|Practical shooting positions during 3D eventes make real life situations more accurate.|
Yes, we are talking about practice. This is the foundation to what we can rely heavily on, when our mind is concentrating on making a shot, at the buck or bull of a lifetime. We not only need to practice for ourselves to get better, but we need to practice for ethical, as well as moral reasons.
Bowhunters are an elite core of the hunting world. In this day and age, as bowhunters hunting with primitive equipment, we must prove this every time we take to the field. Mistakes, lack of knowledge, or poor shot choices might someday lose us the hunting opportunities we have now.
I know there have been books and articles written on how to practice with your bow. Yet, I feel that many have left out why we need to practice. If we look at sports like football or baseball, for example, they practice to score points, that is the goal. In these sports mentioned they have pre-season camps, they don’t just start their season by playing a regular season game.
I cringe, when I hear of people getting out their archery equipment, a week or two before the season, shoot a few arrows, and call it good. We have to remember that although some games have meaning, to winning a Super Bowl or a World Series, our sport is more serious. Our sport is about life and death. This is why it is our ethical and moral obligation to practice. We as hunters are somewhat playing God in deciding if an animal lives or dies. I know this is the nature of the sport but we have an obligation to make ourselves the best archers we can be. Then bowhunters can show the due respect to the animal by making a quick kill.
So what is practice to me? Practice to me should help improve your archery skills, but it should also be fun. I try to shoot my Bowtech Destroyer every chance I get. I have a Rinehart 18-1, as well as two 3D targets that I shoot in my yard, and take along when I go scouting. By doing this I can combine two of my favorite past times, scouting and shooting. I do try to shoot 40 to 50 arrows a day, sometimes more sometimes less but I personally love to have my bow in my hand shooting arrows.
|Author and wife make it a family outing. Make practice fun.|
I also attend as many 3D shoots as possible this helps hone the bowhunting skills of an archer. I have heard a myriad of excuses why people can’t make it to 3d shoots some are: I have family obligations, intimidated, gas prices and entry fee, I am not that competitive. My answers to these excuses are:
1. Family obligations, well the easy answer is to get the family involved and bring them to the shoots, about five years ago I got my wife a bow and she began to go these shoots with me. My wife now has become addicted to 3D shoots how about that for a date with your bride. Bring the kids they enjoy the different animals they can shoot and it is better than a video game. My stepson attends many of the shoots with us also.
2. Intimidation: I was one that was intimidated when I was first got asked to go to a 3D shoot, I thought people would judge me, but soon learned that this is archery. You shoot with friends and family which makes it less intimidating, also bowhunters are for the most part very helpful in helping answer questions that can help you become a better archer. I have learned archery tips from many great archers at 3D shoots there is not a stupid question, just those not asked.
3. Cost of getting there and entry fees, the first one gas prices, it’s a family outing so combine the shoot with something else in the area. If family can’t go take some hunting buddies and split the cost. Entry fees, well if there are thirty targets at a shoot, and they are set up for you to shoot, that is well worth the price. Also a bowhunter gets to shoot many different types of targets such as: elk, bear, bighorn sheep at a fraction of the costs of buying all these targets.
4. I am not that competitive: I have been writing 3D shoots, not ‘tournaments’ for a reason. A bowhunter can go to many shoots as a fun shooter, no pressure here just have fun, and enjoy the outdoors, polishing up your archery skills. Most of my competitive nature is not with others, but with myself to improve my skills.
A 3D shoot has obstacles and angles typical of hunting situations. This type of practice will hopefully help gain confidence by honing your skills for that moment of truth.
After hunting seasons are over, I begin shooting indoors, 300 round and Techno Hunt leagues. I love shooting 300, because I feel it helps keep my form from getting rusty and maybe even improve some aspects of my form. I shoot in a techno league at Triggers Pro Shop; this is the fun part of practice because I can go from Alaska to Africa hunting. This is fun shooting with friends and family when the weather outside is below zero. This is a video game that everyone can enjoy and still keep your bow shooting arrows in an exciting environment. Also, it is an entertaining solution for giving the younger generation an interest in bowhunting.
I am a bowhunter, and I love shooting my bow, so all this practice is fun to me. By making myself better, I feel the confidence in my shooting ability that I can make that all important shot, the one I put into an animal. I think by respecting yourself, and being a better archer, will also translate into respecting the quarry we are about to kill. Remember, as bowhunters our sport is not about winning or losing, it is about life or death.