BOWHUNTING SMALL GAME
When archers think about bowhunting, the first animal that comes to mind is the Whitetail. Other popular animals that bowhunters love chasing include bears, elk and moose. There are a few other critters everyone should have on their bowhunting bucket list. Are you ready for it? Fox squirrels, rabbits, and birds like partridge or crows should be on the list. These critters are fun to shoot, easy to find and the ability to hit these small animals requires patience and skill.
One mistake many bowhunters make is introducing their kids to deer hunting without starting them on other animals first. Today more than ever, kids aren’t interested in sitting around waiting for a whitetail to show up. Successfully harvesting a whitetail with a bow requires endless hours in the stand and the odds of missing or making a mistake when a shot presents itself is extremely high. Small game hunting with a bow or gun can be action-packed and kids love sports that are action-packed. Take a kid small game hunting with a bow and bring your bow and shoot a few animals. You will have a blast.
Another reason to small game hunt with a bow is it can help you hone your yardage estimation skills. We all love using rangefinders, but when a shot opportunity presents itself in the woods, often we don’t have time to pull our rangefinder out and determine the exact yardage to the animal. This happens to me all the time when I am hunting out west. When I am elk hunting, I rarely have time to get my rangefinder on the bull. I rely more on yardage estimation. When shooting at a squirrel in a tree or a rabbit, I like to guesstimate. If I am fairly close with my yardage estimation, I have meat in the freezer. If not, I usually miss altogether and try to get close to another small critter. A few years ago while moose hunting in Alaska, I small game hunted with my bow after harvesting a bull. The truth is I had more fun chasing small game around than I did the moose.
Small game hunting with a bow is inexpensive, it only requires a few old arrows, some small game heads and you can use the bow rig you currently have. Best of all, small game hunting with a bow will make you a better bowhunter. Learning how to spot and stalk and dealing with pressure from small game hunting will help you fine tune your skills. We can shoot at targets all day but it is nothing like shooting at a living breathing animal. Shooting at an animal, regardless if it is a 200-pound monster buck or a 2-pound squirrel, requires concentration and skill. Shooting at a target doesn’t get the heart pumping like shooting at an animal does.
Do yourself a favor this fall and winter and go small game hunting with a bow. Many of us grew up small game hunting but gave it up. Small game hunting is something anyone can do and shooting at a small object in the woods will likely make you an all around better bowhunter so when a buck steps out in front of you, you are ready to make the shot.
If you decide to small game hunt this fall, I suggest you get some Nitro Arrow Wraps. One thing I have learned is when shooting into trees and in the brush, finding your arrow after the shot can be tough. A bright arrow wrap can help you quickly find your arrow. After all, who wants to waste a lighted nock on a squirrel?
If you are going to be small game hunting with kids, get them a small game target that they can shoot at. One option is the Master Target face target shown here. This target is inexpensive, can be placed on almost any foam target, and lasts a long time. This target will help get kids ready for the real thing.
BY TRACY BREEN