Every year the same scene plays out over and over across the country. Archers engaging in backyard bowhunting practice with the illusion that they are somehow preparing themselves for the rapidly approaching bow season.
However, what many of these well-meaning bowhunters don’t know is that nothing could be further from the truth.
Make Your Bowhunting Practice Situational
So many times, hunters conduct their bow hunting practice from the comfort of their freshly groomed yard. The problem with that is in no way does shooting flat-footed in the back yard resemble the environment they will be faced with when they head afield.
Whenever I am preparing for a hunt, no matter what it is, I always try to conduct a great deal of “situational” practice. In other words, I practice exactly how I will hunt.
Clutter Things Up
Conducting “situational” bowhunting practice is great but be sure to raise the level of difficulty by throwing some obstacles into the mix. For instance, not every bowshot will be void of arrow thwarting limbs.
The easiest way to recreate that sort of situation is to move your 3D into the brush. This will force you to look at different shooting angles and how your bow/arrow set up reacts when faced with the task of shooting over or under obstructions.
Leave The Range Finder At Home
The result might be a few bad shots, maybe even a lost arrow or two, but eventually that will lead to you strengthening your range-estimation skills. That will ultimately lead to you driving an arrow into the sweet spot of an animal that didn’t give you time to range him.
Get Your Blood Pumping
How many bow shots have you taken with no elevation in heart rate or breathing? Probably the same as me—-none. So how can shooting under perfectly calm conditions (physically) prepare you for a nerve-racking shot of your dreams? It won’t.
The easiest way to reproduce those effects would be to increase your heart rate just prior to taking the shot. This can be done with some push-ups or a quick sprint.
Ditch The Field Points
I am constantly amazed at the number of bowhunters who don’t incorporate broadheads into their bowhunting practice regimen. The results can be less than desirable.
While sniper-like accuracy with field points does a lot to boost confidence it matters very little unless you can do the same with the broadhead you plan to hunt with. After all, broadheads (fixed or mechanical) rarely shoot the same as field points.
Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
It’s a familiar phrase when it comes to physical fitness but it has just as much impact when applied to your own shooting. What I mean is that if you want to be deadly at 40 yards then you should do a lot of shooting from 60 yards.
The reason for this is simple. After months of shooting at 60 paces, that 40 yard shot that once seemed intimidating will look more like a golf “tap-in”. And that’s exactly what you want.
If your current bowhunting practice routine isn’t giving you the results you want then it is time to change things up. Consider the aforementioned tips to take your bowhunting skills to the next level.