It’s still summer. It’s still pretty hot. Yet, for some reason, several states throughout this great nation open the archery season (unless you live in the South Carolina Lowcountry where rifle season is August 15) really early. For the sake of our sheer love of all things hunting, we’re going to head afield through the mobs of mosquitos and high temperatures. Like you, some of us here at TRACT Optics live under the “fanatic” banner. Boy, do we love it.

In preparing for the elements of early bow season, we use a slightly alterable regiment, meaning you can tune our method to meet your local conditions. It’s pretty much the same everywhere though - the way we get ready to meet the stars of our trail camera pictures face to face.

Shoot With All the Gear You’d Wear

We bet you’ve heard this before, but it’s an excellent point and worth mentioning again and again. This doesn’t mean you need to dress up, climb a stand and sling 50 arrows… shoot about five instead. Learn how your bow is going to deliver when you’re wearing long sleeves, a safety harness and a binocular (harness optional but helpful). You need to know how a facemask is going to sit on your face when you cock your head and prepare to draw. Hopefully it doesn’t slide around and block your vision. There’s a big difference in shooting in boots versus flip flops. There’s a big difference in shooting with sweat trickling down into your face and condensation filling up your shirt. There are a lot of factors you simply can’t foresee unless it’s done right in practice.

Shoot and Shoot Often

With all your gear on, right? Great answer. Again, we wouldn’t shoot until the summer heat has us seeing double. Just a few arrows at a time, frequently throughout the day, will suffice.

Walk or Jog Everyday

If your heart rate is down, so is your core temperature. Though some of us are flatlanders, others must ascend hills and mountains to reach a favorite deer stand. Keeping sweat at bay for as long as possible is only a plus, especially if the mercury drops with the sun. The one thing being in good shape cannot account for is buck fever. Not a chance. Rest assured that pulling back a 65-pound bow may seem comparable to the retrieval of the sword from the stone when a real bruiser shows up.

Become a Student of Distances

Let’s say you own a rangefinder. You’ve judged distance with it for every summer practice shot. You use it at the rifle range. You use it when you’re curious about a brightly colored bird at the feeder. The fact is, we tend to become reliant upon tools that do sometimes fail.

Become a student of distance again, like when as a youngster you roamed the woods with a longbow. There weren’t cell phones then, high-tech cameras, or rangefinders. This is about the simplest thing to practice. Throw a rock out in the yard and guess the distance from where you’re standing to where it lands.

Get a ThermaCell Already

ThermaCells have been around for years and they work. Mosquitos are annoying - the epitome of the word. And some of us don’t really care if the mosquito was a direct result of the owlet’s death. Most importantly, mosquitos will cause you to move when they dig their pesky stingers into the skin to extract your lifeblood. Funny how deer show up at these inopportune moments.

Good luck as the doors to bow season open up around the country. Send us your comments and photos on Facebook and Instagram. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter and never miss special deals and promotions at