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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone!

I am new to hunting in general and plan on going out for my first archery season for deer in a few weeks. I've had a recurve for about a year and shot occasionally until the last 2 months. In the last 2 months I try to shoot 3-5 days shooting around 50ish arrows, or until I feel I'm over fatigued.

My bow is a Bear Raven (some Sears exclusive, seems like a kodiak copy). AMO of 60 and #45.

I feel very confident at 15 yds, so-so at 20 and I'm all over the place at 25. I do feel inside 15yds I can put a deer down ethically and consistently.

My plan is to wait for a shot I feel confident in, let a deer walk if I don't feel it's a shot I can make for a clean kill. This may mean I go all season without firing an arrow if needed (though I hope not!)

So my question is what would you tell a first time archer going out for their first season? Simple things to keep in mind that you have learned over your years of experience.

Thanks everyone!

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Haybale Hunter
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I'll tell you a weird kind of tip that always works for me;

Just assume you are going into the woods to enjoy the day. If a deer happens to come within your comfortable range, great but thats not really what you are there for.

Whenever I go out pumped up to take a deer, its almost as if Im giving off vibrations that keep the deer away.

If I go out casually, just to get out for some R&R, I usually have much better luck. Sometimes I go out with the idea that even if I get a shot I might not take it, and whenever I do that I'm amazed at the opportunities that present themselves.

For me, the bow and arrows are just props that lend credibility to my excuse to go and sit quietly in the woods.
 

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I have taught a number of people how to bow hunt and I have also taught a number of compound shooters how to bow hunt with traditional equipment. Just to cover the basic steps that I do with them: 1. Basic form: Middle finger either at or near or inline with the corner of the mouth, pinkie and thumb turned into the palm. Shoot split finger. Allow the bow to cant like Fred Bear, especially shooting down from a tree stand. 2.The last few inches of draw need to be straight back. 3. The release is a slight increase in pull, avoid a draw shortening release, a jerk away release or a dropping at release. 4. Pick a hair a shadow, imagine that you are burning a dot into the very center of a spot with your focus and keep your eye on that center. 4. Follow through, bow stays on line, the release stays on your face or goes straight back from the draw. 5. Get a judo point and do some roving practice before and during deer season. 6.Don't stare at the sunrise in the morning or the sunset in the evening. that can mess with your depth perception. 7.When a deer gets close, remember they are masters at seeing motion, do not draw when they are looking at you and never look at a deer's eyes. 8.Whether on the ground or in the air watch your back ground. 9.Use a broadhead that you can easily resharpen. A two blade Zwicky Eskimo can be made hunting sharp with a variety of methods, a file, a RADA sharpener and you can clean the edge up with a diamond file if you want. 9. When you hit a deer watch, wait and worry for at least 30 minutes before tracking it. 10. Huggies Wet Wipes 11.Enjoy the day, everyday. Think Fred Bear thoughts with your Bear recurve.
I will add one example. A young man wounded and lost the area dominant. The third deer that he shot at with his first deer season.He could not see the deer or his bow sight on his compound through his peep sight. Too damn dark. So to punt, he took a worthless guess shot aiming instinctive around his apparatus. His shot went high and left and hit the deer in the neck. He felt awful, as he should. He still felt awful the next spring. I made him an offer. 'Sell the compound, and I would give him a 45 pound Ben Pearson Rogue in new condition and everything that he needed to make it work. I set up a ladder stand in my yard and taught him to shoot split finger bow canted. He ended up with just under a 28" draw, his arrows were 1916s with the smaller Eskimo heads, I put a strap on bow quiver with new pads to hold the skinny slick aluminum arrows. The first day of the bow season he shot his first deer ever. A medium 8 point buck at about 18 yards, he stated that he could hardly believe his eyes when he saw the arrow disappear through the deer. The buck bolted and ran down the hill leaving a bloody arrow stuck in the ground where the buck stood. He heard the buck expire. He waited for 30 minutes and then followed the easy 60 yard blood trail to his first trophy. His words, "It was the easiest most natural thing that I have ever done." That was a number of years ago and he is still having success and still shooting that Ben Pearson Rogue.
 

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You sound like me. I would go out every morning and shoot one arrow at my 3D buck at 15yds. When I hit the kill zone every time, I said I’m taking my MARTIN Dreamcatcher hunting. My son thought I was nuts. I shot a doe that first weekend. It felt like I shot my first deer. Yahooo! I wish I would have kept that bow. Carl
 

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Here are some simple items from my time out in the woods.

Patience is key. No matter how slow or quiet you think you're being, it's probably not slow and quiet enough.

Are you on the ground or shooting from a tree stand? If the latter, practice as much as possible from whatever angles you think you'll be shooting from. If on the ground, be prepared for a deer to show up at any second and it doesn't hurt to keep an arrow nocked if you think you're remotely close to deer.

As mentioned above, enjoy your time in the woods and manage your expectations. Being disappointed is the number one thing to get you out of the woods and the longer you're in the woods the better.
 

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Spearhead
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Here is what has helped me and my nerves when the you get the chance at the shot.

Go through your shot cycle. it gets your mind off the animal.

Chad
 

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**** Rapids MN. or Iowa? only curious here. Welcome to the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I may have a chance to use a deer stand, likely I'll be hunting from the ground.

I'm in **** Rapids, Ia

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You have some nice hunting just south east of town. We have taken a number of deer along the Raccoon. My son likes to hunt just a bit down stream from the Spring Brooke.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I was mostly looking at some public spots between **** Rapids and Dedham (7 miles West of ****). There are several public spots and lots of deer. But springbrook is definitely a place I'll give a look.

I feel like public spots South of town (Elk Grove mostly) get absolutely clobbered.

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Further down stream there are larger tracks of public land that don't have as much pressure. Remember on Iowa public land that a tree stand does not give guaranteed user rights. It is always a first come first serve situation. However, many that put up tree stands think that the piece of metal gives them exclusive rights, so they put up many stands to attempt to control larger areas. A tree stand does not equal a 'no trespassing' sign on public land in Iowa, you will find those that think it does.
 

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Some tips I learned the hard way:
Don’t be afraid to cover the shelf area of your bow with camo tape or moleskin. Nothing worse than having the chance of the season blown because your arrow clanked on your riser before ever coming to draw.
If you think you are at risk of getting busted, don’t look a deer in the eyes. You’ll never win a staring contest with a deer, and these critters make a living out of knowing the difference between an eyeball and any other small spot in the woods. I do believe that locking eyes with a deer can spook it.
Don’t give in to “having to” get your bow up, change position, load an arrow, unless you know a deer can’t see or hear you. In close quarters, I think you are better off doing absolutely nothing until true opportunity arises. Doing nothing is hard for me, but when I pull it off good things tend to happen.
 

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Some try to go slow motion when shooting a deer. Nope, don't change your normal tempo. Hill stated that it was better to shoot fast at game than by slowing down. Once, with an 89 at my draw bow, I was trying the slow motion thing. The buck took a quick step or three, there is no slow motion that a deer cannot see. He stopped head on one side of a tree, guts and butt on the other, staring straight at me. I froze at full draw, for a very long time. My fingers went numb, I started to quiver a bit. Finally when I was at a lessened draw the deer started moving. I moved with the deer, the deer turned and laughed 'ha ha I made you lose your draw length.' The arrow went through the buck like it wasn't even there anyway. It would have been a much easier kill if I would have waited for the buck to get past me a bit before i began my draw.
 

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Hill took shots that NOBODY should have. If he's your source for hunting ethics I'd look elsewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm not really looking for input on what range to draw on a deer. I know where I'm comfortable right now and I'll stick to it. Anything further than 15-18 yds would not be an ethical shot for me currently. Honestly if I see 20 deer walk by me at 20 yds I'll let them walk. I also need time to observe deer, how they move, if my ground blind is worth a piss or if they spot me.

Looking more for practical tips. I have very little experience, most if my knowledge is from books I've read, videos, or message boards like this. I'm as green as they get when it comes to experience in the woods drawing on a deer.

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If you're hunting from the ground, it's a good idea to take a few test shots when you
first settle in (two, three flu-flu arrows are ideal). Doing this checks for clothing/bow
string clearance or that invisible twig, or that bow limb-catching branch above you, or that
noisy tree bark that rubbed off when you turned to see that deer that came up in back of you...
ask me how I know :eek:;):rolleyes:
 
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