Archery Practice Routines

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Dial long distance in your practice routines.

During the course of the year most average archery hunters will practice in their back yard at a distance of twenty yards. They do this because over the years it has been beaten into their heads that this is the acceptable whitetail hunting distance. While I do not disagree with the hunting distance theory, I do strongly disagree with their practice routine. If you want to become a much more effective shooter both for hunting and target take a few steps back and begin practicing at longer ranges. I was guilty of the twenty-yard practice routine earlier in my career when all I hunted was deer and bear. As I began to branch out and hunt other species such as antelope, moose and elk my practice habits began to change. Do to the terrain that these creatures live in I began to prepare for longer shooting opportunities. What I discovered in return was that my close range shooting improved dramatically. After practicing at thirty yards for a while twenty seemed easy. After shooting forty yards thirty seemed easy and so on. Now most of my practice is done at sixty and seventy yards. This is not so that I can attempt shots of this distance on deer but merle to improve my over all shooting. If you can aim, release and follow through well enough to shoot with any accuracy and consistency at sixty yards, twenty yards will seem like a chip shot.

One method of determining your maximum effective range on deer is what I refer to as the half method. This is a pretty simple equation simply take the distance that you can consistently group your arrows in the ten ring on a 3-d deer target and cut that distance in half for hunting. If you are grouping your arrows well at forty yards then a realistic hunting limitation would be twenty yards. This may seem a bit extreme but limiting your self helps to factor in conditions such as nerves, clothing, and awkward shot angles. As you progress with your shooting you will be able to extend this effective range. So if you really want to be a better shooter take a few steps back. I think you will be impressed with the results.