John’s Note: The little things that may seem insignificant can make or break your bowhunt. Here’s how to spot potential problems.
The 4-point buck was standing broadside to me in a patch of sun that caused his ivory antlers to glow like neon lights. Since his head was up, I had no opportunity to draw. The wind was blowing from behind the whitetail and into my face. I knew the animal couldn’t smell me. And, I felt I was invisible decked out in camo and with my face covered in grease paint. Although the shot should have been an easy one, there is always anxiety, that nervous feeling I get just before the moment of truth. The cold sweat I felt trailing down my face and the hair on the back of my neck that now stood at attention were reminders to me that I must relax just before the shot, if I was to shoot accurately and down the buck.
Finally after what seemed like an eternity, the deer lowered his head. I started my draw and the sequence of events that if performed properly, would result in my arrowing the buck. However, before my string reached my anchor point at the corner of my mouth, I shifted my weight slightly and heard a terrifying squeak from my tree stand. I hoped that the buck hadn’t heard the stand pop, as I watched the deer jump and speed quickly away. I’d done everything right – except make sure that my stand was oiled to keep it from making a sound like it just had.
Deer hunting with a bow and arrow is the most-exacting sport in the out-of-doors. To consistently be successful, you constantly must pay attention to even the smallest and most-minute details. This paying attention to detail needs to become a reflex, rather than a thought process. But making a list of items to check before bowhunting will make you more successful.
To get John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks and print books on hunting deer, “How to Hunt and Take Big Buck Deer on Small Properties,” “How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows,” “PhD Whitetails: How to Hunt and Take the Smartest Deer on Any Property,” “How to Take Monster Bucks,” “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro,” and “Mossy Oak Pros Know Bucks and Bows,” or to prepare venison, “Deer & Fixings,” click here.
For information on making jerky from your deer to provide a protein-rich snack, you can download a free book here.