They say it’s okay to make mistakes as long as we learn from them. That’s good for me because it seems there is always a new bowhunting lesson to learn—sometimes the hard way. Here’s a basic mistake I’ve made that was easier to make than you might think.
The lesson: Range that game animal before you draw. Sure, we range various markers as soon as we get into our stand or ground blind, but what if that buck comes in from a spot we don’t expect? In the excitement it’s too easy to use the wrong pin on your multi-pin sight, or to not readjust your single-pin sight and make a bad shot. Take the time to range. In thick woods or brushy country, such as in southern Maryland where I grew up, you may only see 30 yards in any one direction. But if you’re hunting the Midwest, where I also like to go each season, your shot opportunities can be longer.
As you know, if you're in the mood to shop, there are plenty of quality, compact rangefinders out there. Companies such as Bushnell, Nikon and Leupold even offer models just for bowhunters. Head for Cabela's or Bass Pro Shops and check them out under one roof.
Forgetting to range before you draw can cost you a buck as you watch your arrow sail right over or under it. In today’s economy, it’s bad enough to lose the kind of buck with George Washington’s face on it. It’s far worse to lose out on a nice deer!