In spite of the lazy folks at the wildlife refuge, the Texas bow season opens in the rest of Texas in October for deer and turkey.

Bow hunters should read the regulations for the county where they will be hunting to be assured they are hunting within the game laws. Here are a few other tips to make you bow hunt more successful and enjoyable.

Two practices lead to most of the accidents: not being safe in tree stands or having arrows out of your quiver at the wrong time. If you’re going to hunt from a tree stand, make sure the tree is large enough to hold your weight before you climb the tree.

To lessen the chance that you will fall while climbing the tree, leave your bow, arrows and other equipment on the ground, and attach a haul line to them.

Be sure to use an approved safety harness, and always secure yourself to the tree as soon as you leave the ground.

After you reach your stand and have attached your safety harness to your final location, then use your haul line to lift your gear to you.

Double check your equipment – make sure the laminations on your bow are not flaking or separating and that the strings on your bow are not fraying. If you have a compound bow, make sure the pulleys and cables are in good shape.

Checking your arrows is also a great idea if they have been put away all year. When you sharpening your broadheads, be careful and take your time. Make sure you don’t cut yourself while sharpening them.

Practice shooting your bow as much as possible.

Obtain written permission from private landowners before hunting on their property or using their property to access public land.

Know the boundaries of limited entry units and other restricted areas in the area you’ll be hunting.

Take the Bowhunter Education class. You can learn more about the class, and online classes by going to

Remember to never take a shot at a deer that is beyond the maximum, effective range of your bow and ability. Also, before releasing your arrow, make sure of your target and what’s beyond it.

Following releasing your arrow watch the animal and determine the direction it took. Then go to the spot where you last saw the animal and find your arrow. If there’s blood on it, and if you have a compass, take a bearing on the direction the animal went.

Ground blinds are good choices but be sure to cover your scent

Unless you can see the animal, wait 30 minutes before tracking it. If you track the animal too soon, you can spook it into running. If you wait at least 30 minutes before tracking it, you’ll find most of the deer you shoot dead within a reasonable distance of your starting point.

After finding the game field dress and cool its meat immediately. It’s usually warm during the archery hunt. The warm temperatures can cause the meat to spoil quickly.

If you have comments about this article or other articles or news for Jim, his email is

Images courtesy Jim Foster

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