SUMMER PRACTICE TIPS
Bow season will be here before you know it. Now is the time to start shooting at the backyard target on a regular basis. Most bowhunters have a habit of shooting at the same distances at the same target repeatedly all summer long. Below are a few tips to help you increase your odds of success in the field this fall.
How often when bowhunting do any of us kill a buck or a bull on a bluebird sunny day? Not very often. The reality is most animals are killed on cold windy days in the middle of November. We often have multiple layers of clothing on, it is spitting snow, and it is windy. Most of us however, ignore that fact most of the year and only practice shooting our bows when the weather is warm and the sun is out. Prepare for the fall hunting season by practicing in all kinds of weather. Prepare for November by practicing in the wind and rain this summer. Learning how to hold a bow steady in the wind can be tricky, but practice makes perfect.
Rarely does a deer stop broadside at 30 yards and provide the perfect shot. This summer, shoot at a variety of distances including extremely long distances. Instead of standing in the same spot or two all summer, vary the distance greatly. Shoot at 23 yards, 27 yards, and 36 yards. Take a few shots each day at unknown distances and learn how to properly guesstimate the distance to the target. In most bowhunting situations, we rarely know the exact distance to the deer we are shooting at.
Don’t be afraid to shoot at extreme distances. Many professional archers shoot at distances from 10 yards to 100 yards and everywhere in between. Shooting at 80-100 yards on a regular basis will make any bowhunter a better shot. When shooting at 30 yards, an archer will rarely see a flaw in their form or their equipment. At 50 yards and beyond, if an arrow is out of tune or an archer has a bit of target panic, it will show up when the arrows don’t hit the mark. Bowhunters who regularly shoot at extreme distances will be better bowhunters in the field. If an archer can hit the mark at 80 yards, the odds of success at 30 or 40 yards are much higher.
Don’t be afraid to practice with broadheads. Regardless of what magazine ads and social media says, broadheads and field tips do not fly the same. Prepare for bow season by practicing with broadheads as much as possible during the summer. Broadheads are very expensive and as a result, many bowhunters only shoot field tips in the summer. Biting the bullet and buying an extra pack of broadheads and using them in the off season will ensure that the bow, the arrow, and the broadheads are tuned properly.
Shooting a bow in the backyard can be fun but just shooting a bow at a target doesn’t prepare a bowhunter for bow season. Apply the above tactics to your practice routine this summer. By doing so, you could increase the odds of success this fall.