With archery seasons fast approaching here are 3 archery pre-season tips to get you running on all cylinders.
There is nothing quite like the anticipation for hunting season. Not only does a sense of excitement begin to build within us, but nature itself seems to prime us for our fall adventures. Nights turn cooler, leaves slowly begin to change, days shorten, and a general sense of fall sets in. When the stage is all set there is nothing quite like it.
Although it is still August, now is the time for the ardent bowhunter to start fine tuning their game for the upcoming season. Odds are you’ve been practicing over the summer months and should be in top shooting form. Shooting is surely part of the equation, but don’t overlook other aspects of the preseason as well. Here are three archery pre-season tips to help avoid any oversights in your preparation.
For most folks out there the summer months are the best time to shoot the most arrows. With long days and nice weather folks can come home after work and get a release a few shots before turning in for the night. What better way is there to spend a nice summer night than shooting bows with friends and family? As you approach hunting season however, your shooting routine should begin to change.
The goal of your late pre-season shooting routine should begin to shift from abundance of arrows to real life shooting situations. This begins with varying the yardage of your shots. Don’t just stand at 20 yards shooting a broadside 3-D target. Mix it up a little. Move to odd distances like 37 yards, 23 yards, or any yardage you could possibly shoot at an animal. You might get lucky and have an animal walk by at exactly your pin distance, but in reality that may not happen. Get comfortable with all distances.
Also, if you shoot at a 3-D target, make sure you practice all different kinds of shooting angles. Broadside, quartering away, elevated shots, and shots through tight shooting lanes are all shots you may need to execute come crunch time. Practice them now and save yourself heartache when it counts.
Gear Run Down
Another box on the archery pre-season tips checklist you’ll want to tick is gear related. If you’ve been diligent, your gear should be in top working order. However that might not be the case for everyone. Late summer is not the time you want to be making major gear changes, although late summer sure beats mid fall in my book.
To start, make sure you have enough equipment to last through the season. For me this starts with arrows. Through practice sessions and hunting forays, I always expect to break or lose a few arrows. That being said, it is important to start the year with more than enough arrows to last you the fall. My rule of thumb is to have a bare minimum of six functional and well-flying arrows before season begins. This gives me enough to fill my quiver and have reserves at home as well. I will always start the year with more than half a dozen, but I’m comfortable with that amount throughout hunting season.
In addition to arrows now is the time to run through your other gear as well. Do you have enough broadheads? Is your string up to snuff? Are the allen bolts on your bow tight? Do you need replacement vanes? A few years ago I was shooting a broadhead that had razor sharp blades I could easily replace. About late August I went to purchase a new set of blades for the upcoming season. Low and behold the company had redesigned their broadheads and the new blades would no longer work in the old broadhead. Rather than mess around with that problem again, I opted to go with an entirely new broadhead setup. Fortunately I made the change far enough in advance of the season I had time to experiment with my new broadheads. Don’t let yourself wind up in a trap like that the night before you head into the woods.
Once you’ve changed your shooting routine and have inspected your gear, you’re well on your road to having a successful fall. The final pre-season archery tip I always make a point to emphasize is mental preparation. There is loads of research out there supporting the benefits of positive mental preparation. If you see yourself performing at a high level and being successful, it is likely you will actually perform better when the time comes. One reason is visualization is so powerful, is that by visualizing a situation you actually take your mind to a high pressure situation before going there.
As deer season approaches, it is likely you’ll start thinking about hunting; a lot. Rather than just thinking about some Pope and Young deer approaching your stand, visualize yourself drawing back on him, finding your anchor, going though your shot sequence, and then finally squeezing off the perfect shot. Think about your breathing and try to imagine the nerves you would feel. The more realistic you can make it the better. It might sound corny, but the benefits of positive visualization can really pay off when you need them to and have an abundance of research to back it up.
As late summer clings to life around the country, many archers will be gearing up to hit the woods this fall. It is a time of year all hunters simply cherish. Before fall finally settles in upon us, make sure to start incorporating these three archery pre-season tips into your routine. By making your practice shots more realistic, examining your gear, and mentally preparing, you’ll give yourself the best chance at success when you finally do hit the woods.