Don’t Let The Off-season Get You Down – 5 Tips For The Off-season Bow Hunter
– 5 Tips For The Off-season Bow Hunter –
With these tips, you can hopefully increase your success rate along with having a little more fun in the process.
Shoot, Shoot and Shoot Again…
This might be one of the most obvious points to make to improve during the off-season, but an important one nonetheless. Shooting every day or every other day, not only lets you know where your bow is hitting for those fine-tune adjustments, but allows you to keep that all-important muscle memory for those moments that matter most.
Not just the release, but knocking an arrow, and drawing back need to become second nature. The last thing you want is to fumble with your arrow or have to adjust your anchor points in the heat of the moment.
Remember, practice does not necessarily make perfect…’ perfect practice makes perfect. Ensure you are shooting correctly. Do not shy away from getting a lesson or two…it really helps.
And, don’t forget to practice with your broadheads closer to hunting season. Their weight can make them a little different to handle as well as shoot.
Increase your distance
Archery equipment is for close range there is no doubt about that, but you don’t always get that perfect 20 yards shot out in the field. It’s amazing how far 10 more yards can feel when you start looking at 30 to 40 yards, or even 40 to 50 yards.
Even if those aren’t shots you would make in the field, stepping out of your comfort zone makes those 20-25 yard shots a walk in the park, or more accurately the meadow.
Shooting at greater distances also allows you to see your arrow’s trajectory and get a feel for what your arrow is doing in the air. You will see immediate examples of poor form or shooting mistakes.
Shoot at different angles and positions
This is more of a two-for-one, but I feel like these two go hand and hand. Shooting from different angles is especially important for those of you that hunt from a tree stand. With that being said, I rarely find myself on level ground shooting straight at an animal in the field. You are much more likely to find yourself shooting up or down into a draw.
It’s even easier to practice shooting from different positions. It can feel awkward making your shot or it can be more difficult than it needs to be if you haven’t practiced shooting from a seated position. You will be better prepared when the moment finally comes. This time it’s okay to be a little lazy, sit and shoot more often.
Another position to practice shooting from is the kneeling position. Being comfortable drawing and shooting from a kneeling position can make all the difference in the field.
Both of these positions are a great way to mix up a regular practice session.
Use 3D target
So much of shooting is mental, and there is nothing wrong with shooting at your foam block over and over, however, 3D targets can really help get you and your mind accustomed to shooting at live animals. The more life-like the situation, the better.
Are you to make things interesting? Take your experience to the next level by going to a 3D Archery course. Here is one by Totalarcherychallenge as an example.
Shooting with an elevated heart rate
Shooting your bow can often be a relaxing experience, but calling in that bugling trophy bull is far from relaxing. Or, maybe spot and stalk is the situation you are in. Either way, your heart rate is bound to be higher than your average backyard shoot.
An easy way to simulate a situation like this is to safely incorporate a small amount of exercise into your practice session. Now I’m not saying you need to go run a mile then pick up your bow and start shooting, but getting a small amount of cardio in from something like jumping jacks (bow not in hand) can help you understand how your body will react under an intense situation such as hiking up a mountainside.
There is no substitute for being in the field, but with these simple tips, we can make the most of our off time. And, when it comes down to time to make the shot that counts, it only gets easier with practice. So practice with realistic situations.
Form is key, but when you find yourself in a position that is less than ideal you want to keep that same shot you’ve been practicing on.