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Perfect practice: building a better bowhunter—part 3

Tune Bow Before Practice

Before you begin a serious practice routine, it is wise to make sure your bow is tuned and properly set up for the arrows you are shooting. If you skip this step, there is a better than good chance that your broadhead-tipped arrows will not impact the same as your field tips. If your bow isn’t properly tuned or if your arrows are under- or over-spined for your setup, the result is an arrow coming off the rest at an odd angle.

When you are shooting field points, your fletching will eventually stabilize the arrow in flight. However, with broadheads, wind drag on the blades on the front of the arrow will fight against the fletching on the back to cause erratic flight, resulting in different points of impact. Erratic flight can be minimized by shooting mechanical broadheads, but a wobbling arrow shaft will substantially reduce penetration because it wastes and disperses kinetic energy upon impact.

Be sure your cams are synchronized if you’re shooting a two-cam bow. You can check this yourself while the bow is relaxed by looking to see if both cams are resting at the same angle in relation to the limbs. Often all you have to do is look straight across the limbs and find a point of reference where the limb intersects the cam. Repeat this procedure on the opposite cam looking at the same point of reference. If your points of reference do not have an identical relationship to the limbs, your cams are not synchronized and perfect arrow flight can’t be achieved. If you don’t know how to adjust the timing of your cams, go to your local archery shop. They will be glad to assist.

Practice In Your Hunting Clothes

Simulate hunting conditions as you practice to get used to clothing, expected shot angles, and sitting in your stand so you can focus on making the perfect shot.When getting ready for hunting season, it’s always a good idea to practice shooting in your hunting clothes and from elevated positions. Your hunting clothes may be bulkier than what you would normally wear during late-summer practice sessions. Giving them a test drive will forewarn you of any potential shooting hazards.

When I was a beginning bowhunter, many of my mentors told me that shooting from an elevated position would change my point of impact. Through my own personal experience, I have found that it is not the elevated position itself that causes you to miss your bulls-eye. The miss occurs because most shooters disrupt their normal shooting form when taking shots from above. When you are standing on level ground and shooting with proper form, take note that your bow arm is held at 90 degrees, or perpendicular to both your upper torso and the riser of your bow. Next time you are shooting from a treestand, double check to ensure your bow arm maintains that same relationship with your torso and riser. To accomplish this proper relationship, you have to bend at the waist—not just a little bit, but far enough that your bow arm stays at 90 degrees from your torso and riser while your sight pin is on your target. You’ll find your arrows will hit their mark just like when you are on the ground.

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