By Zach Lazzari | Photo by Ryan McSparran
Archery season lasts for numerous months in many areas. In the river bottom unit near my Montana home, I can hunt from mid-September until January 15th. I can also bag multiple whitetails during this season. We prepare all year for archery season but it’s somehow easy to lapse during the middle and later season. Maybe you take a break to rifle hunt elk or just get busy and circle back to hunting in the later season. Regardless, stay on top of your game to make the most of your late season.
1. Check Equipment
Do weekly equipment checks when you are not bowhunting to keep everything in order. Check your string and apply a light amount of wax if necessary. Check all your connections to ensure screws are tight and nothing is going to come loose. Make sure your broadheads are sharp and haven’t had any incidental contact that caused dulling. Do a full inspection simply for the peace of mind.
2. Shoot Every Week
Keep shooting even when you are not hunting. It is easy to assume you are still accurate after all the pre-season hunting but you can get rusty in a hurry. Even a few arrows each day will keep your shot crisp and ready for the next deer that crosses your path.
3. Store Your Bow
Safely store your bow between hunts in a hard case. Soft cases are nice but your bow will get bumped and has a higher risk for damage. I keep my bow in the truck while I chase elk during rifle season and having a hard case is critical. Take out on your non-bowhunting trips along with a target and shoot while you have downtime.
4. Switch to Cold Weather Gear
You have practiced and maintained your equipment, now switch over to the cold weather gear to prevent hypothermia. In wet country, muck boots keep your feet dry. Layer up even on seemingly nice days because the winter weather will hit eventually and freeze you out.