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Raised Hunting’s Bow Hunting Gear List

Bow Hunting Gear List

The world of hunting gear and archery equipment continues to grow and each year brings new technology that can help you become a more effective hunter. For most white-tailed deer hunters, the bow hunting gear that they take to the field can typically be broken down into the following five categories: bow and archery accessories, hunting accessories, optics, safety, and comfort.  In honor of the upcoming rut, and countless hunters who will grab their archery equipment and take to the tree, we have compiled a list of our bow hunting gear! Compare our list to your own to make sure you are not forgetting anything vital for the upcoming weeks of hunting!

The Bow and Accessories

 This category is fairly straightforward and self-explanatory, after all, what is bow hunting without your bow?  Bear Archery® bows have become a staple with our family.  They are durable, well-crafted, and exceptionally accurate.  Besides the bow, the arrows you select and tune can have a huge impact on your season’s success. We trust Gold Tip® arrows, a proven brand of hunting arrows that continue to fly straight and hit their mark every hunt.

 

After arrows, comes the bow quiver and bow release. While obvious, these two pieces of equipment are often left behind on the walk into the stand, especially the bow release. To combat this, make sure you have an extra bow release in your hunting pack. It could save you a trip back to the truck!

 

Other Hunting Accessories

Although these items are lumped into the “Other Hunting Accessories” category, that doesn’t make them any less critical to success.  These items will always find their way into our bow hunting pack, especially when the rut draws near!

Rattling Antlers & Deer Call’s

 If you are one of the few archery hunters who have not tried rattling, then you are simply missing out!  Rattling is one of the most effective ways to attract a big, mature white-tailed deer into bow range, and the time to break out the antlers is now!  Many hunters don’t realize just how vocal white-tailed deer are, especially during the rut.  If you pair a good set of rattling antlers with the Primos® Grunt Call and Snort Wheeze call, you will create a very real situation a buck could believe. Don’t be afraid to be vocal, the rut is the best time of year to do so, and you might just be surprised by the results.

Scent Control

While watching the wind is always an important part of being successful, sometimes you just have to hunt.  The wind can sometimes be your friend, but it can also be your enemy.  Taking advantage of scent control products, as well as wearing scent control outer layers is certainly one way to help control the variable of scent.  Hunting a steady wind is generally not an issue; however, hunting a variable wind is another story.  Carrying a product such as the Scent Crusher® Scent Grenade and utilizing Scent Crusher® scent eliminating products like the Ozone Gear Bag and Wash O3, will help combat the issues you might have with the wind. If you have never employed scent eliminating products before, give it a try this year.

 

Camera Accessories

Nowadays, it is much easier for hunters to self-film in the field.  Aside from being able to share your hunt, the DIY footage that sportsmen and women capture can help aid in future hunts or game recovery. We pride ourselves on capturing high-quality footage for everyone to enjoy, and because of that commitment, multiple camera arms and cameras find their way into the blind or tree stand every time. Although you may not want to go that in depth when filming your hunt, chances are you’re a little interested.

If you like the idea of self-filming your hunt, a great way to start is to simply purchase two GoPro’s and some accessories from Fourth Arrow Camera Arms. The Outreach Arm coupled with a GoPro can allow you to capture your experience of the hunt, while a head, chest, or bow mounted GoPro captures the deer and the shot. This simple setup can create great memories in the field or help recover game in a questionable shot situation.

Tree Stand Accessories

Hunting accessories can sometimes be the most important bow hunting gear you can bring to the stand.  Items such as extra J hooks, or the GoGadget™ Tree Arm, can certainly help keep you organized and effective.  No one likes clutter, and when you’re in a tree stand, there really isn’t any room to spare.  Having the ability to create additional storage space is often an overlooked detail that can certainly help to make your hunt just a little better, and less stressful than it might have been otherwise.

It also helps to have a little extra rope or wire to ensure you have plenty to haul up your gear into the tree. Having something beyond a “pull up rope” that is a little more this century might go a long way in making your hunt easier. The Speed Retract™, for example, can drastically reduce the amount of untangling you have to perform under the stand in the dark. Tools like this take away from the stress of taking so much gear into the stand!

Hunting Knife

No hunting gear list would be complete without a quality hunting knife. A knife that not only serves everyday hunting use but also contains a gut hook can be essential to make quick work of field dressing a deer. One example of this type of knife would be the Lonerock Folding Gut Hook from Kershaw®.

 

Hunting Optics

No matter if you are hunting the expanses of the west or the rugged wooded ridges in the east, optics are a must.  Optics cannot help you locate game but can help identify characteristics that reveal a game’s identity or whether or not they meet your goals for harvest. Other hunting optics such as rangefinders are absolutely critical pieces that are a must for any archer.

Binoculars

 Nikon makes an excellent set of binoculars, which are of the highest quality and extremely durable.  No matter if you are looking at the 10×42’s or the 10-22×50’s, having a solid set of binoculars in your hunting pack will not leave you disappointed.

 

 

Rangefinder

In the world of bow hunting, it is hard to find anyone who doesn’t have a rangefinder in the pile of archery equipment.  The number archery tip that is often given out to beginners is to learn how to effectively judge distance, and a rangefinder helps you quickly solve that equation.

Safety

 Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, and when you add in some sleep deprivation and fatigue, the probability of an accident increases.  Ensuring that you have done all you can to both prevent an accident from occurring and being prepared if and when one does occur is a critical part of planning your next trip to the field.

 

Safety Harness

Investing in your bow hunting equipment is important, but investing in your safety is even more so.  If you spend any amount of time hunting from a tree stand, having an effective and durable safety harness and safety rope system is an absolute must.  Safety systems continue to advance each year, so stay current and up to speed.  Don’t be afraid to upgrade as appropriate, and ensure that you can continue to chase white-tailed deer for many years to come.

 

GPS & Phone

If you hunt in rugged terrain, away from public contact then having a Garmin GPS unit on your hunting gear list is something to consider.  While a GPS unit is obviously very beneficial for marking potential hunting locations, it can also be the one tool that can help save your life should you find yourself injured and lost in the wilderness.  Having the ability to know where you are in the world is critical to both success and safety, so if you do not have a GPS in your pile of archery hunting equipment, you should.

The same can be said for bringing your phone.  Whether you are simply looking to pass the time, or take some pictures of wildlife, having your phone with you can help save your life if and when you find yourself in trouble.  You never know when trouble might hit, so consider purchasing an external battery for your phone as well.  This can ensure that you have extended battery life and keep you in contact should an emergency arise.

 

Comfort

 Often overlooked, the aspect of comfort can really be one of the most important considerations you make. A decision which can often directly equate to success.

Durable Hunting Pack

This article has focused on hunting gear and archery equipment that can help you be effective while bow hunting, however with gear comes the need for a durable and dependable pack.  It is sometimes hard to appreciate just how much easier it can be to haul a large amount of gear in an out of the field with a comfortable and durable pack.  Spending a little extra on a hunting pack that fits, has plenty of storage space, and can help distribute the weight of your gear can make hunting day in and day out much easier.

Rain Gear

 Part of comfort is staying dry. This means not only incorporating moisture wicking materials into your layering system, but also trying not to sweat. It is also important that you carry backup rain gear. The weather might not be calling for a lot of rain, but pop up rain showers can quickly ruin a hunt yet provide ideal conditions just after. Make sure you pack rain gear, stocking cap, extra gloves– clothing that can all help keep you comfortable.

 

Extra Layers

In any hunting situation, it is always a good idea to pack extra layers of hunting clothing. Most camo clothing companies offer essential base, secondary, and outerwear options. It is a good idea to follow this model when packing gear for bow hunting. Start with warm thermal base layers, building up to fleece or a warm secondary layer, and finishing with a tough water resistant or waterproof outer layer. Also think about including a layer that could give you a insignificant advantage while hunting. Hecs® Stealthscreen layers block your energy field, eliminating the chance that an animal detects you.

 

Everyone has their own approach and method in regards to the hunting gear and archery equipment that they choose to bring to the woods.  At the end of the day, it is all about what works best for you. However, if you find yourself wondering how you might be able to better equip yourself for the upcoming fall, consider the information above. This bow hunting gear list is the items we trust to be dependable and everything we need before, during, and after the hunt!


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archery form

How to Correct Your Archery Form Problems

Perfect Archery Form Through Perfect Practice

 

Most people don’t think of archery practice throughout the winter. The weather’s not exactly great for outdoor sessions and it can get old practicing indoors (if you even have a barn or shed big enough to do that). In most cases, bow hunting seasons also just ended and there are tons of winter activities to keep us busy. Plus, it’s always nice to take some time off between bow hunting and jumping right back into offseason archery practice. But before too much time passes, it’s best to practice a little before your archery form slips. Letting too much time go by is a recipe for small mistakes and form issues to creep into your routine. If you let those small problems go unaddressed until mid-summer, it can be too late to really fix them before hunting season starts back up again in the fall. So if you’re wondering how to shoot a compound bow the correct way, read on.

 

To really stay in good archery form throughout the year, you need to address physical strength and conditioning, archery gear, and your specific archery technique. If you can dedicate some time each week (starting now) to each of these areas, you will be more prepared for hunting season than you’ve ever been. Why is that important? First, your body will be more capable of longer sits in the woods or dragging a deer out of them. You’ll also be more confident in your shooting abilities, and will be much more likely to make a great shot on a deer even in poor conditions. While all of those will help you on any standard hunt behind your house, they will also prepare you for a trip to some place new. Even if you don’t plan on it, it doesn’t hurt to be willing and able. Let’s dive into the specific archery form preparation steps you should take right now.

Physical Strength and Conditioning

 

You’ve probably heard it from your doctor more times than you care to admit, but staying in good physical health should always be a priority commitment. It’s not only important for general health purposes as you get older, but it’s actually a very critical part of hunting. Whether you are hiking to your tree stand in the morning or climbing up into it, field dressing a deer or dragging it out of the woods, having a good physical base level is important no matter how you look at it.

 

 

The nice thing about archery exercises is that you don’t have to dedicate your life to them to see some benefits for hunting purposes. Granted, the more effort you put in, the better results you will see. But there are two things that a bow hunter needs most: a good aerobic capacity and a strong core and upper body.

 

Basic conditioning exercises will help you develop your aerobic capacity, which is your ability to bounce back from increased heart and respiration levels. When you stress your body (through dragging a deer or hiking with a loaded backpack), your heart beat and breathing increases, right? If you train for this capacity, you can basically raise the level of activity at which your body starts getting more labored. This is important for archery form when you have to hold your bow for a long time. But shooting with an elevated heartbeat and breathing also simulates shooting at a deer with high adrenaline levels. To get your body used to this, try combining your conditioning exercises with shooting your bow. At the Holder obstacle course, we combine running with strength exercises that will all build our aerobic capacity and increase our agility and strength. At the end of the obstacle course, we shoot at our 30 yard 3D archery targets from Delta McKenzie®. After running through the course, your heart is pumping, your lungs are gasping, and your muscles are shaking, which almost simulates the nerves you get from shooting at a mature buck.

 

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From an archery standpoint, having the strength in your back, shoulders, and core is vital. Obviously, you use your back and shoulder muscles to raise, draw, and hold your bow. The more you can develop these archery muscles for that specific purpose, the better off you will be. You can eventually raise your draw weight to provide a little more punch or hold your bow for longer in those situations where a deer pauses behind some brush after you draw. Having strong core muscles (abdominals and lower back) is critical for holding your bow at full draw, climbing into your stand, or general stability.

 

You can set up a similar training course in your back yard to practice this summer. But right now, focus on building your conditioning and strength however you can. Do a combination of pushups, pullups, rows, squats, and planks to build your muscles. Burpees or jogging are good ways to build your aerobic capacity.

Archery Equipment Problems

 

The next category of things that can affect our archery form is our actual gear itself. Shooting a compound bow that doesn’t fit your body can produce some pretty sloppy and inconsistent shooting. If the bow itself is too big, it will be hard to hold steady. If the draw length is too long, you will have to overextend your bow arm to fully draw it to the back wall; whereas, if it is too short, you will have to stop awkwardly and hunch up your body. These issues aren’t easy to correct after buying a bow, so do your best to get the right fit from the start. This is especially important for youth hunting, but it’s also critical if you buy a new bow. If you suspect your bow doesn’t fit you quite right, you can measure your perfect draw length at home. Check out the video below for some easy ways to measure your draw length and determine your eye dominance too.

As you can see, it’s important to determine your eye dominance before you buy a bow. If you get that wrong, you will always fight your bow and that will make shooting accurately an issue. It’s also critical to consider your archery accessories. You should include a quality bow stabilizer on your hunting bow if you’ll likely take long shots or hunt in an open area (most western hunts come to mind for these conditions). While stabilizers are usually more associated with target archery, they offer a tremendous benefit to western hunters too. LimbSaver® stabilizers balance the bow and keep it steady throughout the shot, which will help you make a more accurate shot and keep the bow from jumping out of your hand.

Archery Form Problems

 

The last and probably most critical issues that affect your shooting form have to do with your actual routine. If you practice the right moves, you will shoot more accurately in the field. If you have a sloppy archery form, you will shoot poorly. Check out the following archery shooting tips to tighten your groups before next hunting season.

 

Start with your archery stance, which is the very base of your stability. An improper stance will put you off-balance and introduce a lot of error to your archery form. Generally, you can use the following archery practice tips to fix your stance. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, which provides the most stable base for you. You should also practice on different contours (where one foot is higher than the other) so you can get used to adjusting your feet in hilly areas. Each person is different in terms of shooting preferences, but usually an open stance (quartering 45 degrees to your target) will produce the best shots. The leg on the same side as your bow arm should be in front, with your other foot shoulder-width away. Consciously think about keeping your torso upright and straight so you don’t hunch over. The more consistent you can keep your body, the less likely you will be to miss the shot. Try to hold your bow using back tension instead of your arms because your back is stronger and will keep you more stable, while your arms will start to shake. Keep your knees slightly bent so you don’t lock them. Locked knees will make you tipsy after standing still for a while, but bent knees allow you to adjust your core easily.

 

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Similarly, your bow arm should be slightly bent (not locked) for the same purposes. The archery elbow position is an often neglected area that most people don’t think about. Focus on keeping your elbow rotated up and down, instead of giving into the tendency to rotate the inside crook of your elbow up. If you don’t keep your elbow up and down, the bow string will more often than not slap your forearm as it fires. That will get old quickly if you practice in a t-shirt. But if you have your hunting clothing on, which is bulkier, it can get caught in the string and cause some more archery form issues.

 

Your archery grip is really important too for making consistent and accurate shots. Most beginning archers tend to grip their bows tightly because they think it makes it more stable. While that makes sense at first, the truth is actually pretty counterintuitive. When you grip your bow tightly, you essentially introduce a small amount of torque that twists the entire bow to one direction. While the string will still be anchored at your face, the bow frame will be twisted one direction, which will cause your Gold Tip® arrows to wobble like crazy when they leave the rest. Instead of tightly gripping it, try this instead. Make an L with your thumb and pointer finger on your bow arm. Your bow grip should rest right on the meaty part of your thumb below the inside corner of the L. You can loosely wrap your fingers around the grip as you draw it to make sure it doesn’t move. But after drawing your Bear® archery bow, let the grip rest against your hand in the position above and relax your fingers. Basically, you will use your archery release to hold the bow in position without grabbing the bow grip.

 

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Where you decide to place your archery anchor point (or points) will determine how consistent you shoot. An anchor point is usually where your draw hand or bowstring rests against your face, and it is a really important part of good archery form. While one anchor point is a must, having multiple points is even better because it really dials in on the specific position. By having very clear and consistent anchor points, you can easily repeat good shots. One very common anchor point when using a bow release is to put the crease between your thumb and pointer finger along your jaw bone or at the corner of your mouth. Another common one is to rest the bow string on your nose, which puts the archery sights right in line with your eye. One of the best archery secrets for consistency is to keep your anchor points rock-solid on every shot, practice or hunting.

 

Finally, as you squeeze your archery release to fire an arrow, make a conscious effort to hold your bow arm still until after the arrow reaches your archery targets. It’s a common problem for hunters to quickly drop their bow arm after they fire. It’s a natural tendency; after all, we want to see where exactly our arrow went. But this can create problems too. We start to anticipate dropping our bow arm, and even start to do it as we hit the release. Even though it’s only dropping for a few milliseconds, it can affect the arrow’s flight path after it leaves the bow. One way to combat this tendency is to count out loud. After you shoot an arrow, count out loud to five before you drop your bow arm or move your draw hand from your primary anchor point. This will help you develop some muscle memory that will carry over into a hunting scenario.

Tackle Your Archery Form Now

 

Even though we still have months left until spring weather returns, you should start practicing your archery form now and keep after it throughout the summer with specific archery practice drills. Most of these exercises above can be started indoors. If you don’t have anywhere to shoot your bow right now, simply practice your stance or drawing your bow until you can get outside and start shooting again. It will go a long way to helping you prepare for next fall.