So Are You a Rookie?
Bowhunting is no easy task. It takes practice. It requires effort. It's a skill that slowly develops over time. So naturally, everyone learns a lot through trial and error. We learn from our mistakes. And these seven rookie blunders have cost everyone sometime or another. And if they haven't cost you, you're still a rookie and just haven't hunted long enough yet.
1. Disregarding What You Already Know
We learn lessons for a reason. It's to learn from them. So don't disregard knowledge you've already accumulated. Stay focused. Don't just go through the motions.
2. Failing to Place Stands to Your Advantage
Treestand placement is crucial. Over time, you'll hone your craft and fine tune treestand placement. It's truly an art. Having your stand in one tree vs. another that's five or 10 yards to the left or right can mean all the difference between success and failure.
3. Not Ranging Object at the Start of the Hunt
If you don't range landmark objects at the beginning of the hunt, you should. It's important. You don't always have time to range a deer when it's coming into range. You know that thing they say about doing your homework? That applies to pre-ranging landmarks from the treestand, too.
4. Moving too Much When Drawing
You should be able to smoothly draw your bow. Don't throw the bow up in the air when you draw. Keep the bow still and slowly pull the string back. This will help keep game from spotting you when you draw on them. It's also important to wait to draw when their vision is blocked or attention is focused in another direction.
5. Not Taking the First Good Shot
I've certainly learned this lesson. Always take the first good shot you're presented with. Don't sacrifice a good shot opportunity for hopes of a great one. This is reality. They don't always waltz right in to 15 yards, stand broadside, grunt in your face and ask you to shoot them.
6. Failing to Understand Anatomy and Shot Placement
This one is inexcusable. Don't go to the woods if you don't understand the anatomy of the game you're chasing. You at least owe them that much.
7. Following the Blood Trail Too Soon or Too Late
Give an animal plenty of time to expire before taking up the trail. Analyze your shot on the animal and make a judgment on which organ(s) you think you hit. Learn how long it takes for a deer to expire with each given hit (or if it even will) before you hunt. It's all part of the thing we call bowhunting.
Bonus Read: You Shot a Deer. Here's How to Find It.
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