In Alabama bow season always starts right around October 15. That means from the date of my writing this to then you have a little over a month to prepare.
There’s nothing like bow hunting to test yourself. Whether you use a compound, recurve, longbow or crossbow, the thrill of watching that arrow hit its mark is exhilarating.
Here are a few tips for you (most bowhunters already know these)
Inspect your bow for cracks in the limbs, frayed strings or cables (if compound).
Check your sights, make sure everything is still where it should be.
If you use a release, check it and make sure that it is still working properly. A release that hangs or lets go to early, can mean the difference between a clean kill, a miss, or a wounded animal left to suffer.
If you use a stand inspect it thoroughly to make sure it is still in good working order.
Check your weight to make sure that your stand (if used) will still safely support you. Most hunting related accidents involve falls from stands.
2 Practice, practice, practice.
Practice shooting from different angles and different distances and with varying weather conditions. Not every shot is going to be from thirty yards, or forty, or ninety either for that matter. You want to be able to hit your target in different conditions, because most days when you are hunting, you’re not going to have the benefit of shooting a standing target, from thirty yards, with the sun against your back.
I practice shooting in the wind and in the rain, as well as under ideal conditions.
Practice stealth, being quiet in the woods is far more important than most people realise, remember the animal you are hunting knows every sound that occurs in those woods, and when something is out of place they can sense it.
If you can hear it, see it or smell it, then you can bet they can too.
Practice safety, it’s great to get out there and kill that big buck, elk, bear, moose or whatever, but if you don’t make it home, then you have done absolutely no good. No one benefits from a hunting accident.
3. Know the laws.
Game laws and seasons vary from state to state, know your states laws before you step foot in the woods. Tickets are costly and jail time is more costly. Remember this a Conservation Officer (Game Warden) has heard every excuse you can think of and most judges will tell you that ignorance of the law is no excuse.
Make sure you have permission to be where you are when you are hunting or even crossing someone elses land. Written permission is required in a lot of states now, and if you are just crossing someone elses land to get to the land you hunt, if you are carrying your hunting gear (and why wouldn’t you be?) you are thought of as hunting that land.
Be polite to the conservation officers, the difference between a warning, a ticket, and going to jail, can often depend on your attitude and actions.
4. Kill no more than you need.
Don’t waste the life of an animal, just for the sake of saying you killed it. I have seen several carcasses laying where the hunter killed the animal and took only the head and antlers, leaving the meat, if you’re not going to eat it, there are others that will.
Conservation helps to ensure that there are animals left for other generations to hunt.
Hunting is a fun, challenging and sometimes dangerous hobby, it is one of the best ways to provide fresh meat that has not had any enhancements (preservatives, steroids, antibiotics) that store bought meat has.
It’s also a great way to enjoy nature at it’s finest, you and you alone pitting your wits against a better equipped animal.
That’s right when it comes to wits that animal is better equipped, you may have the bow, but that deer has the eyesight, the camouflage, the hearing and the sense of smell, not to mention the ability to sense when something is in the woods that doesn’t belong.
It is only through our ability to use tools (bows, firearms, etc…) that we actually can bring them home to the freezer.
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Be safe, have fun and good hunting.