By Emily Anderson
When first shooting a bow there is a lot to learn … stand this way, find an anchor point or two or three, back tension, don’t punch the trigger, level, breath, etc. The list goes on and on.
I remember getting so frustrated with my husband when I was first learning because he wanted me to get everything right. Now don’t get me wrong, he had my best interests in mind which is admirable. While I appreciate his concern for my accuracy and desire for excellency, it can also be exasperating when you are trying to remember everything and your spouse is whispering in your ear, “You did it wrong, again.” I know he was just trying to help, but I felt like he was secretly enjoying pointing out my errors. Ugh. I wanted to throw an arrow at him, and since I’m confessing, I think I chased him around with one at some point. Don’t worry, a broadhead was not fixed to the tip of my arrow!
Gals, if you are just learning to shoot, here’s a piece of advice: Find a non-biased friend or someone from a local pro-shop to help with your shooting technique. I’ve found that it is much easier to hear constructive criticism from a non-husband source.
With that being said, after years of shooting a bow, I am still working on perfecting my shot. I know there is always room for improvement. Sometimes a minor adjustment here or there can bring you to that next level of consistency in your shot. Since we are now in a hunting off-season where most deer hunting has come to a close, don’t put your bow away! I would encourage you to take a look at your form. Is there any room for improvement in your shot? Video yourself and evaluate your form. Have someone else give you a second opinion.
I know what I’ll be working on … how I hold my bow, specifically loosening my grip. I need to make sure I’m holding it correctly with the bow grip in the meat of my palm, letting my fingers relax, and trusting my bow sling. After a missed shot this last year, I can almost guarantee it was because I was so excited that I gripped my bow which ended up giving just enough torque to throw my shot off. So, I know I need some work in this area. I’ve asked a friend at a Pro-Shop to make sure I’m holding my bow correctly. I know it will take practice… I can consistently shoot 20 yard shots all day long, but I quickly learned the hard way that if I haven’t formed the habit of consistently holding my bow correctly, it is way too easy to grip and torque your shot during the heat of the moment when the shot counts. I have a date with an elk in about 9 months from now, and I’m not going to make the same mistake twice!
What about you? Are you taking strides this winter to improve your shot? What areas do you need to improve on?
Emily Anderson’s hunting journey began shortly after she got married. She enjoys the passions for the outdoors, hunting and fishing as a team with her husband. She established www.FromTheDraw.com as a way to share her stories as a female hunter. Emily lives in Colorado which allows her to hunt elk each September in the Rocky Mountains. She is now a PSE Staff Blogger and will be posting daily about her experiences and views on archery and hunting.
Keep your eye out for the #elktour DVD over on huntography.com! Watch PSE’s Emily Anderson and Dustin Jones hunt elk DIY style on our amazing public lands in the Western United States. Huntography also films a deer hunting DVD called #deertour which you will be able to watch PSE’s Will Jenkins hunt whitetails. Huntography…filming America’s hunters, one at a time!