Practice Makes Perfect

Fall is just around the corner. Many of us diehard bowhunters are shooting our bows daily. Most of us practice at 30, 40 or even 50 yards and feel like that is good enough. After all, most of us would never take that far of a shot in the woods. However, even if you never plan to take a shot at 60, 70 or 80 yards, learning how to hit a pie plate at those distances with an arrow can greatly increase your odds of killing a critter at 20 or 30 yards. For starters, if you can hit a pie plate at 60 or 70 yards, you have good form. If your form is off even a little bit at 60 or 70 yards, you will miss the pie plate every time. For example, torquing a bow is something all of us do from time to time. At 20 yards if you torque your bow slightly, you will never notice it because your arrow groups will still be small. At 70 yards if you torque your bow slightly, you will miss the pie plate by a mile. Perfecting your form at 70 yards will make 20-40 yard shot a piece of cake. As we all know, when your confidence is up, you will perform better. I will never take a 70-yard shot in the field but I do it all the time in my backyard. Another reason all of us should shoot at longer distances is because it will show us if we have any flaws in our equipment. Not every arrow in a dozen flies perfectly. If you shoot at long distances, the bad arrows will show themselves. I often mark every arrow in a new dozen and shoot at 60 or 70 yards. If an arrow consistently misses the mark at this range, chances are there is an imperfection in the arrow and I remove it from my quiver. At 60 or 70 yards, a vane that isn’t glued on perfectly, a broadhead that doesn’t weigh the same as the rest, or a nock that isn’t perfect is easy to spot. When I enter the woods, I want all my arrows to perform the same. Practicing at extreme distances allows me to easily weed out any bad arrows. I take my setup one step further. I spin test each arrow on a Pine Ridge Archery spin tester and weigh each broadhead I intend to hunt with. All my arrows and broadheads must weigh within a few grains of each other to make it in my quiver. To shoot consistently, my arrows must shoot the same. If you shoot with mechanical heads, make sure you practice with the practice head that comes with that broadhead. If you shoot fixed-blade heads, make sure you practice with a few of them so you know exactly how they shoot. Being accurate at 60 yards and beyond can take work, but it will also give you the confidence you need to be accurate in the field.

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