Bow hunters – planning and preparation

[Updated on 1 January 2024] Whether your novice or a veteran in the bow hunting game, it’s never a bad idea to plan ahead before the hunting season starts. This guide serves as a list for newbie and veteran bow hunters alike to prepare for a hunt and to stay safe out in the field.



Securing Hunting License & Permits

Each state processes licenses differently. No two states are alike as they have different requirements and procedures. Some states may require you to purchase tags with a hunter’s license.

Hunter’s Safety Course

Regulations will likely differ as breeding conditions change year to year. A hunter’s safety course is aimed to keep hunter’s safe as well as residents near the area.


Topographic Maps

While Google maps are one of the best available resources, it wouldn’t hurt to gain more information by looking up other available maps, specifically those that show elevation as you can identify lookout spots. Do not expect to have internet service in the field since it’s likely to be spotty.

Scouting the area

After acquiring useful information from available maps, note key positions on the field while coming up with strategies.

Identify the best entry and exit routes and sources of water. Do some research to predict the animal’s behavior by locating feeding and bedding grounds.




It’s always a best practice to have a list of what you’ll need on any trip. Start composing your list as early as 30 days and add more items as you think about your strategy.

Keep in mind the weight of your pack when you traverse through your route. Too much weight will hinder your movement and exhaust you the longer time you carry it.

Personal Relief

  • Food / Water
  • Toiletries
  • Towel / Change of clothes
  • Warmers
  • Boots
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Med Kit
  • Personal Identification
  • Documents for Hunting

Equipment for Hunting

  • Hunting Tags
  • Binoculars
  • Range Finder
  • GPS
  • Camo Clothing
  • Fresh Batteries


  • Field Knife
  • Gutting Gloves
  • Torch
  • Fire Starter / Lighter / Match
  • Radio / Cellphone


Bow Tune Up

As any archer knows, there is nothing like shooting a finely-tuned bow at a  target. Tuning your own bow requires a personal touch and a visit to the range.

Take notes on calibrating the sight and balance of the bow and make the necessary adjustments on your bow string to give you the best shot.

Arrows Tune Up

Broadhead arrows are your primary ammunition and you can only carry with you as much as your pack allows. Needless to say, every shot counts.

  • Check and sharpen the blades if necessary.
  • Inspect fletchings and nocks and replace if necessary.

Reviewing Field Regulations

Take a second look at the field regulations, especially if you’re an

Out-of-state hunter.

The last thing you would want is to pay a hefty fine or have your game prize taken away!

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

What should be included in a hunting plan?

A hunting strategy outlines where, with whom, and when you anticipate returning. It should also include instructions on how to get to your destination and any alternative locations you might want to visit if the weather prevents you from traveling. Include your phone number and mobile network.

What is the most important consideration for bowhunters?

Clothing is the most relevant aspect of your gear after bow and arrow when it comes to hunting. Your clothing should be designed to keep you safe and comfortable while on the hunt and also be able to withstand the elements and rough terrain.

What is the primary reason for planning carefully for a hunt?

It’s critical to plan ahead of time for the hunt to avoid or minimize problems. Responsible hunters anticipate potential complications and make plans to address them.

What are the best times of year to hunt with a bow?

The best times of year to hunt with a bow vary depending on the species you are hunting and the region you are in. From early fall onwards, hunters can pursue large animals like elk and deer, while late summer through the start of fall is a perfect opportunity to take on smaller prey like rabbits and squirrels.

What are the essential items that I should bring on a bow-hunting trip?

The essential items you should bring on a bow hunting trip include your bow and arrows, a broadhead sharpener, a release aid, a quiver, a hunting knife, a compass, binoculars, a first aid kit, a backpack, and appropriate clothing for the weather.

What are some tips for choosing a hunting spot?

When choosing a hunting spot, look for areas with a high concentration of game, such as near food sources or water. Also, consider the wind direction and set up your hunting spot with the wind in your face so that game will not catch your scent. Additionally, look for areas that offer good visibility and concealment.

How do I properly care for my bow and arrows?

Regularly clean and oil your bow to care for your bow and arrows properly. You should also check your bowstring for wear and tear and replace it as needed. Additionally, storing your arrows in a cool, dry place and regularly checking them for damage would be best.

What are the hunting regulations and laws for bow hunting in my area?

Hunting regulations and laws vary by state and region, so you must check with your local wildlife agency to determine what is allowed in your area. This will include information such as hunting seasons, bag limits, and the types of weapons permitted.


In conclusion, proper planning and preparation are crucial for a successful bow-hunting trip. This includes researching the area and local regulations, selecting the appropriate equipment and clothing, practicing your archery skills, and being aware of the behavior and habits of the game you are hunting. By planning and preparing properly, you can increase your chances of a successful hunt while also ensuring your safety and the safety of others.

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