Please Sign In

New To Sportsman Network?
  • First Time, what should I expect

    Recently took up archery and am looking forward to the upcoming deer season. I have not hunted at all, so what should I expect hunting my first time with a bow??
    Enjoy the alone time
    Hey there,

    First off, welcome to hunting. Secondly, while I hunt with both a bow and a rifle (during the appropriate seasons), bow season is by far my favorite, especially the early season. There are MANY reasons for this. For one, there are a lot less people in the woods, and I'm sure the humid NC summers/early fall has a lot to do with that. Be prepared to sweat a little on the walk in - I usually pack an extra shirt, and I take off the shirt I walked in with and place in a zip lock when I get to my tree. But trust me, once you're all set up, it's worth it. In the early season, the deer are still in their summer patterns and may even still be in their bachelor/bachelorette groups. I've seen far more deer in September than pretty much any of the other months. One thing you should know about bow hunting is that while you may see deer, they may not always be within distance. Never let that get you down, but rather turn that into a positive and learn from it. Was it the wind that caused them to come in at 50 yards? Was it the cover in the trees? Were they following an old rub line (or even a fresh one)? The more time you spend in the woods, and the more time you pay attention to what the deer are doing, the more successful you'll be as a hunter. I love September solely because I see way more deer - usually more deer in September than I do in Oct-Dec combined.

    Yes, the ticks and mosquitos are out, so be sure to prepare for that. If you're using a climbing stand, which is the way I prefer it, try not to disturb anything on the walk in - avoid breaking branches and brushing against things. You want to disturb the deer as little as possible to keep them in their pattern. I've had hunts where I went in, saw the deer at 60 yards, came back the next day and was within range because I adjusted. The best thing you can do is pay attention.

    Most of all, enjoy the time in the woods. It's a very humbling experience and something I greatly cherish. I hope you'll find the same enjoyment from bow hunting as I do. Best of luck!
    Bow Huntin
    I've got to agree w/ everything ncbow20 has to say, and will add, practice, practice, practice, know your bow, know your distances. You've got to be a sneaky individual to stand up, draw and shoot a a critter that's 20 or 30 yards away and who's only job in life is to stay alive, i've missed a few, been busted....every other scenario you can think of but when you pull it of, it's a huge accomplishment, whether it's a moose or a slick head, don't get discouraged and good luck -
    First Time
    Everything above is great info. I would add: Buy a thermacell, take plenty of water, control your scent from body to clothes and equipment, Take a plastic pee bottle because when you are drinking water to stay hydrated, you\'re gonna pee. Buy a good bow hook to hold your bow. When you see the first deer walk in......don\'t be quick to reach for your bow, sit still a watch what it does. First thing a deer does when it walks into an opening is look for anything moving.Usually more deer will follow. Watch all the deer and only stand when no one is looking your way. Never draw your bow until you are ready to shoot and know the position is right, it\'s hard to let-down without the deer seeing you. It\'s easier to draw without movement. Draw with your elbow turned up. This will allow your shoulder muscles to hold the weight and not your arm, allowing you to hold longer.\r\n\r\nI remembered the first deer I ever shot with the bow. It took many, many sits before it happened and after the first one, I thought I had it down and it wasn\'t all that hard. Reality hits when you try to get your second one and realize, every deer is different as is every set-up and hunt. The one thing that sticks out after many harvest over 8 years is having patience and move in slow motion. I\'m sure every bowhunter would agree.\r\n\r\nGood\'s not if you\'ll get one but when!