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09/01/2011

Bruised ForearmI nock my arrow and clip on my release, drawback.  Corner of the mouth tip of the nose. Neon red pin on the target and squeeze the trigger and smack… the string smash into my forearm as they arrow flies into the target six inches right of aim.

Anybody who has shot a bow has felt this pain, and they have done many things to try to avoid it again. Most people would make some sort of physical adjustment to correct this, but I didn’t change my stance, or bend my arm more, or twist my wrist. I grimaced in pain for a few seconds, nocked a new arrow and slowed down. Analyzing my draw, my every movement and when I come to full draw, I check my anchor point, loosen my grip, squeeze the trigger, and follow through. Voila! Bullseye!  Finding the right form is important to be consistently accurate, but maintain form requires consistent practice.Archery Form

I tell myself after each hunting season that I will practice all year round, but I slip and make up excuses. In my 16 years of bow hunting I have only practiced year-round one year. That was because I joined an archery league. I love hunting and practice shooting, but I often times find excuse not to practice. I do not have the good fortune of being able to shoot in my back yard. (The pictures on the right were taken at my parents house 3 hours away) For many years I would have to go to a pro shop with a range and pay to shoot. This was too expensive to do often. Wanting to shoot more often,  I researched shooting ranges and found a county park about 5 miles from where I live that has an archery range complete with 3 bail targets, yardages marked out to 100 yards, and a 15 foot platform to simulate treestand shots. Best of all a park pass in less than $30/yr.Archery Practice I would shoot a few times a week and I began to shoot tighter patterns and started to be more accurate at longer distances.

Truthfully, I still don’t practice all year round. I do start practicing in the beginning of summer. I start off slow, once every week to two weeks and increase those practice sessions as the hunting season draws closer. Starting now (the beginning of September) I will shoot at least 4 times a week. After the season starts it is important to continue to practice. Many things can happen in the field and it is important to make sure your still on target and keep your form for when the big one steps out.

Having an engineering degree, I still am a bit of a math guy. So here are the my equations for archery hunting.

Arrow Removal

 

Lack of consistent practice + Lack of concentration =
Bad Form = Missed targets + Forearm bruises

Consistent practice + Concentration + good form =
Clean and ethical kill this fall