Bowhunting is awesome for many reasons. It allows you to be almost completely silent, you can retrieve the arrows and use them again, and you will look like a combination between our ancestors and a contemporary hunter with knowledge about the natural world. But mastering bowhunting is a whole ordeal. Some archery lessons should be on your list first and foremost.
But even basic lessons aren’t enough for getting to Hawkeye levels of awesomeness. Or Katniss, whoever you prefer. Hopefully, the following tips will help you raise your skill level high enough to be able to hunt the most moving targets even at great distances.
Everything is a trade-off
A compound bow is simple to use but it’s slow and methodical. A fast bow is generally harder to draw and keep steady. When choosing a bow, we recommend testing several models before making a final decision. See which one suits your style and skill level the most, and go for that one.
Accuracy is the key
Sure, being silent, fast, and having big penetrative power is important. But all of that comes falling down like the Tower of Babel if your accuracy sucks. If you have problems hitting targets, then we recommend getting a bow with a stand. And if your favorite model comes without one or with one that isn’t satisfactory, check out these affordable alternatives.
Never trade accuracy for speed
Ok, we’ve already mentioned this just now, but this needs clarification. Someone who has been bowhunting for years and years has built up so much muscle memory that they could probably shoot any bow accurately regardless of how heavy or fast it is. If you’re such a skilled marksman that you can sacrifice a little accuracy for speed, then go ahead.
But don’t take it too far. If you get cocky and set your bow’s speed at the highest possible level, you’re 80% more prone to missing a crucial shot. When arguing with statistics, many factors apply. You might be the exception, but it’s still better to be cautious rather than lose some precious game.
Shorten your release
Have you tripped your trigger with the tip of your index finger several times? Then you’ve got a problem. You see, without realizing, you’re actively sacrificing accuracy. You should be able to grip the trigger with the middle of the index finger, not with the tip. Try it. It will make it easier to squeeze the trigger and hold it under control properly.
Eye the arrow
Looking through the side-pin bracket during practice will make you shoot much better and will build up muscle memory in time. You should eye the shaft all the way to the target of your choice. This trick also helps you steady your bow arm because you will start noticing every small movement and you’ll involuntarily try to steady yourself better.
Practice in low light
Now we don’t recommend practicing in complete darkness. That would be a waste of your time. But we do encourage you to practice at sunset. Whitetail bucks are usually spotted right before the sun sets completely, so practicing in low light is ideal if you ever want a chance of capturing one.
Take that 100-yard shot
Do you feel less confident than others? Don’t be. People who can hit a target from 100 yards didn’t get there from the first day. Instead, they tried until they got it right. And you should do the same. Don’t feel intimidated. Try it. You’ll eventually get the hang of it and you’ll be shooting 100 yards away with ease in a couple of days or weeks.