January 12, 2016 at 9:41am
It can get ridiculously expensive real quick. Always do some research before buying something. There are constantly releasing new gear, and most of the time it is no better than what you have.
Get a range finder that can calculate distance and also takes into account the slope and height of your tree stand.
Like the above suggestions, practice is very important. Once you get comfortable shooting from the ground, get in a tree or stand and practice shooting from there. It is very different than being in the ground.
Get a 3D deer target. Some are better than others so you should do some research on that and take into account your budget. Position the deer for different shot scenarios. Quartering away, broadside, etc.
I prefer hunting out of climbing stands. Bow hunting changes the game a lot. Being one or two trees over from an existing lock on stand can make a big difference. having a climber gives you many different options and allows you to pack in further and hunt some spots that are not pressured.
Some people do not like this next one, but It has never failed me. When I get new arrows, I shoot them all make sure they fly good. I then pick three as my 'hunting' arrows and I never practice with those again. They stay on my hunting quiver and are only shot from the stand. At the beginning and middle of the season I'll send them down range to make sure they are still flying good.
Another one some people don't like. I spray a shot of rem oil on my broad heads every now and again. I use mechanical broad heads and they are constantly exposed to weather conditions. Spraying a little oil every now and then keeps them ooerating as they should. Some people say that spraying them with oil could make them open in flight. I have never had or seen this happen.
Wear a harness. I never wore one because some of them (most) are very uncomfortable. I had a close call a few years ago on a lock on stand and now I will not leave the camp without it. They also give you more confidence to make a harder shot. You know that you have a safety barrier and can lean a little more than you are comfortable with.
Scent scent scent. That is one of the biggest things bow hunting. You will get blown at more times in a weekend than you ever did gun hunting. I like raccoon piss on my boots, and spray down with scent blocker throughout the day. If there is no rain, I leave my camo in the woods overnight and never wear it around the camp.
Edit: I didn't answer your other question.
That questions about where to hunt has many different answers.
I'm not really sure where to begin with this one. I guess it depends on what you define as a small food plot. I'm not a fan of food plots unless it's the rut and I'm looking for a nice buck that I know is in the area. Hunting large food plots with a bow is rolling the dice in my opinion. Your max effective range (at least mine) is 40 yards and that is still a long reach from the top of a tree. If the wind is blowing, the tree is moving.
What I am getting at is that you never know where the shot will be taken in a food plot.
I like to hunt rubs, game trails, dried up creek beds, right outside a thicket, small ravines in the woods. My favorite is hunting oak bottoms and areas that are not hunted. That's why I like a climbing stand. You can hunt anywheres you hunt.