The Outdoorsmans Guide To Forever Free

The Outdoorsmans Guide To Forever Free

7 Archery Tactics to Use Hunting Immediately this Fall

When it comes to archery hunting for whitetail deer in the lower 48 states there are unique challenges that archers must confront that other hunters in different disciplines do not. For one, in many states the archery season may run for multiple months that will eventually overlap firearm and muzzleloader seasons. For the die-hards among us, that can mean a hunting season that spans from summer to fall and into winter. You may also be hunting before the rut, during, and after. Your tactics and mindset should evolve just as the seasons and weather do. These are some tactics to bear in mind while you continue your pursuit of whitetail deer with your stick and string.

Shoot & Practice from Varying Positions

Many of us archers, whether it is indoors or outdoors, will only practice with our bows on level ground. This is very common and practical because of the shooting venues that may be available to you, but if possible, you should try to shoot from varying positions. Shoot your bow with your hunting pack on your back. You might kick up a deer walking to your stand and need to take a shot quickly before your window of opportunity fades. Try shooting while kneeling if you hunt from a ground blind. Give elevated positions like from your treestand a try. When you shoot uphill or downhill your body’s posture will change and your shooting mechanics should not fall apart. By attempting varying shooting positions before the hunt if you are then called upon to improvise during your hunt you will be ready.


Hunt Food Sources Hard

When it comes to locating deer many of us archers are more than proficient in finding scrapes, rubs, and deer trails. The dilemma comes in hunting over those areas and not seeing any deer. Then, what do you do? While a gnarly scrape or impressive rub can definitely get your optimistic juices flowing, those signs could be on the fringe of a buck’s working territory; a place they only intermittently visit. A smarter bet is to find some of that aforementioned sign closer to food sources. This could be giant white oaks dropping fuzzy acorns, a farmer’s corn or soybean field, or even a food plot you planted yourself. Deer, like us humans, have got to eat. So position yourself near their food sources and you will up your odds of seeing more deer throughout all seasons and weather changes.

Trail Cameras are your Friends

Some of us are freezer fillers and other archers are hunting wall hangers, but regardless of what your pursuit is a trail camera can be a tremendous ally. It allows you to inventory your potential deer herd in your area and know what is out there when you are not around. This is beneficial because if you are blessed with having lots of opportunities at deer you do not want to burn up your tag on a spike buck when a hefty doe might be more delicious venison in your eyes. Or you do not want to arrow a basket 8-point buck when you know there is a 10-point brute hiding somewhere. Trail cameras can provide you with very valuable information you might not otherwise have at your disposal.

Be Prepared to Invest your Time

While many hunters lust over the chase of big bucks during the rut, most of the year bucks will not be pumped full of testosterone and jacked up chasing does. For those months of pre- and post-rut, it may take a lot of stand time to see the deer you want to put in the freezer or hang on the wall. With that being said, be prepared to invest the time out in nature to eventually cross paths with the deer you are looking to tag.


Layer yourself like an Onion

Archery season for many states can be a very unpredictable and tumultuous time in regards to the weather we may need to endure. You could creep out to your stand in the dark when its 30°F and by noon it might be 70°F. That is why it can be advantageous to dress in layers so as the weather evolves you too can adapt by peeling or adding layers as necessary.

Keep that Brush Saw in your Pack for Awhile

As tempting as it may be to brush out wide, easy-to-see shooting lanes early in the season try to refrain from doing so. As the leaves change, a small amount of trees die, and leaves fall most areas will become more open later in the season. If you clear out a ton of brush too early in the season you may feel naked and exposed later because you cut down too much brush. Cover and concealment are valuable.

Be a Chameleon, Evolve your Tactics

Many of us can fall into the trap of repetitively doing things the same way without changing. If the wind changes, we do not change our stand location. If a farmer harvests a corn field we were hunting over, we continue to errantly hunt that spot with misguided optimism. When conditions change so should our tactics. Whether it is the weather, food sources, the wind, fallen down trees, or deer vanishing off our trail cameras, we need to adapt more. The definition of insanity is to allegedly do the same thing over and over expecting different results. So to be a sane, experienced archer we must try different tactics as the need arises.

For all of our stick and string enthusiasts in the reading audience, what do you think? Are there any valuable tips or tricks you have learned over the years that you would like to share with others? If so, what are they? Let us know all of your thoughts in the Comments below! We always appreciate the feedback.

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