August 02, 2022
Well folks, summer has been a whirlwind of heat exhaustion. The advisories are starting to get old, along with overheated engines, and sweaty everything after anything from walking out to the car to working outside (is there really a difference anymore…?). At this point, the light at the end of the tunnel as far as heat goes is still far… BUT that doesn’t change the fact that bow season for whitetail deer opens in less than two months!!
If you haven’t seen the wait lists for yourself, take our word for it — we’ve been through enough seasons to know that while prep now may be wise. In just a few weeks it will be nearly impossible with the rush of hunters flooding stores both in person and online.
As much as you may get tired of us stressing it, the time to make all of your bow hunting adjustments really is NOW. Of course it can be hard to know exactly what you need before the season starts. There is always that one item that you forget to grab (or don’t realize you need) until your first time back in the stand. The bad news is, our emergency helicopter delivery service that brings your necessities right to the tree stand has been deemed unoperational for this year…
On the other hand, we’ve compiled a list of all of our favorite essentials to at least take a few things off of the list of things you forget!
You may still be skeptical, but after it’s incredible debut in 2021 we have no doubt that these deserve to be at the top of our list. Almost all of our regular hunters use a harness and stand when they hunt. The alternative way is through a blind, which, if they have a good place to set up, we can’t blame them. Any hunter who has a few viable years of experience, however, could likely name a time a traditional metal deer stand has caused problems. Harness or not, metal creaks and rusts and seats get eaten by creatures — even if you don’t have those problems setup can be a pain and moving stands almost isn’t worth it. That is exactly why TETHRD saddles have become our favorite.
Hunting with a saddle, safety is ensured (the harness literally is the stand, so there is no falling out of the stand) and better yet, it is so quiet and portable that even setup will leave the animals clueless. One hour, deer can be bedding under a tree. The next, you can be tethered to it, poised and ready to shoot. They come with climbing sticks to help you climb effortlessly and the seats provide optimal mobility, providing comfort for hours. We can’t recommend them enough!
Digital camo is the new standard for modern hunting. It’s not just a trend — the visual and even psychological effect has been proved by years of trial in everything from the U.S. military to the stand. That makes all Sitka an essential… but let’s be honest. It is hot here. Most Sitka is engineered for mountain hunts to conceal from wind and cold that just isn’t present in most backyard stands.
Luckily, Sitka also makes some pretty darn amazing lightweight items for braving the tail end of the summer!
Our favorite Sitka items for the summer include the Equinox Guard Pants and Esw Shirt. Each naturally protect from insects and are both lightweight and moisture-wicking for hot, humid weather. The unfortunate news is we have limited quantities left, including some of the last editions of discontinued items. In a month they are all sure to be gone so we encourage you to come on in!
(Read more about the science of digital camo here)
If you are planning to stick in the local area this year, you probably don’t need to read this. However, there is some serious gear that deserves to be featured in our essentials for when temperatures and hikes get extreme.
Of all the camos we’ve tried, we have found that Sitka is notorious for at least one thing: plenty of compartments and pockets so you can carry everything you need. They have really thought of everything when it comes to functionality and as for keeping warm, there is a literal science behind their gear.
The most popular items for extreme hunts (like mountain hunts, typically with cold weather) include the Fanatic Jacket and the Fanatic Bib — and that’s just for the most extreme weather. With Sitka’s technology, even what looks like a thin jacket can keep you fully insulated — take the Fanatic Hoody for example. For cooler whitetail hunts, it provides both extreme insulation and odor control, even though it is at least five times lighter.
When it comes to the extreme hunting gear like the Fanatic Jacket or Bib then… you can bet it’s engineered for the utter extreme!
We like to think that our service at Bowtreader is unique. When it comes to arrows, it’s a proven feat — there aren’t many places you can get hunting arrows tuned to fly perfectly considering every aspect from the weight of your broad head to the style of your lighted nock. We pride ourselves on custom arrow builds that uniquely cater to your choice of accessories and make for the best arrow flight. Arrows is one of the things we do most — they can be done quickly, but getting on the list for hunting arrows can certainly get harder as the season approaches. We encourage you to come in soon if you want them quickly… then again, if it’s an emergency we’ve been known to put projects on hold to spend an hour or two to get arrows ready for big hunting expeditions… don’t tell the boss🤫
It may sound obvious but this is an essential… an essential an uncanny amount of people forget. There are a lot of things we can quickly tweak, even arrows we can whip up in an emergency. Getting new strings, however much more of an emergency they are likely to be (since a bad set of strings can prevent you from shooting your bow period) aren’t an easy fix.
However backed up we get, no criteria is ever as backed up as our demand for strings. It isn’t because they are hard to get, guys, it’s because everyone seems to forget about strings and unfortunately that can lead to problems that force them to come in. Get strings while you can — we’ve made ways to easily decide if it’s time for new ones with a good 30 minute tune up that should take place at least once a year. We like offering tune-ups right before bow season and before you start practicing, which leads us into the next essential on our list…
Every season, whether you’ve been shooting your bow or not, tuneups are an essential for everyone. If you have been shooting your bow all summer at our 3D shoots or if it’s been collecting dust for a few months, both are reason to make sure everything is in good shape before you restart your hunting routine. We check strings so you won’t have to wonder if it’s time to get new ones, update your draw length if needed, paper tune your arrow flight, and check for problems with the cams and limbs. It may seem silly, but there is a crowd of people we’ve had come in after hunting without a tune up with some pretty disastrous problems in hand. Take our advice and give your bow a check up before catastrophes happen!
This isn’t just an essential for hunting. Tacticam’s easy setup and even more easily accessed footage makes them an essential that is great to have year round to monitor where your deer are. It even automatically sends the images it collects directly to your phone so you will never miss activity on any of your cameras. Multiple cameras can feed footage daily so you know the exact time of activity. That along with nearly invisible digital camo, a quiet-setup saddle, and the next item on our list makes you as undetectable as the grim reaper when it comes to deer hunting!
A few hunters are skeptical about this but after a whole lot of trail we can at least speak for ourselves when we say IT WORKS. We get it. After all of your efforts, what is is a spray on your clothes going to do to make a difference? Every hunter knows the rule to stay away from strong deodorants and not to spill food on their hunting clothes. Try not to sweat and be careful not to pick up second-hand perfume — but believe it or not, even after all of that it is still highly likely that the deer will catch wind of you.
While we put an emphasis on concealing from the deer’s ears and eyes, their eyesight and hearing is about the same as ours. Their sense of smell on the other hand? Let’s put it this way. Humans have about 5 million olfactory receptors. The average dog has 220 million. Whitetail deer have at least 297. If you can smell yourself, a deer within 200 yards isn’t going to think about getting closer.
That’s why wash our hunting clothes (including underclothes) with No-scent! Everything gets no scent detergent and hung out to dry in the woods where they are thoroughly sprayed. Whether blind hunting or in the trees we’ve been on hunts when deer didn’t even look around. It’s one of our favorite ways to stay under-cover for the best hunting experience.
Every year we say it and there isn’t change on the horizon — Exodus broadheads are some of the best-built broadheads on the market. They’re durable as heck, super sharp but not bulky — and they are almost always reusable. If you are looking for a broadhead that is all around a good choice for everything from beginners to old pros, this is it!
Alright, fine. While Exodus broadheads are our favorite and deserve their own spot on the list of essentials, for those of you who prefer mechanicals, we have a couple favorites that are definitely good to have on hand.
As for strict mechanical broadheads, DeadMeats are the way to go. We prefer the DeadMeat G5’s. They fly well and penetrate flawlessly, and on top of that, they are an easily-reusable option for mechanicals. All you need to do is snap in the blades and it’s ready to do it’s job again. We can’t recommend the DeadMeat G5’s enough for mechanicals or Exodus for a fixed blade option — if however, you aren’t sure about either, we also have a favorite hybrid.
Grim Reaper Micro Hybrid Pros are a great option for hybrid broadheads. They work great interchangeably between high poundage bows and crossbows, and while sharp, they fly well for an easy pass-through!
That concludes our top ten list for this year. For more informational blogs follow our blogs here written by our range of outdoor experts. Thank you for reading!