Bow hunting can be a complex but worthwhile venture for archers or anyone looking into this form of hunting. There are countless articles and publications dedicated to all of the intricacies of bow hunting equipment, practices, and tips. But bow hunting for beginners is easy to understand when you look at the basics to get started and build from a solid foundation.
Having the correct equipment is vital to success in bow hunting. You also want to decide the method of bow hunting you want to start off with as this will affect which bow you go with.
- Bow Type : There are numerous bows on the market, from expensive brands that specialize in compound bows to homemade recurve bows. While hunting with a recurve or compound bow varies in some ways, they both shoot arrows and both have the ability to take down a game animal. The most important factors to take into consideration when deciding on a bow is the bow’s draw weight, poundage, and draw length. You can go into any bow shop to get your measurements taken so you will be able to accurately pick your new hunting bow.
- Release: The type of release you go with is more of a personal preference. There are two types of releases that specifically work with compound bows- the handheld that triggers by your thumb or the wrist strap release that triggers by your index finger. You may want to try both out to see what works best for you.
- Sights: When choosing a sight for your bow you want to go with a sturdy sight that has enough fiber optic pins to give you a few pins that you can adjust to your desired distances. When starting out, three pins should be enough to give you a 20 yard, 25 or 30 yard and 40 yard marker.
- Arrows & Broadheads: Carbon arrows are undeniably the most popular choice of arrow for bowhunters. The most important factor of your arrow will be the weight of the arrow and weight of the arrow when combined with your broadhead. This can vary with the poundage of the bow you are shooting so check with the arrow company for an arrow table to follow.
Choosing a specific broadhead is also important, especially dependant on the type of game animal you are going after. There are two types – fixed blade and mechanical. While fixed blade broadheads are typically tougher and suited for thick hides and muscle, mechanical broadheads can allow a larger wound channel and increased blood trail.
- Arrow Rests: There are also two different types of arrow rests that you can set your bowhunting bow up with. A great option for beginners learning archery or bowhunting situations is the full capture rest. This type of rest assists the shooter by holding the arrow in place even in not so stable conditions.Drop away rests are another option, especially for more experienced archers. These rests hold the arrow up then quickly fall away when the arrow is released so there is minimal contact. The downside when it comes to bowhunting for beginners is that there is more room for error as the arrow could be knocked off the rest.
Once you’ve practiced and feel confident enough shooting consistently, that’s when you are ready to experience the thrill of a bow hunt. Your setup will depend on the animal being hunted, but as a general rule stay downwind of the animal’s path. When they step broadside at the desired yardage you feel comfortable shooting at, place your sight on their vital organ and let your muscle memory from practice guide you in triggering your release.