By Scott Roe
[dropcap]F[/dropcap]all is here, and with it comes squirrel, rabbit and deer (archery) seasons. Hunters need to know that mosquitoes will probably be everywhere, so repellants and thermocells are going to be a handy item to keep in the backpack. It is very important to know that if you’re using repellants that contain DEET, please keep that product away from gun surfaces, as it will discolor or remove certain coatings, making for a messy cleanup or repair.
Squirrel calls and whistles are good to keep on hand, as well, as there are several times whenever squirrels can be distracted by these sounds, which should allow for a clean shot to occur. Fawn bleats and doe grunts are also useful.
Archery hunters need to be fine tuning their bows and practicing with broad-heads to check accuracy with all the fast bows on the market. The archery techs at any shop or range can check these items and tune your arrows to ensure proper flight. The use of an auto-squaring device (ASD) is a must when using fixed blade broad-heads in conjunction with bows that are shooting faster than 290 feet per second. This will ensure that the arrow’s shaft and insert are perfectly square with the base of the broad-head to maintain proper arrow flight to the target.
If a shooter wants to use expandable broad-heads, practice is still recommended to check proper arrow flight and accuracy. Some manufacturers will include practice broad-heads with the purchase of a three-pack, while others will include shrink wrap to cover the blades during practice. If you’re using the Rage broad-head, it is recommended that you install a small, thin rubber band at the middle of the broad-head to ensure that it doesn’t open in flight, possibly causing a missed opportunity. These can be purchased at any orthodontist office, and the most common size used is the one labeled Impala.
Since the legalization of crossbows several years ago, all hunters have the choice between compound, recurve, longbow and crossbow. Choosing the right one depends on the individual and his or her hunting needs. Your local archery outfitters will usually carry a huge selection of compound, recurve and crossbows in stock, so try them out and make the right choice for you. Good luck and keep those arrows flying straight!