Thoughts From The Field

Blog posts by the team

Bow Practice

I really enjoy shooting a bow.  However, like most hunters I’m busy with family, work, etc, and my time to simply fling arrows is limited.  Therefore I need to make my practice time as effective as possible.  Over the years, I’ve learned some lessons that have definitively helped me be a better archer.  These include the principle that “perfect practice makes perfect.”

Several years ago I practiced and hunted exclusively with a Black Widow recurve.  In fact, the best buck I’ve harvested with a bow was shot with one of my Black Widows!  I had shot a recurve on and off since childhood.  However, in hindsight, I realized I had simply been flinging arrows.  I attended an instinctive shooting clinic hosted by Black Widow and the instructor, Fred Asbell, taught that “perfect practice makes perfect.”

Grant with buckThe jest of this principle is that we all learn by memorization – either mental or physical (muscle memory).  So, if we simply fling arrows, we may not come to a complete draw, shut our eyes, release improperly, etc.  We will be much better archers if we focus on our technique on each shot.  If we do that, our muscles will remember the form and it will automatically occur when we don’t have time to go over our mental check list – like when aiming at a mature buck.

Since then, I’ve tried to slow down and make each shot count.  I’m not a perfect archer, but I’m probably as good as my schedule allows.  If you have limited time to shoot your bow, try incorporating the “perfect  practice makes perfect”  principle into your practice sessions.  You will probably fling a few less arrows, but more will be where you are aiming – especially when the target has a lot of bone on its head.

In my next blog, I’ll share another technique that has helped me be a much better shot with a bow.  In fact, it helped me resolve some problems I had with target panic.

Growing Deer together,


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