Whether you hunt with a bow, rifle, muzzle loader, crossbow, or shotgun, it is important to know your gear. When I first started rifle hunting I started by getting familiar with handling, loading and shooting the rifle I knew I would be hunting with. Safety is the most important thing in hunting and being comfortable with your gun is half the battle. Second, to me, is being confident that I can make as clean of a kill as possible. That is why practicing is so important.
Although you definitely need to practice shooting your rifle, once I started bow hunting I found that rifle hunting did not require quite as much effort. I put in countless hours of shooting practice for months before deer season even starts and am now even more comfortable with a bow than any other weapon.
No matter what weapon I am hunting with, I make sure that what I practice with is what I hunt with. I don’t mean that I go bow hunting with my field tips. I mean once I have sighted in my weapon & know what I will be hunting with, I start practicing with that! There is no way that I would replace my field tips with broad heads & go hunting the next day. You have to shoot them first, find out how they fly, and sight in accordingly.
It is also important that all of my equipment is the same. My bow is sighted in using a 100 grain broad head, all the same brand. All of my arrows are the same brand and weight and the fletchings are all the same on each arrow. I want to know that no matter what arrow I use in my quiver, each one is going to shoot the same way.
No matter what type of weapon you use, practice with the gear you know you will be hunting with and make yourself familiar with it. Hunting is already a huge challenge, even when using gear that you have practiced with thousands of times!