Bow Hunting Tips

A bow has many advantages compared to a hunting rifle, or any other weapon, when it comes to hunting or defense of a given property.  Its most obvious advantage is its stealth potential, which can prove invaluable – many hunters still prefer using a bow in their treks hunting deer.  Handling a bow and being accurate with it, however, is an entirely different story altogether, as anyone who has ever handled one can attest. 

Wind speed plays a larger role in placing an accurate shot as well as the overall dexterity of the hunter.  Bows require more skill than handling a firearm, but they will never need more than simple maintenance while offering superb penetration for all but the largest of game.  One thing you must keep in mind, however, is that hunting with a bow requires even more skill at being stealthy since the range at which it can be used effectively can vary, and shots require much more concentration than when using a firearm.  That being said, taking down your prey with a weapon of that kind is much more satisfying than using a gun, because of the effort involved.  In this tutorial, we will cover some tips to help you become a more accurate shot using a bow:

1. Relaxation

Once upon a time, people used to say that training a good bowman required starting with their grandfather and then waiting sixty years before having a skilled archer.  One of the most important aspects of being accurate with a bow is the proper relaxation technique.  Unless your muscles are relaxed, you won’t be able to have the proper coordination and accuracy needed – this relaxation has to begin with the legs and your entire body up to the bow arm itself before the shot.   The lack of proper relaxation will impede your natural movements and flow while you aim and shoot.

2. Focus

This is essentially “calling” the target as some people call it – focusing intently on the spot you want to hit – this sharp focus will help you maintain a better aim.

3. Follow through

This applies both to the physical and mental sides of the act of loosing an arrow.  Your mind must be clear of distractions and your hand grip must be relaxed until the the arrow hits the target.  Snapping it closed as soon as the shot is made will ruin your accuracy – following through will help you stay on target.

4. Surprise release

When you’re trying to keep the pin centered on target you will inevitably hesitate when you can’t keep it steady.  This is the moment a lot of people instinctively release and this ruins their shot’s accuracy.  Archery is mostly about muscle memory and having a “feel” for the target as well as constant practice.  Learning to do a surprise release can make you use that “feel” appropriately when you loose the arrow.  Using your intuition will be much more efficient than aiming carefully as you will see if you break the habit of careful, long aiming.

5. Practice, Practice, Practice!

We can’t stress that enough – the only way to achieve consistent accuracy at a variety of ranges is to practice all the time even during off-season parts of the year.  The only way to maintain your strength and form is to practice – English longbowmen and Japanese kyudo masters took an entire lifetime to train, and the only reason they were so good at what they did was constant practice and consistency, much like any other skilled pursuit. If you are a complete beginner, you may want to use a mini crossbow for practice.