Getting Ready for the Hunting Season
by: Dale Karch
Longbow & Recurve Hunting - A Rewarding Challenge
In order to get ready for the upcoming hunting season, there are a few more items that need to be addressed other than just sharpening your broadheads. Mind you, a sharp broadhead is very important! But we need to look at all of our equipment, so lets start with the bow.
How does the string look? I personally like to replace mine every year, then I use last year's string as my backup. Be sure to install the new string before you start to practice in order to make sure it is stretched out properly.
Now take a look at the string silencers. Do they need to be replaced? What shape is your arrow rest in? Keeping a few spare parts handy for quick repairs is always a good idea.
This is also a good time to take an inventory of your arrows. Do you have enough for the entire season or will you be spending valuable hunting time looking for new "bullets?" In addition, if you make them now or order them now, you'll beat the rush and save on "Next Day Air" shipping charges. Don't procrastinate - call 3Rivers Archery today!
I like to shoot feathers. They're quiet and forgiving when shooting off the shelf. Before season starts, I apply a coat of feather waterproofing to the fletching on all my arrows. Not because I intentionally hunt in the rain, but to protect them from sudden downpours. Once, while bowhunting for elk, we were in the backcountry a good 4-miles from camp when a sudden rainstorm broke open and dumped 1-2 inches of rain on us in less than thirty minutes. I was lucky to have my arrows waterproofed or the rest of my day would have been spent drying out feathers. Be prepared!
Next check out your quiver. Is the gripper in good shape? Does the hood foam need to be replaced? Maybe this is a good time to look at what's new on the market. Each year manufacturers are improving bowhunting equipment. Take a peak and check out what's new and exciting. The Internet is a great source of information. Technology can be a good thing, even for the modern traditional archer.
Now it's time to look at what we wear. Boots need to be oiled and tried on to make sure they still fit. Plus you might recall some problems you had with them last year or want to try out something new. What better time to deal with it than now?
Do you have enough clothing? Again, they keep coming out with lighter, warmer and more durable clothing so make sure everything still fits and replace anything that is worn out or is too small. Just like our wives, we never have all we need when it comes to clothing. Hunting clothing that is!
Now, for the most important part of the pre-season preparations - PRACTICE!!!!!! I love to shoot year round, but when hunting season is only a few months away, I start to take this very serious. Trying to practice with the same excitement you experience while hunting is impossible, but we can come close.
I like to shoot in the morning before work and in the evening after work. In the morning I have my bow and arrows ready to shoot, but before I do this I take a good long fast walk for about 2 miles. This will work up a good sweat and your heart should be pounding. Sounds like hunting to me. This is when I pick up my bow and take a few shots, and I do want to emphasize a few shots. My normal routine is to shoot six times with only two arrows. One should be setup with a broadhead and the other one with a field point. Both are shot at different targets and at different distances. This causes me to judge distances and focus on my target. Why only six arrows at each target? Knowing I have only one shot LIKE HUNTING; I pay special attention to every shot and make sure it is my best. Shooting at animal targets helps with becoming accustomed to looking at animals not bales of straw. I also believe this helps out at the moment of truth.
Try practicing with some of my ideas and see if this helps you with your hunting success this season. Keep your arrows straight and your broadheads sharp!
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