Increasing Your Bowhunting Education during the Off-season
The heart of summer can be discouraging for most archery hunters. Opening day of deer season is a long wait for any avid hunter, but there is more to do than spend your days sitting around moping about it. Take this opportunity to increase your bowhunting education in preparation for the much anticipated fall season. Has there ever been a time when you have made a poor shot or lost your concentration under the pumping adrenaline as that shooter buck stood just yards from your stand? Most archery hunters can confess they have on at least one occasion. Adding the right archery tips and techniques into your bowhunting education strategy will make sure you are ready when the time comes. Use the down time this summer to improve your archery education and practice like you hunt.
Practice Like You Hunt
Every hunt is different. There is no telling what situation you may be in when that trophy whitetail shows himself. Are you going to be in stand our perhaps sneaking down a trail during the afternoon? Part of the lore of hunting is these unscripted moments in the forest or field. One thing guaranteed is that the moments leading up to taking that shot will be full of excitement just as your arrow leaves your Bear Archery Bow. Simulating as many real hunting scenarios as you can into your off season archery practice can prepare you to be confident and certain when that long awaited situation comes to let the arrow fly.
Nailing arrows, one after another, into the vitals on your 3D target will not make you a better hunter. Most of us practice in the off-season but few truly increase their bowhunting education to a point where it needs to be for year after year archery hunting success. The most important archery training tip is to practice like you hunt. Few have harvested a whitetail at 15 yards broadside, standing with feet perfectly square, calm and under no influences from the weather.
Archery education is about taking your practice to a higher level. It is about understanding how your equipment will perform in different conditions. Dedicate time to create your very own mock-hunting experiences that you can share with your friends and family. Practice shooting from tree stands, ground blinds and on the open ground, all while varying shot types in these positions. Also, practice while suited up in your hunting clothing so that when you pull that bow back each shot is as real as it can get. The goal is to eliminate any surprises in the woods by practicing as many situations as possible. There are endless mock-shooting situations to practice that will increase your archery education. Practicing situations not only prepare you for shots that you may encounter this fall but also gives you the confidence to make the accurate shot when the time comes.
Most hunters choose to pursue deer from tree stands, yet many only practice by shooting in the back yard on the ground with level shots. A critical archery training tip is if you plan to hunt from a tree stand then you should be practicing from a tree stand. Hang a stand in the back yard at elevations you would typically hunt from and position targets at various angles to make shots more realistic. Place targets in brushy cover areas as well so you can practice unexpected and more difficult shots that are typically in real hunts. Another archery training tip is to take shots while sitting in your stand. Sometimes you do not have time to stand and position perfectly towards an incoming buck. These shots are difficult and not ideal, but sometimes the only shot you may have on the buck of a life time is one that puts you in a seated position.
Take to the Ground
Even though many of us hunt from a tree stand, there comes a time when that perfect shot may occur from the ground. Either while walking to your stand in the afternoon during the rut or simply taking a stalking trek to break up the day; you should be prepared to take a shot from the ground. Start with shooting from your knees, again in realistic situations like in cover. Work with using your Nikon range finder to sight the distances; do not just set and shoot at predefined ranges. Rarely does a buck come in and stop exactly at 20 yards. Part of this bowhunting education is about understanding how your bow shoots while kneeling. Is there enough room to draw without your clothing or other archery equipment getting in the way? Many of these questions can be worked out now by taking a few shots from ground situations in the summer.
Your bowhunting practice strategy is about making as many awkward shots from different positions as possible so that when it comes to making the same shot at an animal it comes natural. Creating the most realistic practice will ultimately build enough confidence and experience to make your shot count when the moment of truth surfaces. Practice these different kinds of shooting situations to perfect your archery education going into next season.
Better Long-range Accuracy
The advancements in bow performance and technology have shooters being able to extend their shots well beyond the traditional 40 yard distance that was once the stopping point for taking a shot on a deer. Leveraging these advancements means you have to increase your archery education to a point where you can understand how to effectively use it while hunting. Practicing long-range shots also makes closer shots easier. Adding these few archery tips for accuracy will put more meat in the freezer and more trophies on the wall.
Things change exponentially when you start to shoot out past 40 yards when it comes to bowhunting. Just like practicing from tree stands or from the ground, your stance is important. Any unbalanced position magnifies error for shots that are even the slightest off target. Increasing distance also means you have to develop a proper grip on the bow. Relaxed grips help to reduce torque on the bow. The less torque the more accurate you will be shooting at greater distances. Many hunters put more grip on their bow handle when shooting at longer distances, but remember you want an open grip that sits into your palm to remain stable and accurate on release. Once you release the shot, the tendency is to drop the bow out of the way to track your arrow in flight until it hits your target. Shots at long range can take what seems like forever to reach your target even with today’s speedy bows. Keep your head on point the whole way through the shot until the arrow impacts. This will make sure you do not inadvertently jerk the bow as the arrow leaves the rest affecting the accuracy of the shot.
The two most important archery tips for accuracy at long ranges have nothing to do with form or even your equipment for that matter. To shot consistently well over 40 yards it takes breathe control and the confidence in execution you have from countless hours practicing. It can be intimidating to draw at a deer out at 40 yards or more. This nervousness usually forces you to hold your breath and tighten up. Resist this reaction! Holding your breath causes you to shake and lose focus on your target. Consciously practice breath control on long shots to keep the oxygen following while focusing in on your target. As your distance to target increases, there are so many variables that are out of your control such as how the animal may move or what obstructions may impact your shot that you did not see while aiming. All that you can do is have the confidence in your execution and your archery education to execute the best possible shot.
Bowhunting Education and Beyond
Now that you have taken the time to build your bowhunting education, summer is the perfect opportunity to increase your kid’s archery education. The same archery tips and techniques can be passed along to your kids or another person that is getting started in the sport. Not only teach proper and safe shooting with a bow but also give them the knowledge you have on wildlife, game care, ethical hunting and outdoor skills. Youth summer camps can be a great option to get your kids outdoors. Raised at Full Draw (RAFD) bowhunting education camps are one of the best camps if you are looking to build archery education in your next generation hunter. Summer programs for kids like RAFD camps promote archery skills, hunting and outdoor education like no other. Kids are giving the opportunity to practice immediately the skills they are taught. They leave each camp with an increased appreciation for hunting and the outdoors while building the archery education needed to be successful at the sport for years to come.
Bowhunting Education – Raised at Full Draw (RAFD) Bowhunting Camps.
(Video) – Promoting archery, hunting and outdoor education for the next generation.
Practicing archery shooting has to also be fun, either with kids or with yourself. Not every practice session should be rigorously working on the archery tips and techniques discussed above. Incorporate archery games and tricks into the mix to not only keep interest but make practicing and the sport enjoyable for all.
Bowhunting education is something that never stops. Each off-season should be a time gather the lessons of the past hunting season and improve your archery skills. Summertime can also be a break from hunting to get kids involved in archery through different summer programs for kids like RAFD camps. Work on practicing like you plan to hunt. Take shots from situations that you expect and do not expect to happen in the upcoming season. Incorporating the right archery tips and techniques into your archery education strategy will only yield more successful hunts.
Father’s Day and Family Hunting Go Hand in Hand
Father’s Day always sparks nostalgic memories of family hunting days past with dads and family. This designated day for our fathers is not just about one single time of the year to hang out with your dad or children but rather it is a celebration of a yearlong position, a lifestyle, a duty and a way of being. It is a reminder to us of how our own fathers have provided guidance, instilled family hunting traditions and were just plain there for us growing up. For those of us with our own children, this day reminds us of the importance of being there for our kids as they grow just like our fathers have been there for us.
Why Father’s Day is Important
Father’s Day weekend is a joyous reminder of what should be one of the most important elements of family hunting. Hunting has transformed from an activity of necessity for most to one that brings millions to the woods each year to share cherished time in the natural world bonding with those loved ones that mean so much to us. The meaning of Father’s Day is more than the commercialization we see today. Often holidays are days we think about giving gifts. Although there is nothing wrong with celebrating your dad with gifts for Father’s Day, we must not forget the true meaning of the special day. Father’s Day is important to take time to reflect on our fathers and grandfathers and forefathers who came before us.
It is a day for dads to remember that special time when our children were born. Fatherhood is one of the greatest jobs that a man can have. Scary at first because there are so many unknowns, but the skills to teach our children are the ones that were passed down to us from our fathers and their fathers before them. Each day is a memory as a father. Who can forget that excitement we have enjoyed on that first family hunting adventure with our son or daughter. The time spent passing on the outdoor knowledge and lessons we were given from our fathers is truly what’s important as an outdoor dad.
The importance of Father’s Day also resonates with us as we celebrate those dads that have spent their lives being there for us through the many family hunting trips each year. We appreciate the time they have taken to introduce us to the outdoors while keeping the family hunting tradition alive in our own lives. Without our fathers many of us would never have been introduced to the sport of hunting.
Our Outdoor Dads
Fathers have taught their children how to embrace the outdoors, making it part of their life. We learned from our dads that the outdoors is our second home, one that is a safe place to explore and let go when you have the know-how and tools to make it such. Appreciation for the outdoors as part of family hunting is as much a part of our lives as the morals and integrity it provides. Family hunting traditions are part of us because these traditions make us stronger. They have shown so many of us that a successful hunt is not only about the kill but it is about sharing the outdoor experiences with others. Countless fathers have passed along life skills to their children through family hunting adventures.
It usually begins as youngsters; our fathers begin to bring us with them to the same areas they once were brought by their fathers. During these expeditions, our heads are overwhelmed with adventures and stories that have been experienced by our family hunting members who have hunted the same grounds year after year before us. Family hunting trips build our insatiable passion for the outdoors as we grow. Our fathers pass on these family hunting traditions like reading sign, appreciating nature and the primal skills needed to find and harvest game. These same trips are where we build our understanding of life. The important life lessons that are captured through the intimate relationship with the land and our fathers are the same ones we carry with us as we grow. Family hunting teaches us skills and life lessons that cannot be learned elsewhere in our early years. This passion for hunting is nurtured throughout our childhood by the many dads out there who took the time after work or on the weekends, even after a long work-week, to spend time with us hunting. Family hunting doesn’t just begin and end in childhood but it continues into adulthood. We continue to spend time with our fathers and family outdoors in each passing year. The bonds created are precious and are lifelong. Family hunting trips give time to reflect on life and for a short time forget about our daily challenges. Each time we suit up in our Realtree® Camo we connect with all the great times we have had with our outdoor dads.
5 Father’s Day Facts
Father’s day 2016 is set for June 19th, always occurring on the third Sunday in June. Following Mother’s Day on the calendar, Father’s Day is just not a United States holiday for grabbing the cooler and grilling out, but it is an important holiday that occurs in many other countries throughout the world. Here are 5 Father’s Day facts behind the holiday.
- Father’s Day was first celebrated on June 19th, 1910 in Spokane, Washington. Sonora Smart Dodd is credited with inspiring the holiday after her father, a civil war veteran who raised six children as a single parent.
- After several attempts to create a formal holiday for dads, it was not until 1966 when President Lyndon Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers and designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. President Richard Nixon, 6 years later, signed it into law in 1972.
- American’s spend over $1 billion annually on gifts for dads. Cards are the most frequently purchased gifts for Father’s Day. According to Hallmark, Father’s Day is the fourth-largest card sending holiday in the country with over 74 million cards exchanged.
- There are an estimated 70.1 million fathers in the United States who will be celebrated this Father’s Day according to the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (https://www.fatherhood.gov/content/dad-stats#Census).
- The official flower of Father’s Day is the rose. A red rose symbolizes those dads that are still living while a white rose are for those fathers who have past.
Family hunting goes hand in hand with Father’s Day. The importance of Father’s Day is to remind ourselves of the great mentors and teachers we have in our lives. Those that have provided countless family hunting adventures throughout our time growing up. It is also time to remember the wonderful aspects about being a father to our own children. Recall the shared family hunting trips and the enjoyment each day spent with our children brings. Whether you are an outdoor dad or have a father that has embedded family hunting traditions into your life, make this Father’s Day one to appreciate the importance of fatherhood.
Wild Game Recipes | Venison Recipe: Venison Wellington
We don’t get to cook too often but when we do, we like to do it up right! This wild game recipe will knock your socks off !!! This wild game recipe, more specifically venison recipe is for Venison Wellington. Throw some cheesy mashed potatoes with it and you will have one happy family!!
Wild Game Recipe: Ingredients
- 1 ½ lbs, trimmed loin
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 ½ tbsp English mustard
- ½ stick butter
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 lb mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp finely chopped thyme leaves
- 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- 12 slices prosciutto
- flour for dusting
- 1 package puff pastry ( all -butter if possible)
- 2 egg yolks, beaten
- Dry the venison, then season well with salt and pepper to taste. Heat the oil in a frying pan and sear the meat all over for about 8 minutes. Brush with mustard, leave to cool, then chill for 20 minutes. Save any juice for the gravy
- Melt the butter and soften the shallot and garlic. Add the mushrooms, herbs and seasoning, and cook for 10 minutes until you have a paste-like mixture. Add the brandy and cook until it’s evaporated. Leave to cool.
- Overlap 2-3 sheets of cling film on a clean surface and lay the prosciutto in 2 rows, slightly overlapping each slice. Spread the cooled mushroom past all over the prosciutto, creating a thin, even layer.
- Place the loin in the centre of the mushroom mixture. Using the edge of the cling film, carefully draw the layer of prosciutto and mushroom around the meat.
- Roll into a sausage shape, twisting the ends of the cling film as you do, to form a tigh log. Chill for 30-40 minutes to firm up.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry to a rectangle a little larger than a magazine, and trim the edges to neaten.
- Carefully unwrap the prosciutto parcel and lay in the middle of the pastry.
- Fold over the bottom half of the pastry. Lightly brush the rest of the sheet with beaten egg.
- Roll the whole thing around the meat to encase. Neatly fold under the shorter edges to create a parcel.
- Transfer to a baking sheet and, using your hands, smooth the pastry around the meat, pressing it firmly to avoid any air being trapped. Brush the pastry all over with beaten egg yolk.
- Chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. Then, using the back of a knife, mark the pastry, being careful not to cut all the way through. Heat oven to 400 F
- Lightly oil a non- stick baking tray and heat until hot. Put the Wellington on a tray and bake for 30 minutes (35 for well done)
- Remove from oven and rest for 20 minutes.
Enjoy this venison recipe, and be sure to check out all of the other wild game recipes!!
Wild Game Recipes | Venison Recipe: Venison Holiday Appetizer
We don’t get to cook too often but when we do, we like to do it up right! This wild game recipe will knock your socks off! This wild game recipe, more specifically venison recipe is for Venison holiday appetizers.
Venison Recipe Directions
Marinate a deer loin 2 hours in 1/3 c soy, 1/3c teriyaki, 1/3 c Worcestershire sauce, a splash of lemon, a wad of brown sugar & some slap ya momma seasoning.
Pull out and dry at room temp for 30 min
Salt and pepper hard, spray with Pam
2 zone hot charcoal fire preferably toss apple wood on the fire before cooking.
Sear loin on both sides 3-4 min per side
Set on the grill over no fire for 5-6 min per side
Pull off grill and let rest 10-15 min before slicing
Sourdough bagget sliced into pencil thin width
Heat butter and crushed garlic (a lot)
Slather onto bread and broil
Slice loin thinner than a pencil
Put a very thin slice of horseradish hararti cheese on bread then the meat (use all the juice)
Place a half sprig of onion on top
Enjoy this venison recipe, and be sure to check out all of the other wild game recipes!!
Wild Game Recipes | Wild Turkey Recipes: Grilled Wild Turkey
We don’t get to cook too often but when we do, we like to do it up right! This wild game recipe will knock your socks off! This wild game recipe, more specifically wild turkey recipe is for grilled wild turkey.
TIPS: In our opinion….Wild Turkey is best if you eat it fresh and never have to freeze it. However many times hunters kill more than one bird so they may not want to have turkey over and over. Our family got eleven birds this year…..we have been eating turkey constantly and now walk around the house clucking and gobbling…..just saying…. Gobble Gobble.
GRILLED WILD TURKEY RECIPE
- Wild turkey breast meat – cleaned up and cut into thin strips
- Place turkey in a gallon sized zip lock bag
- Add Soy Sauce, Teriyaki Sauce and Worcestershire Sauce (amount doesn’t matter, we never measure it)
- Shake the bag so that all the meat is covered with the sauce mixture
- Marinate 24 hours
- Spray the grill with Pam, slap your turkey on the grill and cook on each side until all the pink is gone.
- This won’t take long so watch it carefully as to not let it get overcooked. It will get tough if cooked too long.
- This will result in juicy and tender strips of turkey in less than 10 minutes!!!
- Pair the turkey with potato salad, chips, and your favorite beverage !!
Enjoy this Wild Turkey Recipe, and be sure to check out all of the other wild game recipes!!
Wild Game Recipes | Bear Recipe: Italian Bear Sausage Breakfast Burrito
We don’t get to cook too often but when we do, we like to do it up right! This wild game recipe will knock your socks off! This wild game recipe, more specifically bear recipe is for Italian bear sausage breakfast burritos.
Bear Recipe Ingredients
- 4-5 small white potatoes
- 1 lb Italian Bear Sausage
- 6-8 Whole Eggs ( this is what I use to serve just Warren and Easton, add 6 more eggs for David!!)
- Olive Oil
- Seasoning of your Choice
- Shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack Cheese
- Splash bottom of skillet with Olive Oil
- Cube Potatoes into small bite size pieces
- Saute until golden on outside and soft in center; season potatoes as they cook, to your taste; set aside.
- Brown Bear sausage in the same skillet until fully cooked but not dried out
- Mix all eggs in a bowl, add salt and pepper as desired
- Add the eggs to the sausage and mix completely
- After fully cooked and ready to serve, sprinkle top of sausage/egg mixture with shredded cheese
- Warm Sun-dried Tomato Wrap in microwave or oven
- Lay desired amount of sausage egg and potatoes on the wrap, roll up and serve.
Tip: This is a great meal to make the day before a hunt or day in the outdoors. Premake all the burritos, wrap in foil, refrigerate, then reheat in the microwave the next morning.
This is a protein packed bear recipe, is a healthy meal that will “stick to your ribs” for a few hours making that morning hike to your favorite hunting spot all that much better!!
Enjoy this bear recipe, and be sure to check out all of the other wild game recipes!!