18 September 2007
Archery Practice Games - Just Horsing Around
Posted by Darrell under: Tips & Ideas .
The 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!