A few weeks ago, I wrote a post asking how do you prepare for deer hunting? As the days speed by and my first season swiftly approaches, mentally preparing myself for bowhunting is incredibly important. I’ve been reading a lot, not necessarily books centered just on deer hunting, but on hunting in general, and am finding that the mental preparation is just as important as the physical.
I posed the question on LinkedIn’s Archery Networking Group and the conversation has been ongoing, with many different suggestions, such as:
- Practice, practice, practice! Practicing is important to create and maintain confidence in shooting my bow. This is something I’ve been doing daily. My daughter has been my sidekick these afternoons, shooting her bow alongside me. It is so cool that archery (and bowhunting) can be a mother-daughter bonding experience!
- Understand field dressing NOW. While I plan to utilize my husband’s experience in field dressing, I don’t plan to shy away from it should I happen to get this buck in a few weeks:
The Beginner’s Guide to Hunting Deer for Food by Jackson Landers has a great chapter on field dressing and The Call of the Mild: Learning to Hunt My Own Dinner by Lily Raff McCaulou covers her experience field dressing an elk. Both of these books have been helpful in preparing me for both the visceral experience as well as the understanding of how to do it.
- Understand scent control. Talking with Bryce Towsley about basic scent control considerations as well as cover scents and lures was incredibly interesting. I have an assortment of scent control products and also plan to hang my camo outside in the next few days. Spraying down my bow, arrows, and release with cover scent was definitely something I didn’t consider before researching it.
- Understand tree stand safety. Life line, safety harness, tree stand tether — all of these terms were foreign to me before I began this project. Now, I am comfortable climbing my stand, tethering myself to the tree, and using my haul line.
With my first bow season before me, I know it will take many years before it becomes second nature to me like it is for many seasoned hunters. Those who have been hunting for years can probably remember what their first hunt was like. I know that my first day out there will be something I remember forever.