Filson Life guest blogger, Michael Lee, is a dedicated bow-hunter and host of Backwoods Life TV, an outdoor hunting program which airs weekly on the Pursuit Channel. When it comes to hunting, Lee is an expert marksman and all around genius of the sport - which is why he can perfectly explain to you the “sins” of bow hunting. Now I’m not about to go down the list and tell you all of the right things to do while bow hunting, instead let’s take this as a chance to look at some of the wrong things. Trust me over the years I’ve had a lot of goof- ups while bow hunting. So here is what I like to call the “sins” of bow hunting. The first “sin” is not having your equipment ready. How many of you wait until the weekend before bow season to get your bow out of the closet? As a bow hunter you wouldn’t ever think to do this, but as I found working at an archery shop, there are a lot of people guilty of this. Many hunters would come into the shop a week before archery season looking for new strings, cables, arrows, broad heads, and even limbs! Now there is nothing wrong with that, but some of these folks expected miracles that just cannot happen. My point being with this “sin” is to keep your equipment in working shape all year long so you won’t have to worry about it come opening day. Now that we’ve discussed keeping your equipment in good shape, it’s time to address the second “sin.” How many of you wait until a week before the season to start shooting? For many, we wait due to the heat or we’re busy with the kids starting school and in my case, trying to get my permission slip to hunt again! Your body needs to practice as much as you need the mental preparation of shooting at an animal. You create muscle memory through repetition and improve your body condition, so when that moment of truth comes, you are ready to make the shot. Remember to practice with your hunting gear on as well and if you use a range finder, be sure to use one while practicing. Alright, you have made it through the first two “sins”. Are you stacking up well so far? The next “sin” is stand maintenance. This is the most important topic that I will cover so please heed these words with your life. One of the scariest things I have ever experienced in the woods is almost falling from a stand. I was sent to a ladder stand and everything appeared to be fine. It was tied to the tree and made of sturdy metal. I climb up and sit down on the seat; now I am pushing the 250 lb. mark and standing 6’3” tall, I am not what you call light on your feet! So when my rear end hit that seat, the stand started to buckle under me. Luckily the ladder caught on a knot in the tree to stop the stand. Needless to say, I slid down that ladder and kissed the ground. Folks, the most important words I can tell you are to test out all of your stands thoroughly before you climb up and ALWAYS wear a safety harness. If you follow these few tips and eliminate the “sins” of bow hunting, you will be a better hunter and it may show up on your trophy room wall!