Practicing With Your Bow


AS017.jpgA hunter must practice a lot to become proficient with any type of bow and arrow. Most archers shoot daily for months before deer season begins. But that is a good thing in more ways than one. Bow shooting is very enjoyable and relaxing.

Today, most archers use compound bows with sights. After buying a new bow, have an expert at your local archery shop install a sight, arrow rest, etc. Get his advice on which arrows to use. Have him tune the bow and arrows. Now it’s up to you!

To sight in your bow at home, set up a couple of hay bales or a large foam target. Shoot a few arrows at a bull’s-eye and see where they hit. As long as the arrows group close together, you’re in good shape. Next, adjust your top sight pin (usually set for 20 yards) until your arrows hit the bull’s-eye. For example, if your arrows initially strike high and to the left, move the sight pin in that direction to bring the arrows over and down into the bull’s-eye.

Then move back to 30 yards and repeat the procedure with the 30-yard pin, which is installed just beneath the 20-yard pin. Step back to 40 yards and do it again. That’s it. Archers should never shoot at a buck beyond 40 yards, due to the limitations of the bow and arrow and the quick reflexes of the whitetail deer.

However, instinctive shooting is more difficult to master than shooting with sights. The archer who uses fiber-optic sights can often group arrows into a bull’s-eye after a few practice sessions. On the other hand, the instinctive shooter may require months of constant practice to become proficient. That’s because instinctive shooting requires the bow hand and eye to coordinate, working in tandem to put an arrow at the exact level needed to deliver it into the bull’s-eye.

The instinctive bow shooter is a lot like a baseball pitcher. The pitcher does not actually aim at a spot he’s throwing. Instead, he bores a hole with his eyes into the spot where wants the ball to go and, through repetitions in the past, his eye and arm coordinate instinctively to deliver the ball to the spot. It’s the same with the instinctive bow shooter. He picks a spot, regardless of range. As his eyes bore into that spot, he draws and shoots. From hundreds of practice shots, his eyes and hands instinctively know how to hold the arrow at the correct level. Eventually the released arrow finds its way into the bull’s-eye.

Instinctive shooting takes a lot of practice and patience-too much for most archers. That’s why the majority of hunters use bow sights these days.


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