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jenbickel
07-12-2011, 06:18 PM
So now that my archery antelope season is only a month away... I am practicing all the time, like I'm sure most of you do too.. So I have a couple of questions..

1. How do you practice? I have heard a lot of debate from people and I'm curious as to what everyone does to get all prepared. Some people say that shooting your bow as much as you possibly can is the best way to go.. I have also heard that you are just supposed to go out every 15-30 minutes and shoot one arrow, since you only get one shot when you are hunting anyways. So I was just curious of everyone's thoughts?

2. I get extremely bored at shooting at the same target all the time... Any thoughts on how to make it a little more fun? Should I strap an apple to my dogs head?

Drhorsepower
07-12-2011, 06:23 PM
Soleadventure.com? Is that right? this weeks blog you should read.

CrimsonArrow
07-12-2011, 06:35 PM
I try to shoot 20-30 arrows at least every other day, focusing on form and making the first shot count. Most days I shoot between 30-50 yards, while mixing in some 60 & 70 yd shooting. I don't always worry about hitting the bullseye, but just trying to get really tight groups. The reason for this is that point-of-impact seems to vary slightly throughout the summer, and by hunting season, all things seem to come together. Building strength and consistency take priority now, and shooting too many arrows in a session can tire you out, and ultimately can destroy confidence. I also try to finish my sessions on a positive note, as that helps keep me motivated. Good luck this fall, and we all want to see pictures of your goat.

wolftalonID
07-12-2011, 07:32 PM
YES!! I like that crimsonarrow. End it on a possitive note!! The other day I shot ten arrows. Robinhooded the last one and went inside!!

I do agree not to shoot too much. I second all the above. One thing I do that helps me by the time hunting comes around is my practice session. 20 arrows a day 4-5 days a week is a good stay tuned routine. More if your muscles can handle it.
I also talk my way through every single shot before I press the trigger. In the field I press draw my bow to minimize movement. Since I took up hunting I have switched to this method for all the time so as to perfect the form. I start with the bow held tight up to my chest and attach the release. I look at the target and press the riser away from my chest until my bow is as far as it will be away from me. I then and only then take up the pressure with my right hand and finish drawing the bow straight back and anchor in. Broadheads will catch and cut your fingers unlike field tips. So as soon as anchored I got through this count down.
Relax grip, close top finger.
Look at range pin, look away to target.
Review anchor point, touch lightly to trigger.
Look through pin and focus on target, settle shoulders, press release slowly. BOOM....arrows away. I dont say the BOOM part though..lol
My wife makes fun on me because she says she can see my lips moving as I talk through the sequence. Each shot takes me 30 to 60 seconds to get away. I go slow to build endurance in the shot hold muscles so they are in shape to do so as needed on a hunt.
I can do that routine as fast as needed or as slow as needed..but either way its engrained into my sequence.

What ever you do, take time to pick apart your body as you shoot...pay attention to every single little detail, and when you find a shot that works..build yourself a preshot sequence that you live by for every shot..and your skill will soon reflect it.

jenbickel
07-12-2011, 07:41 PM
I love this forum :)
Thanks everyone for the advice. I think I am definitely going to change up my shooting routine a little!

Stringmusic
07-12-2011, 07:53 PM
Do what feel good. Some days you fell like shooting 50 arrows, other other a dozen is good. If I start missing the mark, I will just stop and take a hour or two break and head back out. I also practice at longer ranges than my normal hunting shot. I don't shoot much under 50 yards. I just know my pins are good at 20, 30 , and 40. I also practice with the gear I plan n hunting with ie...backpack on, gloves, face mask, ect...

Good luck on the season. Are you spot and stalking, or sitting on a water hole?

jenbickel
07-12-2011, 08:03 PM
I spot and stalk.. I did get a blind last year though so I may try sitting on a water hole this year. I dont know yet... I love the challenge of spot and stalk :)

RUTTIN
07-12-2011, 10:55 PM
First thing in the morning before I go to work, I take my bow out and shoot one arrow only, concentrating on that one shot, thinking to myself you only get one shot. In the afternoon I will shoot about 50 arrows with good form. If you want to make it more fun, fill some balloons up with baby powder and shoot em, makes a good poof when you hit them. Or you can take a piece cardboard, spread a full deck of cards face up and get some buddies to play 21, pick your cards and hope you can hit em. Good luck Jen!

jenbickel
07-12-2011, 11:03 PM
Ruttin- Those are great ideas! I think I will definitely try them! Especially the balloon one..! Thanks so much!!! :D

JNDEER
07-13-2011, 11:06 AM
One arrow for me. When I know my bow and everything is shooting good I go out with one arrow and one broadhead to any random yardage. I pull out the 3D and give myself one shot to get the kill. The added pressure helps. After this maybe half hour or later I will go back out and shoot a little more if I feel like it. Try and make sure everything is in working order. I would not recommend shooting just one arrow until you can go out and reapeat, repeat, repeat the same process everytime you draw your bow and release.
To mix it up I move around the 3D, shoot from different angles, sitting, standing, kneeling, anything I can to make it more realistic. Sometimes I even shoot with a full backpack on. If I am going to be hunting in the heat (and I did) I would do a good workout than immediately go outside all sweaty and make that one arrow count.

Joe Hulburt
07-13-2011, 02:35 PM
3D courses are a lot of fun and great practice. Any of those in Wyoming? If not, you should set one up and charge people to shoot it.

The apple on your dogs head idea depends on if it is a good dog or not!:D

MarkTheFark
07-13-2011, 02:45 PM
Soleadventure.com? Is that right? this weeks blog you should read.

This is Mark from Sole Adventure (http://soleadventure.com), thanks for the mention.

For me, practice all comes down to "practicing perfect". I try and make each and every shot count. I am not concerned with the highest amount of reps, but just the most amount of perfect shots. Everyone is different, but I usually shoot 20 or so arrows each session. Sometime I shoot more than one session a day, sometimes not.

woodz
07-15-2011, 07:17 PM
I agree with perfect practice, that being said I tend to make my first arrow from 40-45 yards with a broadhead. This has helped my confidence and also helps me focus on the mechanics. I have a reinheart ball target that i take out and because of its size i can toss it down a hill or wherever, which gives me a change from the flat 45 yards my backyad offers. With that said focused practice is much better than no practice. Visualize the shot and make it happen this fall.

Drhorsepower
07-16-2011, 06:43 PM
This is Mark from Sole Adventure (http://soleadventure.com), thanks for the mention.

For me, practice all comes down to "practicing perfect". I try and make each and every shot count. I am not concerned with the highest amount of reps, but just the most amount of perfect shots. Everyone is different, but I usually shoot 20 or so arrows each session. Sometime I shoot more than one session a day, sometimes not.

I like your blog. Read it every week now. I have sine catching up to do though. I just found it within the last month. Is there an app for blogs or anything. It is hard for me to keep up on certain blogs.

coyhuntermn
07-18-2011, 12:50 PM
I am limited to 30 yards at home so I shoot as often as I can focusing on good form and muscle memory and just keeping my back strong. When I am able to go to the range I would shoot at a distance that is challenging for you say 20 yards longer than you plan to shoot for me that is normally 80 or even longer if no wind. Invest in a big target like 30" x 30" so you don't loose arrows this will magnify your errors so that you really reinforce what works other wise your are just reinforcing bad habbits. If you don't have the ability to shoot long range mark 4 penny sized dots on your target and shoot one arrow at each. Number your arrows and shoot them in order and pattern each one remove any flyers this will help you see your error instead of your total error.

Da White Shoe
07-28-2011, 12:45 AM
One thing I would add... once you know your bow is sighted in and your form is good, stay away from shooting spots. Use a 3D target or even a paper target with a picture of an antelope.

Stalking? Practice from a kneeling position.
Blind? Set it up and shoot out of it a bunch!

Elkcrazedfrk
07-29-2011, 08:09 PM
Another good point is to move your target..whoever said they roll their target down a hill and then shoot at it.. Great idea. To many count on their range finders for yardages. My hunting buddies and i hang a target in the woods and take turns picking shots. No rangefinders its all guesswork. We lose a few arrows but it has been by far the best practice for us..I should mention it does get just a tad competitive. But it really makes you make every shot count. As mentioed perfect practice..

BigT
07-29-2011, 10:58 PM
ok i usually shoot at my buddies house, we always start off with a 75 yard "cold shot". just like it is at that big elk, deer, ect... trying to 10 ring it. then we usually shoot from 50 yard to 80 yards. take are time shooting a little then setting around cooling off then shooting again. about 2 weeks before season when we start fine tuning all the pins, putting them where we want them.

just for fun when we have a couple freinds over we will shoot making a game out of it. and every so often we will brake out the long bows and play around. last year we had 10 guys, you shot 1 arrow closest to the target got to pick the next shot. so next shot could be 80 yard (w/ long bow) or shooting out of a swing at 20 yard. always fun to change it up

elivingston
08-24-2011, 09:41 PM
If you already "know how to shoot", then in general, practice should be about reinforcing good habits and eliminating bad ones. Each practice session should have a purpose, too. I don't think you have to have a written plan (but it probably wouldn't hurt), but you should be clear on your goal for the session. These goals could be simple/general or complex and very specific.

That said, my most general rules are:
* Never force myself to continue shooting - especially if you're not shooting well
* Always end on a high note
* Really try to make your first shot of the day "count". I grade my overall progress on this shot.
* Keep practice fun

Finally, I just read one of Cameron Hanes articles, and he mentioned that he doesn't really get caught up on the distances, e.g. shooting in his living room is fine, as long as he shoots daily. His goal is to "grease the groove", or make the shot process totally automatic. I like that. It's also very applicable to all sports, or skill-oriented tasks.

BTW, great suggestions for spicing up your practice, folks! Thanks for staring a good thread, too!

7200
08-25-2011, 10:51 PM
i am not a bowhunter yet, but this will be my first season. i got my bow in january and have been practicing as much as i can. one thing i do in anticipation of the season that might be rudimentary to some but i think it's helping is to practice quietly taking my arrows out of the quiver, getting them nocked, and attaching my release. i'm comfortable with my groupings so i've incorperated the set-up into my routine, to try and have that muscle memory. most of the time i can do it without taking my eyes off of my target. i'd hate to be fumbling an arrow or with my release before i get an opportunity to arrow my first animal.

another thing i do to try and be as ready as possible is to elevate my heart rate as much as possible before i shoot. i look like a fool standing out in the field, doing high knees for a couple of minutes and then quickly stopping and drawing my bow, but i've gotten a lot better at controling my breathing and steadying myself, incase i come up on an animal after climbing 1000 ft or my nerves take over when i see a huge deer.

to help with my novice range estimation, i will walk around in the field with my head pointed straight at the ground, walking in random zig-zags and circles before looking at the target. i believe that this gives me a better sense of not being able to guess the range from the amount of steps i've taken, plus no shot is ever the same. i do this one shot at a time, to truly evaluate if i over-estimated or under estimated my distance. it's awfully easy to correct that second shot, haha. i'm more interested with the shot that didn't hit where i wanted it to, to try and figure out what i could have done different.

Coyoteman
08-25-2011, 11:10 PM
Lots of good info on here. I do pretty much everything that has already been stated, plus.........sprints.

Only way to mimic the adrenaline rush/physical stress of a monster behind your pin. Ill run a sprint as fast as I can (however far/fast it takes to get your heart rate spiked). Than take the shot. Great way to get in the habit of doing body relaxing exercises (breathing, etc), and its just good exercise.

b1indhog
09-18-2011, 07:46 PM
Done something similar to coyoteman the last three Sundays. Started out as a conversation with my son about buck fever then I remembered the stress shoots I'd done long ago. So we grabbed our bows and headed to the yard. I now have a course of fire set and time penalties for anything outside the kill zone. Done it for time the last two Sundays. This week I was 22sec slower than last due to dropped shots! Also earlier in the day I lost $2 shooting 9 ball on our target to my son. After typing that I think I need to go practice more.

jenbickel
09-19-2011, 09:41 AM
Done something similar to coyoteman the last three Sundays. Started out as a conversation with my son about buck fever then I remembered the stress shoots I'd done long ago. So we grabbed our bows and headed to the yard. I now have a course of fire set and time penalties for anything outside the kill zone. Done it for time the last two Sundays. This week I was 22sec slower than last due to dropped shots! Also earlier in the day I lost $2 shooting 9 ball on our target to my son. After typing that I think I need to go practice more.

Lol you made me laugh!