Compound bow hunting is a great outdoor sport that combines the skill of a bow from centuries past with the technology of the present day. Compound bows, because of their systems of lines and cams–cam being another name for a pulley–can exhert much more power and strength than traditional longbows. They still take a decided amount of skill to handle; they are not like a gun, where one can point and fire and at least get a shot off even if it is off target. Even shooting a bow requires a certain amount of know-how, and one would not be advised to go into the woods without having practiced extensively. That said, a compound bow is a great weapon with good range and striking power, and anyone can learn to hunt successfully with it should they put in the time to do so.
The first thing to know is what kind of arrows are the best to use. Standard aluminum arrows are lightweight and somewhat flexible, and they are decidedly cheaper than their counterpart, the carbon arrow. Aluminum arrows tend to be the same width for the entire length of the shaft, and they have interchagable heads that can be unscrewed when switching from broad heads to target heads. Carbon arrows, on the other hand, will often have a wide portion right behind the broad head, at the front of the shaft. From there on back, the arrow slims down all the way to the fletching. This gives the arrow a larger amount of punching power; it can push further through the deer since the initial hole is wider than the majority of the shaft of the arrow. Carbon arrows are also much more durable than aluminum arrows. They will flex and not break and last for many years. The downside is the pricetag, which is much higher and means that the hunter will not want to loose any carbon arrows in the woods on missed shots.
There are two types of stands that can be used when compound bow hunting: the tree stand and the ground stand. While both will work, the tree stand is often much prefered. A bow does not have all of the distance that a gun does in its shots, so being up high gives the archer a bit more area to shoot in; it creates new lines and opens up new shots. Either way, camoflauging one’s stand is very important. This way, the deer will not be as prone to see it and run away, no matter where the stand is. Even when installing a tree stand bought from a store, one is best to do it weeks or even months before one goes hunting. Deer do not have that long of memories. They will be spooked by a new stand at first, if it shows up on their paths, but they will become accustomed to it soon enough when nothing happens. They will get used to seeing a ladder going up the trunk of a tree, and then they will not shy away from it even when the hunter has climbed the tree as well and is sitting in waiting.
Keeping scent away from a stand is very important. The hunter should never carrying anything with a strong scent in with them, even food. They would even be advised to find some sort of masking scent, such as skunk scent, that they can apply to their own body to mask the smells of soap or human sweat. Skunk scent is manufactured and safe and, while it does smell bad, the deer will be used to it and will never suspect a human.
Compound bow hunting is not for the inexperienced or the under-equipped; the hunter should be sure to have the proper gear, including a shooting finger pad and other accessories, before going out into the forest. However, if the hunter is ready and prepared, compound bow hunting is one of the most exhilarating experiences of a lifetime. The deer are so close and the hunter feels a part of nature itself. If one has taken the proper steps, a trip spent hunting with a bow can be one of the most satisfying ever found.