F inally! It is time to try your luck at a whitetail deer with your bow.
Even though more and more Texans have decided to take the challenge to take a deer with a bow and arrow, it would be a rare thing to see another hunter in the woods while bow hunting. That is one of the attractions of this sport. Another is the fact that the deer have had no hunting pressure in months, and they have no idea that they are about to have a bad day.
If you are one of those hunters who choose to take on that bow hunting challenge, then it is most important that you are well prepared for that “moment of truth”, when the shot of a lifetime presents itself.
Any ethical hunter would take it upon him or herself to be sure of the shot. That means not only some last minute practicing, but it also means you need to pay attention to the small details. Your bow should be in tip-top shape. Some tweaking may be required.
One of the ways to make a final check on your bow set up is to shoot a few arrows through paper. Paper tuning a bow can tell you a lot and give you the confidence you need. It does not cost a penny to grab a cardboard box and tape a paper target on the opening of the box.
You should be close to the target when you paper- tune your bow. Less than 10 feet is perfect. A field tip on your arrow is all you need.
Your objective is to have a perfect circle on the target with three small slits where the fletching goes through. If you find that the hole is not perfect but instead, has high or low tear on the paper, that could mean your nocking point is not at a perfect 90 degrees with the bowstring. It could also mean that the cams need to be adjusted a little.
If the tears are to the right or left, it might mean you simply have to move the rest slightly one way or the other. Another reason might be that the arrow you are using is too light for the bow and a different spine is required. One of my friends changed his arrows to a stiffer arrow, and it solved the problem.
Regardless what the issue is, the bottom line is that if you do not have a perfect arrow hole through that paper, and you cannot fix it easily, you must bring your bow to a professional bow shop to locate the problem. If your bow checks out to be tuned perfectly and you still are not happy with the results of paper tuning, then the only cause must be your shooting form itself.
You may be gripping the bow too tight, which would cause the arrow to fly right or left. You may be dropping your bow hand instead of following through and keeping it straight on target after the shot. This might cause the arrow to fly off the rest awkwardly. That, in turn, could cause your arrow to fishtail toward the target. A bad nocking point will also cause the fishtailing. Either way, you will lose penetrating power, which could result in a wounded and lost deer.
This is also the time to make sure all of your hunting clothes are washed and free of human odor. I personally use the Scent Killer Gold product line from Wildlife Research Center. I believe in this product. It works and it works well.
I have field tested it and purposely have hunted with no concern about wind direction. More than once have had deer walk right to me. I know it works.
First, I wash my camo clothes with Scent Killer detergent, and hang them out on the line to dry. I have heard that the Scent Killer dryer sheets work well, but cannot attest to them personally. I prefer to let nature dry my clothes.
Once my clothes are dry, I spray them down with Scent Killer Gold. Once that is dry, they will be scent free for 10 days before they need to be sprayed again.
I bring a small spray bottle of Scent Killer Gold with me in my backpack. Once I am secure in the tree stand, I spray myself down and I spray my bow, quiver and backpack as well.
I like to store my hunting camo in an air-tight plastic container. I take it a step farther and tape a couple of earth scent wafers on the inside of the plastic container for added concealment.
As I have said many times before, I respect the nose of that whitetail deer. Although I know nothing will take away 100 percent of human odor, I do everything I can to help eliminate human odor as much as possible.
Okay—your bow is set up, you are shooting great and you have prepared your clothes for a scent-free hunt. Now all you need is for the deer to cooperate.
Oh, I almost forgot, make sure you get those odd jobs that the wife has been pestering—I mean asking—you to do, and get them done. It might be a good idea to plan a nice get-away weekend or a nice fancy dinner— or both.
We all know how much time away from home hunting seasons involve. Having an understanding wife is a huge plus.
Now that my wife has left the room and has stopped reading my last paragraph—remember the immortal words of Confucius. “Happy Wife…happy life!”
Have fun and hunt safe out there.
Email Lou Marullo at [email protected]