To bow or not to bow

by Dec 16, 2015Hunting in Maine, Whitetail Deer

To bow or not to bow

Mentally, I am not ready to hunt with a bow.  I am confident in my rifle to know that I can drop a deer dead in its tracks.  I have seen the damage that my 150 (or 180) grain bullet can do to the inside of a deer and I am comfortable with that because I know that the deer did not know what hit it when I squeeze the trigger.

Maybe that sort of shot is possible with a bow but from what I have seen on tv and with other hunters posting on social media, it is more likely that the deer will run off and die, assuming that it is a good shot. I have also seen far more bow hunters talk and post about how they have lost a deer than my fellow rifle hunters.  That is the last thing I want to happen!

After this season and talking with Dad about all of the deer he started seeing when rifle season ended, and he was out muzzleloading, it made me really think about getting a bow and trying to get into the woods before everyone else does (including me) with their rifles.

If I make archery my 2016 goal, I will probably not be ready to hunt until 2017.  There would be a lot of work involved in getting the gear, getting into shape and preparing for a good, close shot.

So for all of you out there who are reading this, leave a comment or email me.  Do you bow hunt? What kind of bow do you use? is there any equipment that I need? dont need?

5 Comments

  1. Can't recommend the bow enough. At the least you have a new hobby that the whole family can enjoy (and great stress relief), at the most you have the opportunity for a different hunting experience and up to 2 and a half more months of the deer season. There are 3D funshoots and tournaments, which can be awesome. I have a PSE Chaos (same as Robin) and love it. I would recommend finding a nearby archery shop to try some out and then if you decide to buy you can have it professionally set up. You can get as fancy or not with accessories, but I will warn that if you get attached to the bow, you may also get the bug the rest of us have to create the perfect set-up.

    • I can't remember to take something from the freezer for supper and you remember what kind of bow I have. You're amazing!

      I second a nearby shop. When you can't remember how to adjust or need to learn how to buy the right broad tips and any of the other questions that come up you'll want someone nearby. And take lessons. You don't want to build muscle memory around bad form and habits. My instructor can "fix" me in five or ten minutes.

    • Robin, I only remember because you mentioned you had a Chaos once and I remember thinking it was the same as mine. For the record, I can't remember to take anything out of the freezer for supper either.

  2. Bow hunting is very addicting. Get good instruction from an experienced bow hunter. You need to be able to know how to set up and tune your bow by yourself. It will help with your shooting. The basic stuff needed is a properly fitted bow with correct draw length, matched arrows, release aid and a target. A range finder is nice to have. Beyond that one can end up with lots of stuff like arrow building supplies, bow tuning equipment etc etc etc.

    • Thanks Chris! These are great tips. I had not thought about being able to tune it myself or that a range finder would probably be a much needed tool. Is a release aid like a trigger?

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Erin Merrill, author of And a Strong Cup of Coffee, is president of Women of the Maine Outdoors, a senior writer for Drury Outdoors, a contributor to the Northwoods Sporting Journal and passionate all things Maine, Hunting, and the Outdoors.

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