HomeEveryday Stories of Life and Being a Man
Getting Ready for Bow Season
The countdown has begun! Ok, who are we kidding. The countdown for the next bow season begins the day after the last one ends! I know for me and many of you reading this that it cannot get here fast enough!
With that being said, there are always ways to continue to improve your skill and odds of harvesting a great whitetail. Here are just a few of them to help you get ready for this upcoming season.
1. Be consistent
I used to have a rhythm to shooting my free throws back in the day. When I would practice them I would always do the exact same thing before each shot. I would rehearse Philippians 4:13 in my head – “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” – while dribbling 3-4 times and picturing myself making the shot. Then I would bend my knees, shoot the ball, and follow through. It was the exact same routine every single time and created a consistent way of shooting the shot and increasing my odds of making it. The same is true with shooting your bow. Practice your shot with consistency and do it the same each time. That way, when its time to make the shot count, you could practically do it in your sleep and you’ll have the confidence you need to bring the animal to its final resting place.
2. Shoot Longer Shots
After you’ve created a consistent shot, test your form and accuracy by shooting practice shots from long distances. For example, I will typically practice the majority of my shots from 40-60 yards away. The benefit of doing this is that it quickly reveals flaws in your shot and forces you to really focus on what you’re doing. This type of practice shot also gives you a lot of confidence when its time to move in for a more realistic distance. When you have your arrows hitting your the aiming point from 50 yards you will feel like a 25 yard shot is much easier. It is always amazing to see how long range shooting can improve your technique and focus and help you improve your shot.
3. Hold your shot
One of the biggest mistakes that golfers and bow hunters make is to lift your head immediately after taking the shot and looking for the ball or arrow. When you do this, it alters the path of the arrow or ball and causes you to miss your intended target. As a quick, mental reminder, I will remind myself of this point before I take my practice shot. What I have noticed is that it helps remind me to see the arrow go all the way through the intended location on the target and helps me keep my head and arm steady. Holding your shot is a simple way to increase your focus, form, and odds of hitting your target every time.
4. Put some clothes on
When its 90 degrees out and the heat seems unbearable it is completely logical to not want to put your hunting clothes on and practice your shots. But at some point this will be important. As the season gets closer, be sure to practice taking shots with the same clothes on that you will be wearing during your hunts. Get out your gloves, hat, head masks, etc and practice taking shots with the same conditions you will encounter in your tree stand. You don’t want to have the deer of a lifetime come out of nowhere and miss the shot because you hadn’t practiced with your gear on and it messes you up. Practicing in real-life situations can have a huge impact on your odds of landing a great deer.
5. Make it count
When you’re practicing for form and learning to perfect your fundamentals, it is important to take lots of shots. But as the season gets closer it is important to make the first shot count. Because, let’s face it, that’s the most you’ll likely get in the woods. To create this realistic scenario, set your target out in the yard. Pick a distance and take one shot at it. Put the bow away for a while and return to it later on and repeat. By doing this, you will give yourself the one-shot opportunity that you need to make it count – just like you’ll have in the woods. This is a great way to help you focus and create a little bit of pressure for your shot since you’ll know you have only one chance to make it count.
What are you doing to get ready for this upcoming bow season? Share your tips/thoughts below.
Photo by m i x y on Flickr