The Seven Essential Mistakes to Avoid During Bowhunting

As sportsmen and hunters, it is absolutely necessary to learn from every mistake we make. If not, the next outing can be just as frustrating as the last. The following 7 mistakes are the seven most commonly made in the sport of bow hunting or archery and should be recognized and overcome as early as possible.

Misjudging Distance
The number one reason a bow hunter misjudges their mark is because they misjudge distance. Precision and estimation are highly important, vital aspects of the sport and without them, it is impossible to be successful.

Fortunately, all it takes are some practice and experience to be somewhat accurate at estimating the shooting distance. As your draw strength improves over time, make sure to take that into account as it will affect your optimum shooting distance. Mark your yardage whenever possible and practice often at home or at a range to get a better idea of how far you are standing from any given target.
If you are serious about bow hunting or archery, then you might want to get a good rangefinder. With advance technology these days, most rangefinders are accurate to a +/- 5 meters. It’s not a necessity, but definitely a handy gear to have.

Mishandled Equipment
If your equipment is not well maintained, it will not serve you well in the field. Your shots will be less accurate, your distance will suffer, and you will have less of a good time while shooting. This means you should inspect your equipment as often as possible and perform routine maintenance.
Tuning should be done before you go out every time, checking to ensure the center is trued, the screws and limb bolts are all in good position and that your sight pins are checked.

Too Much Weight
Speed is not the end all of bow hunting. In fact, too many hunters place a premium of being able to get high speed into their shots rather than any number of other possibilities. Accuracy is much more important and for that reason, your draw weight should be set well within your comfort level.
The extra FPS you gain is not worth the loss of accuracy and comfort in your shots. Also, remember that conditions in the field can greatly diminish the effectiveness of a weight you have tested beforehand.

Poorly Placed Shots
If you miss the right position on the animal, your hunt can become a horrible situation. A wounded, lost animal can haunt a hunter for the rest of the trip and ruin a perfectly good outing. It is necessary, both technically and ethically, to be able to hit the kill zone on an animal when bow hunting.
This means, you should be able to recognize where the kill zone is as well as have the right degree of accuracy in your shots to hit that position. If you do not feel you can do this, you should reconsider hunting with a bow until you have enough practice under your belt to do so.
To be more accurate though, you could use a bow stabilizer which absorbs vibrations in the bow at the shot. The added weight using the stabilizer will also keep the bow upright which will really improve accuracy.

Shooting Too Fast
If you grow too confident in your ability to shoot and release quickly on the run, you will probably have limited success. As a bow hunter, or any hunter for that matter, patience is absolutely vital. You want to get into and out of a stand as quickly as possible with minimal impact. If you can calmly and quietly handle your ground each time out, you will be much more effective than if you bolt in and try to overwhelm your game each time you go out.

Stand Placement
When you place your stand, a lot of importance is placed in the location, height, and time of its placement. If you are too low, too early, or in the wrong place, you will only spook your game and ruin a good position. Your placement will depend partly on your personal preference, but remember to make the right adjustments for your surroundings and the effect they will have on your game. Anywhere between 14 and 18 feet is ideal, providing enough range to keep from spooking your next quarry and with enough freedom to move if necessary.

Moving Too Much
If you move too much in your stand, you will not be successful. You must be willing to stand quietly, patiently, and as still as possible while waiting. Deer are incredibly adept at picking up movement – it is a survival instinct. If you set off those senses, they will bolt. Always keep an arrow knocked when on a stand so that you can minimize movement before a shot.

The right balance of common sense and preparation can result in the perfect hunting trips and the right shots almost every time for you. Be aware of what is happening around you, do not over adjust, move, or grow impatient, and you can avoid many of the most common mistakes made by bow hunters.

These are some of the common problems faced by most bow hunters at some point of the time. Have I missed out any of them? Feel free to share your opinion below.

Author Bio: John Lewis, a blogger over at, survivalist and outdoor enthusiast. While he believes that everyone should enjoy their lives doing things they love, being financially, mentally and physically prepared to face challenges that may arise is inevitably important.