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Bowhunting 101


Hunting- Bowhunting and the White-tailed Deer Bow season gives a hunter many weeks in the woods. Bowhunting is also the most challenging of deer hunting methods, requiring a hunter to get close to game to ensure a clean, humane kill. To be successful, a bowhunter must learn woodsmanship and practice many hours to become a good shot. A bowhunter must also scout in the preseason to locate deer trails, deer feeding and bedding locations, and deer scrapes and rubs (Read more: Scouting the Terrain & Knowing your Game). Particular attention must be paid to locate a place for your ground blind or treestand.

Construct your blind or place your treestand before the hunting season begins so that deer become accustomed to its presence. Shooting lanes should be trimmed through trees and bushes and distances measured to determine effective range. If hunting from a treestand, make sure it is secured firmly to the tree at the proper height; usually 8 to 15 feet from the ground

The next step is equipment preparation. Considerations should always include a good safety harness to attach you to the tree if hunting from a treestand. Never use a rope or belt, and always use a complete harness. A haul rope is also needed for raising and lowering your bow and other equipment to the treestand. Scent or lure needs to be selected and placed to attract deer and cover your odor. Wearing proper clothing for the weather conditions allows you to spend the maximum amount of time in a treestand or ground blind

Once the preparation is complete, all you need is patience. When a deer approaches, move slowly, deliberately and only take a shot within your effective range in a clear shooting lane. After shooting a deer, never leave your stand or blind to pursue it immediately. Wait a half-hour or so to allow the animal to bed down and bleed out. A good hit in the heart/lung area will usually cause the deer to die swiftly and allow recovery within a few hundred yards of your stand. Follow the blood trail to your deer, and once youíre sure the animalís dead, immediately attach your temporary tag.

Courtest of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources


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