuning a set of arrows to a bow is to select two or more shafts within the spine range you believe are appropriate for your poundage and draw length. Next, begin with a full length, bare shaft with your preferred point weight and shoot it into the center of the target from a distance of 15-20 yds. Notice where the point has hit the target relative to the center. For a right-handed shooter, the arrow will likely be to the right, which denotes a staff that is spined too weak. For a left-handed shooter, the weak shaft should be left of center. In the event that the full length shaft is to the left of center for a right handed shooter (opposite for a lefty), denoting a shaft that is spined too stiff, a weaker spined shaft should be selected for the remainder of the process.

Assuming that the shaft is spined weak, it is time to remove length from the shaft in one half inch increments at a time, shooting the bare shaft before each subsequent reduction in length. The objective is to obtain a bare shaft that hits the target showing that it is slightly weak. That means a shaft that hits 3-4" to the right of center for a right-handed shooter. When this level of spine it obtained, it is time to move to the next step.

Once your shaft has been tuned to be slightly weak, the arrow must be fletched and re-tested. This is the point where the bare shaft is crest wrapped, crown dipped, etc. as you prefer and fletched. Hint: Using crest wraps and fletching tape for this will reduce the time it takes to produce a finished product by hours.

After fletching, shoot your finished arrow into the target’s center at a distance of 20 yds. You should discover that your slightly weak bare shaft is no longer weak and is hitting the center of the target. This validates the reason to tune for a weak bare shaft. The application of cresting paint/wraps and fletching stiffens the spine of the shaft, thus moving it to the left for a right handed shooter. Had the bare shaft been tuned to hit center, the completed arrow would have been slightly stiff and incapable of allowing the shooter to obtain the best accuracy.

A well-tuned traditional bow and arrow combination make shooting a pleasure and ensure that you will get the most in performance out of yourself as well as your equipment. Although traditional archery still requires dedication and practice, taking the time to tune the right set of arrows to your bow is the first step in putting more traditional trophy’s on the wall and game in the freezer.

 

The Passion of Bow Hunting

The sport of bow hunting is on the rise, as rifle tags are harder to draw and the challenge of rifle hunting is lost.  Many states are cutting back on the number of tags they give out and hunters are getting frustrated, so they have turned to new fields of hunting such as bow hunting and muzzleloaders.  I, personally, find bow hunting challenging but more than that, you work a lot harder at getting an animal, and once you do, it is much more gratifying.  The exhilaration you get from the stalk; deciding your yardage and keeping your arm still is very hard.  When I first started bow hunting, I was timid and not sure if I’d like it, but then it became an addiction I couldn’t get over.  I couldn’t wait for each year of hunting to come along.

I am noticing more and more women getting interested in bow hunting.  I am a female hunter and I started for two reasons: first, I actually wanted see my husband more than one or two days in the month of September;  secondly, I didn’t like to be around rifles that much.  I really enjoy the peacefulness archery hunting has to offer.  There is camaraderie amongst bow hunters and it’s a great tight knit community.  It is a great sport to keep the family together; anyone can do it with some practice.  There is nothing more exciting though, than to hear an elk bugling and having it get up close and trying to get a shot off.  It is an amazing test to face your prey so close.  Each year my obsession increases.  I always want to "out do" the guys.  If I could only get the biggest buck, or even be the first one to get a dandy, then I could video the others.  I sometimes have just as much fun watching the action unfold.  When you see another hunter take his game, something inside you comes alive.  The excitement you feel seeing the joy in the other hunter’s eyes is unreal.

When I began the sport I had a hard time shooting my bow, I could never get a consistent group.  I was later told when I had a good mentor that my bow was too short.  So, when choosing a bow: first find a reputable archery shop that has trained staff that will measure your draw length correctly.  This is so important, because if you don’t find the right equipment to begin with, you will fight the bow constantly and you may want to give up. That is why is so difficult to buy a secondhand bow; it is hard to find one that is just right for you. You should also find one that fits well in your hand and is not too heavy.  You want to make sure the grip feels comfortable in your hand, and isn’t hard to hold.  If you are doing a lot of hiking or backcountry hunting you don’t want to pack around a heavy bow.  If you do 3-D shoots as well, after shooting 40 targets a day, your arm will wear out with the weight of a heavier bow.   Th ebow shoudl also be forgiving; don’t look for speed alone.  When you are new to the sport, you want something that will be more merciful on a longer shot.  So, consider a longer bow with a taller brace height.  When you start practicing, sometimes the arrows are all over the target and this gets very discouraging.  You want to do all you can to minimize that.

If you haven’t tried archery hunting I highly recommend it - you won’t regret it.

 

DRIVEWAY ARCHERY RANGE

I shoot my bow in my driveway. It is the most convenient place I can shoot. In fact, I imagine passersby see the numbers painted in silver on my gray concrete driveway and wonder what the heck they are for.

When I measured out the ranges on my driveway, I used a yardstick till I reached the street, then I paced off the street.

This year, I set my top pin on 20-yards, second pin on 25 yards, and third pin on 30-yards.

Or so I thought!

I found out something was wrong when I qualified for a special archery hunt. This required my going out to the designated archery range and hitting a paper plate two out of three times at 20 yards, then again at 30 yards.

For some reason I was shooting high, but managed to qualify. I watched as another hunter, who had also by then qualified, shoot at 40 and 50 yard targets.

"Funny," I said, "My 30-yard target seems more like that distance."

"How did you measure off the yards?" he asked.

"Paced," I said. He was shaking his head.

"Try using your rangefinder."

I went home, used my rangefinder, and my supposed 30 yard range turns out to be 38 yards.

No wonder I was shooting high!

 

© October 2007
 

Getting Ready For Bow Season

Getting prepared for the hunting season is very critical. With bow season for deer in Alabama is quickly approaching. Many things are going through my mind right now as to how to be better prepared for this year's season such as:

What do I need to do to be prepared for opening day?

What are some things that I didn't do last season that is a big must on my list this year?

I wrote this article so that it might help you become prepared, especially if you are a newbie!

"Bows & Arrrows"

I first want to stress if you don't practice with your bow year around, you need to start practicing NOW! Practice makes perfect- and a better, cleaner kill. By practicing often you'll know if your bow is in tune and ready for the season. Tuning your bow can mean killing that big buck of a lifetime or missing it. I suggest going to your pro shop to have your bow tuned but if you would like to do it yourself there are many places online that will show you how to tune your bow! I really enjoyed the bow tuning article from Peterson's Bowhunting Magazine:

http://www.bowhuntingmag.com/tactics/tune_0112/

If you've ever had an arrow that doesn't want to group with the others,  don't blame yourself! It could very well be that the arrow is damaged in some way.  I have had the best luck with Gold Tip for producing the least amount of crooked shafts right out of the box.  With other brands I've had 2-4 out of the dozen that were not usable. Inserts are often the culprit as they can be inserted crooked. Sometimes broadheads could be the culprit too for causing the flight of the arrow to be different than the rest.   To check your arrow you can do this by getting "The Arrow Inspector.”  To check your broadheads Apple makes what is called a Broadhead Spin Tester. 

"Clothing"

Next in line is clothing. Your clothing has been stored for a while now, right? Ever opened up that box and it doesn't quite smell scent free? I always recommend washing your hunting clothing, even if they smell scent free to you. Wash your clothes in your favorite camo clothing laundry detergent. Please make sure if you have carbon clothing to use the right kind of detergent! It is also good to make sure your detergent does not have UV brighteners in it.

Now that you have your clothing washed. You might think about drying your clothing outside, if you use scented dryer sheets in your dryer. What was the point in scent free washing your clothing if you are now going to dry them in a scented dryer? I don't use dryer sheets so after I dry my clothes I hang them out on the clothes line for several weeks anyway to make them smell like the great outdoors.  click here

How much clothing is too much? Well, if you're like my dad and have almost every kind of Scent-Lok they make for every single type of weather then you are pretty much good to go. I am not lucky enough to have all of it so I wear most of my gear year round and just do layers.

Alabama Opening Bow Season- October to early sometimes Mid November

In Oct. in Alabama it can still be pretty hot during the mid parts of the day and mornings are just cool. I normally wear:

Pair of Camo Jeans - I have no clue what brand these are. I don't even think they make these any more since they were my mom's when she was younger . . .  but to tell you the truth I LOVE THEM for this time of year.

Long Sleeve Camo Shirt- I really don't think brand matters here, I think I bought mine at Walmart!

Lacrosse Alpha Burly Boots- I love these boots! You can read my review on these.

Late Nov to January

Later in the season it gets cooler in the mornings and evenings and I have to wear my Game Hide Jacket for Women !

Once it gets really cold . . . okay, well to me anything below 50 degrees is freezing cold.  I like to wear my Game Hide Insulated Bibs for Women. My parents bought me a pair of these for Christmas and I LOVE THEM to death during the winter.

Depending on the coldness I will actually layer my Polartec undergarments and will even have a sweat shirt on underneath my heavy jacket. I get cold easily and when I get cold, I get cranky, so the key is keeping warm. WHILE keeping warm you want to make sure you can move and draw back. I will also walk to the stands in my lighter weight clothing and get dressed in my heavier weight clothing AFTER I've made it to my stand so I don't sweat as much.

"Backpack"

EVERYTHING goes in my backpack. I would have quite a large list listed here but I have just really listed the basics and then afterwards I have listed a few of my required extras.

Safety Harness

Release

Small Emergency Kit

WATER** This is a MUST !!

Head Light and/or Flashlight. I prefer a headlight to help me when I'm walking in and out of the dark. I recently did a review on a Gerber headlamp.

Knife - I normally just keep mine on me in case of emergency.

Optics/Rangefinder

RADIO or some form of communication!- This is a must for me. I hunt alone quite a bit and I just like to keep in contact in case something should happen. Take your cellphone even and just put it on Silent.

String- If you don't keep the string that you use to pull up your bow, I recommend you keep it in your backpack. You can also get a backpack with a built in bow "holder.” I have one of these and just carry my bow in on my back now.

Shewee- Ok, what? Yes, I have found a new addition to my backpack and its called a She-wee. Now us ladies don't have to crawl out of our stands to go the bathroom. I'll be doing a review on this later on so watch out for it!

These are really just the basics but I always like to pack unscented lip balm, my Gum-O-Flauge, Snacks if I'm hunting for a long time, Coffee in my thermos (for the mornings, I can't go without coffee), Contacts (I'll pack an extra set of contacts in case it is needed), GPS, etc. the list can go on and on from calls to wind direction detection thingy mabobs!

"Treestands, Trees & Those Dreaded Vines"

If you have a tree stand, after you have put up your tree stand make sure you have clear shots but you haven't chopped down so many limbs you are now sticking out like a.. a huge bump on a tree. You do want some cover and shooting lanes as well. Sometimes it is also best not to pick the tree closests to the green field either. If you pull up your bow with a string, make sure there isn't a ton of brush down there or on the way up that your bow could get caught on. From experience, I know this. Apparently it was a bad morning to be in the stands. I got up in the stand late, tied myself off to the tree and while trying to get my release on dropped it. No, it didn't drop straight down, it decided it was going to land right on my aluminum steps making loud noises on it's way down. "UGH, not THIS morning, please!", I was thinking. Untied myself, climbed back down the tree, found my release. Climbed back up the tree, got my release on. Decided it was now time to pull up my bow and as I was pullied it up it got caught on some sort of vine. Needless to say I was NOT going to get back down there as I was already tide to the tree again and had my release on. JERK ....JERK....JERK..... "I refuse" .. JERK.. "To get down" .. JERK.. "OUT OF THIS STAND!!!". JERK!!! Needless to stay it was as stubborn as I was and it was not going up. Reluctantly I gave up and went down to untangle it. FINALLY, I get settled in my tree stand bow up. After about 20 minutes I'm freezing cold and I look down at my bow and my sights are as crooked as a dog's hind leg. Well, we all know why. Lesson well learned, don't fight with vines while PMS-ing, please just cut them down.

If you are using a climbing tree stand make sure you practice using it. It is always good to build up the leg and abdominals too so its not such a huge workout for you on opening day.

Also make sure you know the distances of things around you to help you estimate the range of that animal!

"Trails"

You want to make sure I have a clear cut trail or brightly marked so you don't get lost early in the morning or late in the evenings.  Fire Tacks and Fire Tape from www.firetacks.com will get the job done!

"The Night Before"

I always like to lay my things out on the porch. Make sure I have everything packed in my backpack. Make sure I have enough clothing if it is going to be cold. I do this before every hunt, actually. I will also wash my clothes in my camo clothing detergent too if I hunted the day before to make sure I'm completely scent free of human odors.

"Bathing"

I always get up and shower the morning. Use your favorite scent free shampoo/conditioner/soap. If you're like me and your hair absorbs the smell of hair products and doesn't want to come out.. I use cedarwood EO or Oakmoss EO scented body products. I find for me it is better to mask the odor of my hair rather than try to fight the odors coming out because I never seem to win. You can buy my own specialty made Cedarwood Soap from the WomenHunters.com Store! I will soon have a review out for Monkey Boy Product's Oakmoss Soap, Conditioner and Lotion.  Their products are made from Oakmoss Essential Oil and really smells like the woods.  www.monkeyboyproducts.com

If you have extremely thick hair I might suggest you use the Mimi's DIVA DRYER by Aquis! This is a big must for me as my hair will never dry fast enough and using a hair dryer is just way too harsh.

If you have to put on your make-up, as I know a few ladies who wouldn't even think of stepping out of their house without it . . .  please try and use something such as a mineral make-up without scent!

I hope these tips will help you prepare for bow season this year!

 

© October 2007
 

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