Deer Hunting: Realistic Practice Puts Tenderloins In The FreezerSeptember 13th, 2013 by Grant Woods
I enjoy shooting both guns and bows! I was raised by a family that shot competitively. My father, mother, and both sisters and I have won numerous shooting matches in the National Muzzleloader Rifle Association’s competitions. I give all the credit for the wins to my father, Glen Woods.
My dad always had us practice in the same positions, at the same ranges, and at the targets we’d see at the upcoming matches. He’d also mix in some fun, like shooting at novelty targets.
The skills I learned as a child while being “coached” by my father have helped me through the years. However, just the knowledge of how to shoot won’t put many tenderloins in the freezer without continual practice.
I believe it is just as important for hunters to practice shot placement as it was for me as a competitor to practice with the exact conditions I would see during matches! A great method to do this is to practice using 3D targets! It’s very easy to focus on where the arrow/bullet strikes the target, especially paper targets. To consistently bring home tenderloin, knowing where the arrow/bullet exits is as important as the entrance.
To take this a step further, I like to practice with the broadheads and bullets I use to hunt with. Finally, I like to simulate the conditions of shooting at a critter versus practicing quietly by myself. I often have my buddies shoot with me and encourage them to be talking, teasing, etc., while I’m shooting.
Finally, I continue practicing during season. It’s easy to practice all summer and be shooting great at the first of the season. However, it’s easy to spend all of our free time hunting once season begins. As the temperatures change most hunters will wear different/more clothes. This can radically change the sight picture of shooting a bow and/or gun. In addition, muscle tone developed by frequently practicing with a bow can decrease substantially in a few weeks if the practice frequency or duration decreases.
I’ve been practicing with my hunting gear, and will continue practicing throughout the season. How about you?
Growing and hunting deer together,