Time for Last Minute Hunting Preparations

A RE YOU READY for a successful hunting season? If not, you still have some last minute things to take care of. So get to it! It’s GO time!

Your stands should have been checked for loose, noisy parts. You should have had time to scout out your lease to make sure there have been no major changes.

If you find a cooler day in August—and I know that is asking a lot—then you should put any remaining stands up and get them in place so whitetails can get used to the new trees in the woods.

One thing that some hunters do, is wait until the last minute to sight their bow or rifle in to ensure a humane shot.

Recently, a good friend of mine showed me how he fine tunes his sights every year. It makes so much sense that I am very surprised I had not heard of this before.

Get some duct tape and tape a vertical line on your target. Your only concern right now should be whether you are hitting right, left or center of that piece of tape. It does not matter whether you are shooting a bow or rifle, the concept is the same.

I prefer bow hunting so I will address how to adjust your pins so that you are spot-on for every shot. You should plan on shooting four arrows each time you try to adjust your pins. This will give you a good idea whether you’re shooting correctly even if one arrow doesn’t fly true.

The important thing to remember is that for sighting in, you should be about 10 yards or closer to your target. If, at 10 yards, you find yourself shooting a little left of the tape, you may think that it is good enough to take a deer. However, the farther you are from your target, the more your shot will go to the left.

By the time you shoot at 30 yards, you could be 8 to 10 inches off target. That will result in a miss or worse yet, a wounded animal.

Also, remember that your muscles will become fatigued after a short while. That could be the reason you are not consistent with your shooting. Take plenty of rest. Then after a while, go back at it with rested muscles.

In my bow hunting classes, I can see distress on young faces when I try to explain which way to adjust your pin. The easiest explanation I can say is to simply follow the arrow (or bullet hole). If you shoot to the left, then adjust your pin to the left. Conversely, if you shoot to the right, adjust your pin to the right.

You will not need to move your pins too far. Just a few clicks on your sight might be enough. If you are moving them manually, then just a small nudge here and there will do the trick. 

Keep shooting those same four arrows until they are in the center of the vertical strip of tape. If you find that one arrow is always off target and the rest are perfect, I suggest marking the fletching with numbers. This will confirm that it’s the same arrow causing you trouble every time.

Once all your arrows are in the center of the tape, then remove the arrows and remove the tape. Now use a new piece of duct tape and place it horizontally on your target.

You will need a range finder for the horizontal shots. If you shoot a bow, then get an exact range of 20 yards (which is where most of your shots at game will be). Shoot those same four arrows to see whether you’re high or low. Again, simply follow the arrow (or bullet hole).

If you shoot high, raise you pin and if you shoot low, lower your pin. It will not take long before all four of your arrows will be aligned in the center of that piece of horizontal tape.

Of course, you will have to do that with every distance you shoot. 20, 30 or 40 yards will all have to be adjusted separately. That’s why I like to finalize my vertical shooting first and then work on the horizontal shots the following day. It does not take much to tire your muscles. You might not think you are getting tired; but believe me, it is better if you wait and come back to sight-in with well-rested muscles.

Now that your arrows are shooting at the center of both pieces of tape, it’s time to remove the tape and replace it with a very small piece of paper or cardboard. A matchbook cover works great. Remember the famous line in the movie “The Patriot.” “Aim small, miss small.” You will hit that matchbook cover almost every time, and that is what you want to accomplish.

For bow hunters, remember to only shoot your known accuracy range. If that is 20 yards, then stick to shooting only 20-yard shots. It might be only 10 yards, and that is fine. Trust me, you WILL have shots at 10 yards.

For rifle hunters, you will find it to be much easier to adjust your sights to be perfect. For one thing, you will not need to wait a day before adjusting the horizontal sight. Fatigue is out of the equation with a rifle. The concept is the same. If you follow the bullet hole and adjust accordingly, you will shoot bullseyes every time.

I wish my friend had told me about this years ago. It is so much easier now to be sighted in for that perfect shot.

Have fun and hunt safe.


Email Lou Marullo at ContactUs@fishgame.com

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