Bow Hunting can be a very fun sport for the archery enthusiast. Whether stalking a mule deer in the sage, Elk in the lodgepole pine, or Antelope in the desert, there are things to consider for each game species. Hunting from a tree stand or stalking, water source, food source, bedding, and during the rut, all play a role in hunting big game. Carrying an extra arrow with a blunt tip for harvesting a grouse during an elk hunt can be rewarding as well (be sure to carry your small game license along with your Elk tag too).
Bow Hunting Gear Review
If you play the wind right the clothes your wearing might be sufficient. Are they scent free? How about UV rays? Can your clothes give off your location to the game? So if you’re fooling the elk by concealing yourself in camo and scent lock, can you also imitate an elk and lure them into you or thinking that your one of the herd? This week lets look at your elk calls and your clothing.
Bow Hunting Elk Calls
Do you have a spare reed for your bull elk call? How about an extra reed call in case you lose one. Do you have a reed call or a handheld call similar to a “Hootchie Moma.” Reed calls are nice when your bow hunting because you can free your arms to draw back and remain motionless while calling. It takes some getting used to.
The first time you start with a reed call you may begin excess drooling, but don’t be alarmed. Keep practicing and don’t practice in front of your significant other unless they have the same aspirations as you do. Once you get comfortable with the reed call to try it while you practice shooting your bow in various positions. Also, there are some great tools on the internet for learning how to use a reed call.
Check the manufacturer, youtube, or even other hunting forums for sound and when to use a reed call or “Hootchie Moma”. A bull elk bugle in September can be another great tool if used properly. Sounding like a competitor bull intruding on another bulls herd can create an exhilarating moment when a jealous bull comes crashing in the lodgepole pine towards you. Keep in mind calling at the right time is everything. Overcalling can also be a bad thing. Calling to locate and then playing the wind to stalk can be a good bet on seeing Elk.
Bow Hunting Clothing
Lots of folks use this apparel and there is a good reason why. It works. Even though carbon scent clothing can keep from adding unwanted scents from your body be wary about other strong odors (cigarette smoke or other camp smells). A good rule is to have camp clothes for when you return from hunting. Remove and decent your clothes (scent killer spray from various manufacturers) and then store in as airtight or scent free container as soon as possible (ASAP).
There are Clothing bags that keep unwanted scents away from your camo, vacuum bags, and others that you may get creative with. Some hunters I have met even buried their clothes in the ground on the land they intended to hunt. Unscented antiperspirant to cut any odor. Shower with various unscented or scent killer products (baking soda seems to work to).
Playing the wind is probably the best suggestion you can use to your advantage. Bull Elk make a ton of noise thrashing up limbs while coming to a cow in heat but seem to disappear into thin air when the wind changes direction and blows your scent towards them. Consider carbon activated wear to reduce the possibility of being located by Elk or Deer.
Bow Hunting Tree Stand
Types of tree stands. If your hunting elk a lightweight packable treestand for backcountry would be best to use. If you know the terrain maybe you can drop of a stand. Check local game and fish regulations for how long a tree stand can be up. Placement of your stand is another thing to consider. Is there an active game trail?
Find a tree maybe 20 yards away and pick shooting lanes. You may have to use a lightweight foldable saw (like the ones arborist’s use) to prune limbs and small trees in the way of your shooting lane. If you do not clear a path you may lose a trophy Elk or Buck to a small sapling. You don’t shoot through limbs. It can change the arrows trajectory and a kill shot can easily turn into a leg or shoulder shot. Pick a lane. Commit to the lanes or let the critters pass. And come back another day. If you don’t spook the Elk or Deer (noise or scent) you may have another opportunity to return to the same place.
Bow Hunting Blades
Types of broad-heads include Fixed blade, Swing blade, or other. Use the correct type for the size game your hunting. 100-grain broad-heads are more suited for hunting antelope and deer. 125’s are suited for hunting Elk. Be sure to check with the game and fish with what size broad-head to use for the size of big game your hunting. I use 1 practice broad-head (thunderheads) and the rest I keep clean, dry and sharp as a razor.
An ethical kill to me means you use a clean sharp broad-head and wait for a broadside shot double lung and heart between the ribs. Deer can jump the string and buck fever happens but do your best to wait for the vital shot. Otherwise, you’re wasting a tag and your time searching for a wounded animal. That is frustrating and aggravating. From time to time, poor shot placement can happen to even the most experienced hunters. Wait for the broadside shot quartering away to give the best possible shot and most humane kill.
Take a look at our picks for the best hunting knives.