Project Bowhunter: 5 things all beginner bowhunters should know

When Leigh Matthews first picked up a bow three years ago, he had no hunting experience. The Australian was looking for a new hobby, when a colleague suggested archery. A few months, a Diamond Infinite Edge bow and some YouTube tutorials later the archery had evolved into bowhunting. Now he runs Project Bowhunter, where he helps beginner archers avoid the mistakes he made. Here he shares some of the things he wished he'd known before starting out - as well as the advice he'd give others:

Getting up at 3am is easy

“When my alarm goes off at 6am to go to work I hit the snooze button 3 or 4 times. But if it’s set for 3am to go hunting, I’m usually awake before the alarm, full of energy. Being out in nature and enjoying life is all the motivation I need, but the adrenaline rush of being face to face with a finely tuned animal like a deer makes bowhunting an obsession for me.”


Buy good equipment from the start

“Bowhunting has been one of the most difficult things I have attempted but also the most satisfying. So go all in and buy quality gear from the start. There are very affordable options for beginners but you will outshoot this equipment very quickly and spend more money, time and effort in the long run. Do it right the first time.”


Getting access to hunting land is hard

“Here in Australia the majority of hunting is done on private land. The problem is that the good hunting areas are very difficult to gain access to. The majority of land owners are not accepting of new people onto their land.  State forests are available for hunting in some states but a lot of those lands are lacking game.”


Seek information from the professionals – not your friends

“Before you start out, research! I don’t mean ask a bowhunting forum or your best mate – despite their good intentions most people have a narrow band of experience and shot only 2 or 3 bows. They will have a favourite and this will be their reasoning behind the information they share.  My top tip is to seek your information from the professionals. Your first move should be finding a good pro shop, then find some quality sources of professional knowledge and learn.”


You’ll find a new drive in life

“There are far too many benefits of bowhunting to list. For me, it has given me a new drive in my life. It gets me out of bed early. It gets me in the gym when I’m tired or when I’m sore. It’s made me research and appreciate the wild places that exists on this planet.  In the end I feel it’s made me become a better human being. And… the meat taste incredible!”

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