How to Become a Better Bowhunter
Bowhunting is a pastime that many people enjoy. If you want to try your hands at bowhunting, you have to learn the ropes to avoid disappointments. Becoming a better bowhunter requires dedication, hard work, and above all, passion.
Before you set on this journey, make sure you have a good bow. You can be a great hunter or archer, but if your bow isn't perfect, you'll always be missing your targets.
Want to become a better bowhunter? Here are the top tips that can help you achieve your dreams.
1.Have a good stance
Before shooting, ensure you have a good stance. Your stance determines the power with which you draw the bow. It also offers you the stability required to release the arrow at a good angle to achieve higher accuracy.
To have a good stance, your feet should neither be too close nor too far from one another. You should also stand such that your body is perpendicular to your feet. If you are not standing on the ground, for instance, when shooting from on top of a tree, make sure you get good support before you shoot.
2.Have a good grip
Many bowhunters have issues with accuracy because they grip their bows too tightly. Your grip has a remarkable bearing on your accuracy. It should never be too tight but relatively loose not to impact your aim.
If you can adopt an open-handed grip, the better. As you pull the bow, you should feel the bow pushing your palm.
Nock the arrow
Nocked arrows are positioned about 0.25 inches above the arrow rest. Nocking the bow ensures you can shoot straight without torqueing the arrow on releasing it.
A well-nocked arrow should be on the bow's rest rather than out to its side. This is the best way to prevent twisting your bowstring.
The way you draw your bow matters a lot. The draw should be smooth and slow. Doing so will reduce the strain on your shoulder. This is necessary because it offers you an opportunity to hold the draw longer before releasing the arrow.
Taking your time before releasing the arrow improves your accuracy as it gives you time to aim well. Holding longer will also work to your advantage when shooting at moving targets.
After drawing, aiming comes naturally as the next step. You should pinpoint your aim using your dominating eye. Aiming can make or break your shooting experience. That's why you need to take your time. So after drawing the bow, take about 10 seconds before you release the arrow.
Taking your time is necessary to gauge how far the target is and what angle is best for shooting. It is necessary to have enough time to process that visual information before releasing the arrow. Releasing the arrow so fast will most likely make you miss the mark.
5.Releasing the arrow
Releasing the arrow is also an art that needs to be learned. Once you shoot the arrow, let the bow stay in position for about 2 - 3 seconds before dropping your arm. Some bowhunters are anxious to look at the prey immediately after releasing the arrow, not knowing that this can affect the trajectory of the arrow. A follow-through is necessary to keep the bow steady, so it can guide the arrow effectively.
If you are not good at judging distances, you can never be a good bowhunter. Judging distances is something that requires practice. It may take you several days, weeks, or even months before you perfect your distance judging skills.
You can start with short distances and increase as time goes. Usually, most hunters start with 20 yards. After mastering 20 yards, they can use that to judge longer distances.
You can as well use a rangefinder, a device that brings the target into view and gives a read-out of its exact distance. However, judging distance using no device is the best way to become a good hunter.
For consistency in shooting, take your releases seriously. As you release the arrow, use one finger to reduce the chances of your fingers touching the string. This will reduce vibrations in the bow and improve its stability.
You may not have known it, but breathing is one of the factors that affect accuracy. As you focus on your target and aim, don't stop breathing. A low level of oxygen in your body (brain) will affect your judgment and your vision.
If you hold your breath, your aim will start to blur after 8 seconds. So don't hold your breath. Continue breathing as you aim and release your arrow.
Fine-tuning simply means having everything working perfectly. It starts with your bow and the arrows, and ends with your stance, grip, drawing, aiming, and releasing.
The best way to fine-tune everything is to have someone record you as you shoot, then later review the video to see what you did wrong and correct it.
Floating the Aim
Even if you are the best hunter in the world, you can't keep the bow pin on your target for over 1-2 seconds. It is natural to pin the pin closer, but keeping it completely still isn't possible.
What you need to do is to float it across your target and release the arrow as soon as the pin reaches its best possible position.
A good hunter must know how to stalk animals. This will help you get closer to the animals or make them come closer to you. You should know the signs animals leave behind as they move so you can track them.
You should also know how to motivate the animals to move so you can spot them. You can even use decoys to entice the animals to leave their hiding places.
All the tips discussed above will not work if you don't practice. The most important of all is target practice. You should practice more in the area where you are planning to hunt and try shooting from different positions and angles.
You should not start hunting before you are comfortable shooting in various conditions because you'll never know where the animal will come from.
Hopefully, this article is going to help you become a better bowhunter. Try to practice what is discussed here, moving from one point to the next. You can also choose to hunt from an elevated stand which makes hiding and shooting easy.