In today’s post we’re going to talk about 5 things that you can do to become a better archer. Archery is becoming more and more popular in the preparedness community for a several reasons. It’s a great way to extend the hunting season, it can be a backup method for procuring food in a disaster situation and it can even help your firearms marksmanship at the same time.
Archery is just a fun hobby all-around, and if we ever face a major disaster scenario where ammo might get harder to come by, a good bow is going to be worth its weight in gold.
Unfortunately a lot of beginning archers pick up some bad habits along the way that keep them from realizing their full potential. Today we’re going to identify 4 things you can start doing today that will seriously increase your proficiency with a bow.
- Achieve balance – A lot of people think that shooting a bow is all about holding the handle steady, pulling the string back and just letting one fly. It’s a bit more complicated than that. When drawing back a bow, you should be exerting equal force on both pulling the string AND pushing the handle of the bow forward towards your target. It’s a fluid motion that should feel natural. This technique will not only keep you from jerking your bow unconsciously when releasing the arrow, but it will also keep you from wearing out your arm as fast when practicing.
- Stop overthinking it – A bow isn’t a sniper rifle; you don’t really need to account for wind and spend 10 minutes dialing in your range. Draw the bow, get on target quickly and fire. This is a mistake I think a lot of deer hunters make. They’re either too eager to take the shot and draw early or they spend too long trying to get those vitals lined up on the pin sight. After a couple seconds, especially with a high draw weight compound bow, your arm will start to shake and you will jerk your bow when firing. It may not even be noticeable and it may not be the difference between a kill and a miss every time, but it is a very common mistake.
- Practice… in fact, practice smarter – You guys don’t need another internet article to tell you the secret to archery is practicing more. When you are practicing though, try to do more than just send arrows down range. If possible, shoot at multiple targets to get used to drawing in different directions and vary your range frequently. One tip I use is to keep a small notepad in my bow case and actually keep score with my targets. Most paper targets already have points assigned to the various target rings. Each time I go to the range I try to beat my high score (hint hint…I do this at the gun range too…it seriously helps my accuracy a lot)
- Know your limits – One of the best ways to become a WORSE archer and potentially hurt yourself is by pushing your limits on the bow. This includes shooting a bow that has too heavy of a pull and wearing yourself out at the range. Just because your bow is rated to go 70lb or more doesn’t mean you need to. In most states 50lb is all your bow needs to hunt legally. Even if you’re used to pulling a much heavier bow, using a lighter one will allow you to shoot for a lot longer before getting tired.
When you do get tired at the range and when that draw seems to be getting tougher and tougher, call it a day. You’re not going to shoot well anymore today. You can also seriously hurt yourself by shooting tired. You could accidently release the string before you’re ready and cause an extremely dangerous misfire, pull a muscle or strain your writs. A sore arm after range day is normal, a pulled muscle, strained wrists or an arrow through the foot isn’t…know your limits!