Author: Eddie Webb, Real Deal Outdoors
Thoughts for success in the field.
So much time and effort go into chasing the mature whitetails, only to get one short window of opportunity. Let’s map out a few keys to success that are easily overlooked.
Accessing land is the first step in any pursuit, which can be a challenge. Once you have land to hunt, it’s time to put the boots on the ground. Hours of scouting, planning, mapping, running cameras, selecting stand locations, and hanging stands. are just part of the process. Now, we must deal with wind, weather, moon phases, and many other obstacles that can always affect the hunt. Let’s be honest, the best hunters put in the work that probably months before they ever take their weapon into the woods.
When spending months of prepping and planning, one can easily overlook their equipment. When the short window of opportunity finally presents itself on that buck of a lifetime, a well-tuned bow gives you the confidence needed to make the shot. For the past several years, hunters that frequent Real Deal Outdoors have had a lot of success, including FIVE world-class bucks in 2021 over 200 inches.
When I look at what they all had in common it’s a quality pro shop that makes sure their equipment is tuned and ready for the season ahead. It doesn’t matter what pro shop you use but find one you have confidence in and invest in your equipment and hunt. Properly tuned equipment, proper form, and practice will increase your odds at the moment of truth.
Many archers can set up their bow by installing arrow rests, sights, quivers, and assembling arrows. Tuning the bow starts with paper tuning as we look for the sweet spot, a perfect bullet hole! However, when it’s time to dial in your sights with broadheads, an improperly tuned bow will throw arrows all over the place.
So much more goes into that perfect tune; for instance, do you have the right spine arrow, does the bow have cam lean is the tiller correct? That’s just a few things that need to be looked at on the bow before you start adjusting your sights or arrow rest. Now let’s think about the sight you hit the orange aiming dot standing in the yard on flat ground. What some may not consider is if your 2nd and 3rd axis are off you miss that same dot by as much as a foot if you’re in a tree shooting at 35-45 degrees up or downhill.
The debate over expendables vs. fixed-blade broadheads may never cease but why is there a debate in the first place? Both broadheads serve a purpose and both will kill deer when the arrow finds its mark, Expandable are only designed if you have the right kinetic energy coming out of your setup. They will not do their job if you do not have enough kinetic energy to push them through a deer. Going to your local archery pro shop will help you find the correct draw weight, arrow spine and weight to help you find the best broadhead for your setup.
Fixed broadheads will not fly correctly if the wrong arrow was selected and or the bow is not perfectly tuned. This is where cam lean will play a huge factor. Many times, I will adjust the cam to get the perfect arrow flight, not move the rest.
My best tip for success is to find yourself a local pro shop that you have confidence in and that takes the extra time to help you fine-tune your bow and your form. There are a lot of good ones and a few bad ones, but once you find a good one, support them so they will always be there when you need them.