When you think of bowhunting you think of relaxing, right? Wrong.

By Art Champoux

Bowhunting is one of the most mentally straining efforts you will ever encounter.


From pre-season scouting, to 3D shooting, to tuning your bow, to doing all the little things to make you a better hunter and shooter, it all adds up to mental preparation and concentration.

If you are an avid 3D shooter you know the frustration of sighting and tweaking your bow. Then there is getting ready for each shot. It is 90% mental. Your shooting form is a mental thing, your perception of the  target and how far away it is…is mental. Your mental management in preparing the shot is a time consuming effort in honing in your mental images of the game at various yards. A deer at 30 yards might look like 30 yards but a rabbit or a fox might look further.

Again mental imagery comes into play. Bowhunting in September is just around the corner. Are you prepared mentally?

Is your bow sighted in now? It needs to be and once again before your season begins.

Did you make a check list of everything you need? Did you scout the area to hunt. Have you washed your clothes in scent eliminator? Did you have a fight over which day your honey is going to let you use the washing machine and dryer (talk about mental)  and did you check your clothing for rips and tears and bugs living in the pockets? Are you still trying to remember where you put the Range Finder last year? That is just the start of the bowhunting process.

Have you 2 extra bowstrings on hand and set up, just in case one breaks? Have you got the number of the nearest archery shop for the things you forgot or do you wait until the day before the season?  Working at Big Als archery shop in Seabrook NH we hear from a lot of people who forget this and that. Well my advice is to start the process of remembering and organizing and practicing … now.

Start by making a list of everything that you will need for the next 45 days. Or you’ll be looking for that bow wax you forgot, the scent wicks you thought were still in your fanny pack,or some other little thing you rarely need, until you need it. Which is usually in the field, in your stand with a trophy buck wandering your way.

The list is almost endless. Little things, seemingly of no bother become larger once afield.

Little things that you forget or are not prepared for often make the difference in getting the deer of a life time or going home empty handed. But we still have time to get it all together, yeah right! If you are like me you wait until the day before and ask your better half where she put your boots. Then she tells you that you had them last. When you do stumble across them you find the dog chewed them up.

Most women are more organized than we men. Not because they are smarter but because we men just have more ‘stuff’ and more places to put that ‘stuff’. Basements, attics, tool sheds, under beds, in garages and even car trunks under spare tires and of course, pick up beds. Places women never go.

So, make a list, go searching in all those ‘man’ places. When in doubt, ask the lady, she probably knows intuitively where it is. If you can’t find anything make another list and hit your local Archery Pro Shop. Then put everything in the same place so it’s easy to find.

Now all you have to do is set up your equipment and practice.  Simple no?

By Art Champoux