2021 Spring bear hunts: Get Prepared

Top considerations you’ll want to make before your next bear hunt. You’ll learn the physical work, how to gear up, how to practice bowhunting skills prior to the big day, and what bowhunting “heat” to pack. Informative and to the point!

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The Importance of FOC in Hunting Arrows

When looking into the technical aspects of modern-day archery, it’s easy to get confused and overwhelmed by the amount of information. Often lost in the discussion of efficiency in the sport is the importance of FOC in hunting arrows.

Back when people were shooting their homemade recurve and longbows with their cedar shafts, archery was simpler. People knew the limitations of their equipment and perfected their skills within those limitations. Today, the modern equipment affords much higher efficiency and lethality, but also requires more work of the user to determine the best setup for their needs.

While draw weight and length and their relationships to arrow elements like spine are generally easy to understand and apply, weight distribution on an arrow is typically more foreign to archers, especially those new to the sport. When we talk about weight distribution, we are referring specifically to a bias on the front of the arrow, or FOC (front of center.)

To easily grasp the concept of FOC, imagine that you are holding a four-foot-long wooden shaft. On one end of the shaft is a spear point made of metal. Imagine grasping the shaft with the spear point closest to you rather than at the front of the shaft. If you throw that spear, it will wobble in the air and would possibly even turn 180 degrees. However if you throw the spear the way it was intended, with the point out in front, the shaft will fly straight being lead by the heavy spear point with the lighter shaft following behind.

The same principle applies to bowhunting arrows. Arrows that have more weight shifted to the front of the arrow will fly straighter than those that have weight balanced in the center of the arrow.

An important thing to remember when considering FOC is that as always is the case in physics, there must be a tradeoff. As expected, the more weight you add to an arrow, the more quickly it will drop. That is why it is important to find the perfect balance in your FOC distribution to ensure maximum efficiency.

We talked a few weeks back about what that percentage should be. Easton Archery, in their years of testing and research suggest that the best percentage of FOC for your arrows should be 10-15%. Visit their website and our previous article to better understand what that percentage means:

https://eastonarchery.com/2014/06/foc/
https://pro-tracker.com/foc/

Understanding FOC is only half of the battle. Applying it can be complicated and expensive. A simple solution would be to go from 100 grain tips to 150 grain tips. This doesn’t allow for much in the way of fine tuning however, and will only get you so far. Some will replace their plastic veins with feather while others will use heavier brass inserts in their shafts. There are some ready made arrows that are tuneable and effective at getting you to the desired FOC percentage, but they are expensive.

You’re probably thinking, “Well, this is all fine and good, but I don’t want to buy all new arrows or change the ones that I have, just to have to re-tune my entire setup.” Here is where we have the ultimate solution.

The Bad Boys™ by Pro-Tracker Archery are an easy to use FOC adjustment product. They are compatible with your current bow and arrow setup, and they don’t require you to re-sight or re-tune your bow. They simply slide onto the front of the shaft, directly behind your chosen field tip or broadhead, then are ready to shoot. They come in sizes ranging from 100 grains to 400 grains, meaning that you can pick the size that will work for you and your current setup. Additionally, because they are an outsert on your arrow shaft, they will protect your arrow from impacts that would normally cause them to crack or be otherwise damaged.

Check them out here and if you have any questions, please reach out at info@pro-tracker.com.

Prepare the Shot

Go through the motions of shooting a big buck to prepare the shot.

We’ve talked in previous weeks about how to prepare the shot on a big buck in the off-season. This time, we want to give you some tips on how you can prepare while you wait for him in the tree stand. These tips were inspired by Weekend Woodsmen on YouTube, check their original video out here: https://youtu.be/UVMsZ8aWbDU

Preparation is key in hunting. A good hunter will scout, manage food and practice in the off-season to prepare for opening day. That preparation continues right up to the trigger pull.

Get Comfortable

The first thing you should do to prepare the shot is; get comfortable. Catch your breath from the hike in and the climb up the stand. Relax and get ready to hurry up and wait. Chances are, you’re going to be up there for a while, so take your time. Get your bearings and shoo off any jitters that would cause you to miss a shot.

Range the Area

Range your surroundings to prepare the shot.

As soon as you’ve gotten comfortable, look around and guess at the ranges around your stand. Identify markers like trees, bushes or other nearby landmarks and guess how far away they are. Only after you have guessed at these points, should you get out your range finder to see how accurate your guesses were. This will do two things for you:

First, it will allow you to closely estimate how far your buck is when you’re ready to draw. Meaning that you won’t have to fumble with your range finder while you should be sighting in on your animal. Second, it will teach you how to better estimate distances. If you’re like most hunters, you’ll have plenty of time in the stand to distance your entire area.

Go Through the Motions

A crucial exercise that you should practice is going through the motions on non-shooter deer. When a deer comes into range, go through all of the same motions that you would on a big buck, minus pulling the trigger. This will do many things for you: It will help you see if you’re too easy to be flagged, it will let you practice your technique in drawing and sighting on a live animal, and it will calm the nerves when the big buck comes.

Accessories

We at Pro-Tracker Archery sell products that will help you to prepare the shot even further. By using the Bad Boys™ to increase your arrows FOC and the Pro-Tracker System to track your wounded game, and our premium high-quality arrows, your chances of a successful hunt will increase dramatically. Check them out here: https://pro-tracker.com

Prepare the shot in these ways and you will be prepared to make the killing shot on your animal. That way, you won’t be caught off guard when the time comes. Good luck and happy hunting!