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10 Things You Can Do Right Now to Prepare for Bow Season

The end of summer is a great time to prepare for bow season

When do you prepare for bow season?

Summer is winding down, kids are heading back to school (parents are breathing a sigh of relief), and the hunter can hear the woods calling. Even though bow season is a few weeks away, there are several things you can do now to get ready for it. Ensure a successful hunt this year and keep yourself busy until opening day.

We put together this list with a little help from North American

#1. Sight In Your Bow Now

Shooting ranges are notoriously busy the 2 weeks before opening day. If you go now you probably won’t have to wait in line and you’ll have more elbow room.

#2. Make Your Own Arrows

We know you can buy arrows. but we are Bitzenburger, maker of the world’s best fletching jig, so naturally, we like to encourage hunters of all ages to make their own arrows. There really is something a bit more special about bagging a buck with an arrow you made yourself. Making arrows with your kids is a great project as well!

Check out this cool video on how to use our jig.

#3. Talk to Farmers

Very few people have a better understanding of what’s going on in your hunting area than local farmers. Since they spend much of the summer planting, spraying, and baling hay, farmers usually have a pretty good idea of what the deer are doing.

In addition, most farmers are bombarded by requests to hunt their land in the late summer and early fall. Getting out early and speaking with the local landowners may help you get a foot in the door.#4. Check-in With Landowners

If you are lucky enough to know a landowner who has given you permission to hunt their property it is nice to drop in and say hi once in a while. But don’t make it just a social visit. Offer to help around the property and lend a hand. Fix fences, clear paths, etc. The owners might also have some good insight into deer patterns and what they’ve seen throughout the year. It’s always a good idea to be a good neighbor.

#5. Check Your Gear and Stands

Don’t wait until the eve of opening day to check your supplies. Make sure your pack has all the essentials and everything is in top working order. Get new batteries in your flashlight, sharpen your knife and broadheads, pack extra nocks, etc. Now is a good time to invest in supplies rather than closer to deer season when stores are going to capitalize on the hunter craze anyway.

Gear up and head out to your deer stand or blind location. Check everything out and clean up a bit. Clear off the cobwebs and sweep out the mice nests. You can even shoot a few targets from your stand to help improve field accuracy.

#6. Clear Your Paths

While you are out there, clear the paths to your stand and blind. Cut down branches, move larger ones on the ground. Get rid of prickly things. Be sure to have more than one route to your stand, depending on the wind. Nothing ruins a hunting morning like falling flat on your face with a bow in your hand and a pack on your back in the early light of dawn. The deer, and everything else, will hear you coming!

#7. Scout for Deer

If you want to find the bucks, follow the does. Does are often more visible, and their travel patterns remain roughly the same throughout much of the year. If you know where the does are spending their time you’ll be in a position to intercept a buck when the rut hits later in the year.

#8. Get in Shape

This is pretty important and often ignored. We have all heard the sad story of a hunter going out on opening day and having a heart attack in the woods. Sadly, this happens. Most deer hunting isn’t particularly demanding, but it’s important to be sure that you are in shape for the upcoming season. Spend some time walking and working out so you can handle the strain of dragging a big buck out of a ravine later in the year.

Be sure that you are physically capable of drawing and holding your bow. A week before the season starts is too late to make up for a lazy summer. Which is another good reason to get to the range now.

#9. Plant and Maintain Food Plots

Late spring and summer are the time to establish food plots. There’s much work to be done; soil testing, plowing, planting, fertilizing, mowing, and spraying should all be completed in advance of the fall hunting season. It’s always a good idea to monitor your food plots for any signs of deer activity. Maintaining your food plot during the summer ensures that your deer will have the nutrients they need to grow big antlers.

#10. Set Up Trail Cameras and Monitor Data

Monitoring deer movement is important, and summer is a great time for setting up cameras to collect as many photos as possible. Doing so will give you a better idea of deer movement patterns in the area. You’ll have an idea of which deer are utilizing your hunting area as part of their home range. You might be able to intercept a buck early in the season but, just as importantly, if you do your homework you’ll figure out the deer’s home range and will be close by when the rut is in full swing in late autumn.

Keep your intel organized so you’re in the right spot come fall. Brad Fitzpatrick, from North American Whitetail, puts all of his photos from the summer in separate folders on his laptop so he can quickly see which deer are frequenting which cameras. He also suggests keeping detailed notes about feeding and movement patterns, and writing down any info you glean from landowners. Having all this info in one spot makes it easier to develop a game plan and will up your odds of success in the fall.

What do you do to prepare for bow season?

We want to know what you do to prepare for bow season. When you do start getting ready–other than in your mind–we know all about “hunting on the brain.”

Let us know!

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