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How To/Pro-Tips

Picking A Bow

With all the new compound bow designs around, it can be difficult to make a choice. Wheels or cams? Single or double cams? Overdraw? The choices are both complex and confusing. Beginners should start by reading archery magazines, talking to experienced archers and shopping in serious archery pro-shops. I think beginners should start with a good quality, basic compound that is easy to tune and keep that way. Many of the super-high-tech, high-performance bows and accessories need more care and attention and more experience to shoot well. As a general rule, choose a compound bow with a draw-weight poundage that is approximately double what you pull with a recurve. However, you should try it out in odd, awkward and uncomfortable positions. Can you draw it smoothly and hold it comfortably? Is the grip comfortable? Remember, little annoyances while practicing can haunt you in a big way while hunting. Virtually all modern compound bows are good products but only you can decide what's right for you.

A New Duck Gun

Most hunters have an old favorite shotgun that reflects years of wonderful waterfowling memories. However, we also are intrigued by the new models as well.
One of the best things that has happened to waterfowling shotguns is the application of a protective camouflage finish. Most major shotgun manufacturers offer waterfowl-worthy shotguns in camo.
Besides the obvious advantage of a camouflaged gun, the new finishes are very protective. The finishes are applied by an immersion process and, in effect, coat the gun, lock, stock and barrel, with a camo pattern. This coating is considerably thicker and more protective than a coat of paint. It is permanent and will not peel or fade. It also provides a non-slip surface for a better grip on the gun.
For hunters will an all-around gun that don't want it camouflaged all the time, camo tape or the various camo covers that can be slipped and zipped on without impairing the gun's function are the answer. These also provide excellent protection for your shotgun.

Bow Season Prep

It's not too early to be thinking about bow season and checking out your bowhunting gear. Give your stand or stands a good once over. Drag them out. Drag them out, dust them off and check for necessary maintenance. Replace worn parts, treat rust and silence squeaks. By doing this now, any paint will have time to thoroughly dry and lubricant or rust remover smells will dissipate. On your bow, look for frayed or stretched strings, loose nocking points, squeaky wheels or cams. Just as with a rifle, make sure your sights are tight. If your bow needs a tune-up, get it done now, before the last minute rush. Check out your arrows and replace bent shafts and any fletching that is worn. Archery practice is always a good thing and you really can't get enough. It's especially important for those with new equipment to practice and get thoroughly familiar with it before the chips are down on opening day.

Quiver Facts

Bow quivers are justly popular with serious bowhunters. They are the safest, quietest and by far the handiest way to carry your arrows. There are several important features to look for on a good bow quiver. It should attach securely and not rattle or interfere in any way with your bow's operation. It should hold your arrows securely and quietly. It should protect your arrow shafts, fletching and points. Just as importantly, it should protect you from those razor-sharp broadheads; the hood should fully enclose all the points. Bow quivers do add bulk to your rig and many bowhunters prefer quick-detachable models which they remove when on stand. Also, if you are a real perfectionist, the quiver adds complexity to fine-tuning your bow because removing arrows changes the weight and vibration pattern of the bow, slightly altering your point of impact. For the same reason, if you sight your bow with a bow quiver on, taking it off will wreck your accuracy.

Bow Hunting Follow Up

Though most deer hunters need to know how to follow a blood trail, this ability is absolutely essential to bowhunters. Most bow-shot deer will run off, and you have to be able to find them. Remember exactly where the deer was standing at the shot, which way it ran and where it was last seen. Also remember the deer's reaction to the shot. Did it kick and leap, hunch up, stagger

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