5 Best Bow Hunting Tips

By Jonathan Bales , last updated January 4, 2012

Bow hunting is an extremely difficult activity that requires patience and lots of practice. There is more that goes into bow hunting than simply shooting. You have to master a lot of techniques, such as calling, to be an expert bow hunter. To help you along the way, read below for the top five bow hunting tips.

Aim Low
Almost all bow hunting is completed from a tree stand, and hunters tend to miss high when shooting from this position. This happens for two reasons. First, bow hunters tend to lower their bow arm to compensate for the height, and this often leads to high shots. Second, deer sometimes anticipate your shot and lower their bodies. To fix this, bend at the waist to lower yourself into proper shooting position. You want to keep the relationship between your arm and upper body the same. You should also aim a bit lower on your prey than you would with a gun.
Do Your Research
The easiest way to increase your odds of getting the big one is to put yourself in a position to get a shot off. Perfect bow hunting form means nothing if you do not see your prey. Know where they live, where they travel, when they visit certain areas, and so on. Deer are creatures of habit and will repeat their behavior until it is no longer beneficial to them.
When searching for signs of deer during spring or early summer, for example, you should not necessarily look for tracks. A lot of prints are likely a sign of does and their young not bucks.
Use Grunts
Many hunters do not call in their prey effectively. Grunting is the most effective way to get your prey to come to you. Proper calling will put you in position to make the perfect shot with your bow.
Use a Floating Aim
When bow hunting, aiming at a very specific location is useless because, when releasing the string correctly, you will not be able to time your shot. By just letting the pin of the arrow float over the general spot where you want to hit, you will see more accuracy. This allows you to hold the bow more freely and be steadier in your shot.
A floating aim works because the best way to shoot a bow is with a surprise release. This means that you do not plan the exact moment to release the string, but rather release at any point when the floating aim has been accomplished. By not using a definite aim or release time, you will actually see far more accuracy than releasing at a specific time and at a definite spot.
Follow Through
A follow through is not just for baseball or golf swings. When bow hunting, you should maintain your form until your arrow reaches the target to ensure you are maximizing accuracy. Many hunters squeeze the hand holding their bow just as they release the string, killing their accuracy. Complete a follow through by making sure your bow hand is relaxed up until the arrow hits the target.
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