Bow hunting 2018 season

The bow hunting season of 2018 was a pretty good one for me.  I was able to get out five or six times and ended up shooting one doe.  I saw one nice buck but could not get a shot at him.  Even though I did not shoot a nice buck, I didn't miss or wound any animals.  That is a win in my book.  I was also able to learn some new things this year to apply to the 2019 season.

One of the best things about bow hunting is learning new things and getting better.  I have been bowhunting for 10 year now and pick up something new each year.  Bow hunting is very rewarding once you start getting better because it not only allows you more time to harvest a nice buck it gets you up close with the deer when they are more active.

Here are a few tips I have learned over the years.

One of the big ones is how to layer my gear properly.  I learned the hard way on that one. I used to wear my harness over my coat until I stood up to pull back on a deer and the metal pieces on the harness hit my ladder stand.  Needless to say the buck took off running.  I now wear my harness under my outer coat.

Layering to stay warm is also something important for success.  If it is 50 degrees when you go out, that last 45 minutes gets very cold especially when you see a deer you want to shoot.  Layering is important because you can take a few layers off when you walk out and then put them back on when the temperature drops or when you cool down from the walk.

Using a bow holder is key to staying warm in the stand.  I used to hold my bow in my hand or across my lap so I would be ready when a deer comes out.  This is a good idea to be prepared but when that piece of metal you are holding sucks in the 35 degree weather it transfers right to you.  Once you get a chill out there, it is hard to stay warm again.

The main thing I learned this year....

Making sure your safety strap is tight will give you more confidence in the stand.  3 or 4 years ago I stood up to shoot a deer and sort of lost my balance.  Even though I strap in every time, that day got in my mind.  I started thinking about it every time I stood up and wasn't confident when I pulled back.  The nervousness made me rush the shot and I missed a few times. 

One sit this year, I started thinking about being unsettled in the stand and tried to figure out what changed from when I started.  I came to the realization that when I first started,  I put my safety strap higher in the tree.  This made it so when I stood up in the stand I could feel the strap holding me tight on the tree.  I ended up changing how high I strapped myself in the tree so I could move better to the right and left.  However, this change led me to feel unsecure while standing. 

After realizing I needed to make a change, I started strapping higher in the tree again.  I ended up sitting 3 more times and felt much more secure and confident in the stand.  One of those sits is when I harvested a nice doe.  I am sure all of this was just in my head and I will miss again but I felt very comfortable standing up again. 

I am thinking for next year that I need to figure out how to tether myself to the tree with a lineman's belt or something like that so I can still move left to right to maximize my shots.  I don't know for sure if that will work but I am sure I will figure something out to get better!

Good luck to any of you that still have a bow season left.  Have fun and stay safe out there.  Here are some pics of my season.


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