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 smal game license along with your Elk tag too).
Gear Check: Scent-Lock Carbon Jacket
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.
Gear Check: Tree Stands
Types of tree stands. If your hunting elk a lightweight packable type for back country 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 fold able 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 loose 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.
Gear Check: Blades
Types of broad-heads inclulde 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.
What about gloves? We find that ski gloves can actually work wonders for hunting in the fall especially when its frigid out. The hestra alpine pro is one of our favorites.
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 your 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.
One thing we can gurantee is if you take your dog into the field with you it will sleep soundly! Nothing beats the Carhartt dog bed.