Reel Hunting Outdoors
Would you jump right into a basketball game without stretching and shooting around first? If your answer is no, then you must take your sport seriously. Shooting your bow is the exact same thing. You can compare archery with any sport. There is an off season for athletes to fine tune their abilities. For some, off season is the summer leading into their archery season. For others, it is year round with leagues and other tournaments.
Most people would never think of stretching before they go out and hunt. I do this everytime, and I always set time to get some practice shots in before I head to my stand. I have been practicing year round to get ready for ONE shot on a nice animal; I want to be as prepared as possible. Whatever routine I have developed in the off season, I need to continue that routine into the hunting season. Shooting a bow is just like shooting a free throw….muscle memory. I do not want to think about my mechanics when I am drawing back on a nice Wisconsin buck this season. I train my body and equipment to do the same thing every time.
I always stretch my arms, back and core before I shoot. Once my body is warmed up, I will then shoot 10-15 arrows and a variety of distances until I am confident in my shot and my mechanics. I am not saying what I do is best for accuracy, but I have developed a system that I do during every shot to help develop a consistent process. Once I am ready to shoot, I make sure my stand and posture are in position. I zone in on my target and smoothly draw back to my anchor point. As I am drawing in, I take in a deep breath. Once I settle into my anchor point, I slowly exhale and let my pin settle into the target. Your focus should be on the target not your pin. I always have both eyes open(this will make the target blurry), and once my pin has settled in the target I close one eye and bury my pin into the target and slowly squeeze the trigger on my release. The shot should surprise you. Just like shooting a free throw, you must follow through with your shot.
Every professional shooter I have talked with does something a little different. They have developed patterns that work for them, but each shooter has a few things in common.
- Develop a shot routine
- Be Consistent (do the same thing every time)
- Develop core strength
I thought for this months blog, I would change it up from property management to discussing deer glands.
As you know, deer having multiple ways they can communicate with each other. In this article, I am going to discuss the communication with the use of various glands.
The metatarsal gland is located on the surface of the rear leg on a deer. It looks like a dark pore. Research on Mule deer has shown that this gland is a source of “alarm pheromone”. Essentially alerting other deer of danger. Regarding Whitetails, there is no definite reasoning the role the metatarsal gland has.
This tarsal gland is one of the most “familiar” glands that people can identify. The location of the tarsal gland is under the tuft of hair on the inner surface of the hind leg. This gland largely plays a role in communicating dominance and readiness to breed. All deer, (primarily bucks) rub their tarsal glands together with urine. During the rut, bucks will do this over a scrape. The tarsal gland also secrete fat. The mixture of urine and fat gives the tarsal gland its dark color and musky odor.
The interdigital gland is located between the hoofs of a deer. You can’t see them unless you spread the hoof apart. The interdigital gland has a crucial role in deer communication. The interdigital gland releases pheromones that leave a scent when the deer is traveling. This scent allows deer to locate each other and identify each other. An interesting fact about the interdigital gland is fawns do not produce this scent until they are a few weeks old. This makes it difficult for predators to find them. Have you ever had a deer stomp its hoof at you? This stomping release interdigital scent, signaling other deer of possible danger.
The pre-orbital gland is located near the eyes of a deer. Deer will rub this gland on trees, bushes, etc. You will see an increase in this “rubbing” when the rut starts. Bucks will rub their pre-orbital gland on licking branches around scrapes. Deer will scent check these branches to identify what other deer have been there. Bucks will tend to use their tongue to add moisture to the branch which allows the scent to be detected more easily.
The forehead gland is located under the skin between the antlers and the eyes. Like the tarsal gland, the forehead gland releases scents and fat. During the rut, the hair on a buck’s forehead becomes darker as a result of the scents and fat secreting. Like the pre-orbital gland, bucks will use their forehead gland to communicate by rubbing on trees and branches. While the rubbing occurs, the forehead gland is releasing pheromones.