Hunting with a Bow: Mastering the Art of Bowhunting

Hunting with a Bow: Mastering the Art of Bowhunting

Taking a kill shot with a bow and arrow is no easy feat for any hunter. Statistically, bowhunters are less likely to harvest an animal as opposed to hunting with a rifle. The ethical shot with a bow requires the hunter to be within 50 to 60 yards of the animal, making this remarkably difficult. 

Hunting with bows and arrows dates back as early as the stone age and progresses in complexity throughout the centuries. Each country’s artisans have put their stamp on this great hunting sport of archery. Modern archery can now be characterized as a precision hunting instrument with traditional influences.

Successful spot and stalk bowhunting is an art form few hunters will ever master. Ambush hunting, with either a bow or rifle, has grown in popularity. Sitting in a tree waiting for a deer to wander by is exhilarating in its own right. 


Over the last few decades, the art of spotting game has gotten considerably easier and a lot more precise. Powerful optics, terrain maps, and communication with seasoned pros have dramatically improved.

The best hunters spend considerable time on their hunts, choosing the best Spot for identifying the largest game. All this effort goes into answering the first question, “Come hunting season, where will I be?” Simply showing up to hunt rarely works out; Planning is the key. Look for spotting areas that give the hunter unobstructed views and a vantage point. Topography and aerial maps are helpful with this process.

  • Leupold Gold Ring Spotting Scope. One of the best scopes on the market, this Leupold offers extreme long-range capabilities with 20-60×80 magnification. The Gold Ring is excellent with world-renowned Leupold glass in low-light situations. An outstanding 121-42 @1000 yds field of view and a twilight factor of 40-69.3. The Leupold Gold Ring is world-class.   

Look for spots with a good topographical position and an adequate wind break or a gentle breeze. Never choose a location where you must look directly in sunlight. Working a string of high spots along a ridgeline is more efficient than continually scaling to an isolated peak. Maintain a low profile, backdrops of brush or rock keep you from skylining yourself.

Target Acquisition

Now the fun part starts – looking for that perfect trophy buck. Hunters should be ready to take the shot once the target has been acquired and in your sights at 50 yards or less. One of the most critical factors every hunter needs to develop is their Game-Eye. The better your equipment, the better the accuracy of your shot. 

  • PSE Brute ATK Compound Bow. The right-hand PSE offers an adjustable and commanding draw length of 20—30.5 inches. The package includes a Sierra 5 Pin sight and sling. A Mongoose Peep and Nocking Loop with Torment Quiver adds to the package. Use the Phantom Drop Away Rest with the Recon 6—a formidable complete package for archers of all levels. 

When setting up and there is a considerable amount of hunting area scan, dissect the landscape into manageable chunks. Scan for hillsides covered in vegetation, brushy patches in the middle of open areas, or sheltered areas under low-hanging rock. Always be on the lookout for game trails; this is when your game-eye comes in handy. Train your game-eye to look for parts of an animal; an antler glistening, a twitching ear, and shadows.

  • Quest Centec Compound Bow in Realtree Camo. The Centec features a fully adjustable draw weight of 25.5 inches to 30 inches, suitable for the novice or seasoned pro archer. High-grade 82X riser with a bow length of 32 inches. The Centec uses Center Grip Technology, weighs only 4.4 pounds, and provides an impressive speed of 325 fps.  

Pan across the hunting area, making sure you overlap with each pass. When spotting from a higher location, take at least nine or ten passes to cover the hunting area fully. Always remember the basics all animals need to survive; shelter, food, and water. Concentrate your spotting on these areas of the hunting landscape. Train your game-eye to Spot bedding areas. White tail deer prefer vegetation, while mountain goats prefer open areas.

Bow Hunting Accessories

One of the great experiences is heading to a seasoned pros’ staging area, usually at their home garage. The wonders of accessories collected over a lifetime of hunting never cease to amaze. Several pairs of binoculars, spotting scopes, and bow sights are usually scattered about. Novice bow hunters need to concentrate on building their collection. From the beginning of the hunting journey, always choose accessories wisely, quality over quantity.

The first purchase should be a good quality knife, and one is never enough. Choose a family to stick with and start the research for accessories that go with a quality blade, such as sharpeners, and other maintenance equipment. Schrade, Browning, Case, and Kershaw are great companies.

Scents and eliminators is a technique on its own and every hunter should develop the skills to master this tactic. The majority of animals are proficient at smelling the direction of a human and if the scent is not appropriately masked, expect to come home empty handed.

  • Code Blue Tarsal Gland. A deer attractant that is designed for attracting bigger bucks. The tarsal gland secretes a fatty substance other deer use for identification. Code Blue Tarsal Gland is highly effective during rut.
  • Scent Killer Body Wash. Getting rid of the human scent takes a powerful formula, and washing before the hunt is the key. Gentle on the skin and hair, Scent Killer is an effective all-body wash.

Final Word

Use every advantage at your disposal when choosing to hunt with the bow. Sitting in a tree stand and shooting deer at 200 yards is a thrill. However, nothing compares to spotting and stalking a big buck to within 50 yards and taking a kill shot. 

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