Follow these tips to become the ultimate predator and never have to eat tag soup again.
1. Wear your full camo “system” during local 3-D shoots.
You didn’t max out your credit card on Sitka apparel just to go to archery shoots and wear shorts and t-shirts, did you? I didn’t think so. You’re a goddamned killing machine and it’s high time everyone else knew it, too. Imagine how good you’ll feel as you look down on the rest of the archers who apparently can’t afford merino wool base layers and definitely can’t hunt as well as you can. The first step to punching a tag is punching holes in foam targets, and layering up with “technical apparel” not only sets the tone for how you’ll attack the local 3-D circuit, but also how you’ll attack the hapless critters unfortunate enough to cross paths with you. TRAIN HOW YOU FIGHT!
Bonus tip: make sure your bow’s camo pattern matches the one you’ll be wearing into the woods. This is often overlooked but is incredibly important when striving for invisibility.
2. Share your onX pins with everyone you meet.
Anyone who’s spent time in the South has heard the phrase, “you attract more flies with honey,” and that’s a great approach to finding new hunting spots. You’d be hard-pressed to find a single hunter who won’t reciprocate when you whip out your onX app and start sharing locations. What’s the point of busting your ass if you can’t share your hard work with others? We’re all on the same side, after all. And let’s be honest; mapping services are compiling all of your data anyway.
3. Understand FOC is the most important piece of your arrow build.
Bareshaft and broadhead tuning? Dumb. Selecting the appropriate spine? Stupid. Three or four-fletch? Pointless. The only thing a true bowhunter needs to worry about when building a set of arrows is creating the most FOC possible. If you don’t have somewhere between 40-45 percent FOC, you’ll never be able to punch through an elk’s shoulder. Sure, you could focus on accuracy and arrow flight, but you could also focus on helping your wife pick out a new set of drapes and join her on the next Target run. YOU AIN’T NO PUSSY, THOUGH, SO GET THAT FOC UP!
4. Attach your identity to an influencer and the brands they promote.
Life’s too short to be an independent, free-thinking human being. We only get one lap, so set aside your critical-thinking skills and quickly morph into a mirror of your favorite YouTuber. It’s widely-known influencers are the best hunters among us, and lucky for you they’ve already created a blueprint for success. You may not be able to hunt the vast swathes of high-end private land they have access to, but that doesn’t mean their tactics and gear won’t work on overly-crowed public areas as well. And, when you wear your favorite influencer’s apparel and use the same gear they do, it signals to the entire world you’re a serious dirt nap dealer and a force to be reckoned with.
5. Spend less time e-scouting and more time asking for help on internet forums.
Why waste time digging through complex mapping tools like onX and Google Earth when you can simply ask for help from the folks who know their areas best? Forum users are some of the most thoughtful, caring and knowledgeable hunters we have in our community, and it’d be a crime not to lean on their expertise when it comes to putting together a game plan for the fall. If you start to receive conflicting information, simply check to see which user has listed more of the gear they use in their signature line – the folks who’ve taken the time to list all of their equipment on their profile are likely far more credible than anyone else you’ll engage with. Respect is a common language, so always begin your question with, “I’m not looking for anyone’s honey holes, but…”
6. Slow is smooth, smooth is for pussies. Raw speed kills.
You’ve spent all this time building high-FOC arrows, but it’ll all be for nothing if they aren’t traveling faster than 300 feet per second. I read on a forum that deer can’t “jump the string” on a fast-moving arrow and buddy, that’s the gosh darn truth. My ideal setup is an 80-pound PSE Xpedite and a 400 grain arrow with 200 grains up front. I’M SHOOTING LASER BEAMS, BOYS. You may hear someone say it’s hard to tune a fixed-blade broadhead when your arrow is traveling faster than 280 feet per second, but those people are idiots and probably aren’t man enough to handle a rig with the horsepower required for big game hunting.
7. Don’t settle for anything less than a 30-inch draw length.
So what if your “optimal” draw length is 27.5 inches? Are you just going to lay down like a bitch and accept God’s plan for your life? Or are you going to grow a pair of balls and set that anchor point behind your ear lobe and get to work? Having a 30-inch or greater draw length puts you in the sweet spot for arrow speed and broadhead lethality. You’ll also be guaranteed to kill more animals and your Tinder profile will look better. Don’t listen to the haters who’ll critique your form – they don’t kill as many animals as you and they probably drive a Prius.
8. Bring your bow with you everywhere.
Going for a trail run? Bring your bow. Walking into your CrossFit class? Bring your bow. Picking up groceries? You guessed it, bring your bow. Recruits going through U.S. Marine Corps bootcamp spend every waking moment of their lives with their rifles, and this philosophy is the reason why you have the freedom to be a lazy sack of shit and not bring your bow to your sister’s wedding. ‘MERICA! If you ever want to become an effective killing machine, your bow needs to be an extension of your body. You need to know your bow better than the back of your hand. It may be inconvenient at times, but this is one of those little things that’ll separate you from the rest of the pack.