Tips & Trick Share Tweet Pin Share Bow hunting, like any other hunting sport, must not be taken lightly. In addition to various geographic conditions such as the weather and general topography, one must also consider animal behavior and hunting pressure as these parameters greatly affect the outcome of the hunting trip. It goes without saying that proper equipment maintenance is highly important, as well as ensuring that everyone is physically fit enough to go hunting. Nevertheless, even some experienced hunters have tendencies to commit rookie mistakes on their trips. Photo source: https://www.youtube.com Here are some typical bow hunting mistakes and how to avoid them. BUCK FEVER Buck fever is the umbrella term used to refer to the general apprehension that novice, and to some extent, even veteran hunters, commonly feel when they first sight game. It is generally believed that buck fever deters successful bow hunting trips more than any other factor. Its symptoms are jumpiness, nausea, sweating, heavy breathing, and accelerated heart rate. It often leads to over-anticipation when taking a shot, causing the prey to escape. The nerves can also mess with the hunter’s aim. It is difficult to get rid of buck fever completely, but with time, it can diminish. Experienced hunters develop certain measures to help them mitigate its effects. Solution: When experiencing buck fever, it is important to keep the mind clear. An effective technique professional athletes are taught early on is using mental-imagery exercises as such: try to focus on the ideal picture and setting of hunting. It takes some practice, but the mind can be trained to adapt these mental images which will soothe the hunter’s nerves and helps him or her maintain focus. The trick to countering buck fever is to force the mind to singularly focus on one detail and idea at a time, as opposed to multitasking various thoughts. Another method is to prepare a list of instructions to repeat and follow during the heated part of the hunt. It can be as simple as a pneumonic of steps that is easy to remember. Nevertheless, as hunters gain more experience, buck fever becomes less of an issue. Photo source: http://community.deergear.com POOR OBSERVATION OF PROPER HUNTING PROTOCOL Hunting is an activity that requires dedication and focus. Sometimes, hunters have the tendency to compromise certain rules and instructions meant to be adhered to during hunting trips in favor of convenience or due to limited time. These protocol include maximizing the time of the hunt, avoiding idling, observing proper stealth measures and scent control for the hunting gear, inadequate scouting and other idiosyncrasies. One must also acquaint himself or herself well with their shooting gear. The popularity of compound bows is rising due to its efficiency in energy as well as its mechanical advantage over other bows. As with other sports, each hunter must find the best compound bow that is most compatible with him and best suits his hunting. Solution: Adequate preparation and planning must be followed prior to hunting. Basic things such as food and water supplies should be packed. Make sure that all the necessary equipment are in working condition. When on the hunt, scouting and stealth are of particular importance as well. There are some situations wherein one must consider which course of action would be most suitable — sometimes attire is a trade-off between prioritizing stealth and protecting oneself against adverse weather conditions: waterproof and windproof clothing are often noisier than regular hunting attire. That being said, it is still preferred to go hunting when the weather is ideal. Avoid wasting precious time engaging in unnecessary activities such as waiting to “settle in” on the first day — the element of surprise is greatest on the first day and it is likely to catch the bucks off-guard before the scent of the hunters contaminate the area. Overall, dedication is the key to avoid making bow hunting mistakes. Firmly adhere to the disciplined, professional attitude during the hunt. LACK OF PRACTICE AND POOR EQUIPMENT TRAINING Broadheads are known to be complicated to use. The outcome and performance vary with a great number of parameters — the flight of a broadhead during regular backyard practice can be very different from the results of an actual hunting. Solution: Familiarization with the specifications of the hunting bow through constant practice as well as frequent hunting experiences can help the hunter be well-acquainted with his or her equipment. The use of recurve bows and compound bows have different advantages and disadvantages in practice. The best compound bow mastery is achieved through dedicated training.