Sponsored by: The Physically Challenged Bowhunters of America, & Barnett Crossbows. Hosted by Doug Bermel – Shooting Coordinator for Bowhunting.Net.

By: Doug Bermel

As we approach summer, I’m sure many of you are thinking about the hunting season soon to come. There are many things that need to be done now so you can have a safe, relaxing and hopefully successful season. Here are some thoughts….

One of the first items to look at is your shooting equipment. Take your crossbow and give it a complete inspection. Check the string for any wear or damage. Tighten all screws and bolts. Sometimes adding a little Loc-Tite can help preventing bolts and screws from loosening. Look through the scope to see if it needs to be adjusted for more or less eye relief. Wax the string and apply rail lube to the deck of the crossbow as this will help with the wear on the string. Shoulder the bow, do you need to add a butt plate to get a better fit?

Next, look at your arrows. Do they need to be refletched or renocked? Do you have enough arrows or would you like to try a different brand? Now is the time to order the right arrows for you. Thinking back to last year ,did your broadheads perform well? If so you might need to replace the cutting blades or resharpen them to that razor edge. With the many different kinds of broadheads on the market try to select one that works best for you.

Archer Gary Mechtensimer checks him bow at the range to ensure proper working and accuracy.

Were you able to cock the crossbow by yourself or did you rely on someone to help you? If you would like to get that independent feeling most crossbow companies have hand- cocking devices that can be attached to the bow and makes the job a simple task. Some bows have it built in and in others it is a separate unit that can be put on and taken off as needed. I have use these devices and they work great for cocking the bow by yourself. It will take some practice to become proficient with the unit and it will be more time consuming to get off a shot but the satisfaction of doing it yourself is well worth it!

Next, lay out all your hunting clothes. Are there some buttons that need to be sewed back on, a zipper that needs to be fixed or just some sewing and patching to get your camo back into useable condition? Now is also the time to consider if you need new camo. Maybe that old drab army colored coat you have been using for years needs to be upgraded with the new and latest fashion. One of the exciting new products I plan on trying this year is the new high tech clothing from HECS – Human Energy Concealment Systems. It is designed to prevent the electromagnetic impulses all living things give out from being detected. I’ve read up on it and am excited to give it a try.

Once all repairs have been made to your clothing wash your camo with unscented soap and hang outside to dry and then store them in a sealed container.

Dennis Knox hunted from a ground blind for this WY antelope. Before you go hunting make sure your blind is in good working condition.

How about that pack or backpack? Take a look through it and eliminate any items you don’t need. A good rule to follow is get rid of the unnecessary stuff and key in on the critical equipment. Think back to last year and remember what was necessary and what was not.

Set up your ground blind. If your blind is like mine after blowing around the country side there might be a broken rod or two that need to be replaced. Locate all the stakes and put them in a pouch so you will have them when needed. Look at your shoot- thru screens, do they need to be replaced?

Author made sure his equipment was in good working order before he went on this Africa hunt.

When sitting in a wheelchair sometimes the windows are too high. I have had this happen to me, the sight picture looked good but when I shot I hit the bottom of the window and the results are a bad shot. Check for yourself to make sure you have enough clearance. There are a few wheelchair friendly blinds so get the one that fits you. Also check to make sure it is big enough for your gear and chair.

For me this is a nice getaway and a chance to relive last years successes and failures. Going over my hunting equipment also helps keep that hunting spirit alive. By doing all these pesky chores now you have the confidence that when that magic time comes you are well prepared for that shot at a trophy buck !