Tim's Traditional Tips:
• When bloodtrailing a deer, 3 guys on the track is perfect. One to search for blood at ground level, one to look for blood higher up, like on small bushes and tree trunks. The third guy marks each spot with toilet paper, maintains the compass bearing, and watches for any movement up ahead. Plus, three guys makes for an easy drag!
• The first thing you should do after shooting a deer is to use your compass. Get a bearing on his departure. Use trees and other landmarks. Getting a clear direction of travel is important…..even well hit deer often don’t start bleeding for 30 yards or so.
• Learn to sharpen your broadheads with simple tools, like a file and a pocket stone. You will take more practice shots in the field if you know that you can quickly touch up your edge.
• Never take a bad shot. You don’t need to kill a deer. Taking shots at the edge of or beyond your capabilities isn’t worth the risk of a poorly hit game animal. Traditional bowhunting isn’t an athletic sport where “going for it” is expected. Know your limits, and stick to them, no matter how big the trophy.
• Wooden arrows are awesome, but if you are just getting started, consider carbon or aluminum. They have fewer variables than wood, and you can better analyze a poor shot. Once you are grouping well with carbon or aluminum, give wooden arrows a try….because every bow deserves at least 1 dozen matched cedars!
• Consider big 5 1/2" high profile fletching for your broadheads. They will stabilize an arrow well even when damp.
• If given the choice, set your treestand in a pine tree. They provide lots of cover, and an unending supply of cover scent. Crush the needles throughout the day and rub them on your clothing.
• The woods are full of free and natural cover scent. Experiment and find out which leaves and needles are the most aromatic. Crush them and rub liberally on your clothes. Don’t go around puddles and muddy spots, walk through them. Step on deer droppings, skunk cabbage, anything that will naturally cover your scent.
• Don’t get stuck in the “treestand rut”….lots of great spots don’t have a convenient tree. Always be prepared to hunt off the ground should conditions or terrain warrant. Hunt your quarry….not a tree.
• A handy first aid kit can be put together in something as small as a tin mint box. Aspirin, bandages, tweezers, some antiseptic wipes. Crazy glue will seal a bad cut quickly. Seal it up with duct tape…which is also a good “closer” for large cuts.
• Arrows shouldn’t be camouflaged. Bright fletching will help you be sure of your shot placement, and they are easy to find after a shot.
• Don’t get hung up on carbon vs. aluminum vs. wood arrows….every bow shoots something perfectly. Experiment and shoot what your bow likes best.
• Can’t quiet your bow? Try placing your silencers unevenly on your string (not the same distance from the tips, like one 3” from the end, and the other 5”). Sound vibrations travel down the string in an “S” pattern. Sometimes uneven spacing interrupts and absorbs the sound more efficiently.
• Put a handful of rubber bands in your hunting pants pocket. They have thousands of uses in the field. Seal off your pants from ticks, instant armguard, keeping an arrow on a narrow shelf on a windy day…..the uses are endless.
• 30 feet of parachute cord doesn’t take up much space…..but has infinite value in the woods.
• Milkweed pods, talcum powder, unwaxed dental floss, bits of fluffy wool pulled from your shirt are all great wind indicators. Use them all. Always hunt the wind.
• Your “possibles” requirements change throughout the season, or for different hunts. Hunting farmland 500 yards from your truck doesn’t require the same load out as a wilderness trek. Try a minimalist approach…only take what you need.
• Lots of guys shoot all summer long, and slack off when hunting season starts. Bring along a Judo point, and shoot as much as possible. Always shoot a few arrows from your treestand before you climb down.
• Muted plaids work as well or better than modern commercial patterns. Shadows and background cover are more important than what pattern you are wearing. Camouflage is a concept, not a pattern.
• Shoot a single arrow in the morning before you leave for work. It will simulate that first cold shot on a mornings hunt, and you have to live with that shot all day...
• Have at least two shooting gloves or tabs broken in and handy…..you WILL lose one or forget it on the kitchen counter.
• Two spare strings is not too many... shoot a couple in during the summer 3D season, and keep them handy during the hunting season. Sew one inside your hunting hat.
• If your release is consistent, and your grip on the bow is always the same, the arrow has no choice but to fly true.
• Don’t just hunt and shoot…consider and learn about the history of our sport. Read as much as you can about our traditional archery forefathers. You will enjoy our sport more if you know from where we came...
For Traditional Woodsman insights and articles from our good friend Roger Norris, Click Here.