Do you walk in with an arrow knocked??

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by minnesotahunter, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. minnesotahunter

    minnesotahunter Weekend Warrior

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    So, it is a big pain in the *** to walk with an arrow knocked. I agree. My stands are looong walks, which makes it even worse. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don't. A few weeks ago, I was walking in and came upon 2 does that bounded out in front of me, and stopped just long enough that I could have shot if I had an arrow knocked.

    In this case, it didn't matter. The rut activity was Hot, and I wasn't hunting for does that day. I like to leave the does alone until late season.

    Anyway, ... Is it worth HUNDREDS or THOUSANDS of uncomfortable walks in and out over years of hunting for that once in a lifetime opportunity that may never come.??

    What do you do?

    Thanks
     
  2. Drop_Tine5214

    Drop_Tine5214 Weekend Warrior

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    Those rare times that deer present a shot while walking in don't happen enough to justify the pain of walking in with an arrow nocked, let alone the safety concern. I have heard of guys walking in with an arrow nocked and falling over and stabbing themselves. Probably doesn't happen too much but always a possibility. I have walked to a stand hundreds of times in my life, and only once, maybe twice, could I have shot at a deer if I had an arrow nocked. If someone had a whisker buscuit, it may be a little less annoying but you still have to worry about the arrow catching on brush and whatnot.
     
  3. Fitz

    Fitz Administrator

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    I usually do nock one when I head in during shooting light. Depends on my stand location, the time (if I'm running late) and conditions. I'm more likely to do it if it's windy out, upping the odds that I may get close to a bedded deer.

    FTR, I have a Ripcord rest, so it's pretty easy on me.
     
  4. Finch

    Finch Grizzled Veteran

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    Yes, my arrow is always nocked when I am in the woods. Obviously, when I'm walking in/out and it's dark, then no, no arrow is nocked. I try to always be prepared to shoot a deer.
     
  5. minnesotahunter

    minnesotahunter Weekend Warrior

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    Right... I didn't think of the buscuit. That would make it somewhat nicer. Still a 2 handed job though. I figure if I am going through the trouble of walking in knocked, I am going to be hooked up to the string also. Then all you have to do is pull and shoot without ever taking your eyes off the deer. The couple times a quick shot presented itself, there would not have been time to put on my release before the shot.

    For me it's two hands on the bow with release attached or arrow in the quiver.
     
  6. selfbros

    selfbros Die Hard Bowhunter

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    yes the 2nd hunt this season I decided to hunt mid day and only a few steps into the forest I saw moment ahead, after a few carefully placed steps I was 20 yards broadside of a small 1 1/2 year old buck. it was tempting to send an arrow at his, as he deserved it with me being able to that, but he's not what I'm after as a hunter. that is one of those rare moments that happens to us as hunters, and yet he could have been a monster 5 year old. You never can tell but it's nice to be prepared.
     
  7. sycamoretwitch

    sycamoretwitch Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Interesting question - I walk to and from my stand in a creek bed. I walked up on a doe earlier this year standing about 10 yards from me in the creek. Since then I have had an arrow knocked in most cases - especially if I get done hunting and am walking around checking cameras.

    Often times - I have trouble staying on stand past 10 a.m. - so I usually check my cameras on the way back to the truck. In doing so, I Have an arrow knocked just in case.
     
  8. gutone4me

    gutone4me Grizzled Veteran

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    NO never and NO
     
  9. rybo

    rybo Grizzled Veteran

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    Almost never. The ONLY time is when I am going behind my house after work, I'll nock an arrow cause thte walk is small, and I've walked right up on deer before(never while actually hunting though, I think they know)
    IF I am walking in during daylight hours to a normal hunting place & the rut it on, I will at least have my release on. But that's about it.
     
  10. jmbuckhunter

    jmbuckhunter Grizzled Veteran

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    Nope my bow is in a pole mountain bow shield to protect it from the limbs, sticks, briars, snow and whatever else is lurking out there to disable it. I'm not hunting until I'm in the stand, until then I'm stalking my stand.
     
  11. Spear

    Spear Grizzled Veteran

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    I don't nock an arrow in the morning because it's pitch black and there's no point. If I go out for an evening hunt (which is rare because I don't get much time for evening hunts) I do nock one, but I also only have 150 yards to walk from my truck to my stand on my property.
     
  12. cls74

    cls74 Grizzled Veteran

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    If it's legal time and I still have a tag I have an arrow knocked. I don't have to go through tangles or thick stuff, walk in on mainly 4 wheeler paths. I've had several instances where I've turned the corner and had deer out. I've never gotten the opportunity, but the one time I'm not ready is when a shot will present itself. I never have it nocked while raising/lowering or climbing up and down ladder stands.
     
  13. Slider46

    Slider46 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    In my opinion, if you don't have time or the opportunity (meaning cover to hide behind) to nock an arrow, you don't have time to make an ethical shot.
     
  14. Nick_P

    Nick_P Weekend Warrior

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    my dad and i were once sitting on a walking trail after a morning hunt taking a breather and talking and had a deer round the corner of the trail only 20yds away. Had i not been sitting on my butt with my climber on and no arrow nocked i would have had a perfect opportunity. So yes now i do nock an arrow sometimes when walking to or from the stand.
     
  15. cls74

    cls74 Grizzled Veteran

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    I don't agree with this, but I may not fully understand what you are saying. You don't have to have cover to be ethical, you just have to have a high percentage shot. I've walked up on a few deer, without weapon or when I'm not going to shoot, and they didn't have a clue I was there. I was never in cover or seeked it, I stopped and either stood there or crouched and watched them continue on. It's the ones I'm trying to sneak up on that always bust me out it seems.
     
  16. Slider46

    Slider46 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I'll rephrase.

    Here's what I'm thinking on this topic (which is walking in/out of the woods). If you're just walking and come upon a deer, there's a good chance that the deer is going to hear/see/smell you coming. I'm talking just walking to or from your spot - not sneaking, not still hunting. Now this deer either hears something or sees movement and is on high alert or ready to bolt. Shooting at that animal is not ethical, not to mention you'd probably get busted on the draw so there's no point in having an arrow nocked.

    While some scenarios do happen where the situation is perfect and while walking you come upon a deer that doesn't know you're there (like over a rise - deer hasn't seen you, when it's raining/sleeting/windy - deer hasn't heard you) I find that they happen so infrequently that it's not practical to have an arrow nocked.

    Sneaking is a different story. If you sneak in and out of the woods specifically because you may run into something on the way, then of course it makes sense to nock an arrow. That's more still-hunting than walking though. My response is relating to walking/traveling through the woods.

    On a side note - i've been busted more times while sneaking than while just walking normally to my spot. I've walked past deer in a field, in shooting range on my way out at night and they don't spook. If I sneak past them it seems they actually notice it and perceive it as danger. I think it's a prey instinct.
     
  17. bwebb2

    bwebb2 Weekend Warrior

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    I do now. In the first week of November I was about 20 yards from my stand when 2 giants chased a hot doe by me. They were running full steam but they came by at less than 10 yards. I will always wonder if I could have stopped and shot one of them if I had an arrow ready to fly. It was one of those once in a lifetime what if situations.
     
  18. Schultzy

    Schultzy Grizzled Veteran

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    It's kinda Ironic you make this thread. On Thanksgiving day after I got home from work I got out right before It started to snow (2ish). I wanted to move a trail camera so I took one down that I had on a mock scrape and placed It 50 yards south of the stand I was going to hunt this particular evening. I found the tree I wanted to put It In. While trying to get my piece of **** Bushnell trail camera to turn on (It don't turn on very well at times) I had heard a slight noise of leaves to the south not very far away. I Ignored It and kept trying to turn this damn thing on. I heard It again so I figured I'd better look. There stands what looked to be a mid 120's to 130 chocolate 8 or 10 pointer. He's at 18 to 20 yards looking the other way broadside. My recurve was laying against a tree about 2 feet away. I slowly grabbed my bow as I knew he'd bust soon or see me as my wind was blowing directly at him. There was one hole to shoot through In the brush. His lungs were the hole. Just before I started to take an arrow out of my quiver he catches my wind and fly's out of there. If I would've had an arrow nocked things might have been different.
     
  19. bowsie15

    bowsie15 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I do now all the time last year my first buck I shot with a bow was on the way out of the woods he gave me enuff time to knock one and shoot. Once in a lifetime opportunity and prob won't happen again better safe than sorry knock one.
     
  20. bauer6

    bauer6 Weekend Warrior

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    I always have an arrow knocked when walking to my stands.
     

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