fbpx
maston boyd with whitetail buck

Bow Hunting Tips [Be Ready When The Moment Of Truth Comes]

Bow hunting is a fun and adventurous way to hunt wild game. Many who have experienced success at it will tell you that there’s nothing quite like it.

Whether you are looking for information on bow hunting for beginners or even a seasoned veteran, we’ve got some helpful bow hunting tips to help you in your quest to become a better bow hunter.

lock on tree stand

There’s lots to learn with bowhunting. Below are 10 tips that will help you become better at harvesting an animal with the stick and string!

Bowhunting Tips Overview

Don’t worry, we’ll get to bowhunting tactics further down, but some of the best bowhunting tips are the ones that you learn before the hunt.

Tips 1-5 will prepare you in a way so that you can have the confidence to make a great shot when it counts the most.

Tip #s 6-10 will focus on tips and strategies to help put you in a position to hopefully punch your tag on your target animal.

  1. Bow Maintenance
  2. Blind Bale Shooting
  3. Aim Small / Miss Small
  4. Hunting Stances
  5. Off-Season Practice
  6. Guessing Is Gambling
  7. Scent Control Is King
  8. Entry And Exit Routes
  9. Take An Ethical Shot
  10. Celebrate!

Check out the FIVE archery video tips below to get valuable information on how you can be sure you have an arrow that’s “Just Pass’N Through!”

Bow Hunting Tips: #1 – Bow Maintenance | Avoid Freak Accidents Like This One…

When you see this freak archery accident, you’ll want to learn what you can do to help prevent the possibility of it ever happening to you.

Bow hunting is more than just flinging arrows. bow maintenance checks in the off-season, as well as before your hunt, are an extremely important part of being sure you are able to bow hunt safely and avoiding injury.

In the first of our bow hunting tips, we’ve got details on how to do preventative bow maintenance, so you can avoid unnecessary accidents like this one when shooting your bow…

Shop Bow Hunting Apparel

Archery Accidents And How To Avoid Them

If you watched the above video, you’ll understand why bow maintenance is an important part of bow hunting.

Some of you are shooting your bow year round, but some of you put it into storage during the off season and because the temperatures can change in those environments, it’s very important to check bowstrings cables as well as your limbs before shooting.



Bow maintenance checklist [Pre-Shoot Checklist]

Here are some things you should check before you shoot your bow:

  • Be sure before every shoot that you check your strings and your cables for any signs of wear or fraying. Anything like that can be a potential for a broken string or cable during a hunt just like in the video above.
  • Be sure you check your limbs very carefully. You want to be sure there’s no signs of splintering, bubbling, or cracking. Extreme temperatures and sometimes even storage can cause limbs to weaken. And, you don’t want to have one of those limbs be damaged or break during a shoot.
  • Be sure all your screws and any bolts are tightened properly, so that you don’t have any of your accessories loose during a shoot.
  • Check your cams. Be sure you don’t have any nics or cuts that would affect your string in any way,  whether it be to cause a fraying or a cutting of the string, or else damage to a cam, where your string may actually even come off the track.
  • Be sure your rest is aligned properly.
  • Check cam rotation and be sure the cams are not warped and that they both reach letoff at the same exact time.
  • Be sure you get the proper arrow spine for your bow set up.

If you are not sure how to check the above items, we recommend you take to your local bow shop and have them look for you and inspect that, so that you can have the best chance of a safe shoot.



Tip #2 – Blind Bale Shooting [Improve Your Archery Technique]

In this N1 Minute archery tips video, learn how closing your eyes can be the best way to see results in your archery and bow hunting technique.

bow hunting tips blind bale shooting

Stand back a few feet from a large target. Draw back and locate your target. Close your eyes and shoot. This drill will help grip, form, anchor point and release techniques. Put all these techniques together N1, and you’ll be seeing the results soon.



Tip #3 – Aim Small Miss Small [Improve Your Accuracy]

In the third of our bow hunting tips videos, 3D archery tournament shooter, Cole Honstead, shows you a “small” tip that could help you BIG during hunting season!



Tip #4 – Hunting Stances Can Make Or Break A Bow Hunt [So, Know Them All!]

In the below N1 Minute archery tips video, learn about various stances that can help you in all types of bow hunting scenarios.

For those of you who have bow hunted any amount of time, you know that some things can happen during a hunt that simple target practice can’t prepare you for. The video above will show you some archery tips to help you be best prepared when your moment of truth comes.



Archery Stances For Bow Hunting

Hunting stances can be used for everything from spot and stalk hunts in the West to using blinds and tree stands in the east.

For tree stand hunting, try your best to get to the elevated position. This is as simple as finding the hill and using the bed of a pick-up.

For spot and stalk hunts, try practicing using incline and decline slopes. When shooting from a blind, you’d better get used to sitting in a chair or kneeling position.

Practicing these stances throughout the off season will give you that confidence for a shot of a lifetime.



Tip #5: Off-Season Bow Practice [You’ll Hunt Like You Practice]

In this N1 Minute, learn some bow hunting tips on how to to keep your archery skills polished and sharp during the off-season so that you can maintain proper archery form.




Shop N1 Apparel

Archery Practice Tips

You know for us bow hunters, this is the time of year that we practice and practice for. But what about when the season’s over? How do you keep your skills sharp?



Archery exercise for bowhunters

Here’s a simple tip to keep those muscles active after hunting season and all it takes is a simple exercise band.

So many hunters put away their bows, after the fall, through winter, until turkey season. With, one of these exercise bands, you can practice your draw cycle throughout the winter and make that first draw in the spring a little easier.

Simply grasp one end of the band with your front hand and with your drawing hand, pull the band back to your anchor point. Repeat this ten to fifteen times and then switch hands. This will work both your back and shoulders. A few sets of this draw cycle exercise a day, and you’ll be ready to hit the mark on your next 3D shoot or Spring turkey hunt.



Tip #6: Guessing Is Gambling [Scout Instead!]

Everyone has things going on in life. Whether it’s work, family or other obligations, sometimes it’s hard to make time to scout. Then, before you know it, deer season sneaks up on you and you find yourself scrambling to grab your bowhunting gear and get in a tree or blind.

Or, maybe you’re just tempted to get in the same stand you always hunt and hope for the best.

Sure, there’s always a story of this happening… but the reality is you need to put in the work before the season ever starts to increase your chances of taking a deer or other game.

man mounting a trail camera to a tree

Don’t gamble when you bowhunt. Scout prior to the hunt so you can put yourself in a position to be successful.

Basic trailcams have become much less expensive in recent years, so save your pennies and get a couple of these helpful scouting tools and place them overlooking scrapes or on know travel corridors to and from bedding and food sources. Y

ou can even put out a mineral site. This will help you take inventory of the deer that may be on or travelling through your hunting property.

Trail cam pictures can you give you insight into deer patterns and how they coincide to time of day, time of year, weather and food/water source availability. This will help you make decisions on where to hang that deer stand or blind.



Tip #7: Scent Control Is King

As discussed in our earlier tips, having properly functioning equipment and being proficient with it is critical. However, it can all be for nothing if you don’t practice scent control.

You will be hunting deer and other animals on their home turf. They have the upper hand and their noses are a big reason why. Not only are they at an advantage – but you’re bowhunting – so, you need to be able to get much closer to the animal than you would if you were rifle hunting.

So, the bottom line is that you need to smell as little like – well, YOU – as possible!

doe smelling deer scent

Don’t give a deer’s nose a reason to tell it to run away. Make every effort to be as scent-free as possible.

There are plenty of scent-free and scent-control soaps and detergents available at your local sporting goods store. You can also wash your clothes in baking soda. Then, store your clothes in a scent free bag or container.

On the day of your hunt, avoid coming in contact with any scent that would smell unnatural to a deer’s nose. Yes, that means you might need to skip the steaming hot sausage biscuit run or the pre-hunt cigarette before the hunt.




Tip #8: Entry And Exit Routes [They Can Make Or Break Your Hunt]

When you’re bowhunting, it’s easy sometimes to get focused on where you’re going to hunt.

But, you need to spend just as much time planning how you’re going to get to that magic hunting location that will put you in the best spot for a harvest. But, you need to spend just as much time planning how you’re going to get to and from that magic spot also.

Whether you’re hunting public land on thousands of acres, private land or even suburban hunting, animals are always looking – and smelling – for danger (you realize you are considered danger, right?)

hunting wind direction graphic
Staying downwind of the deer’s location will decrease your chances of getting busted!

So, if the deer or other game see, smell or hear “danger” as it goes to and/or from the magic hunting spot, they aren’t going to stick around and stand quartering away for you to put an arrow through the boiler room.

So, how can you avoid being busted on your way to and from your hunting location?



First of all, as we’ve already covered, you must do everything you can to be scent free and you must always pay attention to the wind direction. You don’t want your scent blown to where you expect the deer to be on your way in.

The same goes for exiting your hunting location. If deer bust you leaving your hunting location, they will associate that location with potential danger and you may not get another chance at them there.

So, be sure to plan your entry and exit routes so that you stay downwind of the where you know the deer or game to be. This can greatly increase your odds of slipping in and out as undetected as possible.



Tip #9: Take An Ethical Shot

Locating deer to hunt and setting up in a spot to potentially kill them is one thing.

Now, you actually have to execute a lethal shot.

6-point buck

Taking an ethical shot is such an important part of bowhunting. Take a shot that gives you the best chance at a quick and clean kill.

This isn’t always easy when bowhunting. So, that’s why it’s so important to have followed the pre-hunt bowhunting tips in #1-5 that we covered, so that when the moment of truth comes, you know you are ready.

You don’t want the animal to suffer and you also want to be sure you are shooting at the deer or game so that you can have as quick and humane kill as possible.



Tip #10: Celebrate!

We couldn’t leave out number 10, could we. After all, you’ve put in the work getting proficient with your bow and you’ve worked hard to get yourself in position to successfully take an animal. So, when you finally do it, you’ve got to celebrate the moment!

And, there’s no better way to do that than with family and friends.

18 point huge buck

Celebrate! It’s one of the best bowhunting tips we can give you…

That’s why we say here at N1 Outdoors: Where the moments happen, we’ll meet you there!

Happy hunting… we hope you have found our bow hunting tips to be useful in your quest to become better at your craft.

And, we hope you have an arrow that’s Just Pass’N Through!

To view other hunting and fishing tips videos, simply click on the “videos” link in our menu.

g5 striker x broadhead test header image

Does X Mark The Spot Of A Great Broadhead? | G5 Striker X Review

Thanks for checking out my review of the G5 Striker X broadhead.

In this review, thanks to a friend who sent me a test pack, I tested a really popular broadhead that I’ve gotten a lot of requests about. I hope this review is of benefit to the bowhunting community!

The G5 Striker X Up Close…

Let’s take a close look at the G5 Striker X.

g5 striker X broadhead

The G5 Striker X is all-steel construction with a steel ferrule, steel tip, and steel replaceable blades. By my measurements, the blades are 0.032 inches thick based on the measurements with my micrometer.

G5 STRIKER X vented area on head

You’ll notice that the blades of the Striker X are fairly vented. That’s going to make them probably a little bit loud in flight, which doesn’t really bother me in a broadhead. Arrow noise has really never bothered me and I’ve taken animals all over the world.





The fact that the blades of the Striker X are so vented could spell problems for durability, so we’ll dive into that in our testing.

striker x ferrule and tip

Notice the dimple and the “scooped” ferrule on the Striker X broadhead.

Now, the tip of the Striker X is a really stout, all-steel chiseled tip. It’s not as sharp as some chiseled tips like the Grim Reapers, which are super sharp, or the QAD Exodus heads. However, the Striker X has just got a decent edge to its tip, it’s just not really that sharp.

It has a dimple that begins like a scoop, begins at the back of the tip and then goes down the ferrule. That’s going to aid in penetration and aid in flight as well. It makes it a bit more streamlined and aerodynamic.



G5 Striker X Testing

I was really eager to put the G5 Striker X boadheads through a battery of tests. Let’s see how they performed!

As always, I’m using my Bowtech SR6 set at 72 pounds and Bishop FOC King arrows at 460 grains. Let’s see how the Striker X performed!

Flight Test

In the flight test, I shot the Striker X heads from 40 yards. First, I shot a field point, and then two of the heads for comparison.

g5 striker x broadhead flight test vs filed points

Here you can see the results of the flight test (one field point and two broadheads to compare.






Out-Of-The-Box Sharpness Test

Initial sharpness reading of the Striker X out of the box was 125.

g5 striker out of box sharpness test

Here was the out-of-the-box sharpness test reading.



Ballistic Gel Penetration Test

I shot the Striker X into ballistic gel that was fronted with a 2/3″ foam matting and 1/2″ MDF.

G5 stiker X ballistic gel test

The Striker X penetrated 6-1/4 inches into the ballistic gel.



Edge Retention Test

After the ballsistic gel test, I checked the sharpness of the head again to see how well it held its edge.

g5 striker sharpness test after ballistic gel

After the ballistic gel penetration test, the Striker X had a sharpness reading of 200.



Layered Cardboard Penetration Test

I shot the Striker X into layered cardboard to see how many it could penetrate.

g5 striker x cardboard penetration test

The Striker X penetrated through 38 layers of cardboard.



Steel Plate Durability Test

Next, I shot the Striker X into a steel plate 5 times. On the fifth shot, this happened…

g5 striker x after steel plate test

The fifth shot was the charm… I mean, the HARM to the Striker X.

So, as you can see above the head held together through four shots through the steel plate. The blades are pretty vented, and so that’s where that weakness comes from.

To make the weight of having 4 blades, they have to be relatively thin and relatively vented. But again, they held together through four shots. And the tip got a little bit blunted, but it actually held together very well. It was still in good enough shape to sharpen out and use again.

The blades experienced quite a bit of edge chatter after the first shot. The chatter then increased with each subsequent shot.





G5 striker x steel plate test holes

Here, you can see the wound channel in the steel plate and you can see that square hole in the middle and then the four slits coming off of it. Now, there’s other 4-blade broadheads that make a better square hole than this. This is more of like the hole within the slits rather than a bigger square. So it’s a decent wound channel but there are other broadheads that make a better wound channel with the same cutting diameter.

So, after this test, these blades are not reusable. You would have to file away way too much in order to use them again. It held together better than some, not as well as others.

The head did still spin true, though. So, the ferrule didn’t bend, which is a by-product of that all-steel construction.



Zero Penetration Test | Cinder Block

Finally, I shot the head into a cinder block…

G5 Striker cinder block text

Here’s a look at the hole the Striker X put in the cinder block.

How about a shout-out to the Bishop FAD Eliminator Arrows? I’ve lost count how many times I’ve shot this one arrow into concrete!

G5 Striker x rolled tip after cinder block test

Here’s the head after impact in the concrete, spins extremely well. The only damage you can see is that the tip got a little bit rolled over, a little bit curled there and blunted on the end. The edges of the tip, they got blunted as well, but they held up well and the structural integrity of the head is just fantastic.



Final Thoughts and Score Cards On Striker X Broadheads

So what do you think of the Striker X?

It performed pretty much as I expected. It was just pretty average to be honest.

Now, the cut size is above average. The sharpness was above average. And, the way it held up to zero penetration test in the concrete was above average. But, the blade durability, the edge retention through the steel plate, and the penetration… those things were about average or below average, honestly.

If you compare this head to say, Tooth of the Arrow XL, it’s just not close.



So, if you compare it to some other similar heads in the market, it just doesn’t stack up. So, I’d say they’re a decent choice. It’s a good average head and it will get the job done.

If you’re a big fan, more power to you. But I think there are better choices out there.

Good luck out there bowhunting!

scorecard for G5 striker x
G5 Striker X lusk golden arrow grade

Be sure to check out all our bowhunting shirts!

John Lusk archery goat
John Lusk of Lusk Archery Adventures
buck under licking branch

Deer Scrapes | A Complete Guide

Deer are amazing animals, and they do some very unique things. One of these things is making scrapes throughout the woods.

Scrapes are one of the best ways that deer are able to communicate with each other through the scent that they leave behind, and it can also mean some amazing hunting for outdoorsmen and women who know how to find and identify a scrape. 

But, what exactly are scrapes, and how do you find them? How do deer make them and why do they even do it? Let’s take a deeper look into deer scrapes and answer all of these questions so that you can use them to your advantage this hunting season!

deer urinating in scrape

By learning about scrapes and how bucks use them, you can greatly increase your chances of harvesting a buck.

What are Deer Scrapes?

To start, it is important to understand exactly what a scrape is. A deer scrape is essentially a bare patch of ground that is usually in the shape of an oval or triangle and has an overhanging limb, called a licking branch, above it.

If you are not paying close attention, they can be very easy to miss.

In order to make a scrape, a deer will paw away the twigs, leaves, and vegetation to expose the bare soil, which is used for the scent that they then leave behind.

They will also rub their nose, mouth, and foreheads on the overhanging branch to leave some scent there as well. 

Whitetail will paw at leaves and vegetation and clear an area to urinate in (typically under an overhanging branch) and leave scent.




What Do Deer Scrapes look like?

Scrapes can come in all shapes and sizes depending on the deer and the terrain.

Some scrapes that are made quickly by a buck can be as small as a few inches across on the ground, while older, more established scrapes can be as large as several feet in diameter.

To the untrained eye, they will look like a simple spot or small indention on the ground, but to an experienced hunter, it is a gold mine of opportunity!

deer scrape on the ground

Watch where you walk… You might just walk right through a scrape if you’re not familiar with what they look like.





How Deer Make Scrapes and Why They Do It

Deer are able to communicate with each other through things like sound, body language, and of course, scent.

A scrape is one method that deer will use to communicate through scent and takes advantage of their incredibly powerful sense of smell.

Deer have several scent glands throughout their body in order to leave scent messages, including when they deposit them through a scrape. Their scent is put on the exposed soil as well as the overhanging branch so that other deer can smell it too. 

buck rubbing scent on a vine over a deer scrape

Bucks will use overhanging branches or vines to leave behind glandular scent. They will often lick and chew them as well.

When a buck goes to make a scrape, he will usually begin by rubbing his head and face on the branch. This allows his forehead, nasal, and preorbital glands to get their scent on the overhanging branch or vine.



It’s not uncommon to see them even lick and chew on the branch as well. This can take anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute or two. He will then start to paw at the ground to remove all of the fallen leaves and other debris underneath it. 

In this video clip, a young buck urinates and rubs his tarsal glands together while standing over a scrape.

Once the deer has unearthed enough fresh soil, he will then urinate in the small area he has dug up, leaving behind the freshly scented scrape for other deer in the area to find and smell.

The entire scraping process can take less than a few minutes, but a buck can leave behind an incredible amount of scent during this time.

Does will also use scrapes to leave urine and other glandular scents.





When Do Deer Use Scrapes

Bucks will make and use scrapes throughout the entire year, but almost 80% of the action surrounding scrapes will take place in the few weeks leading up to their breeding season and into the rut.

This is when bucks are especially conscious of other deer in their area, both does and rival bucks.

In addition to leaving preorbital scent, bucks mark their territory by urinating in scrapes.

By leaving their scent in the scrapes, bucks are essentially marking their territory and preparing for the upcoming or present breeding season. 

It is true that deer will work scrapes during the post-rut and even other times of the year, but this is only a small fraction compared to the weeks and days leading up to the rut and the rut itself.

If you want to catch a deer using an active scrape, focus on peak breeding season in the area that you are in. 





How to Hunt Scrapes

Scrapes are one of the best indicators that bucks are in the area, and they can be used to help increase your odds of successfully filling your tags during hunting season.

In addition to signs like tracks, rubs, droppings, and deer bedding, scrapes can tell you for certain that the deer are frequenting the area and how often.

hunter looking at a whitetail deer scrape

Finding a deer scrape may provide an opportunity for you to get a shot at a buck that you might not ever see otherwise.



If there is a fresh scrape nearby, you will know it is an active location that could potentially yield some excellent results. Of course, you can always confirm this by setting out a trail camera in the area or on the scrape itself. 

If you decide to place a trail camera on the scrape, make sure that it is facing the scrape and that there are no obstructions.




When the trail camera captures pictures, this should give you a good idea of what time of day the bucks are coming by and what direction they are traveling. Using this information, you can decide if you should hunt near or over the scrape. 

Scrapes are also excellent at getting deer to pose for a trail camera, as they will almost always stop to smell a scrape. This can mean a great shot opportunity with a bow and arrow if you are hunting over one, as the buck should be standing still for you to shoot.

One of the biggest challenges with archery hunting is not only getting within range of a mature buck, but getting him to stand still long enough for an ethical shot. An active scrape could potentially help with both of these challenges! 



buck making a scrape

A buck working a scrape can provide some excellent shot placement opportunities for hunters, especially if bowhunting.

To best hunt over a scrape, try using a treestand that is within bow range of the scrape itself. This ensures that when a deer stops to smell everything, you can be in range and take advantage of the opportunity.

While ground blinds and box blinds can also work, treestands will conceal you much better and keep your own scent off the ground and away from the scrape. 



Find active scrapes during the right times of the year and you must might have some antlers for your wall!

Final Thoughts

There is no question that deer are amazing animals, and using their scent via scrapes is just one example of the many unique things that they do.

Hopefully now you have a better understanding of deer scrapes, and can use them to your advantage this next hunting season

Cart