Bow hunting is the process of shooting game with a bow instead of a gun. As it is with other hunting methods, bow hunters must attain the knowledge and skills required.
The spirit and values of bow hunting revolve around the following principles: craftsmanship, skill, practice, challenge, perseverance, patience, challenge, discipline and simplicity. So, if you’re into bow hunting, we have some exclusive bow hunting tips that will help you become a fantastic hunter.
It is a specialized method of hunting, because the whole process is defined by the equipment used, which is the bow. This is a weapon for shooting arrows, composed of a curved piece of resilient material with a taut cord to propel the arrow. With that said, you should be fully equipped with the best knowledge and skills by the time you read the last word in this article.
Types of Bows
Unlike with most hunting activities, there are different types of bows that you can use: crossbow, compound bow, recurve, and longbow.
This is an archery equipment fixed transversely on a wooden stock grooved to direct the arrow. This gear has the following parts: stock, trigger, fore grip, limb, barrel, riser, cocking stirrup, flight groove, string, arrow retention spring, latch, serving, sight, and Sight Bridge.
The stock is normally made of composite materials or wood while the barrel is made of polymer or aluminum.
There are several types of crossbows: pistol design, wrist design, two-handed design and one-handed design. Depending on the craftsmanship, this is a heavy, effective and precise weapon. Hunting with a crossbow has a number of benefits, including: it perfectly locks on the target; the shot is quiet; and it presents minimal operational issues.
This is a modern shooting gear made of a unique system of oblong cams, wheels, cables and limbs. The main parts are: axle, cables, bow string, wrist wrap, nock, peep sight, cable rod/cable rollers, bottom cam, top cam, upper limb, limb bolt, bow sight, arrow rest, grip, stabilizer, limb bolt, lower limb. Typically, energy is stored in the gear by drawing it back in a recurve manner.
However, the draw weight is exceptionally reduced due to the inclusion of the cams. The mechanical advantage that lessens the energy needed to draw is referred to as let-off. The reduced draw weight allows you to hold the equipment at full draw. This means that you do not have to struggle with the draw weight, allowing you more than enough time to lock on your target. See our review of the top compound bow that can help you catch your game.
This is an archery tool that is curved twice as an alternative of just once. Its main parts are: limb, string, sight, sight window, clicker, arrow rest, stabilizer thread, riser, grip, center string serving and nock.
The tips of its limbs have a second curve that opposes the bow’s overall configuration. Unlike a compound bow, the recurve gets harder to pull and hold the farther you draw it; basically, there is no let-off.
You should expect to work your muscles when using a recurve. This gear has no set draw length, meaning you will have to draw to your working length, such as 24 inches or 28 inches. The design features of a recurve are minimum, making it lighter. It is also the simplest bow and it does not get out of adjustments easily when compared to a compound design. Our expert review of the best hunting recurve bow will surely impress you, so read on!
This is a powerful wooden bow drawn by hand and is usually 5-6 feet long. The main parts of a longbow are: grip, upper and lower limb, string, string groove, string silencer, serving and nocking point.
It is not considerably recurved, because its limbs are narrow, giving it a D-shaped or circular cross section. A longbow is less powerful because of its rounded cross section and narrow limbs.
The longer the total length of a longbow, the smoother the draw will be when shooting. Normally, its draw length can reach up to 28 inches. The longer limb length promotes a smoother distribution of the draw weight. Modern models are available in lengths from fifty eight inches to seventy two inches, providing you with multiple options.
Choosing The Correct Arrows
You cannot shoot a bow without an arrow. For your hunting expedition to be a success, you have to choose arrows with proper configurations. This starts with the arrow material. There are five major types of hunting arrows that you can select from: aluminum, carbon, fiberglass, wooden and composite arrows.
- Aluminum Arrows: These arrows are designed from higher strength alloys, which make them harder to bend. They are highly tolerant and they remain so not unless they are mishandled.
They are extremely versatile; a large number of broadhead adapters, nock inserts, points, weights and shaft sizes are available. These arrows will always meet your discriminating needs becomes they are manufactured in many grades and surface-art patterns.
- Carbon Arrows: They have high strength, improved accuracy and greater penetration. They are designed with thick-walled shafts that are particularly durable on big game.
When compared to other arrow types, carbon arrows do lose less energy because of flexing when they are released. This escalates their launching speed, providing amazing penetration. These arrows allow you to improve penetration on large animals without increasing the bow weight.
- Wooden Arrows: They have been in use for many years. They are the best choice for any archer admiring their shooting power. They have soothing, natural sound when released and a soft, lively spring from the bow.
Usually, finely crafted wooden arrows are a result of great craftsmanship. Unlike other arrow types in the market, they do have some faults. They may need frequent straightening in order to keep them in good shooting condition.
- Composite Arrows: These are the arrows used by expert bow hunters because of their material, design and agility. Made of aluminum-carbon composite material, they are straight and homogeneously spine.
They are what you need for long-distance precision shooting. In addition, you are presented with multiple options for size, diameter and spine. However, they are costly to replace when damaged or lost.
- Fiberglass Arrows: They are more durable than wooden arrows. They can be sized to match archers of different arm lengths and strengths. Usually, fiberglass arrows of a particular size can be produced constantly than the wooden ones.
There is one major flaw of fiberglass arrows; they are fragile and they break easily. You can opt to use them, but you will be better off with either carbon or aluminum.
Arrow length does usually affect the spine. The longer the arrow of a specific size, the weaker the spine. To rectify this, you have to increase spine weight by one full shaft size for every one-inch increase in length. When selecting arrows for bow hunting, you have to factor in versatility. The material you choose should not only meet quality standards, but also be more versatile.
Normally, within a specific spine weight, you can select from 3 to 5 different shaft sizes with a mass weight range of 100+ grains. This simply means that you can select a lightweight arrow for speed as well as relatively flat trajectory. Alternatively, you can select a heavier arrow for durability and higher kinetic energy. You should always remember that spine and mass weight are functions of wall thickness and arrow diameter.
When selecting arrows, consider the diameter and wall thickness, because the diameter has a greater effect on stiffness while wall thickness has a greater effect on weight.
You can get the fastest shaft if you shoot a shaft with a thin wall and large diameter, but it is not usually the best choice. This is so since thin wall shafts are not as durable as thick wall shafts.
If arrows lack durability, they are lightweight and have thin wall shafts; then they will have greater sensitivity for shooting errors. In other words, the lighter and faster the arrow, the more it will amplify any problems with the form.
In addition, lightweight arrows can lead to bow damage. Therefore, the lighter the arrow you use, the less energy it will absorb, and the greater the vibration and stress it will impose on the bow. Do read our useful review of the top arrows that you must have for hunting.
How to Bow Hunt – Step-by-Step Instructions
Step 1 – Preseason Scouting
To be a successful bow hunter, you must get into the woods and do some serious scouting. You have to do this at different intervals throughout the year, depending on the game. There are a number of situations that can possibly change the habits of your game from one year to another.
You might assume you will find your targets in a particular place, but it turns out that they have changed their location.
Game animals change their habits over a course of time. Scouting helps you locate places where games are currently most abundant. To scout without losing precious time, combine scouting and still-hunting. Still-hunting provides you with plenty of time to study signs as well as learn the new terrain. Late in the season, after the breeding season is over, game feed more often and seek shelter from cold.
Step 2 – Set Up Decoys or Tree Stands
Decoys: The use of decoys is a pretty new advancement in bow hunt. Game can be drawn to a decoy, especially when you combine with the use of scent, calling and rattling. The benefit of using a decoy is that it gives an approaching game a visual focus.
Use decoys in situations where the animals can see them from a distance, such as forest openings and fields. They are most effective when set up early or late in the day when animals are on the move.
You should use life-size decoys, which are lightweight, easy to configure and have anchors. Normally, decoys that are hard to secure may cause problems. Use decoys that will promote visual stimulation. For instance, when hunting deer, use buck decoys. They will generate responses from larger, aggressive bucks that want to do away with competition.
Tree Stands: Success when hunting game from a tree stand is directly equivalent to how you anticipate the moves of your target.
Therefore, climbing up onto a tree does not guarantee any success. Most games have habits with foreseeable patterns. Knowing which routes they are using as well as when they are moving is vital to tree stand success.
You have to be able to use limbs and leaves to your advantage. Foliage will break up your outline and shield you from detection by game. Any neighboring trees will give you adequate background cover. Choose different set-up sites for different times of the day. However, you main concern should be choosing a position that is not interfered with by the sun.
Step 3 – Bow Shooting Stance & Shooting
Stand at a right angle to your target, your feet should be approximately shoulder-width apart. The position you stand has to be balanced and feel comfortable. You can conveniently slide your front foot back a few inches, thus creating a marginally open stance.
Grip your bow handle steadfastly, but do not squeeze too much. Raise your left hand above your eye level. Your arm can be marginally bent or straight from your body. Raise your bow as you pull back the string with drawing fingers. Extend your arm simultaneously.
Bring your drawing fingers to touch the anchor point. This point can be the corner of your chin, cheekbone or mouth. Then aim the bow and release. There are two primary techniques for aiming: instinctive aiming and bow sight. The bowsight will work best if you know the target distance. Instinctive aiming is versatile and it only requires you to use your instincts.
Bow hunting is one of the easiest and most benevolent methods of hunting game. You need the following to be successful:
- the most resourceful hunting bow (crossbow/longbow/recurve/compound);
- the most versatile hunting arrows (aluminum/carbon/composite);
- and a reliable set of skills.
We tried to provide you with advice on all the three pointers enumerated. In fact, the “how to” steps have been clearly defined to ensure that your hunting expedition is a success. The bow and arrow basics provide you with the information you need to be a pro. If you are a beginner, all you have to do is practice.
Do you think we have missed any important tips? If so please let us know in comments.