You want to go out ? Preparation of archery equipment for stag season
Posted at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 14, 2022
By Dan Kibler
North Carolina’s statewide archery season for white-tailed deer opens September 10, and for the tens of thousands of hunters who take to the woods with a stick and String in hand, the next few days will feel like the home stretch of a horse race: trying to get to the finish line from a variety of spots along the prep track.
Depending on your level of involvement, you might be involved in last-minute turns, or you might just be in the saddle for the long haul. Either way, Robert Brookman of Drop Tine Archery in Advance knows what steps need to be taken and in what order.
“Hopefully the hunters have their bows set up already and hopefully they’ve practiced their shooting and know what they need in terms of new strings, cables and even tuning their bows “, did he declare. “Your scouting should already be done; you should have your stand located so that you don’t have to return to it before the start of the season. Now that we have trail cameras that can send text (pictures) to your phone, you don’t need them anymore.
But Brookman understands that not everyone spent six months preparing for a warm September afternoon overlooking a path in the woods between a field of soybeans and a grove of pine trees. So he laid out different things for hunters to think about as August begins to give way to September.
“One thing you have to do, especially this year, is check the regulations – because of chronic wasting disease (CWD),” he said. “In the counties right next to it (Davie, Forsyth, Yadkin, Surry, Stokes and parts of Wilkes, Iredell and Alleghany), baiting will not be allowed until September 1, and the state has new regulations and things to know. I know they are going to put a freezer in our store for hunters to drop off deer heads for (CWD sampling).
For hunters who have spent the summer fishing or doing anything other than thinking about that big whitetail deer in the woods across the creek, there is the question of where to set up to intercept M Antlers on his daily commute.
“I’m always looking for food sources,” Brookman said. “That dictates where they are going to be. If animals could hunt us, they would settle in restaurants, because that’s where we’ll be.
“Does will be on food, and single groups of bucks will be on food. You want to try to settle between the food source and a sleeping area.
Brookman said wind direction plays the biggest role in deciding which exact tree should hold your stand — locked, climber, ladder, whatever.
“Wind direction is key,” he said. “In the fall, our predominant wind is mainly from the northwest. We might get a little northeasterly now and then, but you need to be prepared for a northwesterly wind.
This means that you should place your stand on the southeast side of any major traffic lane for the deer you want to watch, so the wind will blow in your face; deer moving in the wind will be less likely to pick up your scent.
“And make sure you’ve cut limbs around your range and cleaned up shooting lanes,” Brookman said.
If you are just starting to practice shooting, make sure your bow is in good condition. Does the string look frayed? One of the cables is noisy? Do you shoot different arrows or fighter heads from previous seasons?
“If your bow is set, it should shoot wide headers and field points the same,” Brookman said. “Also make sure any clothes you’re going to wear on the hunt have been washed with something like ElimiShield which kills your scent. Two things you can’t have in your stall are movement or scent.
“Make sure you have all your gear ready: binos (binoculars), rangefinder, safety harness – whatever you need.”
Practice, practice, practice
Be sure to shoot arrows at a target every day. If you don’t have time, take the time for at least a few photos.
“You should have been practicing for months, but 90% of hunters don’t,” Brookman said. “You should film at least 15 minutes a day. If you only shoot 20 arrows a day, you will still develop your muscle memory and you will be fine.
“But when you’re shooting, don’t shoot in flip flops and shorts. Shoot in the clothes you are going to hunt with. If you wear gloves, train with gloves. And shoot from your stand, even if you only place it a few feet off the ground. You must train from the platform you will be shooting from. Acclimate to what you’re standing on.