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By Greg Traynor

As summer comes to a close, I find myself constantly thinking about the first day of archery season. I guess you could call it an obsession.

Figure 1 “Photo” Greg Traynor in full camo in his Action TrackChair, archery hunting.

I like to call myself a bow hunter and not an archer. I shoot my crossbow approximately five months a year, an archer shoots every day. I would love to shoot more but life gets in the way. Below are some tips on what I do to prepare for archery season.

First I inspect my Tenpoint crossbow for any damage or wear and tear from the previous season. If I find any issue, string wear or cable slide damage, I take it to a qualified professional for repair. Next I look at all of the nuts and bolts, making sure everything is tight, lubricated and waxed.

I usually purchase new 20’’ hunting bolts every year and inspect and use the left over bolts for practice. My Ten point Maverick 175lb crossbow has a scope as most crossbows do, which I sight in from 20 to 50 yards. I like to shoot 100 grain field tips and broadheads.

After making sure my crossbow is properly sighted in, I like to shoot from unknown distances so that I can better estimate yardage. I believe being able to accurately judge distance is a critical skill to have for any hunter.

During the season, I hunt from a ground blind and use a range finder to make sure I am accurate. I like to mark the different ranges on a rage card which I tape inside the wall of my ground blind.

As the season gets closer, I like to practice in my hunting clothing including wearing a face mask, hat and anything I plan to hunt in. I think it’s important to practice as if you are in the situation and to be as realistic as possible. I switch from practicing with field points to broadheads and continue shooting from 20 to 50 yards with my hunting bolts.

I check all of my clothing and gear from A to Z, replacing batteries in all electronics and packing spares of essential equipment (two is one, and one is none). As a disabled hunter using adaptive equipment, this is especially true.

Two weeks before the opening day, I pull all my trail cameras from the woods and leave my hunting spots alone. I don’t want to chase a deer out or alarm them in any way.

A week before the season begins; I wash all my clothing in scent free detergent. I make sure that my clothing dries completely outside in the fresh air, before packing them away in a sealed plastic bag.

Three days before opening day, I check my equipment list one more time. I pack my hunting backpack making sure all of my licenses and tags are included. Two days before the season opens, I look at the weather and plan accordingly as to which ground blind I want to hunt in.

Figure 2 “Photo” Greg with a nice Doe taken with his crossbow at 20 yards.

The night before opening day, I confirm the wind direction/weather and I get into bed early and try to sleep. I never do sleep. At 3 AM, I get up for the day every bow hunter waits for, Opening Day! Good luck this season, shoot straight and be safe!

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