If there’s one piece of bow hunting advice that’s worth scrawling on the back of your hand, it’s this:
Pay attention when you’re hunting.
You heard me right. Listen up if you want to score with your bow this season.
Depending upon the counties where you hunt, you might have overlooked some little quirk that is costing you an annual visit to the taxidermist.
The time of year for getting ready for bow season is over. Your gear already should be in shooting order with sights set and broad heads sharpened.
By now, you no doubt have a rough idea of where the deer may show up at your favored hunting sites.
With all that done, the only thing standing between you and a successful season are luck and a bunch of little things—things like being ready for something exciting to happen.
That’s right. Small things can make a difference even when it comes to hunting.
If you don’t believe it, try to remember the last time you forgot your wedding anniversary, Valentine’s Day or your wife’s birthday.
I’ll bet that little mistake made walking into a buzz saw seem like a picnic.
In bow hunting, one thing that can make a difference is staying alert enough to pick up deer movement as soon as possible.
It is common to spend several hours, or even days, waiting for deer to show up at your stand location.
During these periods of inactivity, it can be difficult to stay focused and constantly alert.
Subconsciously, your mind gets bored with the lack of stimulation. Slowly, you relax and your attention to detail is greatly diminished.
On yeah, we are still hunting but we are not focused. We are not paying attention.
Remember the last time you looked up to see a deer staring straight at you? It seemed to appear out of nowhere, didn’t it?
It was impossible for you to move and you wondered how the animal got there.
Although it might sound difficult to do, it is important to keep alert at all times while you are in the woods.
Assume every sound and every movement is a deer and carefully check it out until you can determine the real source of the disturbance.
The sources of these movements or sounds can be as simple as leaves moving in the breeze or a squirrel looking for breakfast.
The important thing is never assume you know what it is until you positively identify the source. In other words, paying attention to every detail has a number of advantages.
First, it keeps our minds alert and our attention focused. Second, it offers the maximum time to get ready for any approaching game.
Catching the slight flick of a deer’s tail or the sound of his hooves in the leaves allows us time to ease into position for a good shot.
Even the glimpse of a deer moving in the distance provides valuable information about deer movement in the area and the next possible location for your stand.
Third, staying alert is part of the outdoor experience. It helps us learn more about our environment, the creatures with which we momentarily share this planet and these precious moments.
Most of us are never ready when nature tries to give us a bonus. We live in a world of dreams and delusions.
On the next hunt, don’t wait for the deer to magically appear. Look and listen for them.
Not only does the early warning give you an added advantage, it adds to the thrill of the hunt.
It also ensures that you don’t get caught with your pants down. We’ve all been there…
Top o’ the morning!