Focusing on Your Body, Mind, and Equipment with Levi Morgan

Archery Tips | Off-Season” Improvements for Archers

If you’re a bow hunter or tournament archer, you know that both take constant commitment. While most hunting seasons may be over, it’s our responsibility as sportsmen to stay motivated and on top of our game throughout the off-season. Why? For archers and hunters, there is no off-season and the one constant variable that needs to be maintained is ourselves. There is constant work to be done to engage the three most vital aspects of archery and bow hunting, your body, your mind, and your equipment. Every element affects your shot, don’t leave anything to chance…

The Only Option Mathews Inc. Levi Morgan has dominated the archery tournament scene for over a decade, claiming 10 consecutive ASA (Archery Shooter’s Association) Shooter of the Year titles, 7 IBO (International Bowhunter’s Organization) Triple-Crown Championships, and 5 IBO World Championships, among other titles, making him the most decorated archer of this century.

When my hunting season ends, I go straight into tournament season. I have to be at the top of my game, so if anything, my season ramps back up in the off-season”. I must have a constant commitment to my equipment, my mind, and my body. While you may or may not operate at the same intensity, what I’m focusing on now can help you for tournament season or next year’s hunting seasons. Whether you’re a competitive archer or a diehard bow hunter, take the information and archery tips below seriously.

Your Body

Within the last 6 years my efforts towards staying fit have taken a more intensive approach, spending more time than ever at the gym. These sessions are archery and bow hunting specific workouts focusing on the most important parts of the body in those respects. You should focus on the 4 muscle groups below as I do regardless of tournament or hunting season.
  • Back Arguably one of the most important parts of the body for you as an archer and hunter. This is where I typically start. Wide-grip lat pulldowns, bodyweight pull-ups, and standing T-bar row allow me to strengthen my back. Doing multiple reps and holding for a second or two after each rep helps me build stamina. This helps me to steady the bow at full draw.
  • Shoulders This is where most injuries occur in archery. I typically focus on mobility, not lifting heavy to avoid potential injury. Side lateral raises, dumbbell shoulder press, and the Arnold press allows me to keep my shoulders healthy and strong, without abusing them. This approach will increase my longevity while helping me maintain shoulder maneuverability.
  • Core/Cardio These two together are vital for aiming and shooting, especially in bow hunting scenarios or outdoor tournaments where footing is inconsistent. Weighted crunches, hanging leg lifts, and planks allow me to keep my core strong for those uphill and downhill shots. While working on my core, I typically keep my heart rate at 150- 160 for around 20 minutes. This heightened heart rate is where I can expect it to be with at the moment of truth whether that may be a big buck or high-stress tournament situation.
  • Triceps This muscle group’s importance is dependent upon an archer’s form. The more bend in the bow arm at full draw, the more strength they need in their triceps. I try and take the bend out of my arm while shooting, while also strengthening my triceps with triceps pushdowns, dips, and close grip barbell bench press. In combination, I end up with less stress on my triceps each shot and better stamina.

Your Mind

During open hunting seasons or tournament season, time is a constant demand. The demands of the hunting season alone can sometimes leave our practice regimen lacking and take its toll on shooting form and accuracy. Staying on top of this is based on your motivation and your drive. During this critical time, make time to shoot your bow and maintain confidence in your shooting form.
  • Film Your Practice With every cell phone and tablet equipped with a high definition video camera it’s easier now more than ever to film yourself during a practice session. Setup a camera to film your shooting form. This allows you to go back and review the footage. Having the ability to identify issues with your form, release, and follow through quickly and make adjustments to the issues before they become a bad habit. Watch yourself throughout the draw, anchor, shot, and follow through. Also look for problems in the shot cycle, be sure to pay attention to the smallest details.
  • Practice How You Hunt There’s an age-old adage that you play like you practice, and it holds true for archery and hunting. When hunting from an elevated stand, make sure you make shots from a stand during your practice. If you hunt from a blind and plan to hunt sitting in a blind chair, make sure you practice that setup. Practice standing at a yardage line, shooting straight at targets to help you develop form and confidence. Keep in mind that this isn’t consistent with hunting situations. Spot and stalk hunters need practice from kneeling positions and practice making a shot after crawling or sitting for periods of time. Tree stand hunters need to practice extreme angles. This can and should be done in practice similar to a real hunting situation. Make the time you put into shooting count, quality practice will build a quality archer.
  • Develop a Repeatable Anchor Work to develop a smooth and efficient draw during your practice sessions and bring that draw to a clean and repeatable anchor. It is key to your accuracy to develop an anchor, often using multiple anchor points to draw to. Being able to have the same anchor time and time again will help you develop muscle memory and it will go a long way to making the shot count when you have an opportunity under pressure. The critical aspects of the anchor consist of how your hand fits the release, how your hand touches your face, and how the string touches your face. Developing a three-point anchor that you can consistently duplicate time and time again is critical to your accuracy.

  • Shoot One Arrow Shooting only one arrow will force you to slow down and make each shot count. Take your time and concentrate on the draw, the anchor, and the target one arrow at a time. When you shoot only one arrow and walk to retrieve that arrow after each shot, you force yourself to concentrate on each shot and make it count. One arrow practice sessions can really help strengthen your mental game. The one-shot technique forces me to slow down and focus on all the aspects of the draw, anchor, target, shot, and follow through. Practicing with only one arrow is also much like hunting, you have to make that one arrow count when the shot presents itself on a hunt. This one arrow practice session makes me focus on the only thing I can really control, myself.

Your Equipment

The easiest thing to optimize is your equipment…not your mind, not your body, but your equipment. Whether it’s tweaking cams, trying new releases, or adjusting bow sights, your gear should be spot on without excuse. Your body and mind is your base, but your gear should be a dependable tool through which your body and mind operate. Here are just some of the things I work on during the off-season to make sure my gear is operating at its best.
  • Bow Maintenance Just after hunting season, it’s a good starting point to run through a quick checklist. This list should include: string condition, cam alignment, looking for any rust or corrosion, and checking for any loosened fasteners. Having a qualified bow technician you trust to give your bow a once-over is a great idea, as they might also be able to recommend improvements that you can adjust and work through during the winter and spring months. If you feel like your bow is perfect, it happens every once in a while, make sure you write it down! That absolutely perfect setup should be recorded for future setups. This is especially true before you go and adjust your equipment or get a new bow.

  • Arrow Choice Choosing the right arrow for your bow setup will be dependent on what you’re hunting. Making a change in the arrow you shoot doesn’t make sense during an open hunting season, but during the off-season you have the freedom to experiment with other options. Consider changes in arrow diameter, arrow spine, and arrow weight within the capabilities of what your bow is designed to handle. Trying different fletching types, nocks, and point weights to see what shoots best from your bow. Be sure to mark each shaft with a unique identifier so problem shafts can be eliminated. When you find that ideal arrow setup…again take record of it.

  • Release Type Being an effective and accurate archer is more complex than you might expect at first glance. A lot depends on one single piece of equipment, especially when it comes to accuracy and repetition. Making sure you’re using the right release could be a game changer going into next year’s hunting season. If you’re curious to try a new brand or even a new type of release, now is the time! There are four types of releases: index finger, thumb trigger, back tension, and resistance activated. If you’re curious which release fits you best and is most accurate in your hands, then use this off-season to fine-tune the right release for you. Be sure to consider your hunting and shooting conditions when you’re evaluating releases. Do you hunt cold weather and wear gloves? Do you spot and stock, elevating the risk of losing a release not attached to your wrist? Make sure you consider all aspects of the hunt before you decide on a release.
  • Broadhead Choice One of the key components in bow hunting is the broadhead. It’s the first piece of your equipment to come in contact with the trophy you’re pursuing. A hunter’s broadhead must be accurate, rugged, sharp, and most of all deadly. Making changes in broadhead choices is best done between big game seasons when you have time to properly evaluate and tune your bow. Any broadhead you shoot must be proven and deliver confidence in repetitive lethal hits.
  • Bow Sight One thing a lot of guys change during the off-season is their bow sight. There are many brands and types of bow sights on the market, and every year a new model comes out. Some shooters prefer various pins from 7 all the way down to 1, this is the time of year to find what best fits your ability, equipment, and hunting style. Don’t neglect your peep sight when you’re considering your bow sight equipment and any changes. The peep is a small part of your setup, but it’s critical. Consider the size of the peep and the amount of light it allows in. Is this the time to consider adding a peep with magnification if you’re having trouble focusing on your pins? Make sure you at least consider your front and back sight choices and if a change might help you in the field.

  • Stabilizer Changes to your bow stabilizer can change the balance and torque at the shot. Every archer shoots differently and as a result, each individual bow and shooter require their own balance ratio. I set my balance ratio by observing how much pressure I put on the back of the bow. Essentially the harder I pull, the more weight I need on the front bar. If you have a very light front bar on a high let-off setup and you pull hard on the backend of the bow, your pin will simply float wildly and an accurate shot will prove very difficult to make. This suggests where to add weight to balance the bow. So it’s not a one fits all mentality. Analyze what type of shooter you’re before worrying about stabilizing your bow.

The time between hunting seasons is the perfect time to get in quality practice. Think outside the box and make each practice session valuable and applicable to the game you hunt and methods you use. Focus on each arrow, each draw, every anchor, and follow through to develop accuracy and consistency. Focusing on your body, your mind, and your equipment will keep you at the top of your game.

Levi Morgan’s Aggressive Whitetail Hunting Tactics

Bow Hunting Tactics | Aggressive Whitetail Hunting

I love the entire whitetail hunting process. From sitting in the deer stand to the never-ending battle searching for that mature buck, whitetail hunting has been at the forefront of my archery career. This passion has led me on hunts from Ohio to Oklahoma, Pennsylvania to Kansas, and throughout the whitetail’s range. However, this type of fast-paced hunting doesn’t come without its challenges. Participating in this type of run and gun” style hunting in several states requires a special type of aggression. When I show up to a new property or hunting lease, it often means I only have seven days to hunt. That’s only seven days to scout, plan, and execute a strategy. That doesn’t leave time for error. That is why I have to get aggressive with my bow hunting tactics.

Aggressive Tactics V.S. Season Long Tactics

The tactics for a quick hunt differs significantly from year-long investments you might make on your personal hunting property. With these quick hunts, you don’t have time to sit back and plan over the course of the off-season. You can’t be patient to the point of planning for weeks and wait for the right conditions to go hunt a particular buck. This means making mistakes is quite easy but disastrous once they are made. Being aggressive is important, but being too aggressive can push a deer off of the property. This deer may not return for weeks, a sudden end to a limited hunt.

Therefore, although I’ve found success going hard after these deer, I’ve also found the need to be patient and smart. Just like any whitetail hunt, you are going to have to find time to prepare and scout, while being able to capitalize on any opportunity you can.
When planning, keep in mind that every whitetail hunt is different. Factors such as weather, wind, time of year, food sources, and property details can dictate how to run an aggressive hunt. However, there are a few core principles that can always improve the odds of success in the field. These include:
  • Relying on your cameras
  • Observing information before acting
  • Being smart about access points
  • Choosing the right times to be aggressive

We smoked the oldest deer on the farm here in Illinois! He was a shooter 4 years ago and we’ve never gotten a daylight picture or seen this deer since! At 1:30 yesterday we saw him slipping through the thick stuff! Hit him with a grunt….he started ripping a tree apart! One snort wheeze later he walked a straight line to our tree and the big 7″ is dead … he has been a ghost and I really can’t believe it!

Utilize Cameras

When jumping from property to property, especially in different states, rely on your cameras to do the scouting for you. This is obvious to most hunters but it seems like the finer details to successful camera scouting can evade most hunters. When you reach a property, be sure to grab the cards, analyze your property’s history, and start determining what activity is happening where. This will be your best resource when analyzing deer quality, activity times, and locations. Writing detailed notes and mapping out these activities can reveal patterns to capitalize on.
Preparation is key! Put in the time, work on yourself, use the best equipment, and know and understand your equipment! That is the recipe for success in this game! Happy hunting everybody!
However, when doing this, it’s important to not be careless. Putting too much pressure on a core area once it’s identified can push your deer out of the area altogether. So how can you avoid this? By setting up your camera in easily accessible areas. Ideally, these are areas where you can pull your cards in the middle of the day. This helps you become as least intrusive as possible, but also lets you pick up on patterns in easy to hunt areas!
Therefore, a good place to start is on food. By setting your camera up over food, you’re able to get an inventory of how many deer are feeding, where they’re filtering into the field, and when they start to leave/enter. This also keeps excessive pressure away from core areas.
In addition, being able to access your cameras with a vehicle, rather than by foot, is also beneficial. Deer tend to relate humans to danger more than they do with vehicles. Therefore, being able to access your cameras by vehicle can present a large advantage or collecting cards by foot.
That’s why I often hunt the edges of a field and avoid bedding areas as much as possible. This helps keep the deer on the property rather than pushing them off immediately. Deer that get booted may not return to the same area for over a week or two (or even permanently). The goal is to keep the deer as comfortable and avoid letting him know you’re there.
If you do choose to set up a camera in a bedding area, be careful how often (if at all) you check it during the hunt. By limiting commotion in the bedding areas, you‘re increasing the odds of keeping your deer on the property.

Setup Observation Stands

If the cameras don’t show any promise, be sure to set up observation stands. My goal with hunting observation stands is in an effort to cover as much ground as possible. This means being able to see far. Don’t be afraid to put your time in scouting, despite how tough it may seem (especially with only seven days to execute).
Once you have a deer dialed in, make sure to put in the time you can and move when the weather and conditions are right (as right as they can be for a seven day period that is).

Watch Where You Access

You must also be careful of where you access your property. Keep in mind that bucks will pattern you just as much as you pattern them. Therefore, accessing the property without getting noticed is key to limiting pressure and having a successful hunt.
This also means using vehicles when possible (rather than walking) and avoiding critical areas as much as possible. There have been times when I’ve sat in a stand at night waiting for over an hour for a vehicle ride. This is to avoid pressuring the deer off the property when leaving.

Choose the Right Times

It’s important to choose the right time to go in after a buck. Choosing the right time means being aware of the weather and the time of year. Throughout my hunts, I’ve found sunny, high-pressure days to be the most successful. One of the biggest weather variables to monitor is wind. Make sure to play the wind like you would any other hunt. Try to execute when it looks like it’s going to be as right as it can be.
In 7 days it’s hard to be picky, but if I can I will be smart about when I go in. If I know of a buck’s core area, I may only hunt the outskirts for the majority of the trip, going into the area on the best day only to improve my odds.

Putting it Together

Short whitetail trips require a different level of preparation and aggression than home-based hunting. While the principles and information are the same as bow hunting tactics we follow throughout the season on a property at home, the level needs to be taken to the next level on a hunting trip. There is no break to let the property, the deer, or a tree stand rest. Each move has to be calculated and optimized for the highest likelihood of success.
Keeping it simple by avoiding over-pressuring deer, choosing non-intrusive access points, relying on your cameras for scouting, and making the move when it’s smart to do so. It’s also good to have stands in place early in the year. Cameras should be out year around and you should be keeping a history of the activity and patterns on the property if possible. This might mean trips in the off-season, or a local contact doing some of the work for you.
Aggressive whitetail tactics are often needed for bow hunting, but especially required for out of state trips. Speeding up the normal process of season long scouting, planning, and executing in just a few short days is an aggressive tactic in itself. The added tactic of moving into a core area quickly can be considered overly intrusive, but might be the only way to harvest a buck in 7 days!

The Archery Tip No One Knows | Tuning Arrows Before Fletching

The Archery Tip No One Knows

This is an archery tip that not many people know about. Sure everyone knows about why you should tune your arrows, and how to fletch an arrow, but rarely have I heard about tuning arrows before fletching is applied. This tip should help you become a better archer and bow hunter.

I start by bare shaft tuning my bow, then the next thing I do before I fletch my arrows is take that arrow and shoot it into the target. The idea here is that I can see the natural launch of the arrow out of the bow. If the arrow launches out of the bow left, then I will fletch it with a left helical. If the bow launches the arrow right, then I will fletch the arrow with a right helical. This fletches with the natural launch of the arrow, creating a lot more forgiving bow setup.

If you don’t do this, and fletch on the wrong side of the arrow, you will tend to get a knuckleball effect. Say you have an arrow with a natural left launch, but fletch it with a right helical. The arrow will immediately launch left, but will have to correct itself in flight to the right. In that process the arrow could have a lot more movement, throwing off its flight and destination on target.

This is one archery tip that I don’t know if anyone knows. One thing is for certain, this tip could help you become a better shot! For more of my archery tips and archery videos visit the bow blog, my YouTube channel, or archery fit section of

Podcast with Levi Morgan | Becoming a Better Archer and Deer Hunter 

Archery and Bow Hunting Tips with Levi Morgan

Mark Kenyon of the Wired to Hunt Podcast recently invited me as a guest on his podcast. I had a great time talking about several topics related to becoming a better archer and deer hunter, as well as a variety of bow hunting and archery tips. Click below to listen to the podcast!

Here is what we covered in the podcast, check out the archery videos I have added for some of the topics:

  • My history and upbringing in tournament archery
  • My 2017 hunting season
  • My thoughts on transitioning from whitetail hunting to western and adventure hunting
  • My mountain goat hunt in British Columbia
  • The lessons I learned and biggest mistakes I made in the 2017 bow hunting season
  • My hunt for Boswell

Bow Hunting and Archery Tips

  • String jumpers and my experiences in 2017
  • My mental process of encountering mature bucks · Tips for archery target panic – VIDEO: Target Panic
  • My tips for archery practice
  • My tips for improving archery form
  • Taking detailed measurements for the perfect bow setup – Video: Bow Setup
  • My advice for achieving the proper arrow setup – Video: Arrow Spine
  • My favorite bow releases and broadheads – Video: Bow Releases

Post Season Bow Hunting Gear Care

Post Season Bow Hunting Gear Inventory and Storage

The thrill of the chase has come to an end and spring will be here before you know it. For many bow hunters it is time to pack away bow hunting gear for storage during the off-season. For other bow hunters and competitive shooters, it may be just the opposite. This is the time to get some practice in and adjust/tweak your gear to perform better. Whatever the case, the winter months provide time to properly adjust, maintain and care for your bow hunting gear.

Bow Hunting Gear “To Do List”

Frayed strings, rusty bolts and screws, soured clothing, moldy backpacks…if you want to avoid any of these problems follow the “to do list” below.



Like most hunters, at the end of the season you will have gear scattered in a multitude of places; your vehicle, in the laundry room, gear bags, rubber tubs, and the floor in your gear room. To start the task at hand, you will need to designate a place to gather all those items in one place!  


While you have all of your gear in one place take inventory of what you have and what needs to be replaced or repaired. This is also the perfect time to take advantage of the end of season sales in big box stores and online. Look to replace any batteries or worn out gear.  Also, inspect your safety equipment, your stands, your arrows, and of course your bow. Take notes and create a list of items that need attention.

Method and Area of Storage

Preparing a permanent hunting gear storage area, away from direct sunlight, heat, or dampness will ensure that your gear will be ready for next season with little effort. Carbon lined or ozone-generating boxes are great options for storage. A simple and affordable Rubbermaid box will suffice and is stackable so you can store clothes and gear by season. It is important that your storage container has a sealable lid to keep any scents from permeating the gear inside. Storing with earth scented dryer sheets, scent wafers, or natural fiber such as dry cedar chips or pine twigs can add a good cover scent.


Wash and dry all clothing, base layers, mid layers and outer layers with scent-destroying detergent and dryer sheets. For heavier items, line drying is recommended. Fold each piece for storage in a scent-proof gear bag or large sealing tub. Include socks, gloves, beanies, and caps.


Often hunters will splurge in investing in good hunting boots, after all, boots are one of the most important components of hunting gear. Inspect your boots for splits, cracks, worn insoles, and replace if necessary. Rubber footwear should be brushed off and wiped down with a damp cloth. Remove insoles for inspection, replace if needed, spray boots inside and out with scent destroying spray and allow to air dry. Do not use soaps or chemicals on rubber boots; chemicals over time can break down the rubber. Leather boots should be brushed off removing mud and debris, and wiped down with a damp cloth. Inspect the insoles and use scent destroying spray inside and out, allowing them to air dry. After the boots have dried completely, use a good leather conditioner with weatherproofing to condition and store the boots.


Empty your backpack out completely, all pockets, and shake out any dirt and debris that may have ended up inside it. If necessary, wipe down the interior with a damp cloth. Brush off any mud and wipe down any areas that may have dirt or stains. Store the backpack empty making it easy to pack for storage.

Small Hunting Gear and Accessories

Small hunting gear like ratchet clippers, tow ropes, knives, screw-in hooks, or any other gear needs to be stored. All liquids should be discarded and purchased fresh the next season, especially any animal urine or estrus. This includes scent destroying sprays because many of these sprays only have a 3 to 6-month shelf life of effectiveness after opening. Binoculars need to be wiped down and stored in the products original case or directly in the storage method.

Deer Calls

Any mouth calls that you have used during the season needs to be wiped down and completely dried before storing to keep bacteria from building up and deteriorating or locking up the working parts such as latex and rubber rings on reeds.  


Remove batteries from all electronics you do not plan to use until next season such as GPS units, rangefinders, flashlights, scent dispersing units, and game cameras to deter from possible battery corrosion, damaging and rendering the product useless.  

Caring For Your Bow

Wipe down the riser, limbs, and cams of your compound bow or the stock, fore-end, and limbs of your crossbow with a damp cloth or scent eliminating wipe. Inspect all moveable parts, screws, bolts, string wear, sight, and rest. Should your strings need to be replaced now is the perfect time to do so. Regardless if you have new or old strings, you will need to wax the strings for storage. You can use a small amount of oil to coat any bare metal bolts, washers, or screws to keep them from rusting in storage. Do not hang your bow by the strings for storage; this can cause issues with the strings stretch and cam timing. The best method of gear storage for your bow is in a bow case, if at all possible.

Taking the time to do this post-season routine will not only extend the life of your gear but it is also going to save you valuable time. While proper care and storage is important for your bow hunting gear, don’t let it sit too long during the offseason. Use this time to practice and prepare for next year’s deer season or the upcoming spring turkey season. Need some things to work on? Check out the archery and bow hunting tips in the “Archery Fit” video section below!

Levi Morgan Robbed | All Bow Hunting Gear Stolen!

Bow Hunting Gear Stolen!

Vicksburg, Mississippi January 2nd, 2018…one of my worst nightmares came true. After killing a stud of an old Mississippi river 8 point, Justin Zuzak and I were headed to Louisiana for another hunt. We woke up to an awful sight, the truck had been ripped apart and all of our bow hunting gear was missing!

There isn’t much you can do when you find all of your gear missing. First, we filed a report with the police and spoke with the hotel. We watched some of the footage from the security camera and found out the culprit was a white male in a newer grey Chevy truck. When he first appeared on camera he drove through the camera’s view with an empty truck bed. However, when he reentered view the truck bed was full of gear and what appeared to be our Bronc Box. After noticing this, the police took over and went to the surrounding hotels checking their footage to try and get a better view or possibly even a plate number.

With all of our bow hunting gear stolen, we ended up having to cut our trip short and start the drive home. Below is a full list of what was stolen out of the truck.

  • Bronc Box
  • My new 2018 Matthew’s Triax bow
  • Arrows
  • Stabilizers
  • Zeiss binoculars
  • Zeiss spotting scope
  • Various bow tools and accessories
  • Safety harnesses and lifelines
  • A tree stand and a set of climbing sticks
  • Justin’s Muck Artic Pro Boots
  • 2 Heater Body Suits
  • Kessler camera slider

We will keep you updated with any new developments. Hopefully, the police can find the gear or find out more information to chase it down! I’ve always trusted people too much…lesson learned I guess!

Tips for Late Season Bow Hunting

Late Season Bow Hunting Tips

 The dream of November bow hunting has come and gone.  The craze of the rut and its pull on big mature bucks has passed.  If you’re a bow hunter with a tag still in your pocket the late season could be your chance at redemption. The tactics and techniques you have used thus far for fall will not work, so you will have to reevaluate and adjust your hunting specifically for the late season.   Here are some bow hunting tips and tactics to help you get within bow range of a late season mature whitetail and salvage your season!


The Best Hunting Is On Its Way!

Whatever the reason, the simple problem is that you weren’t able to fill your tag this fall.  We’ve all been there! The excuses or legitimate reasons can range from not enough time off from work or family to the more absurd like…”the rut never happened”. Whichever excuse you choose, go ahead and let the blame rest on your shoulders. Use the frustration to your advantage and fuel your drive to grab success during the final weeks of deer season.


The late season is the perfect opportunity for redemption. Why? There are several reasons: 

  • Overpressured bucks might be seeking refuge on your property 
  • Cold temperatures can force deer to more vulnerable patterns centered around food 
  • Fresh snow can create ideal opportunities for in-season scouting 
  • Funneling deer for shot opportunities or intel through trail cameras is easy to do with the help of food or cover 
  • Late season cold fronts are easy to identify and hunt around 


These are just some of the reasons the late season can be one of the best times to harvest a mature buck with a bow. Now you just need to know how to capitalize!

Start Fresh

First things first, it’s time to get a picture of what’s out there…literally!  If you’ve slacked off of your game camera routine throughout the rut it’s time to pick it back up.  Knowing what deer are in your area, when they are moving, and where they are moving to is key to success in late season bow hunting.  Start out with a quick and low-pressure scouting trip. Identify fresh sign, bedding areas, and major traffic areas centered on food and cover.  Bring your cameras with some fresh memory cards and batteries.  


Top Late Season Trail Camera Locations 

  •  Funnels and pinch points– where deer enter and exit food sources.  Setup cameras keeping prevailing winds, entry, and exit routes in mind so you can check batteries and memory cards without busting deer. 
  •  Water sources – can be critical in late season.  Locating a deer herd’s water source in frozen or dry winter climates is a great find.  It’s likely that few open water sources are available in sub-freezing temperatures. Hunters who can provide open water may find it as effective as any food plot.  Set cameras up to see who is coming and going at the watering hole. 
  •  Transition areas – from bedding to food sources are critical this time of year.  Calories are paramount in the cold and for recovering from the rut.  Deer are looking to conserve as many calories as possible, so locating a suitable bedding area near a quality food source can be a golden opportunity for any bow hunter. Putting a camera on a trail between bedding and feed is a great way to pattern a mature buck using the area.  If you don’t get the consistent pictures you are hoping for, don’t be afraid to move your camera until you find the deer’s travel corridor.


It’s important that you understand that some of the mature bucks in your core group may have been harvested by other hunters. It is also likely that some bucks may be busted up with broken racks from the rut. However, you will also start noticing new deer you have never before. They may have moved into your area pressured by other hunters or just need to recover from the rut.  It may seem like a waste of time this late in the game, but identifying the deer you will be hunting in late season is a great tactic. When you are running and checking your game cameras keep in mind you are hunting late season deer that have been pressured.  Hunt your cameras when you check them like you are hunting deer, wear scentfree boots and use the wind.  It’s better to skip a day or even a week without checking your camera than to blow deer out of your hunting area due to scouting under poor conditions.

Understanding Late Season Wary Bucks

Next, late season and the cold winter months of the post-rut mean one thing to a battle-worn bruiser buck…survival.  Bucks have spent literally weeks neglecting their body and burning calories trying to get a chance to breed as many does as possible.  Now that the rut is over and the temperature is dropping those bucks need quality calories to make it through the winter until the spring green up.



The acorns and standing crops the deer were feasting on in October and November are drying up quickly. For this reason, it is critical to identify the late season food source in your area. Some of these food sources may include: 

  • Winter wheat or cereal rye cover crop 
  • Recently or late cut corn fields 
  • Brassica cover crop or food plots 
  • Oak flats in a bumper year 
  • Standing crops (beans or corn)  

Spend some time behind a pair of binoculars and figure out where the deer are feeding and where the deer are bedding instead of limiting yourself to one stand location. If you can locate bedding cover near a quality food source, hopefully your scouting and some game camera pictures will confirm a quality buck in the area!


The bedding area deer are using during the day near the food source is key when hunting late season bucks.  Hunting a bedding area is always tricky, you must consider the deer’s travel patterns, the wind, and your entrance and exit routes to and from the stand.  It can pay to be aggressive when you are moving in on a known buck on your hit list, but be careful not to blow the deer out of your late season hunting area.  These deer have been pressured for a while now and the wrong move or the wrong wind may send them packing.  If busted, they might travel well beyond the nearby area without looking back, and settle into a new core area.  Don’t overlook a small patch of cover, brush, or tall grass that receives sun as a bedding area. This is especially true for any southern oriented topography.  

Bow Hunting Tips for Staying Deadly in the Cold 

Late season bow hunting has its own challenges and will require you to adapt your early season tactics.  Cold northern winds blowing frigid air and freezing temperatures make it tough on hunters, but those same conditions make deer get up to feed.  Layering warm clothing during late season bow hunting is an important part of your cold weather arsenal.  Loading your hunting pack with various fleece, wool, and shell garments to stay warm and comfortable will allow you the flexibility to stay on the hunt longer.


Keep in mind that heavy activity like walking through snow or climbing elevation can cause you to work up a sweat even in frigid conditions.  Be sure to use clothing layering to keep from sweating only to freeze as soon as you get on stand.  Chemical hand warmers can go a long way to keep you comfortable in the cold as well.  A hand warmer in the toe of your boots, in your jacket pockets and inside a layered vest can make the difference between an enjoyable late season bow hunt and misery. 

Moving to the Ground 

The conditions and environment of late season bow hunting can provide great opportunities when hunting from the ground.  The leaves are off the trees and cover in a tree stand becomes tricky in late season.  The deer are spending more of their time in winter feed fields and places to hang a tree stand may be hard to find.

When bow hunting late season whitetails, a ground blind in winter feed can be a great way to lay in wait for a buck.  Tucking a blind along the end of a row of hay bales, or in a depression of a weedy terrace provides an ambush point that tree stand hunting cannot.  Utilizing a lightweight, quick setup popup blind can also help you to be more mobile and access bedding edges when the wind is right.  Don’t overlook moving your hunting to the ground in late season.   

Keep Hunting!  

One of the biggest obstacles to late season hunting is getting in the field.  The days are short, and the challenges of hunting pressured deer in cold temperatures are real.  Chasing late season bucks can be emotionally tasking.  Be prepared to overcome some challenges and for some fantastic encounters. These late season bow hunting tips can help you capitalize on a great time to be in the deer woods!


Levi Morgan’s Mathews Triax Bow Review

Mathews Triax Bow Review

Today I want to talk to you about what has been so exciting for us lately, the all new Mathews Triax™ bow. In this Mathews Triax™ bow review I will tell you the reasons why I feel Mathews absolutely hit it out of the park with this bow!


I have used this bow for several hunts. It has been tested with mountain hunts, whitetail hunts, and spot and stalk hunts, and the size of this bow is perfect for every scenario.  Now this bow is 28 inches axle-to-axle, which many of you might think is a short bow for someone with a long draw length like me. However, I have this bow at its maximum draw length and this bow works for me! I have sacrificed zero accuracy, and this is due to several reasons. The first is the Crosscentric Cam system, a very successful cam system requiring less human effort but still has the same power and same speed as a more aggressive cam system. This bow also features the new and improved harmonic 3D damping technology. Naturally the bow wants to wiggle left and right on the shot.  With the new technology however, the bow is almost completely dead in the hand without the addition of any stabilizers.

In my opinion Mathews hit it out of the park with the all new Triax™ bow, and you need to give one a try.


Archery Tips for Hunting the High Country

4 Bow Hunting Tips for Rugged Terrain Hunts

Archery hunting is often characterized as a sport that requires a high level of patience and persistence.  Becoming an effective and efficient archer is not an overnight process.  It requires a level of commitment and dedication that is virtually unmatched within the sport of hunting.  With that said, success in the archery woods is often predicated on not only how sound you are as an archer, but also the conditions in which you are hunting. Making an effective shot with archery equipment can be tricky enough on level ground in ideal conditions.  However, toss in the challenge of navigating uneven terrain, extremely variable winds, and difficult shooting angles, and you have certainly stacked the deck against you.  Archery hunting big game in the mountain high country of the Western United States and Canada is where these situations are encountered. Here are a few simple bow hunting tips and techniques that you can employ that will help ensure that you are sending your best arrow down range despite hunting the difficult conditions.


Of course, when discussing any type of hunting in rugged terrain one of the first “tips” must be to be in shape! Why? This video should be sufficient reason enough…


Archery Tips for High Country Hunting


Below are 4 quick bow hunting tips that could drastically improve not only your experience with your high country bow hunt, but also that critical moment just before releasing your arrow.



Tip 1. It’s all in the Hips


Without a doubt, one of the biggest challenges of hunting in rugged terrain is overcoming the difficulty of shooting uphill or downhill.  Though it may seem simple, shooting at an angle requires a little more thought than you might expect.  The trick to mastering an uphill or downhill shot is all about bending at the hips and waist, and is an archery tip that you can master very quickly.



The proper technique for mastering a shot such as this, regardless of the angle, is draw the bow back as you would normally on level ground.  Once you have your anchor point set, bend at the waist toward your target.  This method will ensure that you maintain your form and your anchor point, which is critically important in maintaining your accuracy.


Read my full blog on shooting tough archery angles here.


Tip 2. Keeping the Time


Shot timing is an important part of being an effective archer.  From the time that the bow comes to full draw to the time the arrow leaves the bow is different for everyone. However, everyone has the window of 3 to 4 seconds when the arrow needs to be released.  Push it too far one way or the other, and your rhythm and form can be off which can greatly affect your accuracy.  Why is shot timing relevant to the topic of hunting in rugged terrain?  When you have hiked all day and you have finally worked to within bow range of your target, the adrenaline can be pumping.  As a result, you will most likely have a tendency to rush the shot.  It is critically important that you remain patient and make sure that you are calm and ready to make the shot before drawing your bow.  This will help you keep your shot timing as consistent and effective as possible.  You want to do all you can to make that first shot count, it may be the only opportunity you will have.




Tip 3. Reduce Your Target Panic


Hopefully you are reading this months or weeks out from your western or high country hunt. If that is the case, taking the time now to reduce your target panic could drastically increase the chance that you make a well placed shot on the game animal your pursuing. Rugged terrain, long distance shots, high wind, and threading the needle through brush can, and probably will, be encountered on your hunt. If you have even the slightest bit of target panic at home, it will be compounded on the mountain. If left uncorrected, this feeling of anxiety and fear of poor shooting can spread to every time you draw your bow back. If you think it’s frustrating not hitting your mark on the target in your backyard, you will reach a new level of embarrassment and frustration when you miss your mark on your big hunt! So what can you do to fix it before it gets to that stage? Check out the archery tip video below.



Tips 4. Take a Hard Look at Your Hunting Gear


Archery hunting in rugged conditions can be extremely hard on you and your archery equipment.  Automatically assume that your equipment will take a few bumps and knocks along the way. Therefore it is critically important that everything from your optics and pack, to your bow, arrows, and other hunting gear is durable enough to withstand the abuse.  The last thing you want is to hike uphill for several hours and finally get in a position to make a shot, only to find your archery equipment damaged and unusable.  If you find yourself heading to the high country for the very first time, do your homework and take some time to research the area.  This can help you get a feel for exactly what you will be facing when you step out of the truck and can help plan ahead and ensure that your hunting gear and archery equipment are up for the challenge!




If you have the opportunity to hit the high country with your archery equipment, toss your bow and hunting gear in the truck.  Archery hunting in these landscapes can offer some of the most exciting experiences that an archer could ever ask for, and if you keep these 4 simple bow hunting tips in mind, you will set yourself up for success!

“Archery Fit” Ep.8 Bow Setup Notes | Bow Life TV

Levi’s Archery Tips for Bow Setups

On this episode of “Archery Fit” fueled by MTN Ops, I quickly run through some archery tips regarding bow setups. All of us at one point or another had that absolutely perfect bow setup. The setup was forgiving, accurate, and comfortable more than any bow you have ever shot. That bow setup could be described as that “dream setup”. Hopefully, today’s archery tip will help you mimic that exact setup regardless of the bow you shoot.  

Your bow will constantly be changing year to year. Whether you are switching models or installing new strings, each and every bow has its own personality. However, we can take any model bow, for example, a Matthews TRX, and set it up to get as close as possible to that dream setup by taking detailed measurements of our best setup. What I do and what I have learned to do the hard way is to simply write every detail down about the bow once I find the perfect setup.  


Here are some of the measurements you should write down:  

  • Draw weight 
  • Draw length 
  • Holding weight 
  • Axle-to-axle measurements 
  • How long the nocking loop is 
  • Bow rest positioning 
  • Brace height 
  • Distance from top axle to nocking point 
  • Distance from bottom axle to nocking point 
  • Stabilizer setup 
  • Arrow setup 

With these notes, you should be able to set your bow up close to or even to the exact feel as the perfect bow setup you had in the past! 

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