Tagging whitetails in the Empire State has never been more popular, and bow hunters especially are taking home extremely high numbers after a successful year. New York has an abundance of whitetail, so whether you’re hoping to start the season early or you’re taking the time to get your practice in before heading to the great outdoors, you know that you’re going to have a lot of fun. However, as the weather drops and the season begins, it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement and forget some of the basics. These tips will ensure that you take to the season ready and prepared more than ever.
The life of the bowhunter is often a case of long periods of waiting followed by extreme adrenaline. You need to be ready for action at any time, and that means being prepared. Always make sure that you have the best cold weather hunting clothes, have packed enough snacks to keep your energy up, and have all of the arrowheads and spares that your hunting requires. The more prepared you are, the less likely that you will run into problems and have to leave early. If you want to improve your chances of bagging a whitetail in New York, preparation is key.
Know the Habitat
The more that you understand the daily habits of local deer, the easier it will be to find them when you’re hunting. New York’s whitetails have a lot of potential cover and a lot of locations to roam, with a good mix of brush, sapling stands, and woodland to hide in. That means you will always have more success if you walk the area before the season starts. Remember that whitetails are just as active at dusk and dawn as they are in the day, so walk the trails and habitats at different times of day to get a better idea of where to set up.
Edge Work and Patience
Most whitetails will spend their days in thicker cover, and it’s those areas that the majority of hunters will try to avoid. That’s your cue to embrace those areas with thicker foliage because you’ll have less competition and more potential to spot those big bucks. Bows tend to have a 40-yard range, so those large fields are rarely going to mean successful hunting. Instead, when you’re walking the trails, look for any small openings that may have been forced through by deer looking for more cover. This can transform your success levels.
The most successful bowhunters will always be those who are mentally prepared to move locations as needed. Weather changes alone can seriously change the value of a morning site, so you need to be ready to recognize when a location has become less than ideal. Some bowhunters will move up to four or five times a day until they feel comfortable with their chances, so don’t stick to one spot in the hopes that the wind will change direction.
Bowhunting is often one of the more solitary forms of hunting, so you tend to have to do more by yourself. That means doing your own planning and prep yourself and learning from your mistakes. However, with even just a few shorter, exploratory hunting trips under your belt, you’ll find that your chances of success improve every time you pull back your bowstring.