- A Little Organization Can Go a Long Way When You’re Deer Hunting
A Little Organization Can Go a Long Way When You’re Deer Hunting
Fine tune your hunting set up for more success chasing whitetails
Getting organized can be difficult for most of us, between work, home life, and the occasional curveball. It's tough to keep track of everything. Your hunting gear is no exception! Some of us try to pick up where we left off last season only to find out something is missing, damaged or needs to be laundered. No big deal if you start the process early enough. Many do not.
Fine Tune Your Weapon and Ammo
Part of my process starts already after Spring Turkey season in May. It's time for me to start shooting my bow. Tuning arrows and shooting broadheads. If there's anything that needs to be repaired, replaced, or re-tuned on a bow. Spring is a good time to start. Archery shops aren't as busy so you can take advantage of quicker turnaround times on any repairs. If you need to take a little more time to get things in tune. You're not under the stress of needing your bow for a hunt the next day. Order your new arrows and get them dialed. You'll have the time to paper tune and make sure every arrow in your quiver shoots perfectly. Shoot your arrows with broadheads. If need be, you can go back to the archery shop to make any significant bow adjustments to get everything flying perfectly. Now one of the most critical pieces to the hunt is ready!
Break Out The Tools!
The next item on my to-do list is looking at the gear I used to kill deer. I'm talking about my stand, sticks, saddle platform, and safety gear. The stand needs to be looked at in two ways. 1. Is it safe? 2. Is it quiet? I hunt mobile, so my stand gets taken down and put up a lot in a season. Platform cables and hardware need to be looked at. I tighten up loose bolts or replace them if they appear stretched. The same goes for climbing sticks. If you have a squeak in your stand or sticks. A little tightening or replacing of hardware may just solve the issue! Platform cables will stretch and start to come apart over time. In some cases, it may be best to replace them after a few years (depending on use). The next thing to look at is the straps used to fasten your stand, platform, and sticks to the tree with. If you are questioning it. Replace it! Summertime is a good time to get these items on order. If you wait too long, the parts may be back-ordered in September. Your Safety harness and lifeline should also be studied carefully. If stitches are starting to pull out of the webbing. That safety harness is no longer safe. Replace it while there are still some available.
Practice Some More!
After I get this maintenance squared away. I practice ascending a few trees with my equipment. Getting reacclimated with your equipment makes you more efficient. Practice climbing different types of trees. Remember.. Straight trees aren't always in the best kill spots! Now it's time to start shooting my bow again. Practicing from an elevated position really helps. You will find out exactly what angles are difficult for you and what feels most comfortable. I set targets out to different ranges and different shot angles. This tells me where I should and shouldn't take shots. I have shot over several deer because I didn't practice enough from an elevated position. The steeper the angle, the lower you will need to aim! Try it before you go out hunting!
Get The Stink Out
A few weeks before the season, I like to go through my clothing and get it all washed and lined dried. This allows me to see how many pairs of gloves and socks are missing mates and what kind of stuff I left in the pockets! I always use an unscented detergent that will not harm my clothing. Several options are available from the few vendors that make detergents specifically for hunting clothes. I prefer to use Purex because it's inexpensive and has no residual odor after the clothes are dry. After the clothes are dried. I put them in a sealed tote to keep them from absorbing odors in storage. The next item I turn my attention to is footwear. If I have one pair of boots that are in good shape but kill my feet. I replace the insoles. There are plenty of options available. You may need to try a few to find what fits your foot the best.
Last But Not Least
The little odds and end stuff like your pack can be the most crucial pieces to your success on a hunt. If you hunt elevated. A pull rope sure comes in handy! Next would be a rangefinder and binoculars. Then a headlamp. Rangefinders and headlamps take batteries. I've killed a few headlamps in my day due to corroded batteries. Rangefinders should probably have the batteries replaced every three to five years (depending on use). A kill kit with a sharp knife should be in your pack. I took the liberty of adding a bag of clip-on reflectors to mark blood trails. I hunt a thick area that is difficult to navigate, even in the daytime. It's nice to look back and see the orange reflector tags on the trail I just walked. A charging pack, cord for your phone, and a trusty compass are good additions.
If you can, get all your gear ready between June and September. You will be ahead of the game and way less stressed out. There's nothing worse than hustling around the night before a hunt trying to find your pull rope and a single glove! Having confidence in your weapon and feeling safe in a tree stand will add to your success! Don't forget your release! Aim small, miss small and good luck this season!