What You Can Take Away from Bow Hunting the 2015 Season?

January is a month of reflection for everyone…especially bow hunters. New Year’s resolutions are weighing on our minds. Should you put in the new food plot, shoot your bow more, or maybe just stay out of the woods and not go bow hunting as much? While the sworn in resolutions might fade away in a couple months, there are some take always and lessons learned from bow hunting this year, that you should make last!

Warm weather

The brisk frosty November mornings and bitterly cold December days never arrived. The weather we count on as bow hunters was instead replaced by warm 50-70 degree days turned into weeks and even months. For many bow hunters, more so in the Midwest, the warm weather completely shut down deer movement for much of the year. This is a very important take away…Mother Nature is cruel! Plans that were made in anticipation for a normal year were thrown out the window. Next year might require a different strategy.

Food plots

Perhaps the biggest hit to your 2015-2016 bow season you might have experienced is unexploited food sources. Planting food plots specifically for late season bow hunting is arguably one of the most effective tactics for bow hunters…with this year as the exception. Without the cold temperatures and snowfall, food sources like standing beans, brassicas, and standing corn were minimally used. The lesson learned from this should be to properly plan and execute every tillable acre…maximizing your success. Having an early season attractant (beans), mid-late October attractant (clover plot), and late season (brassicas, beans, or corn) will cover you in case Mother Nature throws another tantrum next year. Growing Deer Episode December Bow Hunting Action: New Strategy, Buck Down! illustrates this summary well as Growing Deer TV staff Matt Dye kills a hit list buck.


Proper planning is nothing without the correct execution. Your stands and food plots might be dialed in, but did you over pressure your spots? The warm weather slowed deer movement, possibly causing you to hunt more often than before. Over hunting can ruin a stand fast, and educating the wrong deer completely kills the spot.

Next year only hunt the right days. Wait for a cold front, increasing or high pressure, and the right wind to go into a stand. Above all else put a trail camera on the funnel, run, or over the food plot.

Trail cameras are your friend

Buy yourself some inexpensive but reliable cameras. Placing several cameras across the entire property gives you a great spread. As GrowingDeer.TV host Dr. Grant Woods puts it, obtain and use the most recent information. While the warm weather may have severally slowed deer movement, deer still moved. Next year hunt with your cameras before you even set foot in the woods.

The 2015-2016 bow season was rough but the best lessons are taught by failure. The take-aways from this season can set you up for success next year.