Drawing On Live Animals

You really can't simulate a hunting situation during practice at home, or even at the shooting range...

You really can't simulate a hunting situation during practice at home, or even at the shooting range. In a typical year, you might get to shoot at two or three animals all season -- and that's not really a whole lot of practice.

The two things you can't practice outside of a real hunting situation are drawing on a live animal and aiming at a live animal -- especially one that just might move at any second. So when I'm out hunting, I try to draw and aim at every legal deer that comes by within shooting range.

Because I'm trying to practice doing things right, I like to go over my entire shot sequence each time I draw back on an animal. I make sure to check for a good shot angle and to determine which pin to use and exactly where to put it

I like to go through all the motions, just as if I were going to shoot the deer. By doing this, I learn what I can get away with and, more importantly, what I cannot get away with. Just as in any other sport, you'll do better when you're actually playing for real, because you've done it so many times before in practice.

Now, just to get my heart rate up and get me excited, I like to imagine that the deer I'm drawing on is a big buck just to make myself a little nervous. I try to decide when I'd actually draw my bow, and when I'd take the shot -- things that cannot be practiced at the shooting range. As the deer moves on through, I keep watching to see if the particular time I chose to shoot ended up being the best shot opportunity, or if I should have waited.

The one thing I've figured out is that I usually have a lot more time and a lot more opportunities than I first thought possible. This experience typically makes me a little more patient the next time around.

Popular Videos

Elk Bulls Abound in Colorado

Bowhunter team member Rudy Bachraty gets his chance to take an elk with Cross Mountain Outfitters of Colorado.

2018 Bowhunter TV Episode 6: Great Start!

Guest hunter Christian Berg visits Whitetail Heaven Outfitters in Kentucky and gets his deer-hunting season off to a great start with an amazing velvet buck.

Turkey Decoy Beatdown

Bowhunter contributor Matt Palmquist witnesses a hen trying to destroy one of his decoys while hunting turkeys in Kansas.

See more Popular Videos

More How-To


5 Shed Hunting Strategies

Tony J. Peterson

Follow these tips for finding deer antlers, even in areas where the competition is stiff.


Your Best Bowhunting Survival Tool

Dwight Schuh

With a cool mind, you can hunt worry free, regardless of circumstances, if you do the...


Little Things That Make a Big Impact on Shooting Accuracy

Joe Bell - August 01, 2018

In life, every decision and every detail has a way of affecting the overall outcome or result.

See More How-To

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.