08/21/09 — Archery season fast approaching

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Archery season fast approaching

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on August 21, 2009 1:46 PM

The key to consistent shooting is perfect practice.

No apparatus highlights the truth in that theory quite like a bow and arrow.

The archery season in North Carolina begins in less than a month.

The planning for successful hunts must be set in motion soon. Every hunter has his or her own routine, but here are a few things to consider while preparing for opening morning:

* One bad shot can ruin a successful hunt -- Unlike the traditional rifle hunt, there are very few second chances with a compound bow. Due to the relative close proximity that archers must reach in order to fire the chances of being able to miss with a first attempt and reload for another shot are very slim.

Shooting regularly at natural targets in "game-day" situations (accounting for stand height and wind direction) is the best way to prepare for the real thing.

* Location, location, location -- Hunters who routinely take whitetails during archery season don't just happen upon perfect places to find their prey.

The first thing to remember when looking for a place to put a tree stand and set up shop is shooting angles. Keep approximately 40 yards of field open and clear of obstructions helps make every angle a possible shooting angle.

* Ask Mother Nature for help -- Natural trails can be the hunter's best friend or worst enemy.

Setting up a stand at the junction of two trails can often lead to success on the first days of the fall season. However, being too close to those trails or damaging them in any way that allows the deer to identify a hunter's position can ruin an entire year.

* Not every product is essential -- A stroll through the archery aisle at Wal-Mart is enough to make a potential sportsmen smile.

There are products for everything associated with the archery season from scent blockers to grunt calls to quivers. There is seemingly something for everyone.

One important thing to remember is that traveling light often leads to a more enjoyable and possibly more successful hunt. Dragging 40 pounds of the latest technology through the field may sound fool-proof, but remember all of that equipment has to go up in the tree stand too.

The best way to figure out what is a must-have tool and what can be left in the garage is to spend a few preseason mornings walking to and from the stand, and practicing safe climbing techniques that include properly using a hoist rope.

Archery season officially opens in eastern North Carolina on Sept. 12.