By Kirk Petersen
Well everyone, as you may or may not know from the whitetailworld.com forums I’m not happy with my neighbors at all, so much so that I am kinda turned totally off of gun hunting this year, why take a shot in my woods just to scare everything their way and have them (slaughter em as they put it)?
My bow has been out in full force during this slug season, not sure why I choose slug opener to be the first time my bow has seen the woods with me, but I did. And it will stay in my hands throughout the season and the rest of the year.
Now with that being said, I’m sure almost everyone has experienced what I’m about to say when going from a gun to a bow for the first time. If your setup for deer season is totally designed around gun hunting, you’re in big trouble if you decide to bow hunt and don’t change a thing. I realized right away that I didn’t have a permanent stand that I could hunt out of with a bow so I decided to grab a lawn chair and head out. That first day was pretty comical because I sat in spots that would hide me totally from the deer; (I was still thinking with a gun in my hands,) these spots were great for a gun, but a clown show with a bow. I could do absolutely NOTHING without hitting branches, getting my broadhead stuck in the weeds; I knocked my arrow off 3 or 4 times just pretending/practicing on pulling up on a deer.
Lesson one- just because it’s an awesome ambush spot with a gun, there is a great chance it is absolutely worthless with a bow.
That lesson got me through the next few days even though I didn’t have any opportunities at a deer, I did get to a point where I was able to pull the bow up and draw virtually unnoticeable, (so I thought) you see the second thing I learned was sitting in a lawn chair at eye level with the deer is NEVER a good thing. The doe’s just kept busting me. They can be 150 yds away and I can see them coming but they still just stop and start blowing.
The one time I did have a buck within range it was only a 2 1/2 yr old 8 so I wasn’t going to shoot him but I thought I would take everything I had learned and use it to draw on him to prove just how good I had gotten over the past 5 days. HA. I never even had a chance to get my bow into position, every single tiny little move I made he was on me. I couldn’t have drawn on that buck even if it had been a 190″ deer and he was 20 yds from me 3 different times.
Lesson Number 2-sitting in a lawn chair is not at all the best location to bow hunt.
After this I decided to take the one ladder stand I have and move it to the same location, oh boy what a difference that has made in the past 2 days, now I get the deer within 50 yds and they have no clue I’m even there. I am totally confident that just getting that 15 foot up in the air is all I needed to be able to take a deer with a bow (ok, this is where my next lesson will be learned but that’s for a later date). I will be purchasing a few different ladder stands and place them in spots strictly for bow hunting.
I didn’t realize that just because I got a bow and wanted to use it that I would have to change the way I have hunted for the past 22 years, yea obviously I knew I wouldn’t be able to take a 100 yrd shot, but it’s nothing like I thought it would be.
It’s been a great experience so far and I’m willing to bet I haven’t even come close to figuring it out.