You Better Practice as You are Going to Hunt
We have probably all heard stories like this...
My jacket was so heavy, I could not get a good sight picture through the scope - I could not pull the rifle far enough rearward.
My winter boots were too large to get into the climbing straps on the lower part of the climbing stand.
The bow string clipped my new safety harness as I made my release.
I could not properly "feel" the trigger through my gloves.
The hood of my jacket fell into the way, blocking my view through the scope.
I had to turn in the stand and could not draw the bow - or was uncomfortable with the shot and the arrow went awry.
My binocular harness interfered with drawing the bow and I missed the shot.
My jacket sleeve brushed the string as I released the arrow.
All of these have ruined hunts and could have been prevented.
Most could have been prevented easily.
Practice - exactly like you are going to hunt.
Consider all angles as you make your preparations.
You will not catch every one of them, but hopefully you can eliminate the crucial ones before they create a failure to execute properly.
Climb a tree, even in your yard, with all of your gear. I know this looks silly but it is important.
Shoulder your rifle in full cold weather geat - got a good sight picture?? I even have 2 rifles that are set up differently, one with a shorter length of pull for a heavy jacket.
Shoot your bow with cold weather gear on - this one is incredibly crucial and has ruined many hunts.
A cut off sock, pulled onto your left sleeve (if you are a right handed bow shooter) will compress your bulky sleeve and reduce the chance of string interference.
Shoot with your safety harness and binocular harness in place...
Shoot from your stand - with it elevated in the tree. I am afraid of heights and I behave differently in the stand when I am 15 feet up than I do at ground level.
Are the carry straps of your stand long enough to properly carry the stand when you have your cold weather gear on?
Make sure your stand is comfortable - and that you can use it with your cold weather gear on (remember the boots??? This did happen to me last year with a pair of winter pac boots on).
Is your pack large enough to carry the additional gear you need for a cold weather hunt?
Do have a spare bow and have you practiced all phases with it?
Does your release fit properly with extra clothing on?
Do you have a spare release?
All of these things - and a hundred others - can get Mr. Murphy and his all important rule involved in your hunt.
Have you eliminated these problems through real life practice???
I am going on what I consider the trip of a lifetime in November - two trips actually - to Illinois for a week of bowhunting and later for a three day shotgun hunt.
I am working frantically (and driving my wife crazy in the process) trying to make sure I have driven as many of these mistakes out as I can.
Mr. Murphy - go away!!!!