The Time is Now

Every year when bow season for whitetail comes around, women (and others) start asking me about getting into bow hunting; they want to buy a bow, learn how to shoot and go hunting. Of course I am enthusiastic about anyone who shows interest in this wonderful adventure, but it’s very difficult to pick up a bow, get tuned and get comfortable so quick with high hopes of going out on a hunt and making a great harvest. There is much more involved with picking up a bow to go hunting than picking up a rifle. If you can take a weekend to sight your rifle in, get the right ammo, and get acquainted with any recoil, you can easily be more comfortable out hunting with a rifle than taking only a weekend with a bow.

The time is NOW to start thinking about next whitetail season or fall hunting season if you’re interested in hunting with a bow. Each bow is tuned to its owner and becomes yours with all its unique settings, accessories, draw weight & length and so much more; because of this more time and effort is required to get it all right. There are a few basic items and pieces of advice to follow when getting started with a bow.

First, if you have someone who has bow hunted before or has knowledge of archery, bring them along with you to an archery shop. It is always beneficial to have someone with knowledge than just those at the bow shop; they can ask questions you don’t know to ask or explain things in a way they know you understand. Unfortunately I have had very negative experiences from our local archery shop and one of my older blogs (Don’t Come up Short or Long) will explain my frustrations; I wish I would have had someone with more knowledge or done more research on my own before going in there. My husband and I went together but we were both new to bow hunting and it hurt me in the long run more than him. I feel that tuning bows to women can be slightly more challenging than men, especially before bow manufacturers started producing bows tailored to women. Typically women’s draw lengths and weights are shorter and lower, especially starting out. As you progress, your weight can increase easily to match your comfort zone, so please don’t think I am saying these things in a negative connotation. Additionally, women are relatively new to bow hunting so any ‘old school’ shop owner may not be comfortable helping women. Again this is based off of my experiences with our local archery shop who are not exactly willing to help me out because I am female. I know there are many other extremely helpful shops out there so please don’t feel held back; if you can, bring someone along to help out and provide second opinions.

Second, when you get to the archery shop, before you even pick up a bow to shoot, you will need to determine your draw length. The staff should measure you more than one way to get an accurate number from the start. The wrong draw length can affect your form, draw weight determination, and accuracy and it needs to be correct. Deciding on your draw weight is important too; you should feel comfortable drawing back without struggle or extreme movement but with a little tension in the draw.

Next, it is important to shoot various bows to get familiar with them and to determine your preference. Each bow will feel different, including the weight, grip feel, balance, and size. Shoot each bow as much as you can because if you are brand new, the actual motions, form, and feeling will be foreign to you and repetition will help you determine what is truly comfortable for you. You may not be able to decide on a bow right away and sometimes it helps to come back another time and shoot again; don’t rush your decision.

Next you will need to spend time picking out accessories including sights, stabilizers, dampeners, releases, bow cases, arrows, broad heads, and arrow rests to fit your personal preferences. Each one of these items (plus many more) should be carefully chosen including brand and reviews. It will be your decision how much money you spend on each item including your bow and there are inexpensive package deals that include many of the accessories already on the bow. Pick and choose at your level and your comfort zone with all areas of the equipment.

Finally, once you have everything you need, it’s time to start shooting and tuning your bow to customize it to you. This part can take time and is the number one reason why NOW is the time to start. As winter ends and spring comes into full bloom, the weather should be great to be outside shooting and tuning your bow. Because every person is unique and everyone’s preferences are different, tuning your bow will take time, require adjustments, equipment changes, patience and mistakes. So even though the fall hunting season is months away, now is the time to start and prepare. And if you get everything set up and ready to go, find some pigs, javelina, exotics, turkey or other game that is legal to harvest in the spring and summer and start hunting!

Mar 05, 2013 | Category: Blog | Comments: none


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