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  • Practice, Practice, Practice!!

    Fellas I know EVERYONE is itching to get into that special stand Sept. 10th, I know I am. And this is the very reason I am wanting to create this post. I want to share an experience that helped me and hope it might help someone on this site because the information shared in this report works! Please don't flake out on me, try to read everything. I thought that I knew the correct way to practice with my bow. I have always sighted my pins in at 20, 30, and 40 yards. However at this time my comfort level may be hovering around 40 yards. Now please don't misinterpret what I am about to say here. This is about practice, not killing. I am referring all of this post to shooting 3D targets or bag/block targets, what ever you have.

    When I pull out the ol bow and arrows to practice before season I would simply shoot my 20 yard pin and try to group well. Which isn't too awfully hard, practice does make perfect. Next I would move onto my 30 yard pin, which is about where I like to stop for shooting deer. Then I would venture to the 40 yard pin, just to see what happens and maybe one day be able to make this shot? Who knows, if I practice enough I might get it one day? Well as you know my groups aren't as good at 40 yards as they are at 20 yards. Smaller target more bow movement and so on, you know the drill.

    Well, earlier this week I had the privilege to meet with two great guys off this site and they were generous enough to take time out of their day off work to help me improve my shooting and overall performance of my bow. I went down expecting to get some work done to the bow because I knew that it had not been tuned up correctly before. I knew I would have to shoot and was wanting to so I could get advice from other guys with more experience. I knew these guys were known for their long range shooting and I was not opposed to that. I figured that we would end up practicing these longer distances. Why, I didn't know, but figured we would. Maybe just for fun, or maybe just for s---s and giggles (use your psychology lesson you learned here). Whatever it was I was game for it. So after tuning up the bow we started trying out the new set up. At 20 yards for about 12 shots to get the site close, then out to 30 yards for the same thing. After this we did something I wasn't accustomed to. We went to the infamous 150 yard bow range. THIS is where I don't want to lose you guys reading this. This is where the learning BEGINS! Yes I did alright at 30 yards so whats the big deal? Well as we began to shoot I was like we are going to do what? Well, we began shooting at 60 yards next. Was it for them to say look at what i can do? NO! It was for practice! Practice to shoot a deer at 60 yards. Well maybe, but most importantly so that i could concentrate on keeping my bow steady, so I could practice concentrating on the target, and mostly so i could get better at my normal or average range shots. Its not to say look I can do this at this many yards or I can do that, yes a challenge is fun and competition makes it more interesting but it is to PRACTICE! I am going to attach three different pictures (hopefully). The first is a group i shot about a week ago while practicing at 20 yards that I was pretty happy with (that's why i took the pic). The second and third is after practicing shooting anywhere from 60-80 yards for about three hours. The second picture are my groups at 30 yards now. This range is very consistently grouping like this. The third, and last picture is my groups at 40 yards now. And keep in mind I was only confident with 30 yard shots before practicing with these guys. Not to say I am totally proficient at 40 yards with this group, every now and then i will throw a curve ball, but over all this is it. And I do need some adjusting on this pin after tuning my bow at this range. However please look at the before and after picture of my groups, and this is not staged or anything, these are honestly my groups. I am very happy with the improvement that occurred after doing this. As soon as I get a chance to get a little bit larger than just a 3D target I hope to make this a normal routine in my bow shooting practice. I am sharing this only to show what kind of improvement long range PRACTICING can do. Just please don't knock it until you try it. I may be considered a novice at archery, but I know one thing to be true, and that is this long range practice works!

    I would like to end by giving credit where credit is due. If it weren't for Inferno and Viper I would still be satisfied with longest range being 30 yards (WHICH THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT, BUT YOU BEST BET I WILL HAVE EVERY ARROW TOUCHING IN MY GROUPS NOW!)and my 40 yard groups being nearly 10 inches! So if you ever have a problem with your bow Inferno is the man you need to contact. He is loaded with so much information about archery and setups that I believe he could answer about any question. And with the help of viper these guys could instruct a blind man to hit a target at 30 yards every time. From now on when these guys talk about archery, I listen! Thank you both again for all your help and advice.

    And finally if you made it this far the whole point of this is -- (big breath) -- if you are not satisfied with your groups at ANY range, add another 30 yards to that, practice that for a while, then return to your starting yardage and tell me there is no difference in your groups and I will kiss your ____ ! That is my challenge to everyone reading this! This was my challenge a few days ago and I'm glad i was put up to it! And as Nike says, JUST DO IT!
    Well, it was real hard to read the FULL article you wrote but I finally got to the end of it after gritting my teeth and spitting on the floor a few times. NO JUST KIDDING. I must say, I found this article very informative and and can see in my mind (scary) that this would work and yes it makes a lot of sense to me. I think I will do some longer range shooting, FOR PRACTICE ONLY, and try to tighten up my 30 and 40 yard groups. Thanks for sharing this and I hope others will be helped by reading also. Happy shooting.
    Good Shooting...Looks to me like you could have used your 30 yard pin on those 40 yard shots depending on your Bow Speed but thats what I see...But remind you...My friends always tell me I shoot low...Great Article and Why not practice LOL? Who doesn't love to shoot their bows? I've been shooting my Bowtech with the Tenpoint Xbow staying in the Case...I have a 40 yard mark on my HHA site but have never been in a situation where patience didn't award me with a Less than 30 yard shot.....If I run out of Shooting light...That's fine...If the Lords willing I'll be back tomorrow.........Good Luck
    Thank you NChunter8.....but no thanks needed. Inferno and I are just bow crazy and deer hungry. The point is understand not only the capabilities of your bow but the the capabilities of yourself. Long range shooting just teaches you how to hold steady which is what makes most shooters great! It applies to guns as well as bows and get this photographers.
    Everyone talks about passion for the sport....My knees still go week when a doe, I know I'm gonna shoot, comes in. The only difference is my bow is steady now after a regement of long range practice.
    This is not something I have just started doing.....I have been shooting 60 yards for 4 years, 75 yards for 3 years and well 100 yards just this year. I think you get to a point that steady is well....steady. The only limitation is your site set up and having that pin mark for the adjustment. As you learned a valuable lesson....sometimes you can improvise by useing other parts of your scope. I recommend a site that gives you that fixed setting.
    Practice, practice, practice is all I have ever said.
    As a first timer and not having a 60 or a 80 yard you didn't hit the bullseye at 80 yards but like I said that's not important right now but what was, was your consistant grouping at 60, and at 80 yards. That tells me you are doing the same thing everytime. That my friend is the key. Learning to adjust for the wind is leasson number 2. Your are a prime example as I....that anyone can do this. I'm glad that you made this post because it's not about shooting's about shooting better at 30 yards!