Seasons are starting to open up across the country. I have one question for you. Have you shot your bow yet or has it been in the case since last season? If you haven’t started shooting, what are you waiting for?
Start shooting your bow today. You owe it to the animal to shoot your bow. For many of us, I know that life has certainly changed or got in the way over the past 5 months, but there’s no time like the present to start shooting your bow. If your season opens up tomorrow, shoot today. If it opens next weekend, shoot today. If it opens two months from now, shoot today.
If you have two months until your season opens like I do, you have time. You will want to get your bow looked over at your local bow shop. Have the bow tech look over everything, including the strings and cables, peep sight, d-loop, and timing. It’s also a good idea to paper tune it as well. Make sure you tune with the arrow setup you’ll be using when hunting. This tuning process will help with sighting your bow in and your broadhead flight.
After you get your bow looked over, you’ll want to ease into shooting. Shoot 10-15 arrows a day for the first week and then increase the number of arrows after that. Otherwise, you’ll burn yourself out, especially if you’re shooting 70+ pounds.
Shoot every day, even if it’s in your basement. Get your muscle memory in order before hitting the mountains or the tree stand. The more you practice, the longer you’ll be able to hold at full draw and the more accurate you’ll be.
So, you started shooting. Now what? There’s a golden rule to follow for accuracy. No, I’m not talking about hitting a paper plate. I’m talking about groups. When you’re shooting at 10 yards, you should be shooting a 1-inch group. At 20 yards, you should be shooting a 2-inch group. The same rule applies for 30, 40, 50, 60, 70… Don’t just shoot at 10, 20, and 30 yards. Shoot at longer distances. That’ll make those closer shots much easier.
When you’re shooting 50+ yards, you’ll really get an idea if your bow is tuned or not. If you’re not grouping at longer distances, your 2nd and 3rd axis on your bow sight may be off. Your arrow setup may not be correct for your bow either. If you’re hunting out west, practicing longer shots is a must because that’s likely what you’ll be taking in the field at your target deer, elk, or antelope. You’ll want to make sure your setup is perfect before the start of the hunt. How do you know if your setup is perfect? By practicing every day.
When you’re getting good groups, I recommend shooting the broadheads you’ll be hunting with. I like shooting them side-by-side with my field tips. If I can’t get my broadheads to fly the same as my field tips, I go with a different head. Now, we can talk all day long about whether or not you should use fixed blade or mechanical heads, but I’ll save that for another time (or never, haha). You just need to shoot your broadheads, so you know you can trust them in the field.
The bottom line is that you just need to start shooting your bow if you haven’t already. If you have started shooting already, good on you. You’re ahead of the curve. The animals thank you.
We would love to see pictures of you shooting. Tag us in your pictures on Instagram @initialascent. Good luck this season!