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bottom-bouncer

Just somw thoughts for the new archers

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It seems like there are a number of new people entering the sport of archery so I thought I could share some hints to help them out and get them shooting in the right direction smile Hopefully some of the other experienced guys will chime in here with some tips. First try and keep your practice sessions short. Dont shoot untill your arms hurt this can cause bad habits to develope. Also take your time you will get more out of shooting 20 to 25 shots in 30 to 40 minutes than shooting 30 to 40 shots in 20 minutes. You will hear alot of people talking about practicing with your hunting clothes on and also to practice from elevated platforms if your going to hunt from a treestand. My advice is dont rush into this there will be time for that later in the summer it is better to practice from a flat level surface like A.e the ground. Keep it simple untill you have good form and muscle memory it will make you a much better archer in the long run. Also now is a great time to get out into the woods and look around the area you plan on hunting see were the deer are traveling what there eating and were there bedding. This can pay huge late in the season next year. look for possible stand locations with archery stand placement is huge a differnce of 10yds can be the differnce of a shot or no shot. One last thing Have fun Then you to can suffer from O.C.D like so many of us do when it comes to bowhunting.

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Yep, excellent advice above. Another good tip that may not be doable for some is to try find a place where more experienced archers are shooting. You certainly don't need to do this all the time, but once in a while is great- they can help you with equipment and form, which you can apply on your own later. Shooting with others who know what they are doing when you don't can be intimidating, but you'll benefit from it in the end.

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I'll add:

Don't start shooting your bow at its MAX draw weight until after you get comfortable pulling it back. Work your way up.

You should be able to hold your bow straight out toward your target and be able to draw straight back. Don't be aiming for the sky to start your draw.

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I'll add:

Don't start shooting your bow at its MAX draw weight until after you get comfortable pulling it back. Work your way up.

You should be able to hold your bow straight out toward your target and be able to draw straight back. Don't be aiming for the sky to start your draw.

I second that! wink I know a guy, well lets just call him Big arms! Big arms thought that he could shoot his bow at Max all the time. At the range he would have to point it straight up and pull with all he had to draw it, but man did he shoot fast! Well when it came time for Big arms to pull his bow back after sitting in a cold stand for a few hours plus add in a little Buck fever! He could not pull it back and had to pass on a nice Deer.

Work your way up and don't be a Mr Big arms!! crazylaugh

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The way I have thought on poundage. Is goto the pro-shop find the heaviest bow that you can draw back without doing the aim to the sky deal(bow brand does not matter)just the highest poundage you can draw back level and without struggling and then by a bow that is 10 pounds less.

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b-b, I've never thought of it that way, but I think that's an excellent suggestion-- especially for those who hunt later in the year when it gets cold and they are wearing a lot of layers of clothing.

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Find a comfortable, repeatable anchor point without extending and locking your bow arm straight out. This will make maintaining your form easier from a tree.

With todays bows most people don't really need to pull that much weight. Pick something that is comfortable to shoot and focus on shot placement. Aim small miss small.

Practice at a longer range than you anticipate shooting. It makes the short shots easy.

Don't clutter up your sights with too many pins.

Cover anything your arrow can touch while nocked with moleskin.

Use a string loop.

Most important find a good archer to mentor you.

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I'll be the first relative newb that chimes in. I picked up my first bow two summers ago. Instantly fell in love and joined the local private club.

I'm not a shy person and I there were more than a many individuals eager to help someone with genuine drive to improve their shooting.

Once I got the basics down, how to adjust the sites, a solid anchor point, arm positioning, the 'grip' <<< very underrated, I slowly learned the subtleties as I went along.

I shot a ridiculous amount my first two years 3-5 days a week for 5-6 mo. of the year, which if done properly you can get quite good in a hurry.

However, with that said my downfall was execution. The first year I was overzealous and thought the deer would flock to my stand because I picked out 'the best' location. Who knows, they may have, I was never there, only made it out 2-3 times.

The second year was more of the same, extreme preparation on the range, not enough field work (scouting, mapping, door knocking, etc) made it out 3-5 times, withheld releasing on the first deer in range on second weekend, a nice doe at 48 yards.

This year, it's time re-evaluate my strategy. First more field work, while still making regular trips to the range to keep the form. My strategy last year for scouting was glass as many deer as I could, and then determine my spot. This year I want to split more time between the road, and the Danners. Really learn the habits of the deer in the area, size structure, and maybe even put up a camera or two.

Create a schedule for the fall and stick to it. Other passions being upland and waterfowl, should be planned accordingly.

If you have other commitments in your life, let them know your plans early, and schedule ways to make up for 'perceived' time lost. Maybe even bring her on a 'nature walk' or two.

Use the off season to research articles and forums online, there are tons of very informative outlets, and I learned a LOT in two years. Also realized there is much more to learn.

My final words, the worst time spend in a stand will always beat the best time on the couch (given your alone). Make it fun!

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If practicing where you can move around. DONT shoot from different different angles without pulling your arrows first. It will cost you muuuucho bucks in arrows!!

Im like Deittz, Better to shoot that 1 and be exactly where you intended than 3 of 4 that are scattered (IMHO). Work up to shooting more. Nothing wrong with shooting 6 - 12 arrows a night until you know your conditioned. I also like to end my sessions on a good shot.

Dont be affraid to ask if you have questions. Whethers its about shooting or hunting. I cant count the times ive asked friends and theyve asked me, hey i cant figure out whats going on with this particular land, what am I missing why am i not seeing them. How about giving it a look and see what you think, and where would you set up. I find myself overlooking the obvious because I feel to confident in certain areas, when all it took was a different perspective to see the light.

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Practice at a longer range than you anticipate shooting. It makes the short shots easy.

Good advice!! When I practice I shoot three arrows each at 20, 30, 40 yards, then go back to 30 and 20 yards for three more arrows each and that 20 yarder is easy after the 40 yard shot!!

Also concentrate on that first arrow in each group, most times you'll only get one shot at a deer.

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All great advice. The biggest thing I have learned is that quality not quantity is what matters, along the lines of what some have already mentioned. Don't get stressed out about HAVING to practice every day or even all year long. I know some archers who constantly ask, did you practice today or how many times did you get out last week? It really doesn't matter so long as you are confident that what you're doing is good enough to make a safe, ethical shot on a deer. Period. I often hang up my bow from December through May or so, and come May, I pick up where I left off.

When practicing May through December, I set up my Glendel and mark off 10, 20, 30, and 40 yard distances from it. The first month or two, I take a couple of dozen shots each session lined up with the various markers. As I move into mid-Summer and season, that number drops to a dozen or even less. And I start moving around to random distances and angles within the 40 yard marker to hone my ability to estimate the correct yardage and where my one pin needs to go to make the shot. Again, I may only take a dozen shots that day, but I make all of them count. And in, my opinion, that's what counts.

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Shooting at longer ranges does make the short shots easier, but not recommended to a newbie. A newbie will easily get frustrated at longer distances by losing arrows and wide arrow groups, which will likely deter them from the sport, IMO!! The single most important thing to a newbie is a consistent anchor point. One thing I'll do is come to full draw with my eyes closed and then open them. You should be looking through your peep and sights once you open your eyes. Keep the sessions short and have fun!!

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DONT shoot from different different angles without pulling your arrows first.

mabr- what does this mean? I'm new to archery and am trying to learn. Thanks.

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berke99 he is saying if your shooting at say 20 yds standing on flay ground and you shoot three arrows dont switch angles like standing on your deck and shooting down at your target without pulling your arrows. reason being you will hit the first arrows on the side of the shaft with the second group of arrows resulting in damaged arrows. same with walking around and shooting at unknown distances if you start at point A shoot a couple arrows and then pull them before moving to point B to shoot.

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I like what Vister said about opening your eyes at full draw that way you know your bow is "fit" to you, more natural feal. Pay attention to how you are holding your bow on every draw and release when you start out, it's the little things that will throw you off. Like a tight grip will torque from side to side (keep a loose grip on the handle),relax, keep your arm steady even after the release you might be pulling from side to side or maybe even dropping early... just the little things.

Keep it fun!! When my daughter started we used to play games (still do), it gets boring shooting at the same bullseye. Blow up some ballooons to shoot at, pieces of colored paper scattered on the target with differant point values, invite fellow archers over for a shoot... Anything to keep it interesting.

My daughter loves archery and there's way more to it then just hunting, although I think she's going to give that a try next year with me.

Just remember keep it interesting to the newbies so they stick with it, it's a great sport to be involved with. Ask as many questions as you need, no question's a stupid question, everybody started somewhere. I don't know anyone invovled that wouldn,t give someone new helpful advise.

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Just another thing I thought about for the new shooter. It's going to be hard at first to get your bow zeroed in, if your using sights or otherwise I guess. Don't concentrate as much on hitting the bullseye, at first, as much as getting a consistant grouping. If your hitting high, low, right, or left... doesn't matter, as long as you get a good group.

Once you've astablished that, it makes it alot easier to zero everything in because your more confidant on your shots. If you try to sight in to early, you won't know if you set the sight wrong or if it's you doing something esle wrong during the shot. Have seen to many people get very frustrated with this, take your time it will come with practice.

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Great tips from all the folks here! I have been shooting a bow for about 10 years but just started hunting with a bow two years ago. The best tip I ever got was aim small, miss small. I used my daughter's neon yellow finger nail polish to place some quarter sized circles on my Black Hole. I found that practicing hitting these tiny marks greatly improved my groupings.

I'll admit I've had some marathon practice sessions but I found they led me to over-grip the bow. I can always tell when I'm getting tired now because my groupings suffer when I over-grip.

On the flip side, I have had some very short practice sessions. I'll pick a day when conditions are less than optimal and go out with the one shot, one kill mentality. I'll go out and take only one shot (no warmups). More often than not these days I can place that shot accurately. That is important to me because you are probably only going to get one shot when the big guy walks out.

My average session these days is 24 shots.

Happy shooting and don't forget a grunt tube in your mounth can get ripped out violently when you let that arrow fly!

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