March 28, 2022
It seems hunting season always creeps up on us. We’re never as prepared as we’d like to be, and we always swear next year we’ll do better.
The week before our hunting trip — or sometimes on the trip itself — we do a few last-minute things to ensure we’re ready and increase our chances of success. In honor of this, here are five tips we’ve discovered that may help you as you head afield.
Quiet Your Bow
There are a lot of obvious bow noises, but one that has burned us more than once is a noisy draw. Some arrow rests make a noise as the arrow scrapes along the launcher during the draw, and this sound can alert animals in the woods. If the arrow rest doesn’t have any noise-dampening material on the launchers, or we have worn through it, we need to do something to rectify this.
We’ve learned that if we use one layer of electrical tape over a blade or around a prong it doesn’t seem to affect our impact or tune, but it will quiet our draw considerably. If we notice any difference in our arrow’s impact point after the tape is applied, we micro-adjust our arrow rest down until we are back in the dot.
Weatherproof the Sight Tape
Most of us shoot movable hunting sights, and if we're not careful our sight tape can get dirty or start to lift in heat and rain. One trick we use is painting our sight tape with clear fingernail polish. We paint the entire tape and overlap onto the sight surface to completely cover the tape and seal all edges. This works very well, eliminating dirty or lifting sight tapes. If we want to remove the coating, all we need is a Q-tip and nail polish remover or acetone (assuming the sight tape surface is anodized aluminum).
Dial in the Brain
Judging yardage is something we can always get better at. Since laser rangefinders have come around, we’ve gotten a little lazy, since most of the time we can range an animal before we take a shot. Sometimes, however, the opportunity for a shot lasts mere seconds and there isn’t enough time to range the distance. Hence, when we're moving through the woods or sitting on stand, we’ll practice judging distances to trees. We pick a tree, make our best guess and then range it to see how close we are. We usually start out a little rough but as the season goes along, we get better and better. While seemingly simple, this practice can mean the difference between making a shot or missing it.
Toilet Paper's Versatility
We not only bring enough toilet paper for any messes we might make; we bring extra. We use it for flagging blood trails, marking shot locations and identifying the quickest ways out of the woods.
We’ve found a couple benefits to using toilet paper over ribbon flagging. For example, toilet paper is biodegradable, so you don’t have to take it down. Since it doesn't stay up forever, it also won't tip off others as to where the good hunting spots are.
We always practice trying to perform the perfect shot. When we're hunting, however, the time it takes to execute a perfect shot isn’t always an option. Thus, we practice rushing/speeding up our shot process. With a little practice, we can then shoot a decent shot in seconds.