There's a lot to learn and I think you are doing the right thing by asking for advice. Here's a few.
1) Know your distance; shooting 45# a few yards will make a difference. Take some flag tape and pace off you yard and mark it.
2) Carry at least one rope two is better to get you gear in the tree with you.
3) Set your stand where you have good cover around and behind you. With bow hunting being able to see off is not really that good, it is far better that the deer can not see you.
4) Only carry the items you really need, don't look like a chuck wagon going to the stand.
5) Carry a small saw or better yet a leatherman that has a saw built in. You will need it.
6) When in your stand hunting, hunt. Stay alert and keep scanning the woods. I tend to focus more on movement than anything. Many times you will catch a leg move or an ear twitch as the first sign a deer is close.
7) Timing is everything. It's hard to say when is the best time to prepare to shoot when a deer is approaching. I generally will let them come in a little (not close) but enough where I can see what direction they are looking and how many there are before I get ready for the shot.
When to draw back is also important. Obviously you have to do it when they can't see you. That is where the cover comes into play mentioned earlier. Pull back to soon and you may not be able to hold for the shot, pull too late and they may get through before your ready. The best is just before the step into your shooting lane. Stop the deer before you shoot but grunting.
8) When aiming I find it helps me to find the front leg with the pin and then come up to a point right behind it.
9) When a deer comes in you can move at a speed in relation to the speed the deer is moving without being seen. As a deer moves, their view of the woods is moving, just like when driving down the road the scenery is constantly changing it is the same for a deer. If he is walking slowly you can slowly move without being noticed. If he is running you can dance a jig and not be seen. If a deer is at dead stop, unless he is looking the opposite direction, don't move at all. Only move when the deer moves.
10) It helps me be ready for that moment of truth if I sit in the stand and think through in detail some of my past successful hunts. If you don't have that to think about try to think through what will happen with it being a live deer and not a target.
11) I have a count that I go through on the shot. Bow up, draw, lock in. find leg with pin, steady, squeeze, follow arrow with aiming eye.
12) Don't outsmart yourself; take your first good shot.
For now the last thing to remember: to you it's a sport, to the deer it's survival can you match that intensity?
Last edited by Buckshot; 09-29-2008 at 10:45 AM.