Between harvesting potatoes, freezing and drying vegetables and herbs from the garden, and getting my daughter ready for the upcoming back-to-school routine coming our way in just a few weeks, I’ve been making sure that archery practice doesn’t get pushed aside. With the countdown on to bow season this fall — I can take all the practice I can get!
Being a newer archer, practice helps with accuracy as well as form. I’ve read that for anyone who bowhunts, it’s pretty essential to start practicing at least six weeks to two months prior to the start of the season — and for someone who is really new to the sport, practicing even earlier than that can only help!
I’ve noticed a few things over the summer. Not only has constant practice helped build up the muscle strength and establish consistent form so I can draw the bow back slowly and consistently each time, but my movements are also smoother and any initial apprehension with shooting a bow has diminished if not evaporated. I feel that constant practice helps you physically prepare, but also mentally help calibrate how in tune you are with your bow.
Archery practice has helped me judge yardage better, shoot from different angles and in different weather conditions. While the fall will bring new weather conditions my way, I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to modify my form even more to continue to gain the confidence needed to shoot my first deer.
One of the main things I realize I’m doing each time is acknowledging where the anchor point is for me. The anchor point is important if you want to consistently shoot the target (or the deer) each time. Realizing what your anchor point is can be tricky, but once you figure it out, the results are amazing. It took me a few weeks to figure out mine (as it’s personal to each archer). Knowing where to set that bow string against my lips and face and feeling that solid anchor really helps me mentally have the confidence to know my shot will be as accurate as I can make it. I hope I can bring that with me when I head to my tree stand this fall.
I use a lot of block targets and a 3D target for practicing at home. In another week as the biting flies die down more with the crisp night air, I’ll be moving a few near my tree stands to start practicing from above and learning to adjust my aim and shooting while sitting above my target instead of inline with it.
If you want to see the full practice segment along with other information on beginning bowhunting, check out my Beginner’s Guide to Archery for Women DVD this fall.