Tips From a Bow Pro

Seven steps to bowhunting perfection.

Field & Stream Online Editors

In Texas, the name Jack Brittingham is synonymous with huge whitetail deer. His top 10 bucks, all taken with a bow, average more than 200 gross Boone and Crockett points, including the biggest Texas whitetail ever reported by an archer (2342/8) and the second-biggest nontypical reported last season to the Texas Big Game Awards (2195/8). Though few of us can hunt almost anytime on some of the best whitetail property in the country, most of us can learn from someone who does. Here are seven tips from one of America's most successful bowhunters:

(1) Practice on life-size targets in lifelike situations. "If you hunt from a tree stand, practice shooting from a stand set at the appropriate height. If you stalk, practice shooting in awkward positions, such as kneeling or crouching to shoot under a limb."

(2) Buy a good mobile ground blind and set it up on the downwind side of your ambush location. "Be sure it's comfortable enough that you can stay put and stay fairly still for long stretches. Brush the blind with native cover for best results. You can build an effective ground blind out of native cover, but a man-made blind is usually more comfortable."

**(3) Hunt a blind only when the wind is favorable. **"In good wind conditions, do your best to live in your blind until the target buck shows up. Always approach the blind from the downwind side, and never leave while deer are in the area."

(4) Howl like a coyote. "If deer are present, use a howler to chase them off before exiting the blind. Coyotes are common in most deer woods. The deer will move away from the sound of a coyote without being unduly spooked."

(5) Keep scent-free. "Spray clothing, rubber boots, your bow, arrows, backpack, even your rattling horns with an odor neutralizer. Wear scent-free clothing, including a hood that covers your mouth."

(6) Silence your bow. "Quiet down your arrow rest by applying moleskin to the launcher, and oil the cams with vegetable oil to keep them perfectly quiet."

(7) Don't shoot. "If a buck is on the alert, it's usually best to pass up the shot. If you do shoot, however, aim low, for the heart, as an alert buck will usually react to the shot by ducking." >