New to the archery side of things

Bowhunting experiences, the best way to tune a bow -- share your knowledge here!
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New to the archery side of things

Postby MoBuckHunterDad » Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:46 am

Let me start out by saying I have been rifle hunting practically all my life and recently had a co-worker whose land I hunt on offer me a compound bow (Martin Pride Pro-series), arrows (target), bow case, and a decent chainsaw of his in exchange for doing some work around his home for him.

I finally with my work schedule was able to get it checked out by the local bow shop near where I live about 2 weeks ago, despite its age the bow riser and limbs are in perfect condition (which I had expected it would be), only needed to replace the strings, cables, D-Loop and peep sight as they were majorly dried out. Got the bow home after getting things restringed and was having great success in making my son crack up and laugh hysterically at how bad I was with the bow. Lets just leave it with there was some form issues and arrows hitting all over the target other than where I was aiming.

Called the neighbor across the road the following morning (who pretty much only bow hunts) to ask him for some help. Got a good chuckle as did he when I explained how the prior night shooting session went. My neighbor graciously watched me and helped me with shooting form, helped me get the sight pin for 10yds set so that I was at least somewhat reasonably close to where I was aiming and then told me best thing I could do from that point was practice my form and making sure I am consistently anchoring in the same spot, and then work on getting my groupings down to where I am shooting the arrows into a decent group (he said to try to get to a 1" grouping with 3 arrows) making minor adjustments so I am at least close to dead on to where I am aiming and then we could work on the real nitty gritty side of things in fine tuning the bow to be dead on at 10 yds in terms of dead on the red bulls eye target shooting and then I can work on moving myself back further in yardage (20, 30, and 40yds which I probably the longest shots I would ever shoot assuming I can get myself to the accuracy level I want at those distances) and then repeating the fine tuning as I go.

I finally shot 15 groups of 3 at 1" or less groupings, which is what I set as my goal for myself. I am a nightmare of a perfectionist as my son likes to tease me, so now it is time to start working on the micro adjustments hopefully. Here is the current bow setup (Right Handed Shooter, 52LBS DW/29.75DL/Easton XX75 2115 arrows 100gr field point tips, old square 4 pin sight box, and shooting with a quick release) I have my sight pin for 10yds at the very top of the slot that it can go. I am shooting about 1/2" to 1" below where I am aiming and anywhere from 3/4" to 1" to the right of where I am aiming and am shooting this consistently and consistently shooting 1" or less groupings. I feel like I have done a really good job getting things zeroed in to the point I have without having to ask my neighbor for too much help (he is working full time and going to school almost full time this semester as well so I don’t really want to bother him a whole lot more than I already have), but I am feeling a little less than sure about these final little tweaks so that I am blasting the bulls eye with the group of 3 rather than being a little off to the right side and just below the target with my groups of three.

So the things I have learned so far getting the pin sighted in and getting the bow sights adjusted to the point I have is that little adjustments can make for big changes so changes need to be tiny. The question now is how do I best go about making these changes. I am assuming since I am talking about a fairly insignificant amount of being off in my shots that I am looking at like ridiculously small adjustments that I am going to have to be making. What would be the best way to go about making these adjustments? I am assuming I am going to only be working on 1 axis of adjustment at a time (L/R), and then after getting that one spot on I will move onto the next axis (U/D). How infinitesimally small of adjustments am I looking at making to correct this small amount of being off and at what point should I be drawing the line and saying good enough? (Keep in mind I am a perfectionist that can sometimes over do the perfectionist side of things!)

When I do start moving farther back after getting things perfected at 10yds do I or should I just jump back to 20 yds and start adjusting my next pin for 20yds or should I go to 15 then move on back to 20 and the same for 30 and 40yds as well?

If needs be I can post photos as well if that will help.

Hope to get some good advice/answers so I can get things zeroed in fairly quickly and not have to bother my neighbor for advice a whole lot more than I already have.

Joel Spring
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Re: New to the archery side of things

Postby Joel Spring » Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:48 am

I like to adjust up/down first for each sight pin. Then I move on to left/right.

I think the key to sighting a bow in is to give yourself some time. You sound like a patient person. You may need to be! With archery, your shooting form will start to suffer after some time shooting and, as your form deteriorates, so will your shooting. Pay strict attention to your form, and adjust the sights incrementally. As you get tired, stop for the evening. You'll find yourself adjusting the sights when you don't need to if you're shooting tired and the next time you go out to shoot, you'll find that your "rested" form is much better and much different than when your arms are fatigued.

Also, I start target shooting (once the bow is sighted in) from the far end of my range (30 yards). As I tire, I move in to the shorter ranges where precise form is less of a requirement.

Keep reasonable expectations of your shooting. For years, I wouldn't shoot a deer beyond 22 yards, despite the fact that I could hit a target at 35 with a reasonable amount of accuracy. Deer are NOT stationary targets and your form (and concentration) will never be what they are in your backyard when you have a deer in your sights and the adrenaline is coursing.

Lots of help to be found on this site, and I'm sure you'll get better answers than mine!

Good luck.
Joel Spring
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Re: New to the archery side of things

Postby kellory » Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:36 pm

I have a friend and hunting buddy just like you! We call it the BOB FACTOR. He built a case for his crossbow, that you could drive your truck over, and it would take no damage, but you back will when you are loading and unloading. There is a point that is good enough. I don't even have sights on my bow, I know pretty much where that arrow is going, and it will not be off by much. If you are only off about 1 inch in any direction, that is certianly close enough. Your target area is about the size of a football, and If you can hit that at any range and at speed, that deer is going down. The adjustment left to right is straight math. the distance from the target to the sight, and the distance from the sight to your eye is a ratio. If you are shooting at 80feet(just under 27 yards) and the distance from sight to eye is 24inches or 2 feet (just to make it simple) the ratio is 40:1 so an adjustment of 1 inch would require a sight adjustment of 1/ 40ith of an inch. Which is most likely less than 1 full thread on the sight pin adjustment shaft. If you want to bring it up just a tad, I would suggest adding tape just at the bottom of the sight pin now. When you lossen it to lower it slightly, the tape can keep it from dropping too far. (you are talking about a very slight adjustment) I would suggest that you leave it be, and adjust your aim slightly. IMO
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Re: New to the archery side of things

Postby Woods Walker » Sun Oct 23, 2011 6:51 am

Welcome to bowhunting Mo! You are in for a real treat once you get to the point where you can hunt. The advice given above is right on.

I will respond to this though.....

" I am shooting about 1/2" to 1" below where I am aiming and anywhere from 3/4" to 1" to the right of where I am aiming and am shooting this consistently and consistently shooting 1" or less groupings."

Without seeing you shoot, and based on what you're saying, it sounds to me like you may be doing a couple of things to cause this. Fortunately the first thing will lead to the others, so by fixing that one you should solve the others.

When you draw a bow, think of the drawing arm as merely an apparatus which holds the bowstring. The back muscles should be the ones actually doing the work. Some people like to "pinch" the muscles between the shoulder blades to achive this. I like to simply think "push" the BOW HAND FORWARD throughout the entire shot sequence, which must include a follow through. Failure to to this will cause what we call the "collapse" of the back muscles before the entire shot sequence is completed, after which everything goes to hell. Dropping the bow arm then follows, and shooting below and to the side of where your aim point is, is an indicator of this. When you consistantly push the bow hand forward, you cannot help but to use those back muscles. Too many times a shooter will get to his anchor point, and then "hang" on it, causing the back muscles to relax. A good consistant anchor point is critical, but I seem to shoot better when my hand is just lightly touching my anchor point so that I'm still pushing.

This is a VERY common problem, and I would hazzard a guess that the majority of archers here, myself included, look to this issue first when our shooting isn't quite what it should be.

Here's a short video that shows what follow through should look like. He doesn't talk about what I mentioned about back tension or push, but the images are accurate.

I will also define what I call the shot sequence. That would be the draw/anchor/aim/release/follow through. This sequence MUST BE practiced to the point of being so ingrained in your muscle memory, that you do not have to consciously think about it when shooting, so you can just focus on what your "spot" is. (You will hear the term "Pick A Spot" a lot when you start deer hunting.)

There are a few more things regarding going from firearm hunting to bow hunting, but that's for another time. For now, just keep practicing, and don't be afraid to ask us any questions here. Good Luck!
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Re: New to the archery side of things

Postby EatDeer » Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:29 am

I think you got a good start up bow, if you like bow hunting, or just shooting at the 3-d range... you may want to upgrade in the future.

I noticed you are shooting 10 yards? I had a 5 pin sight, I didn't care for the confusion. I now use a 3 pin set, with the first pin set to 25 yards, second pin 35 yards, third is set at 45, but I don't like to take any shots at deer further then 35 yards. Those old sights probley don't have fiber optics with a wrap of optic cable to increase the light gathering..

Your bow should be good out to 25 yards, on your first pin.....

To have the tightest groups...have the arrows cut to your draw lenght, if you haven't already. This all helps when the moment of truth arrives.

Sounds like you have a good start, I think you will really like bow hunting. Good luck.
"Let a young buck go, so he can grow."

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