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Inside the Outdoors: Preparing for Bow Season

By Steve Schafer

It's time to prepare for the 2006 deer bow season, which opens on Friday, September 15, 30 minutes before sunrise.

First and foremost, prepare the bow. Be it a compound, crossbow, recurve or longbow, hunters have to make sure it's in top notch condition.

The bowstring needs to be waxed or replaced if it is worn and frayed. The knocking point, peep sight, kisser button and silencers, if you use them, need to be checked.

The wheels and/or cams on the bow need to be checked and lubricated. The cables on the compound or crossbow also need to be checked for wear and replaced, if necessary.

If you've really done your homework, you've already been practicing throughout the summer and have your bow and sight zeroed in.

However, a few helpful hints are still in order. Wax your arrows prior to hunting so they're smooth and will draw quietly prior to the shot. Waxing will also contribute to better penetration. Make sure your fletching, whether feathers or vanes, are in good shape. Hand coat your vanes with some Armor-All to keep them soft and pliable.

Broadheads need to be sharp and, if possible, aligned closely to the fletching of your arrows. If you use mechanical broadheads, such as the Rocket brand, replace the rubber band that holds the blades in place.

Make sure the release is clean and that the armguard and release leather or cordura is not worn to where it could possibly fail.

Hopefully, your camouflage clothing was kept a scent-free container between seasons, but nonetheless, a good washing with scent free detergent and baking soda is a good idea.
Replace faded camouflage clothing. It loses concealment qualities as it becomes faded.

The two most important items to be thoroughly checked are the treestand and safety harness. It would be wise to practice climbing with your stand and safety harness in your yard, or in a wooded lot, during the daylight hours, prior to attempting it in the dark on your first hunt of the season. This way you can reacquaint yourself with the use of the stand, make sure it's in good working order, and address any squeaks or possibly faulty parts that need to be corrected.

The same can be said for your safety harness. Check it out thoroughly and be positive that it is still functional and will provide you with the life saving qualities as intended.

Bow hunting is, perhaps, the most enjoyable and satisfying hunting available to the sportsman. It challenges ability and patience to the max. But there is a lot of preparation that comes into play, to better ensure the success of your efforts.

Enjoy the upcoming season, hunt safe, be patient, and best of luck.

Deer Season and Bag Limits

White-tailed Deer Bow Season 2006-2007

Dates
Sept. 15 - Oct. 18
Oct. 23 - Nov. 24
Dec. 11 - Dec. 15
Jan. 1 - Jan. 4
Jan. 8 - Jan. 31

Two antlerless deer must be taken before a second antlered deer can be taken.
A bonus Antlered Deer Stamp is required to take a second antlered deer.

Total Bag Limit:
2 Antlered
10 Antlerless

Crossbows are legal for all hunters during the September 30 - October 14, 2006 and January 15-31, 2007 segments of the Deer Bow Season.

Courtesy of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. For more information, visit www.dnr.state.md.us.

Issue 1.20: September 7, 2006