This list of unconventional bow hunting tips just might save your season.
There’s no shortage of bow hunting tips. Libraries could be filled with the articles about this old trick or that little tip. Here are three innovative tips for bow hunters that may not have crossed your mind or your inbox.
1. Store gear in your dominant pocket.
Picture yourself shooting your bow in cold weather. You’re likely wearing an extra few layers, making your frame thicker than usual. Because of the torque and twisting of our bodies at full draw, there is high potential for gear to get in the way.
In particular, you expose a large amount of your frame to the cables and strings of your bow at full draw. Any gear in your coat pockets causing unnecessary thickness could interfere with the bow. This interference is not only dangerous to the shooter and the bow, but it might also be enough of a disturbance to throw off your shot, causing you to miss that buck of a lifetime.
A simple fix to solve this problem is to store gear in your dominant side pocket, including your gloves, your phone, or a rangefinder. If you’re right handed, keep this gear in your right pocket. At full draw, this pocket will be behind your string and out of the way. The pocket on your weak side, with a higher chance of interference, will remain flat and will not protrude into the travel path of your bow string.
2. Silicone your ladder stands.
If you use ladder-style tree stands, chances are high you’ve encountered this pesky little issue at least once. You’re climbing your stand after a stealthy entrance to the woods and suddenly, the joints connecting two of the ladder sections let out a big old creak, pop, or bang. It could be the sizing of the joints, or it could be a loose bolt allowing a bit too much wiggle room. Regardless, it’s disheartening when it happens.
One simple trick to reduce or even eliminate those unexpected metal-on-metal noises is to throw a little bit of waterproof silicone in the ends of the ladder sections or around the bolts when putting them together. Before season, when you’re inspecting stands, place a small amount of silicone in each connection, and you’ll be surprised at how many of these unexpected noises are reduced.
Tip: Do this before season to allow ample time for the silicone to dry. Even odorless silicone can have an intense initial smell.
3. Practice with gloves.
In the upper Midwest, it’s rare that we hunt without gloves on. November and December in Iowa, the Dakotas, Nebraska and Minnesota can be pretty harsh. Even early-season hunts typically warrant a thin pair of gloves.
That’s why I like to practice with gloves on year round. Even in the summer off season, practicing with gloves of various sizes and thickness allows us to get a true sense of what the bow will feel like in our hands during the hunt. It will help us understand how the release feels around our wrist or through the padding of your gloves.
Also, more than just shooting, take some time to practice slipping your gloved hand through your wrist sling. If your sling is too tight, it will be difficult slide a gloved hand through to grasp your bow. When time is of the essence and that mature buck is finally coming in range, the last thing you want is to struggle handling your bow.