18 September 2007

Archery Practice Games - Just Horsing Around

Posted by Darrell under: Tips & Ideas .

deer_targetThe adage is “practice makes perfect”. This is true in many sports, but none more so than archery (or bowhunting). And, with bowhunting your first shot must count. You don’t want to non-fatally wound an animal or spend 12 hours of your life tracking one. So, you need to practice and then practice some more.

Rick at Tails and Trails wrote an article the other day about bowhunting practice. In the article, Rick talks about shooting from a variety of positions and distances and actually shooting through a 1 pound coffee can. Rick is the type of guy that I would enjoy shooting with.

I shoot from every possible position I can imagine. I hide behind and in trees. I shoot through limbs and brush. I run back and forth from the target to get my heart rate up before shooting. All of these things make you a more confident shot.

When shooting a bag target, I like to shoot the outside bullseyes (rather than the middle). It is less comfortable to shoot at something that is just a couple inches away from the edge. By shooting the outside, you are forced into making the shot count. Otherwise you will be spending your time looking for arrows. Forcing myself to take the hardest possible shots has made me a better shot (and cost me several arrows).

To keep it interesting and really fun, my friends and I like to play HORSE. The first person calls a shot and if he makes it everyone else has to take the same shot. Anyone that misses gets a letter. It is a fun game and if everyone playing is a pretty good shot, the only advantage is to find tough shots from odd positions. If you have even the slightest competitive spirit, I highly recommend a game of Archery Horse. It will make you a much better shot.

If you imagine that most of your ‘real life’ shots will be at 30-40 yards, then I recommend doing a lot of practice from 50-60 yards. My friends and I like to shoot 60-70 yard shots. If you do this often, a 30 - 40 yard shot feels like NOTHING. Those 30 and 40 yard shots become soooo easy.

My friends and I like to make archery practice fun. We make up games and do a lot of laughing and good natured teasing. If something is fun, it is a lot easier to find the time for it and becoming proficient with a bow takes a lot of time.

_________________________________________________

Note about the picture: The shots in the deer target don’t look very remarkable. However, those shots were taken while we were standing in some loose rocks at well over 60 yards. Still not remarkable. But I can assure you we were having fun!

12 Comments so far...

Arthur Says:

18 September 2007 at 10:30 am.

Darrell,

I would love to come and shoot with you guys. My cousins, bro, wife, and I always do things like this. We were taking 50 yards shots the other night at twilight and I have to admit that I did whiff one. It just makes 20 and 30 yard shots a gimme. The other day we were doing a competition on who could shoot closest to the heart while leaning, kneeling, and some other variations.

It is fun and definitely makes you a better shot. We also keep score while shooting sometimes. It’s a blast.

Matt Says:

18 September 2007 at 1:10 pm.

Good post. I especially like the idea of running to get your heart rate up.

BuckNakedFever Says:

18 September 2007 at 1:39 pm.

Never even thought to play “Horse” with a bow. Brilliant!

deerPhD Says:

19 September 2007 at 9:17 am.

Sounds like a fun way to break-up the monotony of regular target practice!

Anthony Says:

8 November 2009 at 11:45 am.

Me and My friends like to climb up on the roof and put water bottles all over the yard and shoot them. The farther they are the more points they are worth. 30 to 40 yds on a 16 oz bottle is not easy hope you have as much fun as we do

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Missy Says:

19 July 2010 at 7:36 pm.

This is another great game, my husband and I just played a few games of Tic Tac Toe at 20 yards. We have called all of our archery buddies to tell them to try it. I cant wait to play Horse now,,, :-D

Estefana Sjerven Says:

16 September 2010 at 6:01 pm.

I like twilight! I might sit and watch all day long if I didn’t have school..or life to stay me from doing it! lol Superb Just Superb!

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