In bow hunting, accuracy is king. It’s not just the difference between a hit and a miss, but between a clean kill shot and one that leaves the animal in agony. Improving your bow accuracy takes a lot of work, but when you invest the time, you’ll be rewarded with better, cleaner kills than ever before. This season, adopt some new techniques to help improve your bow accuracy.
Your basic stance influences every other aspect of your shot. Put your feet too close together or too far apart and you don’t have the necessary balance to make your shot count. In general, you want to keep your feet about shoulder width apart, though you can cheat and move them a little further if that’s what feels comfortable. Keep your back straight and your knees relaxed from the time you stand, until the end of your follow-through.
During a hunt, most shots don’t happen while you’re standing; they come from a kneeling position. For good form on your knees, keep both legs close together. Your heels create a convenient resting place where you can place most of your weight.
Torque occurs when your bow starts to rotate your hand as you draw the string. The rotation causes arrows to drift to the left or right of your target, making accuracy almost impossible. To fight torque you must have the right tools and the right technique. The easiest way to address torque issues is switching to a thinner grip. The smaller grip reduces the potential torque effect your hand has on the bow. The other solution is to put the grip in the correct place on your hand. The grip should be set firmly in the “life line” of your palm, the diagonal that runs between your thumb and index finger.
Holding your breath and hyperventilating are common, especially when you see your perfect shot; however, these interruptions to your normal breathing pattern rob your brain of much needed oxygen and can cause your body to shake. Force yourself to take slow, comfortable breaths while you draw your string, and in your follow-through.
In every sporting activity, from a batter swinging at a pitch to a kicker trying a field goal, follow-through is an essential part of accuracy. When you fire your bow, follow-through keeps your body in the proper shooting stance until the arrow hits your target. If you drop your bow or jerk your head as you shoot, your body movement will force your arrow off target.
Extend Your Range
One of the best ways to improve your accuracy is to increase your range. If you’re most comfortable taking a shot at 30 yards, you should be practicing at the range at no less than 50. Long range shots punish poor form much more than shorter shots. You’ll discover that the accuracy you gain at the longer distance will carry over to your comfortable distance for hunting.
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Dust off the bow between hunting sessions and take a trip out to your local range. A few hours on the range working on your accuracy will have you ready for the big shot on your next hunting trip.