Aim Small – Miss Small

Do you know someone that you hunt with or is at the range that seems to never miss or when they do it’s not by much. There is a reason for this and it’s not a secret, its fundamentals.

Maybe you never knew them or maybe you forget them when your excited. When I first was learning to shoot my Dad was beside me coaching my every movement. He was showing me how to hold the gun/bow and how to look at the sites. He also was telling me how and what to aim at.

He would say “Son pick a very small spot on the target and concentrate on that spot for just a second or two then place the sight on that spot and slowly squeeze the trigger”. Shooting a bow is the same thing. After you learn the proper stance and how to properly hold, not grip, a bow it all comes down to how and what to site on.

The smaller the spot is that you aim at the smaller you will miss. My Dad has been teaching people to shoot bow’s for years and he puts a lifesaver on a string and has whoever is shooting to aim at that life saver.

It works and it is a fun way to concentrate on a small spot. After a while you are aiming for the center of that life saver and your groups are so close you will start hitting arrows.

When you’re in the field hunting there are some other factors that come in to play, excitement. When that animal is coming at you and your adrenaline is flowing it’s hard to remember to concentrate on what to do.

Most people will get the animal in there scope or in the circle of their sight and shoot. Then cry when they miss. This is how I have taught myself to combat the adrenaline rush.

When I first see the animal coming in and it’s the one I want to take I close my eyes for just a second and tell myself to calm down and aim for a small spot, I then open my eyes and don’t look at the antlers and I make myself find a small spot.

A tuft of hair or a dark spot and I aim at that spot. If you aim small you will miss small.

For those of you who go through central Oregon, stop at Riley Store and Archery, in Riley and say hi Dale and Pat. If you need your bow worked on, you won’t find a better setup person then Dale.

While you’re there check out Hunter’s Best Scents.

Happy hunting and don’t forget to “Aim Small” so you will “Miss Small”.


2 Tips That Could Change Your Elk Hunting Forever!

Step #1 – Pick a good area.

This is the most important part of the whole process. If you’re not where the elk are then you don’t have a chance. One of the best things I did in the beginning was to go down to the fish and game office and visit with the person that was in the field a lot.

For the first year I visited this person quite a bit. In fact, we became good friends. I asked tons of questions like, in what units do you see the most elk, and at what times of the year were they in this area. Out of his answers I for a good idea of where to start.

The other way I found good areas to hunt was to talk with the locals. I found a local hangout where a lot of older men would go and have coffee and I would sit and chat with the boys. It seemed the conversation would always end up about hunting.

In the early stages of our talks it wasn’t good. It always ended up at “No-tell’m Creek” or “Round-about mountain”. After we got to know each other, here’s how it sounded.

Back in my day when I was able to climb there hills I used to hunt up on Sheep’s Head, and Browns Meadows. Man did I find some great places to hunt from these old boys.

Now I’m one of the “old boys” and I love sharing my stories and hunting spots to the new guys.


Step #2 – Scouting.

It takes a lot of time in the woods in order to find the perfect place to hunt. For me, I have my best success hunting the “transition” areas. That’s the areas between the beds and their watering spots or feeding areas.

In order to find their beds you have to walk the ridges and, in September, north facing slopes. That’s where most of the shade is at.

Their feeding areas vary. In where I hunt they’re on the south facing slopes or clear cut areas.

Watering holes can be almost anywhere but the elk tend to like springs. You usually find wallows when you are water hunting. That’s a good thing.

Now you found a great place for a mid-day hunt when it’s hot. When you find their beds, feeding areas, and the watering spots, you will find some main trails that connect these areas together. That’s when the trail cam’s need to be set up to determine the times the elk are travelling between these three spots.

I log all my info on maps and the times the elk are moving. You will find there will be a definite pattern. Now you know the moving patterns and the times to hunt these areas.

Happy Hunting from Hunter’s Best!

Dad Knew Best

Back when I first started hunting with my dad in Central Oregon we hunted large fields and sage brush flats for mule deer. I remember the anticipation of opening day of deer season. If opening day fell on a school day dad would always let us skip school. We weren’t the only one. I think half the school took it off.

It seemed to me as a teenager that this day, opening of season, was the biggest day of the year. The weeks before we would go out and shoot every weekend. Most of the farmers in our area would supply my brother and me with the 22 ammo so we could clean their fields of ground squirrels, sage rats, and rock chunks.

We lived with a gun in our hands from age 8 and learned to respect the gun, everything, and everyone around us. The worst punishment was when I didn’t respect the or mistreated the gun or our property. Dad would ask me for my .22 that had its place above my headboard in a set of antlers dad had got some years before and would put it in the gun safe. It was like taking my right arm off.

What was I supposed to do without it? I would take long walks and pretend to shoot diggers. One of the best lessons my dad ever taught me was on a hunt for elk. We had planned our hunt months ahead of time before the season. We knew where the animals bedded and where they fed.

The plan was dad would let me and my brother off a mile down the road and we would walk the perimeters, one on each side of this large patch of timber. We were so excited to get to hunt on the driveto our spot dad had to tell us to settle down. We were like wild horses pinned in a 1978 CJ Jeep.

I remember trying to sit in the back and feeling my whole body quiver in anticipation. When we did finally reach our spot and get out I was having problems breathing normal. Dad went over the plan again and explained to us that we needed to wait until it was light before we started our hunt.

My brother, with flashlight in hand, headed to his starting point. I sat there by myself waiting for the light to fill the woods. As soon as I could see the ground I took off.

I was like a bird dog looking for a pheasant. I sprinted through the woods and it was no time before I was at the destination. As I sprinted up to dad all he could do is shake his head. He had just got in his area and was starting to hunt.

I had covered the mile in about 10 minutes and had pushed anything that was alive in to the next state. Then the lesson came.

“Son, it’s not how many miles you can cover. It’s how you cover those miles.”

I have never forgotten this. Enjoy your time out hunting and walk a little slower.


Hunter’s Best – Helping Make Memories….