“Study while others are sleeping, Work while others are loafing, Prepare while others are playing, and Dream while others are wishing.” – William A. Ward
I was given a card for my high school graduation that had that quote in it and for some reason it has stuck with me and become somewhat of a little life motto! I persistently say it to my kids in annoying mom, guaranteed to get an eye roll fashion, but I believe in it and I am even starting to think my kids are starting to “get it” too. Although the basic idea of this quote can essentially be applied to anything in life, I particularly think it can be a recipe for success when it comes to bowhunting.
Going the extra mile, and persistently and consistently doing more that you have to while preparing for an upcoming bow hunt will certainly pay off when it matters most! Lots of planning and preparation goes into all of my and Casey’s bow hunts, but one of the most important prep steps we take is the time we put into shooting. Months before the hunt, we make a commitment to put as much time into shooting as often as we can, even if that means only 10 – 12 arrows a day. Now we are days away from the season opener but months ago we ramped up our pre-hunt practice efforts so I thought I would share the run down of what I have been doing to be as ready as possible in 5 basic tips!
1. Commitment. Practice and then practice some more. Even on days that you are dead dog tired and have a million things to get done before you can call it a night, shoot a few arrows. 15 minutes every day can make a world of difference. Make the time and commit to it! Take your time to make a deliberate, max effort shot. Drawing back to your anchor point, focusing on your target, and following through with your shot, each and every time!
2. Arrows. If you are anything like me, you have a full box of arrows with all kinds of cool wraps and assorted fetchings. Although, I shoot any and all of them while I am just practicing, that all changes when I enter pre-hunt mode. I always weed out the “play” arrows a few weeks before season and narrow my selection down to a dozen of the exact same arrows that are in the best condition. This helps with my consistency and accuracey and we all know that is key!
3. Broadheads. Once you have a bundle of arrows picked out and you are shooting tight groups at a variety of different yardages, let’s throw it all out of whack and try to choose a broadhead. Do not assume that the broadhead you choose will shoot exactly like your field points, even if it’s the same weight! You will for sure see a difference and will want to practice shooting a bit with broadheads on your arrows before you hit the stand or trail on opening day! Just have to remember to shoot the side of the target that is made for broadheads;) I only speak from experience on that one!
4. Change it Up. As you get closer to the big day, start to change up your practice routine. Be sure to shoot from all different angles and ranges. Stand in the back of the pickup or shoot from the top of nearby tractor. Sit down on your butt, and even practice shooting from your knees. You never know what type of position you might have to shoot from when that monster presents itself so be sure to get creative and see if you can make the shot!
5. Dress Rehearsal. Yep! and Why not? Practice shooting in your hunting gear! Long sleeves, gloved hands, a hat on your head., etc. Bino’s strapped on your chest can even throw you a curve ball, so be prepared by practicing in all the garb you would wear on the hunt. Also practice pulling up your range finder, getting the range and then setting your shot up! Sometimes even running a lap around the range then going through all the motions can help you get an idea of shaky arms and legs and the feel of nervous heart pounding while drawing back!
That’s it for this one! Now get out there are put some time in! I promise it will pay off!!! After all, hard work always does!