How To

Three Tips from a Bowhunting Oldtimer

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Broadhead sharpness

Everyone seems to have their favorite method  for testing the sharpness of a broadhead. The old method of shaving hair off your forearm works great until you run out of hair to shave. Then, of course, there is the safety issue of using a sharp blade in this manner.  I have found that the recommended use of a rubber band really does work perfectly. Just a little tension on a rubber band works best. Once you play around with the method a little, you will note that very little pressure from a really sharp broadhead will cut the rubber band. However, I think the most important asset to this method is that you can test only the last half inch of the blade ( not the point); which in my opinion is the most important part of the broadhead.  It’s really amazing that you can literally saw on a rubber band with a dull broadhead and it will not cut it. So, just save all the embarrassing explanations about how all those bare patches got on your arm (or leg) and use the rubber band method.

Bow hand

While waiting in pit blinds during the hot African days, I noticed that my palms would get sweaty making a good grip on my bow handle more difficult. Or, perhaps it was from watching that world class Kudu come in over a period of an hour. In any event, it was just another thing to get in the way of that feeling of complete confidence. I found that the use of a black golf glove solved the problem. The glove also acts to camouflage your bow hand at the same time. These gloves are thin enough to keep the intimate “feel” of your bow while insuring a dry, solid grip.

Wind direction

Wind direction is probably the most important element of bow hunting. Everyone seems to have their favorite method for determining wind direction, ranging from a small feather attached to the bow limb (with sewing thread) to the use of puff bottles filled with non-scented talc.  My choice, without question, is the puff bottle because it will allow you to note the direction of the wind pattern for several feet (and several seconds). You can detect swirling wind patterns much better with a puff of talc than you can with a feather or the “feeling” on back of your neck. Having said this, there is one thing you MUST remember and that is to USE the puff bottle constantly.  The puff bottle does you absolutely no good in your pocket! Then once you have made the determination of wind direction, plan your hunt accordingly.  Do not plan your hunt direction based on a predetermined location to meet up with your hunting buddy or a convenient big circle that will bring you back to camp at the end of the days hunt. This means you may have to completely change the direction of your hunt several times during the day. If you can remember the old adage of keeping your nose into the wind, you will be surprised how much more game you will see.

Much more archery related stories and tips can be found at adventurousbowhunter.com.

Image courtesy Dennis Kamstra

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