Mule Deer, Elk and Western Big Game Hunting -

Archery Tips for Success
Written by Brian Latturner, and Don Beatty, Rocky Mountain Archery

Archery Hunting Mule Deer
Don't get busted on
that "Final Approach"!
With archery season not far off, it's time to dust off the bow and arrows and get ready!

One of the first things an archer should do each summer, when ramping up for the archery hunt, is thoroughly inspect and repair or replace our gear. Bow strings, rests, cables, and broadheads are some of the most critical archery components that can easily become damaged. * Bow strings do wear out. If any wear is apparent on a string, replace it! Having a string break a full draw can do damage not only to the bow, but also to the shooter. Also, wax your string often.

* Arrow rests, along with the screws and such, should be carefully inspected, as screws can come loose.

* Bow cables should be inspected. If you're like me, you may be guilty of standing your bow on its end while glassing or resting on a hike. Where the cable wraps around the cam can become worn, exposing the cable strands which can then individually break or rust.
A good alternative to setting your bow on the ground when glassing or resting, is to purchase a "Bow Hook", available in the Online Store.

* Broadheads are expensive these days, so take care to apply a little oil to them each year to help resist rusting. Also, check blades for any bends or chips, and check sharpness.
Rocky Mountain Archery
As an added bonus to our Hunting Tips, I invited Don Beatty, of Rocky Mountain Archery (, to share a few of his own archery hunting tips with us. Here are a few of Don's tips combined with a few of my own:

Closing the Distance:

Once you know where the elk are, you need to get close. Sure, it's easier said than done, but a little easier if you follow a couple of my tricks. For checking the wind, purchase a small squeeze bottle and fill it with corn starch or other non odor substance. (Or, purchase "Smoke-In-A-Bottle" available here at
When you're in the field and need to know wind direction in an instance. Pull it out and give it a quick squeeze. In an instant you'll know which direction to stalk from for that up close and personal shot.

Archery Hunting Mule Deer
A careful, silent, smart
stalk can put you 40 yds
from a wall hanger buck.
When walking game trails or bushwhacking searching for bulls and bucks, use the two man system. Space yourself 40-50 yards apart and "cow/doe talk" to one another, preferably with different calls to enhance the authenticity of the scenario. Remember, no two cows or does are going to sound exactly alike. It also helps in covering up your noise while walking or stalking. If there's a bull or buck in the area, he could come in silent, so always be alert.

As many archers know, the "Final Approach", that is, closing the gap between you and the animal, from 150 yards to within comfortable bow range, is one of the toughest and most challenging aspects of archery hunting.
Knowing wind direction, moving slowly and quietly is of the utmost importance. One small, dead branch lying in your path could ruin the entire stalk.
When approaching an animal, you should be moving slowly, and also carefully checking where each foot is placed. To help reduce sound caused by breaking twigs or grinding rocks, a pair of "Safari Stalkers" can really help. just began carrying this product and they are a much better alternative to removing your boots altogether while making that "Final Approach".


Practice plenty, know your yardage limit, and take your time!

When shooting at elk or deer, you have to block out everything (especially the antlers). The small area of vitals, just behind the shoulder, should be your only focus. I like to come to full draw, put the sights on the front leg, and slowly follow the leg up to the shoulder and over to the chosen spot and release or pull the trigger. This forces me to focus more thoroughly on the shot and where I want to connect.

Don't begin practicing with your bow a few weeks before the season opens. Instead, shoot year-round at tournaments, 3D targets, etc. Practice with the same tackle you intend to use during hunting season. Shoot from varied distances, angles, elevations and positions. Shoot every practice session and shot as if you were shooting at a once in a lifetime trophy.

More Information, Services, & Resources....

Rocky Mountain Archery
Archery Forum --
Archery hunting in the hot, dry weather
Shot Placement
Bowhunting Tactics

Click-a-Pic ... Details & Bigger Photos

Click-a-Pic ... Details & Bigger Photos

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