Accuracy is the result of consistency. As a bow hunter or archery enthusiast, you realize this, but are often frustrated when you repeatedly fail–despite your best efforts. If you are dealing with this dilemma, it might be time to get back to the basics.
It’s no different for designated hitters in major league baseball. When they do everything right they hit home runs and win games. Yet, they often fall into a slump in which they just can’t seem to connect with the ball. That’s when a batting coach has to take them back through the mechanics of it all, and see what the hitter is doing differently then normal.
Consistency Leads to Accuracy
Most hunters prefer compound bows. They are a bit different than a recurve bow, but the same principles apply. Bagging that trophy buck, just like hitting a baseball, starts with the proper mechanics.
- Stance. Form is everything; when you hit your target consistently, you’ll know that you have found your happy spot. Face the target from the side, so you are facing over the shoulder of your grip hand. The novice learns quickly that if he is trying to shoot any other way, it won’t matter how he places his feet. Feet, however, should be placed apart, about the width of your shoulders–find what is comfortable and works the best.
- Grip. When choosing a bow, make sure it feels right in your hand. This is crucial because a big factor in making or missing the shot is the result of torque (to the left or right). When at full draw, you should feel comfortable with a relaxed grip. The bow should feel like it’s pushing against the cradle created by your palm and thumb. Grip too tightly when you shoot and you will miss, since you have caused unwanted torque.
- Anchor points. Stay consistent! If you shoot better when you pull the string against the bridge of your nose, do it every time.
- The “surprise release”. The pros say you have about 7 seconds to make a shot; it’s the longest you can pin-point a target before distractions – like the weight of the bow or slack in the draw – set in. This goes hand in hand with what is called “floating the pin.” Hunters that use sights typically use sighting pins. But trying to keep that pin focused on an exact spot for very long is rather difficult. It’s best not to hesitate, and release the moment the pin is lined up with the target area. Don’t fight it; you’ll be surprised by the results.
- Always follow through. Don’t drop your bow until the arrow hits the target–hold it up as if you were still aiming. Dropping the bow too soon after a shot results in missing the target.
Remember, practice makes perfect. Breathe, relax, and stay consistent by keeping the basics in mind. These tips will help you gain that edge in accuracy, consistency, and perfection.