You’ve made it partially through the season with lessons learned and stories to tell. With the best hunting right around the corner, now is the time to prepare for the rut with gear improvements.
As the leaves fall, once-concealed treestand locations are no longer great hiding spots. You don’t have to abandon your favorite stand – just upgrade your camo. Try 3-D camouflage to conceal your wardrobe with cloth leaves that add depth and break up your outline.
Cold Weather Gear
Hunting only gets better as the weather gets colder. To stay warm, you’ll need to add hats, gloves, down jackets and insulated boots for all-day comfort.
If you plan to hunt through firearms season, you’ll need blaze orange to comply with regulations. The regulations vary by state, but most require an orange vest and hat, which you’ll find at an archery shop. Before you go, check your state wildlife agency’s list of requirements for bowhunter apparel during firearms season.
Hours spent hunting and carrying your bow through the brush can take a toll on your equipment. When your arrows are looking worn, have them refletched. In addition, the tip of your arrow – the broadhead – is a critical piece of gear. Be sure to sharpen or replace your broadheads as needed.
A lot can happen to a bow after a few weeks hunting: strings fray, rests move, peeps twist and cams become misaligned. Have the pros at a local shop make the necessary adjustments so your bow will be ready for the rut.
When the rut kicks in, bucks have their nose to the ground searching for a hot doe. You can fool these bucks using scents. If your state allows scents collected from real deer, these products are a great option. Natural scents are prohibited in some states to prevent disease from farm-raised deer. In that case, try synthetic scents.
Experiment with different methods for using scents. For example, use doe estrous scent to create a trail for a buck to follow. Apply some estrous scent to a scent wick, tie it to a string and drag it on the way to your stand. If a buck crosses that path, the scent might draw the buck right to you.
Upgrade with Lessons Learned
Experience is a great teacher. As you look back on the season, decide what worked and what you need to change. No equipment is sacred. If your clothing wasn’t quiet, or your pin sight was dim, kick it to the curb.
Archery retailers stock great equipment that will serve you well. Find exactly what you need and get hunting.