Friday, March 13, 2015

Four Tips for Better Archery Accuracy

      Like a lot of archery hunters, I have been guilty of not practicing with my bow nearly as much as I should have. Like me and any archer who has hunted long enough, we have made bad shots. Not always is it the archers fault. Sometimes the deer ducks the arrow or hits a limb that was not visible during aiming. But there is also the crowd that breaks out their bow a couple days before archery season and does just enough to shake off the rust. Focus on these four factors for better archery accuracy.

Position
      The first is Position. I’m not just talking about how to hold your bow or what fingers should be extended while at full draw. You do what makes you comfortable and what produces the best results for you. I speak in the manner of hunting positions. If you hunt primarily from a tree stand, then practice from a tree stand, same rule goes if you are hunting from the ground and sitting in a chair. Practice in the conditions in which you will perform. You don’t see football teams practicing with a basketball on a tennis court. That would be pointless.
Giving yourself a lot of practice from a tree stand will make you that much better when you are making a shot at a deer from a tree stand. Also, if you practice with an actual life like size deer target, practice quartering to and away shots. Imagine the position of the vitals and aim where your arrow will make the best contact with them vital organs.

Perfection
I know what you are thinking, No one is perfect. I absolutely agree. However, it is on the path to perfection that we reach our ultimate goal. This comes down to the aim small, miss small rule. If you are aiming for a quarter at twenty yards, you have a better chance of hitting it than if you were to aim just to get close.
If you are looking to hit the heart in a deer, imagine where it is and aim to drive your arrow right through it. Strive to be perfect on your position. Make sure your hand and aiming point is in the perfect position every time. Try to eliminate as much of the variables that result in a bad shot. That is how you are going to get the best results.

Consistent
      One perfect draw and release gets you one good shot. Being consistent in all aspects of shooting, such as mechanics, draw and release will develop muscle memory. Striving to be perfect, consistently, shot after shot will increase your tendency to make better shots more often. One of my favorite sayings is “Perfect Practice makes perfect”. You want to really emphasize your form while drawing your bow, holding it, and releasing it. Doing this consistently will help you shoot accurately when it matters the most, because you have forced your body to do it by instinct.





Persistence
Studies show that it takes a human one thousand times of doing something before they develop muscle memory. This is very important considering you use multiple muscle groups during the process of an archery shot. It is even more important when you think of how many muscles are holding that bow back as you wait for the right time to release the arrow. The more times you shoot a bow, the more muscle memory you develop.
Studies also show it takes about twenty one days to form a habit and also break a habit. This means shooting your bow a couple times before the opener is not going to cut it. Now I’m not insinuating that you should shoot your bow one thousand times a day for twenty one days. Your arms would probably fall off. We are looking for persistence. This would mean shooting your bow all summer, about fifty times a day and maybe only three times a week. This would surely get your muscles developing that memory we are talking about.

Conclusion
As long as you are striving for the perfect position on every shot, constantly, your body will never know a bad way to shoot a bow. Being persistent in these practices will ensure a clean and true shot almost every time. I have certainly used these tips to produce the best results possible for my setup. We as hunters owe it to our quarry to make the fastest and most ethical kill possible. I know it doesn’t always go to plan, but with consistent practice, perfect position and persistence, we lower the odds of bad shots and also raise our own confidence.
I hope this intrigued all you archery hunters out there. As I write this, it’s snowing and blowing outside. I cannot wait to break out my bow and start sending arrows down range. If you have any questions or comments, please message me at michigangonewild@gmail.com or message me on facebook/michigangonewild. I love hearing from all you readers and hunters alike. This is Alvin Sitkiewicz signing off. Stay Wild!