7 Bow Hunting Tips for Deer Season (2022)

With the shorter ranges involved, even bow hunting with a compound bow is a much more intimate experience than hunting with a gun. It also demands more of the hunter in terms of skill, patience and perseverance. Unlike hunting with a gun, success during archery season depends on your ability to capitalize on an opportunity to close the distance and take a well-placed shot.

7 Bow Hunting Tips for Deer Season (1)

How you approach bow hunting deer varies greatly depending on when in the season you set out to harvest your deer. Depending on the state you hunt, your archery season may be in the early fall, late fall or both. With that in mind, here is a beginner’s guide and bow hunting tips spread across the three periods of deer hunting season. Even if you are an experienced bowhunter, it never hurts to brush up on the basics.

Hunting the Early Season

Early archery season is widely considered the best time for bow hunting deer. This is especially true of bow hunting opening day when deer are not yet too fearful of the sight of humans out in the wild. Deer are also more intent on feasting on the abundance of summertime food, making them easier to ambush as they travel from their afternoon grazing areas to reach their evening meal.

Much of the hunting during the early season revolves around three key concepts: keeping pressure minimal, formulating a hunting plan before the season starts and targeting well-trafficked areas.

1. Don’t Pressure the Deer

With the need to get up close and personal with deer when bow hunting, it’s essential not to spook them early in the season, which might cause them to run. Until you are an experienced bowhunter, it’s best to practice low-pressure hunting techniques, such as relying more heavily on game cameras to get information about their movements and using unscented or naturally scented gear.

(Video) 6 Early Season Bowhunting Tips That YOU Need To Know!!!!! (2020)

While it might be tempting to spend more time in the wild scouting for deer, checking trail cameras and hanging stands as opening day approaches, try to resist the urge to go out too often. Other hunters might do this on their hunting spots, but if you spend less time scouting before opening day, deer should move to your spot as they are pressured out of other hunters’ areas.

It is best to hunt in the evening. Warm weather feeding patterns often keep deer in or near food sources from the evening until early morning. Often unsuspecting crossbow hunters are busted by a field full of deer as they make their early morning walk to the stand. You can avoid this by sleeping in and hunting in the evening. This way, you are not blowing deer out or educating deer about your stand location.

2. Plan in Advance

The closer it gets to opening day of archery season, the less often you should be on the property. Make sure your tree stand is set up for you and your draw length. Well ahead of opening day, make sure you can draw without obstruction. Many beginners find that pulling back on an actual buck is much harder than pulling back on the target in the backyard. Adjust your draw weight accordingly. If your compound bow is hard to draw in the backyard, you will really struggle to pull back when a buck walks out. Try to set yourself up so you have a solid hunting strategy a week or two before opening day and then leave it alone.

By planning your strategy well in advance of other hunters, you set yourself up to enjoy a stellar archery season. As they start to increase activity in their areas, yours should be decreasing, causing deer to migrate to your property as a haven from the activity elsewhere.

Another way to decrease hunting pressure is to plan a good entry and exit to your tree stand. Make sure you are concealed and can quietly walk down the trail. A branch bumping the stabilizer of a compound bow when walking to the stand can make a lot of noise. It’s best if your trail zigs and zags a bit. Otherwise, a deer can stand at one end of the trail and see the other end.

3. Target Bedding-to-Feeding Routes

Before rutting season, the number one priority of the game animals is enjoying the feast of acorns, nuts, fruits and plants and bulking up as the leaner seasons approach. Deer look for food with high sugar content, so fruits, nuts and acorns usually take the top spots if they have a choice between different food sources.

(Video) 4 Key Tips to Find Early Bow Season Success

7 Bow Hunting Tips for Deer Season (2)

As opening day approaches, look for areas where the deer’s preferred food types are abundant. Set up cameras in the area and identify where they might head to for bedding if they decide to feed in the area. As you ease back on the pressure, the deer that settle into your hunting spot should start to follow more predictable patterns, allowing you to mark off key transit routes they take to go from bed to food.

With the routes identified and the target deer patterned, you should know how best to position yourself for maximum effectiveness when hunting season opens.

Hunting the Rut

Bow hunting game animals during the rut isn’t something bow hunters typically look forward to. With gun hunters pressuring deer, the chances of actually bagging a buck are quite low. However, dedicated bow rut hunters know there are few things more rewarding than being able to score a kill despite all the gun hunting activity going on in an area. It also takes an incredible amount of skill to hunt down deer wary of all the human activity, so scoring a kill during this period of the hunting season is an incredibly self-affirming event.

Hunting the rut is difficult and can take some time to master. These two rut hunting tips can put you on the path to mastery:

4. Stalk the Does

While killing a buck is the highlight of hunting the rut, the real stars of the season are the does – maybe not to most hunters, but certainly to the bucks. It’s the only thing on their minds and anywhere you find does, a buck is almost guaranteed to be nearby.

Of course, hunting does is no easy feat either. Does are especially wary during the rut since they have to contend with both hunters and bucks on the chase, so knowledge of the land and a good instinct of where they might be is crucial. It is rare to see a lone doe when you are bow hunting. They tend to travel together. Wary does are constantly on the watch for bucks and hunters during the rut. You almost always have more than one set of eyes to avoid.

If you also hunted the early season, then you might have more luck finding does than if you’re only hunting the rut. The early season allows you to scout out spots where does congregate, or open areas does have to cross with a buck on their tail. Set up a stand there, stay well concealed and watch for bucks giving chase.

(Video) Bowhunting Early Season Whitetails in Kentucky

5. Use Your Ears

Rutting season is a noisy time, with buck grunts, fights, chases and wheezes ringing through the air. With so much information drifting in from all around, listening for cues can help you locate a buck searching for females, chasing them down or competing against territorial rivals.

With sound to help you paint a picture of the environment, you can use your knowledge to plan how you want to approach the hunt. The first and most obvious approach is to stalk the buck, which is difficult, tiring and time-consuming. However, it is also much more fulfilling and exciting than taking a deer by spending many hours sitting in a tree and waiting.

If you’re not the stalking type, however, arriving in the morning and using that time to listen for calls is an excellent way to help you find good places to set up for an afternoon or evening sit. Listen for spots with buck activity and make a note of them. With enough luck, some of those spots won’t be pressured by other hunters and you can come back to them in the afternoon to score your kill.

Hunting the Late Archery Season

Regardless of whether you arm yourself with a compound bow or with a rifle, hunting the late season demands more of the hunter than any other period. The colder weather makes the hunt far less comfortable, deer are warier of humans and more involved techniques are typically required to have any chance at success.

Intimate knowledge of deer behavior and mastering the art of going unnoticed are prerequisites if you want to be a successful late-season hunter.

6. Hunt the Food

Food becomes much scarcer in the wild when the cold weather starts to roll in as fields of grass wither in the cold or disappear under blankets of snow. With less food and freezing temperatures, deer are less likely to wander outside of a small, safe core zone with a lot of food and enough cover to conceal a bedding area.

(Video) Three Early Season Deer Hunting Tips

This limited range makes it easier to pattern the deer’s activities, so you can set up a tree stand along one of the routes it frequents. With snow on the ground, paths also become more visible.

When setting yourself up for a winter hunt, look for rich sources of wintering food. Fields with cover crops, standing crops and other easily accessible sources of nutrition attract deer from miles around. Find a bed-to-food path and start your patterning there to find the best place to set up an ambush.

7 Bow Hunting Tips for Deer Season (3)

7. Master the Art of Stealth

Deer are notoriously easy to spook during the late season of bow hunting. This is due to two factors: deer stick to a more regular pattern, making it easier for them to spot things that might be out of the ordinary, and the pressured state they’re in from enduring the flurry of hunting during the rut.

To counter this, hunters need to be especially careful during late-season hunts. Low-pressure scouting can keep deer from abandoning the area in search of safer territory, so trail cameras are especially useful during this period of the hunting season. Set the cams up conservatively, using information from previous sightings to plan excursions deeper into the deer’s core area. With enough information about your quarry, you can start staking out a potential ambush point during a couple of afternoon sits to plan your attack.

With the shorter range of a crossbow, you may need to take the deer closer to its bedding or feeding areas. To keep from getting busted by your target, wear scent-free clothing, plan your camouflage well and deploy a ground blind to allow you to get as close as possible to the deer.

(Video) Early Season Bowhunting | How To Find & Kill Big Bucks

Bag That Buck!

Regardless of when you choose to hunt during the season, bow hunting whitetail requires hunters to step up their game if they want to score a kill. This beginner’s guide will help you overcome the many challenges of bow hunting. Challenges such as scouting without pressuring deer, knowing what food sources deer hit throughout the season and concealment after the leaves fall are all part of the fun of bow hunting. Keeping the bow hunting tips above in mind on your next hunt should help you improve your chances of bagging your sought-after buck.


What is the best time to bow hunt? ›

It is best to hunt in the evening. Warm weather feeding patterns often keep deer in or near food sources from the evening until early morning. Often unsuspecting crossbow hunters are busted by a field full of deer as they make their early morning walk to the stand.

What wind do deer move best in? ›

Using local weather information to monitor wind speeds, the researchers found that deer moved the most in light winds. Movements dramatically declined when wind speeds reached 15 to 19 mph, but then shot back up when wind speeds exceeded 20 mph.

What time of day are most deer killed? ›


Most of them are specifically between 9:00 and 10:00 in the morning to be exact. It's a proven time, and it could have a lot to do with the common perception among deer hunters that things slow down once early morning is through.

How long should you hunt deer in the morning? ›

Have put about 85 hours in the tree. I can usually sit for about 3 hours on a morning hunt and about 2 hours on an afternoon hunt. I rarely see a deer on an afternoon hunt until about a half hour before dark or right at dark, so the morning hunts are just more fun.

How do you get deer to move during the day? ›

Plant small food plots in heavy cover and near bedding areas where deer will feel comfortable visiting during daylight hours. Hinge-cut some of the trees around your plot and leave them there to create both cover and food. This is a great way to make deer feel comfortable using your plot during the day.

How far do deer travel a day? ›

One dispersal, or long-distance journey, of an adult white-tailed deer stood out for its length, duration and age of the deer. The buck traveled close to 200 miles over 22 days by moving an average of almost 8 1/2 miles per day.

Should you hunt on windy days? ›

Based on the research, the old saying that deer move less on windy days isn't true. Instead, bucks seem to move a lot more in the wind. Most hunters stay at home on windy days. This can be a good time to get in the woods.

Where do big bucks hide? ›

Look for thickets, steep hillsides, deep draws, little swamps—out-of-the way spots where old boys might hide. The key to hunting one of these places is hidden, quiet access with a favorable wind, so you won't blow out the bucks.

Do bucks move midday? ›

The biggest bucks commonly move around noon, because they know that's when hunters tend to be out of the woods. But they rarely stray far from cover or go great distances. Even rut-crazed bruisers stay close to the timber on a midday stroll.

Do bucks move in the middle of the day? ›

Whether during the rut, or at any other time of the hunting season, big bucks will begin moving more and more during the middle of the day in response to hunting pressure and rutting activity. Make sure you're on stand at this time.

How long should I sit in deer stand? ›

During all times but the rut, I like to plan for a solid, 3 hour sit. Because of blocked and hidden access there are certain stand or blind locations that I can easily slip into an hour to two hours before dark, even with deer in front of the stand location.

What time do deer stop moving in the morning? ›

Several different studies on daily deer movement show that during the fall deer are most active at night around dawn and dusk, and from 12:00 – 2:00 AM. This means they are not moving much between 10:00 and 12:00 PM, and between 2:00 and 4:00 AM.

How early should I be in my deer stand? ›

Try to be in your stand and ready to go at least an hour before shooting light, which often means leaving the truck a solid 2 hours before shooting light. This gives you time to cool off from that extra-long hike, get your gear ready and let the woods settle back down before the sun peaks over the horizon.

What is the very best deer attractant? ›

16 Best Deer Attractant Reviews
  • Whitetail Institute 30-06 Block Deer Attractant. ...
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  • Big&J Deadly Dust. ...
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Feb 1, 2022

What smells good to deer? ›

Doe urine in the liquid form is probably the most common attractant scent used by deer hunters. It is good for calming deer's nerves and piquing their curiosity, since it simulates a new deer in the area. Since it is a common smell in the woods, it very seldom scares deer—bucks or does.

Is morning or evening better for deer hunting? ›

For the first several weeks of the season, the best time to hunt is the last two hours of the evening. Warm mornings and hot days cause deer to spend more time feeding at night, so by dawn they are bedded down and will be less active during the day. As the evening cools, they'll move around for food and water.

Where do deer go when it rains? ›

Final Thoughts About Finding Deer in the Rain

But when it comes time for a deer or herd of deer to bed down, they will seek shelter under a rocky outcropping, or under a stand of pine trees where they'll stay dry and have a clear view of approaching predators.

Will a buck come back after seeing you? ›

Spooked deer will return to their bedding area, but when they return depends on how much the intrusion frightened them. If they can't pinpoint the threat, they'll likely return sooner than if they saw or smelled you.

Where do deer hide during the day? ›

During the day deer can be found sleeping in fields, or areas containing bushes and foliage of around 5 feet tall or more where they are rarely visible. Thick areas that would make a good bed of weed and grass are also an ideal place where deers sleep during the day.

Is it better to hunt in the morning or evening during the rut? ›

Right Time to Hunt: Anytime

And if you can wait out a string of hot days, cooler weather can trigger all-day movement as animals catch up on feeding. Meanwhile, during the rut, bulls and bucks often travel large areas in search of females. Hunting the gray light of dawn and dusk is often your best shot at success.

What time of day do bucks move during the rut? ›

Bucks move often during the middle of the day when the rut is on. In fact, I've seen more big bucks moving at this time of day during breeding season than early and late. Noon is one of the four natural "movement periods" bucks have, so that in itself gets them going.

What time should I get out of the deer stand? ›

The best option when deer are around you after shooting light or when you need to get out of your stand is to wait them out. Staying in your stand until they have moved on will keep them from realizing you are there and potentially blowing your hunting spot in the future.

Should you sit all day during the rut? ›

The longer your walk in and out, the greater the chances of accidentally crossing paths with deer. Staying in the treestand the entire day helps reduce the odds of this happening, rather than pushing deer out of your hunting area and/or to other hunters.

View a calendar listing the upcoming and ongoing dates for each hunting and trapping season in Iowa. Visit our main hunting page for general information.

Deer Hunting Season Dates. Special September Canada Goose (designated areas): Sep. 10-18, Daily limit is 5.. Special regulations apply.. Maps: Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Zone , Des Moines Zone , and Waterloo/Cedar Falls Zone Light Geese Conservation Order (additional regulations apply.. 2022-2023. Season Dates. Hours. Daily/Possession. Rooster Pheasant (Youth). Oct 22-23. 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.. 1/ 2. Rooster Pheasant. Oct 29 - Jan 10, 2023. 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.. 3/ 12. Bobwhite Quail. Oct 29 - Jan 31, 2023. 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.. 8 /16. Gray Partridge. Oct 8 - Jan 31, 2023. 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.. 8 /16. Ruffed Grouse. Oct 1 - Jan 31, 2022. Sunrise to Sunset. 3/ 6. Rabbit (Cottontail). Sept 3 - Feb 28, 2023. Sunrise to Sunset. 10 /20. Rabbit (Jack). CLOSED. 0/ 0. Squirrel (Fox and Gray). Sept 3 - Jan 31, 2023. No Restrictions. 6 /12. Groundhog. Continuous Open Season. No Restrictions. No Limit /No Limit. Crow. Oct 15 - Nov 30 and Jan 14 - March 31, 2023. No Restrictions. No Limit /No Limit. Pigeon. Continuous Open Season. No Restrictions. No Limit /No Limit. Coyote. Continuous Open Season. No Restrictions. No Limit /No Limit. Turkey Hunting Season Dates. Gun Shooting Hours: Half-hour before sunrise to sunsetBow Shooting Hours: Half-hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset.. 2022 Fall Turkey Hunting. Season Dates. License On-Sale Dates. Gun/Bow. Oct 10 - Dec 2. Aug 15 - until quotas are filled. Archery Only. Oct 1 - Dec 2 &Dec 19 - Jan 10, 2023. Aug 15 - End of Season (no quota). 2023 Spring Turkey Hunting. Season Dates. Shooting Hours. Youth Season (residents only). Apr 7 - 9, 2023. Half-hour before sunrise to sunset.. Season 1. Apr 10 - 13, 2023. Half-hour before sunrise to sunset.. Season 2. Apr 14 - 18, 2023. Half-hour before sunrise to sunset.. Season 3. Apr 19 - 25, 2023. Half-hour before sunrise to sunset.. Season 4. Apr 26 - May 14, 2023. Half-hour before sunrise to sunset.. BAG LIMIT: Daily bag and season possession limit is one bearded or male wild turkey for each valid license and transportation tag issued to the hunter.. Iowa DNR | Full Hunting Calendar

Resources and information on Colorado Big Game Hunting for 2022. Applications, Deadlines, Fees, Results, and Links.

Sheep and goat licenses must be paid for by May 3rd, and deer, elk, antelope, and moose licenses must be paid for by June 17th.Failure to collect payment will result in forfeiture of any accumulated preference points used to draw said permit as well as loss of license.. Simply explained, hunt codes requiring 10 or more resident preference points to draw will have 20% of available licenses for deer, elk, and antelope shall be issued through a random drawing.. The number of preference points required to draw shall be determined by the average number of points a Colorado resident needed to draw during a three-year period that ended with the 2009 drawing.. Sheep, moose, and mountain goat applicants will have the option of purchasing a $100 point if unsuccessful or opting out and just participating in the draw and if unsuccessful will simply remain at the same point level.. If you want to see your exact draw odds based off the number of weighted points you have, go to https://research.huntinfool.com/ and select the hunt you wish to apply for and select the number of weighted points you have and this will give your exact draw odds from the previous year.. Points for sheep, moose, and goat are $100 each, but if you have 3 preference points, you can opt out of buying a point, meaning you’ll go into the draw with your current points but will not gain one for this year.

From shaft spine and weight to inserts and fletching, you have lots of options when buying arrows. Here's how to make the right choices.

The number “400” on these Gold Tip Hunter XT arrows denotes the shaft’s spine.. The first step to getting the right arrow shaft is choosing the right spine for you and your bow.. Spine is simply the arrow’s stiffness, and it is labeled right on the shaft with numbers like 500, 400, 340, 350, 250, and so on.. For example, if you’re pulling 70 pounds and select a 500-spine arrow, your bow’s energy will cause that whippy arrow to flex a ton in flight, and it will never recover, which can create serious accuracy issues.. One time at an archery tournament, I watched an archer—one consumed with arrow speed—attempt to fire a 500-spine arrow from an 80-pound bow.. If she shot a 250-spine arrow, the arrow would be way too thick and heavy, and she would lose a ton of velocity, and her accuracy would suffer.. For instance, if you’re looking to gain arrow speed for flat shooting, you’ll want to go with a properly spined arrow that is relatively light, or has a lower GPI value.. Most arrows, whether you purchase them as raw shafts or fletched from the factory, will come with inserts, but manufacturers give you options here, too.. is the percentage of your arrows total length that’s between the center of the arrow and the balance point in front of the center (nearer the tip).. You never want too much weight on your arrow’s backend, so if you have flight issues with lighted nocks, you can slightly increase F.O.C.

This page contains general Massachusetts hunting rules. Review these rules along with species-specific hunting regulations to prepare for the season.

Archers may hunt deer with a bow and arrow during the shotgun and primitive firearms deer seasons, but must comply with all regulations of those seasons, including blaze orange and stamp requirements.. (see page 21, Wildlife Management Area Regulations) During the Youth Deer Hunt Day and the Shotgun Season for deer, all hunters must wear 500 square inches of blaze orange on chest, back, and head.. During the shotgun deer season and Youth Deer Hunt Day, dogs may be used for waterfowl hunting only on coastal waters and salt marshes.. Hunting, trapping or fishing for any birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, or amphibians not listed in the Guide to Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping , or in the Massachusetts Migratory Game Bird Regulations .. Baiting migratory game birds, wild turkey, bear, or deer during or within 10 days of the start of their specific hunting seasons.. Possession of a loaded firearm, discharge of a firearm, or hunting on the land of another within 500 feet of any dwelling or building in use, unless permitted by the owner or occupant.. Loaded shotgun or rifle in or on any motor vehicle, recreational vehicle (including snowmobiles), aircraft or motor boat, except as stated in the Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations .. No possession of a shotgun shell loaded with a slug, sabot, single ball, buckshot (any size), except during the open seasons when deer may be hunted with a shotgun, or on a skeet, trap, or target range between sunrise and sunset.. Lettered bird shot may only be used for coyote hunting (.17 to .23” pellet diameter) and waterfowl/coot hunting (.17 to .19” pellet diameter); otherwise any lettered bird shot may only be possessed on a skeet, trap, or target range between sunrise and sunset.. See migratory game bird hunting regulations and coyote hunting webpage for details.. Ask the landowner Hunting, fishing, and trapping are permitted on private land that is not posted against trespass; however, some towns have bylaws that require written permission.. Must have a valid Massachusetts non-resident hunting license in order to hunt.. During shotgun deer season all game hunting seasons are closed statewide except for deer, bear, coyote, and waterfowl.. When hunting other game animals on the Youth Deer Hunt Day, (Oct. 2, 2021) additional requirements apply:


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3. 5 Tips For An Early Season Bowhunting Buck
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4. 5 Bowhunting Tips For Big Whitetail Bucks
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5. Beginner Bowhunting Tips | Part One!
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6. September Deer Hunting Tips
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