How to Shoot a Compound Bow Correctly until it becomes second nature
When you are learning how to shoot a compound bow, it is important to take your time and do it correctly. Many people try to hurry through the process and end up making mistakes that can be difficult to fix later on. In this blog post, we will walk you through the steps of shooting a compound bow correctly until it becomes second nature. We’ll also provide some tips for improving your accuracy!
Basic Archery Form
Archery form refers to the set of steps you follow each time you shoot. The form is important because it ensures consistency and accuracy in your shots. The steps are as follows:
Your hand should be resting in the deepest part of the bow’s grip (the throat) when you have a good grip. To find this position, start with your hand relaxed and slide it up the bow until it stops. You will know you are in the right spot when the webbing between your thumb and first finger is touching or very close to touching the wood on either side of where you’re holding the bow.
After that, twist your hand until the part between your thumb and the lifeline on your palm is the only area touching the grip. Your knuckles should be at a 45-degree angle to the riser in line with where you’re looking and pointing your thumb toward the target as you lightly set down other fingers onto the front of the bow. If gripping too tightly becomes an issue, make sure to tuck those fingers so they don’t touch the bow surface.
If you use the tucked technique, preventing the bow from dropping will require a finger or wrist sling. To set your grip into place, apply slight pressure to the bowstring while keeping your hand relaxed.
To fire an arrow, first, extend your arm holding the bow. Then, use the release aid to pull the string back. Keep your finger away from the trigger during this process—if you don’t, you could end up at the dentist’s office like one of my students did. You shouldn’t need to make a violent motion to bring the string back; if you do, it means your draw weight is too high. Imagine that your arm doing the pulling is a train, with your elbow leading the way as its locomotive.
The anchor is the point where your bowstring is fully extended and you’re preparing to aim. Something that’s often overlooked concerning anchors is alignment. As your cams rotate and you feel the draw stops engaging, it’s time to adjust your elbow and shoulders into position. Moving them into alignment means using bone structure to support the weight of the bow instead of muscle tissue. To do this, bring your elbow back and around until it’s in line with the arrow shaft.
Align your shoulders with each other and point them toward the target. You’ll feel that keeping the bow back is more comfortable in this position. Next, look through your peep sight to center the circular sight housing within the circle of your peep. To make sighting easier, add additional reference points to your anchor like a kisser button.
Place the pin on the target for the distance you’re shooting and let it float around your aiming point. Instead of trying to stop the movement, simply let the pin naturally float and focus on executing your release.
If you’re just beginning, it’s easiest to set the release so that the trigger is fairly sensitive. The shot should go off with only a small amount of pressure on the trigger. To start, touch the trigger and hook your index finger around it. Then apply more pressure until the shot goes off.
You have a few seconds between the release and arrow disengagement to redirect the path of the arrow. So, at this moment, do not move, and don’t try to make the shot more aesthetically pleasing. Simply keep your eyes on where you want it to hit and maintain your position.
Learn to Shoot
Making Shots Under Pressure
Shooting groups in the backyard is one thing, but when your pin drops onto a live animal, that’s the real test. While success isn’t about making yourself less nervous, it’s still possible to shoot the same shot by keeping your focus on the key steps you need to do in order to achieve what you want–executing each step and only focusing on those tasks so that you reduce ensuring a bad shot.
How to Bow Hunt Deer, Effective tips and strategies used by veteran hunters
Hunt the Wind
Whitetails use their sense of smell to guide them through the world, including finding food and other deer, as well as avoiding predators. Because of this acute sense of smell, bowhunters must always stay downwind from potential prey. To do so effectively, study prevailing wind data and choose stand locations accordingly. Also, be sure you have Stand setups that will work with different wind directions in mind; if the conditions aren’t right for a particular stand location on any given day, don’t hunt there.
If deer pick up your scent while downwind from you, they’ll almost certainly smell you before getting into bow range. If you scare deer away from a stand location, that spot will be useless for several days.
Whenever approaching your stand, always factor in the wind direction. You don’t want your scent blowing into a bedding area or main hunting trail.
Kill Your Scent (as Much as Possible)
If you want to reduce your scent (as many veteran bowhunters do, myself included), try showering with a scent-free soap before you hunt. Wash your hunting clothes with scent-free detergent. You can also find a variety of sprays that will kill scents so that you can spray them on your outer layers before going into your stand. Just avoid getting any strong scents (such as gasoline) on your clothes or boots before a hunt.
There are several things you can do to make sure deer don’t smell you coming, like spraying rubber boots and wearing gloves; however, the best way to avoid detection is by making sure the wind is blowing in your direction.
Set Up for Close Encounters
If you’re new to bowhunting, remember that it is a close-range game, and your first shot should ideally be from 20 yards or less. To increase your chances of success, set up your stand or blind near where you expect deer to congregate. For most bowhunters, treestands are the best option. Look for a tree that’s sizeable and about as wide as your shoulders.
If you’re using a hang-on stand, position the stand so that branches or forks obscure your outline. Make sure to set up with a cover behind you. When utilizing a blind, make sure to brush it incorrectly and tuck it into the existing cover so that you’re not sticking out like a sore thumb. To confirm that you’re setting up close enough to the main trails, use a rangefinder. Once you’re sitting in your stand waiting for deer, take note of trees within 20 yards around you, and don’t shoot beyond that perimeter.
If you’re looking for experience bow hunting deer, the best way to get it is by practicing on does in areas with high deer densities. You’ll be able to kill more deer this way, and though they may not have much trophy potential, any cleanly killed deer should be marked as a victory.
Use Calls and Scent Attractants
Although there are many deer attractant scents and calls available, it’s best not to overdo it. Otherwise, you’ll just scare the deer away instead of attracting them. A grunt tube and a doe bleat are usually good places to start when calling for deer. You can find more deer-calling tips from experts here.
If you’re looking to attract bucks during mating season, I’ve found that Tink’s 69 Doe-in-Rut does the trick. But as with anything, timing is key.
Shot Selection and Placement
Now that you know to only take close shots, it’s time to learn where to aim. In the most straightforward terms, your arrow should enter behind the deer’s shoulder and exit through its body cavity (here’s our guide on where to shoot a deer). You might come across other stories or social media posts that talk about using heavier arrows capable of penetrating a whitetail’s shoulder bones.
Certain setups can penetrate bone, but beginner bowhunters should first focus on proper shot placement behind the shoulder from a broadside or quartering-away position. That means aiming just behind the deer’s front leg (when it’s in the forward position) and halfway up the body for a broadside shot. There are many charts and videos online discussing archery shot placement on whitetail deer, but this video from the National Deer Association is particularly helpful.
Imagine a line running upwards from the deer’s front right leg when taking a quartering-away shot. You should aim for your arrow to hit that line, but avoid shots where the deer are extremely quartering away. Practice shooting at different angles by using a 3D deer target, including high angles from a tree stand. Pay attention to how the arrow enters the “body cavity” of the 3D deer when you’re above it; even though the angle is downwards, you still want to hit the top of its heart.
Blood Trailing and Recovering Your Deer
After you’ve shot the deer, your hunt isn’t completely over. The next step is learning how to blood trail so you can recover your deer. This requires two key traits: patience and attention to detail.
Watch and Listen
Pay close attention when you shoot. You should listen to how the arrow sounds when it makes contact with the deer. If it sounds hollow, that usually means you hit its body cavity. But if it’s more of a loud crack, then that probably means you hit the bone directly.
Additionally, watch how the deer reacts to get a better idea of where you hit it. For example, if it gives a big kick like a mule, then chances are good that you got its lungs. Alternatively, if it hunches up with an arched back, that often indicates a gut shot
After you spot the deer, take a photo of its location on your phone. Even if you can’t see the deer anymore, continue listening for it; oftentimes, you can hear them crashing down. Then, mark the direction that it sounds like the deer was traveling. Finally, from your stand, take a photo of where the deer was standing when you shot at it (this is called the hit site).
Wait for 30 Minutes
If you didn’t see the deer fall or hear it fall, your next course of action is to wait out for 30 minutes. Stay in your stand and relax, setting a timer if needs be. It’s mistakes like rushing over to where the blood trailing job is that often scare off mortally hit deer. They could run very far away and as a result, would be impossible to recover.
Call for Help
Now is a great time to call up your buddies who like hunting or the outdoors. If you have to blood trail a deer, it’s much easier with some help. Also, once you find your deer, it’ll be nice to have an extra pair of hands to help drag it out.
Analyze the Hit Site
Once 30 minutes have passed, go to the area where you saw the deer standing when you shot. Examine for blood and your arrow. If there is bright red blood with bubbles, this usually means a successful lung shot. Find your arrow and see if it has brightly colored bubbling red blood on it; this would be an excellent sign. Make note of where the first drops of blood are found.
Now, follow the blood trail. A deer shot through both lungs (and the heart) will bleed a lot, so the trail should be easy to follow. Still, take your time and leave markers every 20 yards or so. Within 100 to 150 yards, you’ll find your deer.
If you comb the hit site and find either no blood or dried/smelling blood, rank, and gutty (or with green slicks), then you’ve likely made a marginal hit. move slowly but surely toward the spot where you last saw the deer. If it is still little to no evidence of bloodshed or signs of a gut shot, it would be best to abort the mission and leave immediately.
If you believe your deer is only wounded, it’s best to wait a few hours before continuing the search – sometimes even overnight. A gutshot deer can take much longer to die, and if you bump it while searching means there’s a higher chance you’ll never find it. Many states have programs with volunteers and trained blood-tracking dogs that could be of assistance.
What it Means to Be a Bowhunter
If you’re the type of person who loves being in nature and enjoys perfecting a craft, then bowhunting might be for you. Some people think that because bows require more practice than other hunting methods that it’s not worth their time. But for those dedicated few, becoming a successful bowhunter is one of the most rewarding experiences imaginable.