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…



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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.





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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.


What could go wrong at 5-yards? Well….


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 the deer 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.

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!

18 point huge buck

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

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

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

Bowhunting Tips | Final Thoughts

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

Do you have some bowhunting tips that you think would be good additions? Let us know in the comments below. It’s always great to learn from other hunters!

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.

man skiing in snow with hunting gun

Don’t Let The Cold Win! | How To Layer Clothing For Winter

There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing for the conditions.

While you might think you only need a warm jacket when venturing into the great outdoors to go hunting or fishing during the cooler months, there can be much more involved in keeping yourself warm and comfortable. 

man drilling hole for ice fishing

Hunting, fishing or camping in the cold weather requires a knowledge of how to best layer clothing so that you can stay warm.

When the time comes to plan your next hunting trip into the wilderness, take a moment to consider the following information, so that you can learn all about how to layer winter clothing to feel comfortable enough to explore all that nature has to offer. 

How to Remain Warm in the Great Outdoors

When you put on warm clothing to head outside, your goal should always be to manage moisture, maintain your heat level for comfort, and create a barrier between the elements and your skin. 

man walking to box stand in snow

You might enjoy being alone in the outdoors… you just don’t want to be COLD and alone!

Not all cold-winter clothing is created equal. So, purchasing high-quality outdoor garments from well-known companies like Kryptek and others is a critical component of remaining warm in the great outdoors, but it’s also helpful to understand the science behind retaining your body heat to know how to wear your clothing appropriately. 

mule deer standing in the snow

You may not have the anatomy of a deer to keep you warm in cold conditions, but you can learn to layer clothing in a manner that protects you from the elements.


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During winter, you’re often faced with many challenging elements, such as wind, rain, and cold temperatures. Heat is easily transferred from your body into the environment, and it’s easier to lose heat than it is to retain it. 

So, whether you’re ice fishing or hunting, you need to have knowledge of how sweat affects your body and heat levels. Body heat can be pulled away from your body much faster when it’s wet with perspiration than if it were dry. 


Prevent Moisture to Stay Warm

One of the best ways to stay warm, regardless of how you layer your clothing, is by being cold before you begin your hunting trip in earnest. If you add all your winter layers and then stand in front of a heater before venturing outside, you might start sweating and lose much-needed body heat.   

moisture

Moisture is the enemy when it comes to staying warm in colder weather, as it robs you of body heat.

So, as challenging as it might be to immediately venture outside to start hiking once you’ve put on your multiple layers, it can be essential for giving your body the best chance of retaining its heat. 



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Layer Your Winter Hunting Clothing Strategically

When you’re trying to dress warmly in cold weather, it can sometimes feel like you have to pack an entire closet full of clothing when you go on a winter hunting adventure or that you have to wear multiple layers until you’re no longer comfortable.

However, if you apply the right layering strategy, you might be surprised at how easy it can be to prepare for an outdoor trip

Before heading out, read up on the weather conditions you can expect. This allows you to take all necessary precautions with supplies and provides insight into the type of clothing you need to take with you and what to wear when you set off. 




You’ll need to continually layer up and down on most hunting trips. Take note of how your body is feeling, and when you’re feeling too warm, take off a layer before you start sweating. 

If weather conditions change and rain or snow sets in, you can add more layers from your hunting backpack, including a waterproof jacket to keep your mid layers warm and retain your body heat. Weather conditions can change rapidly, so you may be layering up and down throughout your hunting trip. 


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Adopt the W.I.S.E System

If you’re new to hunting, it may not be immediately apparent which clothing you should buy to remain warm, dry, and comfortable.

However, you might have a much easier shopping experience when you familiarize yourself with the W.I.S.E system. This system involves:

  • Wicking – Next-to-skin base layers
  • Insulating – Mid layers, such as fleece or a down jacket
  • Sheltering – Rain jacket and rain pants
  • Extra – Additional layers in case of an emergency, such as an unexpected snowstorm  
layering WISE system

The W.I.S.E system will give you a fundamental understanding of the basic garments to purchase, but don’t forget to buy wool socks, waterproof boots, hats, and gloves. 



Choose Your Base Layer

Now that you’re aware of the garments you require for the W.I.S.E system, you can learn more about each layer and how it contributes to your overall warmth, dryness, and comfort.

A base layer is a snug-fitting set of garments designed to wick sweat away from your skin to keep you dry. 

base layer

When choosing a base layer, go with wool, silk or synthetics, rather than cotton (photo credit: Wikihow.com)

While cotton can be a preference for everyday wear, it’s less suitable for outdoor activities like hunting.

Instead, opt for base layers featuring wool, silk, or synthetic fabrics. Your top base layer can be a long or short-sleeve shirt and leggings with these materials, paired with a high-quality pair of synthetic or wool socks. 



Choose Your Insulating Layer

Equally as important as your base layer is your insulating layer. This layer prevents the outdoor environment from taking your much-needed body heat.

insualting layer

The insulating layer will help maintain valuable body heat while in the cold weather. (photo credit Wikihow.com)

Typically, you would wear a wool or microfleece top, a puffer jacket, and fleece leggings. You can also pair your insulating layer with a wool or fleece hat and neck gaiter, glove liners, and insulating socks. 



Choose Your Sheltering Layer

If you are going on a hunting or fishing trip, you certainly like to see favorable weather conditions. However, weather conditions can certainly change, and sometimes rapidly.

sheltering layer

Wearing a sheltering layer is critical in protecting the insulating layer underneath. (photo credit: Wikihow.com)

You might be caught out in the rain or snow when you least expect it, and you need to protect your insulating layer at all costs.

Pack a sheltering layer, and you can be prepared for any eventuality. Typically, this layer consists of a pair of rain pants and a rain jacket, both of which need to be waterproof to remain effective. 



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Best Materials for Winter Outdoor Clothing

When there are so many different types of outdoor and hunting clothing for sale, it can be hard to know what will be the most comfortable and practical. While there are many desirable options, some stand out more than others. 

For example, merino wool, a natural fiber sourced from sheep, is a moisture-wicking base layer that is odor-resistant and temperature regulating.

snow on evergreen trees

When adventuring outdoors in colder weather, merino wool is a great moisture wicking base layer that is also odor resistant.

You might also consider synthetic fleece as a mid layer option, which is both affordable and warm. Although, it’s not an ideal wind-resistant layer. 

Synthetic and down jackets can be an effective insulating mid layer, while nylon is ideal for keeping you dry. Some manufacturers create special membranes for nylon to form waterproof jackets for winter use. 



Final Thoughts On Layer Clothing For Cold Weather

Layering winter clothing is an integral part of preparing for any outdoor adventure or hunting trip.

so, before you begin planning your next trip, take the time to make sure you’ve got a full closet of winter options to keep you warm, dry, and protected from the elements.

Remember the W.I.S.E. system and have fun outdoors!

wild turkey gobbler

Beards, Feathers and Snoods, Oh My! | Anatomy Of A Turkey

The wild turkey is a complex creature and has some anatomical features that are pretty peculiar. Many hunters may not know what some of these features are and how they help a turkey survive in nature.

So, let’s take a closer look at the anatomy of the wild turkey.

Eyes

If you are an avid turkey hunter, you are likely aware that this bird sports some powerful eyesight and can detect a turkey hunter with ease if they are not properly concealed and camouflaged.

Unlike us human hunters, the wild turkey possesses monocular periscope vision.

turkey eye

Turkeys have powerful eyesight, nearly a 360-degree field of vision, and each eye can move independently of the other.

Monocular periscope vision allows the eyes of the turkey to act independently from one another, allowing them to scan for potential threats in two different directions simultaneously.

Turkeys also have eyes situated on the sides of their head and not in a forward-facing direction. The positioning of the eyes and the independent operation they are capable of means that turkeys have nearly 360 degrees of viewing range.

turkey eyes and ears diagram

The ears of a turkey are located right behind the eyes.

The eyes being able to scan so much of the immediate area around them means they can pick up the slightest movements with ease and is one of the reasons they are so challenging to hunt.



Ears

Like all birds, the turkey doesn’t have any external ear features, and their ears are essential, just holes in their head directly behind their eyes.

The ears of the turkey feature pinpoint hearing, and if you have ever called in a turkey from a long distance, you will have observed how they can pinpoint the exact location of the sound and track directly to you.

a turkey's ears

Turkey’s have an uncanny ability to judge distance with their ears.

Despite not having external ears that serve as a sort of “radar dish” to detect noises from a wide range of directions like a deer, the turkey has hearing that can easily pinpoint the exact location of noise, and their brains will even register the distance of the sound from the bird.



Snood

The snood is an anatomical feature that a turkey possesses that causes most hunters to scratch their heads and ask, “what is that thing for?”

The most noticeable feature which has the fitting name of a snood is the familiar bright red lumpy area located on the throats of male turkeys.

turkey snood

A turkey’s snood helps to regulate body temperature, and in males, help to attract female turkeys (hens).

The snood serves a few different purposes for male turkeys, with the biggest being attraction to the opposite sex, with the bright ornamentation helping attract females for breeding.

This weird anatomical feature also serves another critical role for tom turkeys. It helps dissipate excess heat and helps regulate the bird’s body temperature on those hot summer days.



Head Coloration

The colorations of the head of a male wild turkey are to this day not fully understood, and the colors can change depending on the bird’s mood.

The Coloration of the head can change from blue to white to red, and the bird can do so based on moods like agitation, excitement, irritation, fear, and others.

turkey head coloration

A turkey’s head colors can change, depending on factors like fear, anger and during mating.

When it comes to mating, there will often be a prominent white coloration at the top of the head, and this occurs when a tom is approaching hens or, in many cases, a hunter or decoy that the tom thinks is a hen.




Beard

The beard of a tom turkey serves the same purpose as the coloration and snood, to attract hens. The beard of a tom turkey isn’t actually a beard at all but a modified form of a feather.

While males use it to attract hens, hen turkeys are also known to sport a beard, albeit on a rare basis. This has led some experts to not definitely hold the beard as a definitive in terms of its’ role.

turkey gobblers with beards

The beard of a make turkey has a texture similar to a thick monofilament fishing line, and is used to attract hens.



Spurs

One of the anatomical features of a turkey that is a trophy feature among hunters are the spurs.

turkey spurs

A turkey grows spurs on the back of each leg near the foot, and can be used for defense as well as for fighting.

The spurs serve two primary purposes for a tom turkey; it is the major form of defense for the bird, and hunters try to avoid them when retrieving a recently downed bird for this very reason.

Tom turkeys also use these spurs to fight other toms for the same reasons bucks or rams fight, to establish a hierarchy within the flock, as turkeys are social animals.

Just like the antlers of a buck, the spurs of a tom turkey can cause severe lacerations, cuts, and bruising, so be cautious when approaching a wounded tom.



Tail Feathers

The tail feathers are probably the most prized feature of a tom turkey among hunters, and both hunters and toms love to display them.

turkey tail feathers

A turkey’s tail feathers are the prize possession of turkey hunters.

The tail fan of a turkey serves a few purposes; it makes them look larger when they are fully displayed, which serves as a form of intimidation to other toms when fighting during the mating season and attracts hens.

The large tail feathers also serve as a rudder when flying, helping the bird control their direction of flight and helping them brake and slow down when they come in for a landing or when roosting in the trees at night.

turkey tail feathers rear view

Here’s a look at a turkey’s tail feathers from behind the bird.



Wings

Unlike other birds, a turkey will rarely use flight to simply get around due to being a relatively heavy bird and use flight for the purposes of getting up into trees for roosting and back down again.

But don’t be fooled, as a threatened turkey can kick into high gear and escape nearly any potential threat quickly by flying fast and low, albeit in relatively short bursts compared to other birds.

turkey profile shot showing wings

Although turkeys can fly, their wings are used primarily to fly up and down from their roosting locations.

The wings also serve a purpose in establishing dominance in the flock hierarchy, with “wing slapping” being a common way for toms to fight and work their way to the top of the pecking order.

turkey wings

during mating season, a male turkey will often “strut” with it’s tail feathers up and its wings pointed in a downward fashion

Wings also come in handy for dusting, which is when a turkey wallows down into dry dirt and ruffles its feathers to spread a fine powdery coat of dust on itself.

Dust baths keep the feathers of the turkey in optimum condition and are a part of their preening and plumbing maintenance, as the dust absorbs excess oils and moisture.

turkey feather dusting area

A turkey will “dust” its feathers, in an area like this, to keep their wings from being matted and to help prevent parasites and mites.

Dusting keeps the feathers of the bird from becoming matted and greasy and provides clean and aerodynamic feathers for maximum efficiency during flight, and also helps prevent feather mites and parasites.



Final Thoughts On Turkey Anatomy

The turkey is a very intriguing animal and a great resource for hunters.

Understanding details about the animals you pursue in the field will help you become a better hunter and will also give hunters a larger appreciation and understanding of the resources they enjoy.

So, whether you are a turkey hunter of just wanting to learn more about these amazing birds, we hope this article on the anatomy of a turkey helped you understand these amazing birds better!