Editor’s Note: Bowhunters can find all types of excuses for not hunting, for why hunting is difficult, and for what keeps them from being successful. Let’s look at some bowhunting situations with Bob Foulkrod, who is recognized nationwide as a master bowhunter. We’ve asked him to discuss how to deal with these problems, to see if we can improve our chances for taking whitetails.
“One of the most-difficult shots for most bowhunters to take is when a deer is standing directly under their tree stands,” Foulkrod reports. “Most bowmen can’t make these shots because they don’t practice shooting from this position. Most of the time when people are practicing, they have their legs spread apart, they draw the bows over their heads, and they shoot at targets in front of them.
“To be a proficient bowhunter who bags deer from a tree stand, I believe the archer should practice taking his shots with his feet spaced no wider apart than the tree stand. Also I think he should practice drawing his bow by pointing it at the ground and then bringing it up to the target, which requires less movement but does involve another set of muscles than when you’re drawing the bow and pointing it at the sky. Another advantage to drawing the bow by pointing it at the ground is the only movement this entails is pulling the string back. In other words, you don’t have to pull the bow up over your head, draw it and begin to back it down to aim at the deer.
“Another mistake many archers make when they try to shoot a deer standing under a tree is they aim for the spot where they want the arrow to enter the deer and not for the place where they want the arrow to penetrate and eventually stop. In other words, if a deer is standing at an awkward angle, the hunter may have to take a shot that will require the arrow to pass through the stomach to get to the lungs. But this may be a better shot than trying to shoot for the shoulder where the arrow will hit the shoulder blade and possibly bounce off.
“When I aim, I attempt to look straight at the deer to the point where the arrow will hit. Once the deer is standing right under my stand, I usually wait for him to take one or two more steps and don’t attempt to shoot straight down on the deer’s back in hopes of breaking the deer’s spine and shooting through the deer’s back. The target is just too small. If the deer is standing straight under you, and you’re going to shoot for the backbone, I’ve found that usually you can wait and let the deer take one or two more steps away from the tree. Then you’ll have a better target at which to shoot.”
To learn more about hunting for deer, check out John E. Phillips’ bowhunting book, available in Kindle and print, “Jim Crumley’s Secrets of Bowhunting Deer” at http://amzn.to/XYTCEY. You may have to copy and paste this link into your browser. (When you click on the books, notice on the left where Amazon says you can read 10% of the book for free). To see more of John’s bowhunting books, visit www.amazon.com/author/johnephillips.
Tomorrow: Preparing to Bowhunt Deer