Bow Hunter 2015

The+famed+Whitetail+Buck.%0ACourtesy+of+Google+Images

The famed Whitetail Buck. Courtesy of Google Images

Wyatt Chernicky, Reporter

As many of you may already know, archery season is well underway. Hunters have been heading out into the woods in search of the curious yet elusive Whitetail deer. Unlike rifle season, it takes a completely different level of skill and strength to wield a bow successfully. Whether it’s a recurve, compound, or crossbow, hunters have had to train much in the days leading up to opening day. In order to be sure that your bow is correctly sighted, and that your aim is ready, a grouping of arrows small enough to wrap your hand around is considered sufficient.

There are three types of bows. Recurves tend to require the most skill to use successfully, and also have the most basic design. They have the least amount of power when compared to the other types of bows, but provide a sense of nostalgia to those who wield them. Compound bows incorporate modern technology with the same nostalgic feel of a recurve. Their draw weight, which is the measured weight in pounds of an archery bow when fully drawn, and power is well balanced.

Most GM hunters that we spoke with prefer using a compound bow.  This is the first year archery hunting for sophomore Sam Siciliano, who reports “[I] hunt with a compound bow behind [my] house.” Jeremiah Pencille, a junior, has been hunting for four years and uses a compound bow as well.  Junior Cory Myers has been hunting since age 9 and prefers to hunt around his uncle’s house. He uses a PSC Compound bow because “it’s the best.” His go to strategy is “if its brown, its down.”

As well as being the most accurate, crossbows are the most advanced and powerful of the three bow types. Some may incorporate either scopes or iron sights. Compound bows also feature the heaviest draw weights, and thus, requires great strength and more time to reload.

Whether in a blind, which is any form of concealment or cover on the ground, natural or manmade, or a stand, most hunters will make use of at least one kind of scent cover or another, which neutralizes many of the body’s odors that humans cannot detect, but the deer can at close range. This close range is needed to make a clean kill. Top of that, later on in the season, hunters may find it necessary to make use of a doe estrus drag (doe urine on a piece of cloth that is dragged behind the hunter) on the way to their stand. This increases the chances of a buck passing by one’s stand, as archery season occurs during the rut, or mating season. This causes the bucks to be particularly reckless as they search for as many does as possible. During this season, hunters may still purchase both antlered and antlerless deer tags. Pencille reports using scent away and doe urine while hunting to “give him the edge.”

Here is a list of equipment needed to get started archery hunting. Most of the items on here can easily be purchased from any sporting goods store. (Field and Stream, Gander Mountain, or Edinboro Outdoors).

1. Compound, Crossbow, or Recurve.
-The minimum draw weight for hunting deer in Pennsylvania is 45 lbs.
2. Release. If hunting with a compound.
3. At least 10 arrows or bolts. (Lighted notches are optional.)
4. 5 Broadheads for hunting. Expandables are optional.
5. Hunters must have broadheads with a diameter of at least 7/8 of an inch, with no less than 2 cutting edges.

6. 5 Field tips for practice.
7. Camo jacket, pants, gloves, hat, and boots. Also consider a scent cover.
8. Target block for practicing.
9. A blind or treestand is recommended for extra concealment.

Whether hunting as a group, or going it alone, whether for the venison or the sport, stay safe and happy hunting.