Editor’s Note: With bow deer season getting ready to start in some states, remember that no matter how good a bowhunter you already are, this fun quiz can make you even better.
Hunting a deer with a spear is the only sport I know of that may require more hunting skill than bowhunting for deer. When you consider that to be successful:
- the bowman usually must get within 30 yards or less of the whitetail to bag the deer;
- the archer must be able to shoot accurately at a 2- to 4-inch target without the deer’s seeing him; and
- a bowhunter must have well-honed hunting and shooting skills, because of all the things that can go wrong before the arrow is loosed, while the arrow is traveling, just before the moment of impact and after the deer is hit. Take the bowhunting test and see how you rate.
1) You should practice before the season to be an effective bowhunter. However, improper practicing results in improper shooting in the field. Which of these answers should result in more-effective shooting?
(a) practicing from an elevated platform about the same height from which you plan to shoot;
(b) using broadheads instead of field points for training;
(c) shooting in the same clothing you will wear when hunting;
(d) practicing at only 30-yard targets.
Answer: The correct answers are (a), (b), and (c). The only incorrect answer is (d) practice shooting at only 30-yard targets. Many archers will set-up one target within the range they plan to be shooting. If the deer walks in to that 30-yard range, these sportsmen can be deadly accurate. However, if the whitetail walks right under the tree where the bowman is or comes in at 10-15 yards, the hunter will be shooting at an unknown distance. To train efficiently, have several targets at various ranges. If you’ll be hunting from a tree stand, then practice from the tree stand. Since you will be shooting broadheads instead of field points, use broadheads when you’re practicing. Effective practice results when you simulate hunting conditions as closely as possible. Therefore wear the same boots, hat, shirt and pants in which you plan to hunt.
2) The most-effective time to do your final scouting for whitetails in anticipation of opening day, after scouting during the late summer and using trail cameras to gather information is:
(a) 3 weeks before the season;
(b) 2 weeks before the season;
(c) 1 week before the season opens.
Answer: The correct answer is (c) one week before the season opens. If a hunter scouts an area too early, the deer’s moving and feeding patterns may change. In regions with a high deer population, the animals can deplete a favorite food source within a week or two. Therefore if you scout too early, the food source and/or trails to that feeding area may not be being used by opening day.
3) The number of tree stands an archer needs to bowhunt effectively:
(a) one tree stand placed in the most-productive section on the land he plans to hunt;
(b) two tree stands set-up in the most deer-used regions he will be hunting;
(c) four to 10 tree stands put-up in highly-productive areas and also in places the bowman may feel are not as productive for deer.
Answer: The correct answer is (c) four to 10 tree stands put-up in highly-productive areas and also in places the bowman may feel are not as productive for deer. A hunter who only has one or two tree stands set-up to hunt from limits himself, because he may find the morning of the hunt that the wind is coming from his back and will blow his scent into the hunting region, so he won’t have a place to hunt successfully. However, if the bowhunter has several stand sites facing different wind directions, then no matter which way the wind is blowing, he has a place to hunt where his scent won’t be carried into his hunting site. I’d much rather hunt from a tree stand in a region that is not red hot but that may produce a deer, than hunt from the very-best stand in the woods with the wind coming from my back and blowing my scent into my hunting area.
To learn more about hunting deer, check out John E. Phillips’ book, available in Kindle, print and Audible versions, “How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows” at http://amzn.to/11dJRu8. You may have to copy and paste this link into your browser. (When you click on this book, notice on the left where Amazon says you can read 10% of the book for free, and you can listen to 10% for free). On the right side of the page and below the offer for a free Audible trial, you can click on Buy the Audible book. To see more of John’s bowhunting books, visit http://www.amazon.com/author/johnephillips.
Tomorrow: What to Do When Bowhunting Deer