By Will Jenkins
Practicing that is! If you’re still toting a bow into the woods it’s likely you’ve been spending a lot of your spare time hunting rather than practicing. When really there’s no more important time to practice then right now for several reasons. If you haven’t had a very successful season have you even shot lately? Is your form staying consistent? After dragging your bow through the woods has anything shifted?
I’ll start with perhaps the one thing that is most likely to screw up your hunt if you aren’t currently practicing and it really doesn’t have to do with lack of practice. If you’ve been walking miles through the woods carrying a bow sending it up and down a pull rope from your tree stand or letting it bounce around in your truck things may have shifted. Even if you take every precaution before season tightening everything down to make sure it doesn’t move, it still can.
If there’s ever a time to practice on a 3D target it’s now. I don’t stand in the yard flinging dozens of arrows like I might do over the summer because my free time is a little short this time of year but I do try to put 5-7 arrows into a 3D target a couple of times per week. This makes sure that my form and my bow are consistent and I’m practicing shooting at the same target I hope to encounter in the woods. When hunting I don’t usually shoot more than one arrow, so I focus on making my first shot the best it can be and see how it ends up. I usually take my first shot at 20 yards because that is my most likely shot in the woods. Then I take a shot at 30, 40 and 50 yards then if time allows another shot back down at each distance back down to 20. So at most right there I’m sending 7 arrows out at varying distances and keeping check of my for the whole way.
This quick practice a couple of times per week helps me ensure that my bow is in good shape, my form is consistent and it definitely helps my confidence when headed to the stand. I also try to mix in some shots from a tree stand in my back yard just to make sure that I’m still hitting where I think when shooting from elevation. While we’re heading into the end of the season, if you’re still carrying a bow to the woods it’s no time to get lazy and stop practicing!
Will Jenkins is creator of TheWilltoHunt.com and Harnesses For Hunters. He’s an avid outdoorsman who enjoys sharing his experiences through his blog. He also writes for Bow Adventures e-Magazine and is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association.< em>Will lives in Central Virginia with his wife and two kids. He hunts in Virginia and Maryland but has dreams of heading west to hunt Elk and Mule Deer.
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!