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Columns - Monthly : Fletch's Corner - Dave Coldwell
Last Updated: Feb 5, 2010 - 5:39:39 PM
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Simple Fixes to Large Problems
By Dave Coldwell
May 31, 2006 - 6:25:00 AM

Welcome to the newest edition of the family, Fletch’s Corner.  I will cover many subjects; all related to helping make your outdoor experiences more rewarding.  Hopefully, we can provide some insight into different types of equipment, places to go, how to save money, how to improve your shooting, and how to boost your confidence for the shot at a once-in-a-lifetime trophy.  This month, let’s go over some of the easiest fixes to bow shooting problems that you may be experiencing.  .....  Dave Coldwell (Fletch)

FLETCH'S CORNER: Simple Fixes to Large Problems

Draw Length

Draw length is one of the most crucial concerns when setting up a bow.  It seems everywhere I go, whether in a hunting camp in Alaska or the local 3-D shoot fifteen miles away, I always see shooters, men AND women that have the draw length set too long.  I have personally witnessed 3 or 4 bowhunters that had their draw length set too long, get their bows adjusted to the proper draw and immediately all of them said they had never shot so well in their life! 

Bear in mind, nothing else changed except their draw length.  Back in the old days (in the 1980’s) I used to shoot a 32” draw length just to get the most speed that I could out of my shooting setup. I finally got my speed up to almost 300 fps.

But I didn’t realize how much my shooting accuracy suffered.  I attended all of the IBO shoots that I could and competing against all the big dogs, but I could never move up and finish the shoot in one of the top ten positions. And, I never realized why, until a few years ago. 

When I shortened my draw length to 30” and allowed my left elbow to bend slightly, my shooting scores were the best I had ever shot!

String Loops

I fought the idea of a string loop for years and finally changed to the loop last year.  From my perspective, I don’t think I’ll ever change back.  Most dealers told me that if I switched to a string loop, (versus hooking my release directly to the string) that my draw length on my bow would have to be shortened by ½”. 

I can tell you that in my case, this was not true.  I am shooting a Mathews Switchback set at 30” draw length and when I added a loop to the string, my draw length did not change.  (my anchor point did change slightly)

What did change is my group size!  My longer distance grouping is about ½ of the size it used to be. 

(Thanks to Phil Long, Shelby Forest Archery, Millington, TN for beating this into my pea brain)  I used to have problems with the peep not rotating properly and have spent hours in years past trying to get the loop “broken-in” and turning properly with consistency.  Thank goodness for the new modern string materials (I’m shooting BCY) and methods of manufacture that almost eliminate string twist.

The Level Bubble

Shoot the bubble!  If you don’t think a bubble level on your bowhunting sight is important, just attend a big IBO or NFAA shoot and try to find a sight that doesn’t have a level.  When the big money is on the line, ($10,000 to $50,000 or more) EVERY serious competitor has a bubble level on their sight! 

Isn’t the biggest buck of your life important enough for a level? 

My good friend, Frank Pearson taught me years ago how important a level is to hunting.  Frank had me shoot 6 arrows into the target (glancing at the level before each shot) at just 20 yards.  Then, Frank took my bow sight off and put a washer under the top of the sight to produce about an 8 to 10 degree slant when the bubble was in the middle, and had me shoot the same 6 arrows again. 

Frank told me to be sure to keep the bubble in the middle and the results were amazing!  My group at 20 yards was between 9 and 10 inches to the left!  On a whitetail deer, 9 inches is the difference between a heart shot and gut shot.  I haven’t hunted since that “lesson” without a sight and a level. 

That’s all for this month.  We’ll go over more equipment issues in future columns.  Until next month, keep your eyes on the horizon and remember, there’s no substitute for good practice.

Fletch's Corner Is Sponsored By Grim Reaper Broadheads


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