By Brion Whitten and Tim H. Martin
Whether you are a bowhunter or gunhunter, make sure to wear the same clothes and use the same gear you will be hunting with. This will prevent problems before the moment of truth arrives. — Brion Whitten
Editor’s Note, by Tim H. Martin: When I think of grand mistakes caused by not practicing with the same gear used in an actual event, I think about what happened to the 101st and 82nd Airborne paratroopers who landed in Normandy on D-Day.
The troops spent months practicing the jump, perfecting combat strategies, honing marksmanship skills and becoming physically fit. Yet, just before the invasion, U.S. Army commanders added a small bag of gear tethered to their legs without first testing the results. What was thought to be a simple addition caused countless unexpected problems for the paratroopers.
On a far less dramatic scale, the same holds true for hunters.
Did you test your new jacket before the season’s first bowhunt to see if the string slaps the puffy sleeve?
Does a second layer of insulated underwear restrict your ability to draw your bow or shoulder your rifle quickly?
Will the lower cam of your bow strike the shooting rail of your new treestand when you shoot?
Did you practice shooting your bow with a glove on your left hand to see if it causes grip and torque issues? I’d like to stress, this oversight has probably caused more misses for bowhunters than any other.
What about your new safety harness, backpack, rifle strap, boots and your newly replaced treestand seat? Do they creak when you move or shift your weight?
Brion’s tip is so simple, yet so true. Before the buck of your dreams suddenly appears ten yards from your treestand, practice hunting and shooting with the same clothing and gear you will be hunting with. Don’t let a small oversight cause a big failure.