Bowhunting Lessons Learned

Posted by: PJ Reilly on Mar 21, 2013
Page 1 of 2

Like many things in life, bowhunting is a skill that's best learned through experience. You can be the most skilled target archer on the planet. But until you've been in the wild, drawn your bow on a deer, elk, antelope, whatever, and released an arrow, you don't know jack about bowhunting. I can't list all of the things I've learned about bowhunting through real-life experience. For example, when it's safe to move on an antelope or when it's not. What a good tree looks like for hanging a whitetail stand. What an arrow and blood trail look like after a killing shot or what they look like after a bad shot….and on and on. You can read stacks of articles and books on these subjects — and it's never bad to do so — but until you live it, you can't fully comprehend the real-world applications of the lessons. (whitetail lessons)

lesson1
Every time you go afield you learn something new, even when the weapon in your hand is a familiar one.

I was reminded of the power of experience recently on a winter bowhunt for hogs in Georgia. I'd killed several hogs over the years with various firearms. But never with a bow. Still, I've shot lots and lots of deer with my bow, so how much different could this be? My new Mathews Creed was dialed in and driving tacks in the weeks preceding my hunt. (Creed Bow review) So my shooting skills were razor-sharp when I climbed into the stand the first evening. The metal ladder was perched at the top of a slight hill, on the edge of a field, overlooking a clearing in the swamp thicket below the field. If the hogs passed through the clearing on their way to the cut cornfield, I'd have a 28-yard shot. No problem.

 lesson 2

Hogs offer plenty of action and may seem like an “easy kill”. However, until you’ve actually hunted them, you never really know what to expect.

About 30 minutes before sunset, I heard squeals and grunts in the dense cover to the left of the clearing. I grabbed my bow, clipped my release to the string and readied myself for a shot. Soon, I could see several black objects through small openings in the brush. All were headed on the trail that ran right through my shooting lane. Several small hogs scampered through first. I let them pass, knowing from past experiences that the big ones always bring up the rear. When a decent boar stopped in the open to rub its side on a tree, I drew my bow and took aim. I held my 30-yard pin low, so that my arrow would hit behind the shoulder, at about the mid-point below the top of the hog's back and above the bottom of its belly. That's precisely where the arrow hit. Dead hog walking, I figured. (hog hunting tips)

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PJ Reilly

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