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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A major part to success in archery is learning the proper shooting technique. With the proper shooting technique, your accuracy will greatly increase.

First, you need to choose the accessories that are most comfortable. Basic accessories could increase accuracy, such as the arm guard and the finger tab.

Many errors in shooting techniques could be overdrawing a short arrow, items in pockets (such as a pen), poor stances, improper mental programs, bad follow through, poor anchor positions, poor vertical body alignments, and no mental focus.

First, practice holding the bow and learn the correct positions. Don’t worry about not hitting the target. Focus on the correct form and the follow through. Then, slowly develop your own mental program and positive mental habits. It is important for a good archer to stay focused and concentrate on their shots. So, you should practice and rehearse your mental program often. It will get you through the pressure and anxiety during your competition.

Here are the body positions and alignments. Notice that the body should be aligned according to the independent stances and must not lean or fall in one position. Workouts are available to improve upper body muscles for better bow hold support.

The experienced archer knows that concentration and focus are the keys to success in competition. How do we keep our focus and concentration? Many elite archers would tell you that, "It’s easy, but you need to develop your own Mental Program." A mental program is a set of procedures that the archer follow through during his/her competition. The mental program should be practiced and rehearsed regularly so that it may become easy during the competition. This will help the archer to stay focused, concentrated and sometimes it helps to relax the tension. You should make a mental checklist and always practice and rehearse the list that best suits you.

Here is a example of a Mental Checklist.
I. Stance

A. Assume Stance
B. Nock Arrow

II. Draw and Aim
A. Set bow hold
B. Set draw hand hook
C. Raise bow and draw
D. Anchor
E. Align sight and level bow
F. Establish string pattern and sight picture
G. Focus, steady, and aim

III. Release and Follow Through
A. Tighten back muscles
B. Relax draw hand to release
C. Keep bow arm up and steady

I. Stances
A. Assume Stance

The stances are important because the proper stance, means that archer will be able to distribute his/her body weight better. Proper stance keeps the archer’s shot consistent. View the stances below and notice how each stance is different in the feet placement.

Pros and Cons to Certain Stances

Type of Stance Pros Cons

Even Stance

Natural position Small base of support in the front-back plane.
Easy to reproduce Body isn't sturdy, so it can move if in high winds.
Lowers area for string clearance, especially for large chested shooters.

Open Stance

Gives stable support base Tends to make upper body twist towards target.
Reduces tendency to lean back from the target.
Tends to use arm muscles more than back muscles to draw.

Close Stance

Gives stable support base Reduces string clearance, so string may strike against body.
Gives good alignment of the arm and shoulder in direct line to the target Tends to make archer lean away from target and overdraw the arrow.

Oblique Stance

Gives the greatest amount of clearance for the bowstring when arrows is released.
Hard to maintain, so mainly used by expert archers.
Body is in total equilibrium.
Target can be seen clearly.

To begin practice, the exact placement of the feet on the shooting line should be marked. Some archers would tell you that stance deviations of even a few inches can cause sighting and aiming problems, which then in return could lead to accuracy problems.

Based on the scientific criteria, the open and oblique stances are better. But don’t base on your decision on just that. Individual choice is the pleasure of target archery.

Many archers prefer the even stance. In this stance, the archer’s body weight is evenly distributed among both feet, and the heels and toes are aligned. The middle of the instep of the foot is aligned with the center of the target. However, the open stance is recommended for the beginning archer during their initial learning period. In this stance, the feet should be shoulder-width apart. It is recommended that the archer should distribute his/her body weight evenly on both feet. The left foot should be moved backwards approximately six inches, as shown in the picture in stances.

Some elite archers use the oblique stance. In this stance the archer places his/her toe of the left foot nearest the target on a line and pivoting the left foot forty-five-degrees to the target. The heel of the right foot is then placed in line with the toe of the left foot. This allows the bow arm to remain in a position where there will be optimum clearance of the bowstring when the arrow is released. The target should be seen clearly while using the oblique stance.

A closed stance. The shooting line is straddled and weight is evenly distributed among both feet. Left foot is moved forward a few inches so a heel-toe alignment exists between the left and right feet respectively.

The four main steps in shooting are: Nocking, Drawing, Anchor Point, Release and Follow Through. These steps must be followed and done correctly to achieve greater accuracy. Look at the pictures below and observe the pattern. Index

B. Nock Arrow

Nocking the arrow is the proper placement of the arrow in its shooting position on the bowstring.

Shooting starts when the archer holds the bow next to the hip near the target.

Nocking begins when the archer has assumed his/her stance position. The arrow should be placed on the bowstring with the index feather upward at the serving. Note: Nocking points are placed slightly wider than the width of the arrow nock so adjustments can be made as needed. The traditional nocking angle can be seen in figure below. Notice that a ninety-degree angle is formed between the arrow and bowstring. Index

II. Draw and Aim

A. Bow Hold

Tip: Must keep fingers relaxed. Use the proper accessories, such as the arm guard. Hand pressure exerted high, low or on the bow’s pivot point depending on the type of the bow and the archer.

The bow is placed only between the thumb and index finger. Here are the pictures for the proper bow hold, back side and front side view. The index finger may wrap around the bow but it should not grip it. Keep all the fingers relaxed. When the archer becomes fatigued or looses concentration, there is a simple technique to relieve that problem. First, simply do a very slight counterclockwise rotation of the thumb against the bow handle while concurrently extending the thumb on forward toward the target. This technique is known as supination. Many
archers use this technique mainly just to reduce their fatigue.

The palm of the hand should never apply pressure on the bow. Relaxation is the basic fundamental of target archery. Expert athletes know when to relax under critical circumstances. Your mental program should help you with this and, thus, greatly increases your accuracy. Index

B. Draw Hand and Hook

Drawing: The act of pulling the bowstring to the anchor point on the archer’s face. Tip: Controlled breathing is important. A system should be developed for each archer so that the breathing is calm and the arms are stable during the total drawing, aiming, and releasing period.

The traditional three-finger grip. Carefully study the picture for the proper form. Notice the relationship between the index and middle fingers and nock of the arrow. The position is hard to maintain as the pressure increases during the draw. The essence of the problem lies in the nature of the musculature within the hand.

Arrows will wave around and fall completely off the arrow rest as the draw is made if excessive finger pressure is on the arrow nock. When using a release aid, this problem could be eliminated. However, as a result, release aids tend to take a considerable amount of "sport" out of archery. That is one reason that target archery rules forbid the use of release aids. This challenges the archer to control their finger pressure on the nock during the draw and release. (Release aids are legal in other archery sports )

C. Raise Bow and Draw

Before raising the bow, body position should be aligned and already assume the proper stance. Then gently raise the bow and look at the target. This is called nocking. Then simply draw out the arrows and aim at the target.

D. Anchor Point
Anchor Point is defined as the place on an archer’s face where the hand is placed consistently with the bowstring at full draw. Proper and comfort anchor points could increase the archer’s accuracy. It plays a great part in aiming and hitting the target. Anchor points are described as " high", or " low".

High Anchor Point
(Release Aid) Allows archers to partially sight down the arrow shaft and over the point if a bowsight is not being used. Don't have bowsight.

The anchor point on or under the jaw bone is termed low.

An anchor point on or near the bone inferior and also lateral to the eye is considered high.

Depending on the facial contour and type of shooting, anchor points could differ among different archers. Many field archers, bow hunters, and instinctive shooters use the high anchor point. View the pictures and practice to see which anchor point best suits you. Now don’t worry about it if you can not determine your best fit anchor point. Often, that as many beginners progress, they will feel the differences in the different anchor points and figure out which one they would like to use.

The low anchor point is commonly recommended for beginning target archers.

Technique tip:
Correct bowstring alignment used during aiming could greatly increase accuracy.

E. Align sight and level bow

When the bow is drawn, the sight level and bow level must be aligned properly to achieve maximum accuracy. Poor alignment could occur due to fatigue or possibly bad habit in practice. To reduce this problem, beginners should rehearse the correct bow alignment and choose the bow weight that best suits each individual. Small women should use a bow around 25-30 pounds of draw weight. Men could use up to 35 pounds.

F. Establish string pattern and sight picture

To increase accuracy. A young archer should never forget the importance of the proper string pattern and sight picture. First always mentally picture and visualize the target. Then assume the proper stance and arm yourself with the necessary gear for the draw. Check your nocking position and align your body position correctly.

G. Focus, steady, and aims

Once you have assume your stance and body alignment, then it's time to really focus. Steadily keep your bow hold position and aim at the target. During this whole process, keep the hand as steady as possible. If your bow starts to tremble the moment you lift it up, then that bow is too heavy for you. You must at least keep your bow from trembling for at least 5 seconds.

III. Release and Follow Through

Releasing the arrow properly is the most important fundamental in shooting. To follow through simply means to hold the release position until the arrow is safely launched onto the target. The key elements of success are: (1) Relaxation (2) and concentration. Here is a example of a good follow through: (1) The fingers on the bowstring hand are relaxed, (2) head and eyes are turned toward the target following the flight of the arrow,(3) the bow arm is extended toward the target, and (4) the bow hand is gripping the bow with the help of a sling.

A bow sling is designed to help the archer during the release and follow through. There are four different types of bow slings available. Any one of the bow sling will help the archer keep the bow from falling to the ground after the release.

See the proper release form. Notice that the elbow of the bowstring arm should not extend appreciably after or during the release. The natural recoil reaction will occur after the release, but the beginner should avoid the habit of trying to release the arrow by hyper-extending the wrist or roll off the fingertips under its own pressure.

A. Tighten back muscles

From this point on, it's basically time to shoot your first arrow. Tighten your back muscles and draw the bow string. Keep your back and arms straight at the target. Like any sports. Archery also requires some muscle strength. Exercise regularly to improve your strength in both arms and back. This could help in improving beginners physical strength which will help them draw.

B. Relax draw hand to release

Keep your bow hold easy and relaxed. Never grip the bow too tightly. Your palm should only gently touche the nock. This could also reduce fatigue.

C. Keep bow arm up and steady

Once the arrow is released, you must still keep both of your hands and arms steady even after the release of the arrow, otherwise, the arrow might not be accurate after the release.

These techniques may increase your accuracy in shooting but it is up to the individual to practice and master the forms. As a new archer evolves, he/she might find new techniques and skills. No matter what the circumstances are either you are looking to become the Champ of Archery or just looking to improve your score. I have one tip that will surely to help you. Keep on practicing !! There is no technique in the world that anyone could teach you to become the best archer. But with practice, you will definitely become one of the best archers in the world.

Discussion Starter · #2 ·
by Ted Nugent

Bowtune, arrow tune, paper tune, timing adjustments, tiller, fiscmile, brace height, knock point, rest clearance, cam rollover timing, cable guard, front of the wall, back of the wall, peak valley, draw weight, arrow spine, balance, forward of center percentage, arrow oscillation, perimeter weighted cam, helical fletch, peep sight, anchor, feet per second, trajectory, kinetic energy, archers paradox. I wonder if Geronimo worried about such stuff with his circle of bowhunting friends. I know in 1955, my dad and brothers never talked about any of this, and we sure had the time of our lives flinging arrows every weekend. I've got about fifty animals on my wall that did not have a chronograph in their pockets as my cedar arrows came blazing out of my Bear, Wing and Pearson recurves and stickbows at a blistering 170 fps back then. We merely eyeballed our nocking position and arrow straightness. Sometimes we used twine for bowstrings. An arrowhead could be adjusted with a hammer. Our sights were matchsticks glued to the back of the bow. Our arrow rest was a calloused knuckle. Break a bowtip, whittle a new one. Break an arrow! No problem. Just whittle a new tip and don't draw quite so long. Ahh, to have it so simple again!

Well, listen up, techno breath, I'm here to tell you this ol guitar abusing, bow and arrow addicted dog is still living the simple, pure, FUN FUN FUN archery life, even more so today in my second fifty years. Sure, I know more now than when I was a punk kid, then just baptized by that ever lovin mystical flight of the natural wood, turkey feather fletched arrow. But quite honestly, it can be, and should be, the same archery now as it was then.

Having my share of technical complications afield in nearly 50 years of archery, to test my patience and near nonexistent technical skills, I am nonetheless confidant in my simple minded approach to high-tech compound bows and all the assorted accessories and considerations thereof. Hell, I shot the great Oneida bow for years, and still to this day, archers look at that mechanical wonder and recoil in fear of the cabled beast. Fear not my projectile addicted BloodBrothers, if ol uncle Ted can handle em, anybody can.

In actual practice, the unique looking Onieda, like all the other cabled bows on the market, is very simple to adjust, maintain, and customize to any shooters style or form. Like all manufacturers, the engineers at Onieda Labs are masters at their craft, and the brochure supplied with every bow by every company is detailed and easy to understand and follow. Me? I just had to knuckle down and admit that READING the damn brochure was the first and most important step! Clever of me, dontchya think! Like most males, we would rather guess at stuff and spend days and days making idiotic mistakes and fools of ourselves, versus simply READING the instructions and learning most of what we need to know in a matter of minutes, or at the most, a few hours. Old dog, new tricks, maybe. I have even learned to ask directions when I don't know how to get somewhere. Truly amazing. Don't wait till you're fifty, kids!

So I get my new bow home. Doesn't matter if it's a Browning, Martin, Bear, Jennings, Onieda, Darton, McPherson, PSE, Hoyt, Golden Eagle, Mathews, High Country, Pearson, Alpine, Diamond, Forge Flight, Fred Bear Bowhunting Equipment Company, Reflex or whichever. First I read the accompanying paperwork and examine my bow thoroughly, familiarizing myself with the components lick for lick, referencing the diagrams in the owner's manual for quick and easy understanding. There is very little difference in all the bows out there on the market these days. There are no bad bows, just some that are better than others for each of us individually. Be sure you try enough various makes and models, with recommendations by proshop experts you feel good about, to find the exact one that fits your style and form. Everybody's a little different, and like guns, trucks, cars, women, guitars and golfclubs, your weapon of choice must FIT. Did I say golfclubs! OUCH! Sorry.

Over the years, I have accumulated an array of sporting goods and equipment that is almost obscene. Go to any sporting event, double what is on display, and that is what I carry in my truck on any given day! I am disgusting. Just ask my wife. But I DO love hardware, and you can find me fondling it at anytime of the year. It is during these forever heavenly fondling sessions that I get to know my gear backwards and forwards, and I study it all with a passion. I take it apart and put it back together, almost properly most of the time. That has taught me a lot!

My approach to bow tuning is real simple. I can do it all without a bowpress, but I do have a good professional unit at my homeshop and a couple of portable rigs for my far away safaris, if needed. First off, I shoot in my new bow's string with a few hundred arrows, then I remove that string, coil it up and tie the ends to keep it from untwisting, and put it in my spare parts pack that will go with me everywhere I hunt. I then break in my new string and I am in business. I do the same thing with my complete cable harness system, just in case!

My string set up is the same as it's been for years. I like a heavy, 20 strand string made of state of the art ballistic material for long life and minimum stretch. I reinforce the serving with dental floss at each end and also where my release connects. One weird item that I like, unlike any other archer I have ever seen, is that I add 3 or 4 eliminator buttons, those small rubber bushings that go between the arrow's nock and the release's jaws. What that does, for this old instinctive archer, is bring the ear of the arrow closer to my eye, thereby elevating the tail end in these 1/4 inch increments, based upon whether I am shooting low or high. That, coupled with my third, lower plunger threaded rest hole optimizes my natural hand-eye coordination, as if I am actually shooting off my knuckle or the shelf of the bow as I did as a child with my original longbows. It is like pointing my finger.

"I customize the grip of my bows by building up the left side of the grip with soft, stretchy athletic wrap. this is to force my hand higher towards the shelf, because I still cant my bow on an angle like you see Fred Bear and so many old fashioned bare (no sights) bow shooters do."

I also customize the grip of my bows by building up the left side of the grip with soft, stretchy athletic wrap. This is to force my hand higher towards the shelf, because I still cant my bow on an angle like you see Fred Bear and so many old fashioned bare (no sights) bow shooters do. This canting of the bow turns the bow away from the eye and the arrow, effectively opening up the sight picture to the animal. All this adjusting comes naturally for my anchor point to remain solid, with the body of my trigger release firmly wedged into the corner of my mouth, exactly where my fingers go when I shoot fingers. It certainly is weird, but it works great for me. Since I don't use sights the vast majority of the time, I am able to still shoot instinctively, which I love. And I don't buy chicken!

Also, on each end of my bowstring, right up close to the end where it meets the cams or wheels of my compound, I add 6 to 8 more eliminator buttons, as these seem to quiet down my bow and add a bit of speed by adding a little weight to the end of the string travel upon release of the arrow. All you trained physical engineers out there may be laughing out of your seat right now claiming I'm out of my mind. But, hell, it IS my mind, aint it! Maybe this is all goofy, but there is no doubt it works for me.

Of course I install string silencers too. I like the cat whisker rubber jobs or tarantula felt strips placed about halfway between the serving and the ends.

For more silencing considerations, I either put on my EPS hearing protector/amplifiers, or I have someone who can hear real good, listen to my bow up close as I shoot, to help detect any squeaks, rubs, scrapes, rattles or any noise whatsoever. Then I go to town lubing, tightening, greasing, shimming, gasketing, or reinforcing to whatever degree I must to completely silence my bow. Us whitetail hunters know we cannot get away with ANY noise at all.

I take measurements and record them for future reference. I measure the tiller between the string and the limb face where it meets the riser, making sure the top and bottom are within a hair of each other. The brace height, or fiscmile, measured between the grip and the string, is noted and referenced with the manufacturers recommendation. And very important, keep the poundage down to a practical comfort level. Too many bowhunters overbow themselves. 50# is plenty. Make it smooth and graceful.

I visually examine the bow's cams in motion while drawing, either in a mirror, or while someone else is drawing, to be certain they roll over identically. Though most manufacturers have markings on their eccentric wheels or cams that are readily used for referencing, I add lines or dabs of white or silver to assist in identifying equal timing. It helps.

It helps immensely to be able to spend time with professional bowtechs to learn the ins and outs and various subtleties that only experience can teach. Bruce Cull and Scott Asse at Dakota Archery and Sports in Yankton, South Dakota, (800-658-3094) have taught me a lot. Get to know the pros in your home region. It is worth every penny to have them tune you up, and show you a few of the ropes along the way. I also study the writings of the best pros out there like Fred Bear, Jim Dougherty, Dave Holt, Bill Winke, Norb Mullaney, Emery Loiselle, Chuck Adams and many others that have answered my questions over the years. Seek out their magazine articles and books. Larry Wise's trio of self tune educational books, "TUNING & SILENCING YOUR BOWHUNTING SHOOTING SYSTEM" "TUNING YOUR COMPOUND BOW" 3rd edition, "TUNING AND SHOOTING YOUR 3-D BOW", (800-324-3337) are superb sources for information. You will learn it all. Then get to playing archery mechanic. It is mucho fun and actually increases the archery experience. An ounce of prevention... Knowledge is power... Practice makes perfect... When in doubt, whip it out.

Discussion Starter · #3 ·
PRACTICAL BOW TUNING By Timberline Archery

A bow should be tuned so you get good arrow flight and you hit where you are aiming. Nothing else matters. You will hear some people say your sight pins should be directly over your arrow or you should have a clean tear in paper. While that may work for some, it won’t for everyone. Always keep in mind that tuning is just adjusting your bow so the arrows fly true and you hit where you are aiming. Years ago before center shot bows, the arrow had to bend around the rise to clear it. Arrow spine was very critical. Tuning today is very simple because almost all bows are center shot and carbon arrows cover a wide range of bow weights and draw lengths. You just need to make sure your arrow is spined stiff enough for your bow and the fletching doesn’t strike the rest. Then you are just adjusting the nocking point and rest so the arrow is pointed straight at the target when you release it.


The string is not always in the center of the bow limbs. Devices to set the center shot do not always work because they assume that everything is square, but many times they are not. The bow string should travel in a line that is parallel to the sight window on any well designed bow. Therefore your arrow on the rest should be parallel to the sight window. Put your arrow on the rest and look down on it. Move the rest until the arrow is parallel with the sight window. You can use a block to draw a line on the shelf that is parallel with the sight window and then line your arrow up with the line. Then get back and look at your bow with the arrow on the rest. Line the string up with the center of the arrow and the string should be close to the cam grooves. This is a good starting point. However, your bow might not shoot the best there because of the spine of the particular arrow you are shooting as well as your form.


There are several theories on setting the nocking point. Some say the arrow should be level and some say the nock should be slightly high. The particular rest, arrow, and bow, you are shooting will determine the best place to set the nocking point. Generally you will get better clearance of the rest if the nocking point is slightly high. That causes the arrow to rise up off the rest when you shoot rather than slam down into the rest. Most people today shoot some type of prong type rest. It is hard to tell where your nocking point should be because most bow squares are a different size than the arrow so it will set different in the rest and be either higher or lower than your arrow. A good starting point is to look at the arrow on the rest. The nock should be slightly high so the arrow angles down. The angle will look greater on short brace height bows because the string is so close to the rest. Then use your square to record where your nocking point is located on the string. That will be your starting point.


The biggest problem is the arrow or fletch strikes the rest. The easiest test is the powder test. Spray the fletch area of your arrow with some cheap foot powder. Shoot your bow using your best form. Now look at the fletch of your arrow and you should see if the arrow contacted the rest. There should be only a slight drag mark in the powder between the fletch where the arrow past through the rest. Move the rest left or right until the fletch passes between the prongs without touching them. Move your nocking point up or down if there is a heavy drag mark. Now mark your rest with a pencil and record the nock location on your square.


At this point you have things real close. Shooting is the only real test. You may find that on a forgiving bow the arrow rest can be moved as much as 3/8” and you still get good arrow flight. There is a small area within that 3/8” where you will get the best groups. The same is true for the nocking point. A shooting test will help you find the best position for the rest and nocking point. You will only make 1 adjustment at a time. Start with the arrow rest.

Sight your bow in reasonably well. Make a cross on your target. Get back as far as you can shoot a decent group. Shoot a 5 arrow group using your best form. Don’t change your sights if you are not hitting on the center of the cross. Only shoot for a group. Record the horizontal size of your group. Now move your rest a small amount and shoot again. Keep doing this while recording everything and you will find a place where your groups are the tightest for left and right. Now do the same thing for up and down with your nocking point. Your bow will now be tuned to shoot the best groups regardless of how it tears paper. Record or mark the location of your nocking point and arrow rest. Then sight in your bow.


An out of tune bow will shoot good groups from a shooting machine. A perfectly tuned bow will shoot bad groups from a person with bad form. Spend your time with quality practice rather than playing with your equipment. All a perfectly tuned bow will do is help that bad arrow from missing as much. You will not have that bad arrow if you practice your form. You are only making excuses for yourself if you keep changing your bow because you don’t shoot well.

Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Bowhunters should tune their bows to broadheads as soon as possible. PSE Hunting Advisor Steve Van Zile, recommends that you use a bow that maximizes your peak draw weight. For example, if you're comfortable drawing 60#, then choose a bow that peaks at 60#. That is, one with a 45-60# range--not a 60-75# range. Keep this in mind when you buy your next bow.

"Bowhunters should also make sure all their hunting equipment is attached to the bow before tuning begins--and then they should not make any changes. "Perfect" arrow flight can quickly go awry if at the last minute you switch from a cable slide to a speed slide, alter the angle of the cable guard, or even add some "muff" to the arrow rest.

"Finally," says Steve, "Bowhunters should sight their bows in only after achieving wobble free arrow flight. Trying to tune arrows to an existing set of sight pins is often nothing more than an exercise in futility."

Bowhunters should practice shooting at life-size animal targets, such as shooting in Skookum(s 3-D Saturdays. This helps them hone their yardage estimation skills, and teaches them to pick a spot before shooting. Too many deer are missed because an archer was deficient in either of these two skill areas.

"In addition, bowhunters should avoid head-on and quartering-in angles," says Steve, "and opt instead for a broadside or quartering-away shot. These latter two angles really expose the heart-lung region --especially if the deer's near fore leg is fully extended."


Sometimes, the real hunt doesn't begin until after a broadhead has been released. The biggest mistake bowhunters make after taking that hard earned shot is going right after the deer. They see a lot of blood, and immediately assume their trophy is laying dead in the leaves some fifty or sixty yards away. Unfortunately, that's not always-the case. For example, the blood trail from a gut shot buck often peters out rather quickly. If you happen to push that deer too soon, he may just run off into a distant thick and disappear forever.

What should you do? Well, there is much disagreement as to what to do after a broadhead has drawn blood because every shot is a little different. There are however three key things you can do to minimize losing the blood trail altogether:

- Know where the vitals are BEFORE you shoot. Study charts and diagrams provided by your state's game department or hunter education programs. Be careful however with shots shown on various commercial hunting videos. Once in a while a gut shot or kidney shot is described incorrectly as a lung shot.

- Know where your arrow hit. Try to remember what the sight picture was before you released the arrow, and then imagine the arrow's entry and exit paths. Bright fletching/nocks can be helpful in this regard.

- Finally, if you are not sure where the arrow hit, WAIT at least a half hour before trailing. If you are an inexperienced tracker and don't find the deer with 150 yards, the best advice is get some experienced help.

Discussion Starter · #5 ·
4 Steps To Perfect Broadhead Flight by

Broadheads are more difficult to shoot accurately than field points. Follow these four steps and the odds are your broadheads will group better than ever.

1. The Well-Tuned Bow
Most broadheads, however, aren't going to let you get away with bad tuning, especially if you have a fast bow. This is because the blades on a broadhead can act like wings and steer an arrow all over a target face. Launch an arrow poorly and the blades will catch air and drift off target right from the start.
Make sure to re-check your arrow spine before you begin tuning. Having an arrow that's too stiff or soft will make it impossible to achieve perfect broadhead flight. Make sure to consider all the variables that influence spine stiffness.
According to Easton, the variables are:
1. shaft size (diameter and wall thickness
2. shaft length (+/- 3⁄4 to one-inch can significantly change shaft stiffness)
3. weight of the broadhead to be shot (+/- 25 grains can significantly change shaft stiffness)
4. draw weight of the bow (+/- 2.5 to five pounds can significantly change shaft stiffness)
5. archer's draw length (certain shafts become significantly weaker when cut past 28 inches)
6. string material (Dacron strings are slower and require a slightly softer arrow, for example)
7. type of bow (recurve or compound with a wheel, soft-cam or speed-cam)
8. finger or mechanical release (finger shooters require a slightly stiffer arrow)
9. bow length (bows less than 40 inches in length require a slightly stiffer shaft)
10. overdraw length, if used (three-inch-plus overdraws require a slightly stiffer arrow)

Once you've got the right arrow, you need to tune the bow to the shaft. You don't have to tune with broadheads at this point; field points are fine at this stage. Later, you'll want to shoot at long range with broadheads (anywhere from 35–50 yards depending upon your skill level) to test your tune.

2. The Right Fletch
A lot of bowhunters go for extra speed by reducing arrow weight. That's OK, within reason, but don't save weight by cutting back on the size of your fletch. Arrows with field points can get by with very little fletch guidance. The same is not true in regard to broadheads. You need a lot of fletch to counteract any attempt by the broadhead to steer your arrow from the front of the shaft.
The general recommendation is that release shooters use five-inch vanes or four-five inch feathers. You can sometimes get away with four-inch vanes and three-inch feathers on arrows weighing less than 425 grains, but it never hurts to have a little extra guidance. You should also consider that you might need extra guidance on lighter shafts because they're going to be launched from your bow at a higher velocity.
Feathers, by the way, do offer more guidance than equivalently sized vanes. This is because their rougher surface offers more wind resistance. Traditional shooters should almost always go with five-inch feathers or possibly a four-inch, four-fletch combination. Finger shooters need all the help they can get to counter the initial wobble of a finger-released arrow, and shooting off the shelf requires a fletch that collapses when it hits the shelf. Compound shooters who have a finger release are also probably better off using feathers. Whether you're using shooting fingers or a release, you should have a helical setting on your fletch. You never want a perfectly straight fletch when shooting broadheads. Helical fletching does a much better job of stabilization. A helical fletch causes the arrow to spin like a well-thrown football. This moderates any attempt by the broadhead to steer the arrow.
Bowhunters who use small-diameter carbon shafts may have trouble with their fletching clearing the arrow rest when using a helical orientation. In this case, the best choice is to select a straight offset of about one to three degrees. Incidentally, this is how most arrows prefletched by the manufacturer are oriented. Despite the campfire stories you might have heard, feathers and/or a helical fletch will not slow your arrows significantly downrange. Feathers are initially faster and only start losing speed once you're well past typical hunting ranges (50 yards). Helical settings on vanes cause almost no loss of speed at hunting ranges. So, err on the big side if you're uncertain about what fletch to use.

3. Front of Center (FOC)
If there's one variable of broadhead flight that's often overlooked, it's the arrow's front-of-center balance point, or FOC. In practical terms, FOC determines how much leverage the fletching has to correct the arrow's flight. The farther forward the balance point is from the center of the arrow--the FOC point--the longer the lever the fletching has to work with and the easier its job. The general recommendation for FOC is 12 to 15 percent for broadhead-tipped arrows. This compares to a recommendation of eight to 11 percent for field points (for pure target applications). The difference in suggested FOC is due, in part, to the longer length of a broadhead. It's also due, in part, to field points not having the ability to steer an arrow like a broadhead can.
Finger shooters, and those shooting shafts less than 26 inches in length, should probably look for a higher FOC. This is because shorter arrows are inherently less stable, and finger shooters, once again, need a little extra help to correct the normal arrow wobble upon release.
Note that it's possible to shoot very accurate groups with field points with less than eight percent FOC, but again, field points are more forgiving than broadheads. Just as with fletch size, it's better to err on the large side with FOC. You don't want to go overboard, though (past 18 percent). Too much FOC makes your arrows point-heavy and less aerodynamic downrange.
How do you figure out your arrow's FOC? The formula is: [(ABP Õ TAL) - .50] x100 = FOC%. ABP is the distance to the arrow's balance point from the nock of the arrow, and TAL is the total arrow length. All you need is a tape measure and something to balance an arrow on (like a pencil) to use the formula. First, balance the arrow and mark the balance point with the pencil. Then measure from the throat of the nock (where the string fits inside the nock) to the mark you made at the balance point. This is the arrow's balance point (ABP). Next, measure the length of your arrow from the throat of the nock to where the insert goes into the shaft. This is the total arrow length (TAL). (If you use carbon shafts with outserts, measure to where the point screws in.) Finally, input the figures into the FOC formula. For example: If you had a 30-inch arrow that balanced at 19 inches, the formula would read: [(19Õ30) - .50] x 100 = 13.3 percent FOC.
What do you do if your arrow's FOC is too low? You might have to use a heavier broadhead or change shafts. Be careful here. Adding a heavier head can change arrow spine, meaning you might have to use a different arrow or, at the very least, re-tune the bow.
If you really don't want to change shafts or components and you're shooting vanes, try switching to feathers. They're typically much lighter and could move your FOC forward by two percent or more. You can also try using a lighter nock.

4. Straight To The Point
The final step is to make sure your arrows are perfectly straight and that your broadheads are perfectly aligned. The easiest way I've found to do this is with an arrow inspector. One quick spin on the Arrow Inspector will reveal even the slightest bend.
This tool is also invaluable for checking broadhead alignment. It will reveal whether your insert is square in the shaft and/or if the broadhead is bent. It's perfect for mounting traditional heads too. While I've never had bent broadheads from my any of my favorite manufacturers, it never hurts to check each and every head. A warped broadhead or a bent arrow can result in terrible arrow flight.
Don’t worry about aligning the broadhead's blade with the fletch. This is a wives tale that's been debunked by scientific testing. Those individuals who insist this makes a difference have likely experienced a poorly aligned insert. Rotating the insert to put the broadhead's blades in line with the fletch probably improved the broadhead's overall alignment.

Good Hunting!

Discussion Starter · #7 ·
FOC and Why It’s Important
By Don Morrison

For starters, FOC means "front of center". The FOC value for an arrow indicates how far forward of the center of the shaft the center of gravity (COG) is located, expressed as a percentage.

In order for an arrow to fly correctly, with the tip in the lead and the fletching following in the rear, the center of gravity (COG) must be located somewhere between the tip and the middle of the arrow shaft. If the COG is located closer to the tip, the arrow will have good stability but will drop quicker because of the heavy nose. However, if the COG is located closer to the center of the shaft, the arrow will have good range, but arrow flight may be unstable. Thus, there are trade-offs between stable arrow flight and arrow distance/speed. The object is to find a happy medium that will allow you to have the best of both worlds.

Also, the FOC relates to two different aspects of shooting arrows, how the arrow behaves on the bow when being shot and how the shot arrow flies through the air. In order to hit what you are aiming at the arrow needs to come off the bow straight and with no rotation. One of the principal factors which effects how the arrow comes off the bow is how much it bends when being shot ("weak/stiff arrow"). For a given stiffness and length of arrow shaft, bending is controlled by varying the pile weight. The heavier the pile weight the more the arrow will bend. The shaft stiffness and associated weight depend on the shaft construction e.g. carbon arrow shafts are stiffer for the same weight than aluminum shafts. For the way the arrow behaves on the bow the FOC is a guide to what the pile weight should be for the arrow to "match" the bow in terms of coming off straight i.e. have the right amount of arrow bending.

The FOC value also effects where the axis of rotation of the arrow is located as it fishtails etc. about. The arrow rotation point is always in front of the COG and as the COG moves forward increasing the FOC the axis of rotation moves forward. The overall speed of response of the arrow to fletching torque (its angular acceleration), i.e. how fast it straightens up, depends not only on the area of the fletching but on the fletching torque and the "rotatability" of the arrow, its moment of inertia. As the FOC increases the effective fletching area increases and the "lever arm" increases. At the same time the "rotatibility" of the shaft decreases (higher moment of inertia). Overall the arrow fletching response increases with FOC.

Having a high FOC for an arrow provides two principal benefits - better arrow groups and reduced wind sensitivity. When you aim at the gold but the arrow ends up in the black something must have changed the direction of the arrow. An arrow mechanically has to leave a bow going in the direction it was pointed and with its axis very closely aligned with the direction it’s going. The arrow changes direction after it leaves the bow and the cause is arrow rotational energy (cartwheeling). The arrow flies in a curved path until this energy is dissipated by fletching drag (the stabilization distance). Having a higher FOC results in faster energy dissipation (more fletching action) because the drag area moving the arrow is smaller and the amount the arrow direction is changed is reduced. The result is a more forgiving arrow. In a wind, the smaller drag area that moves the arrow results in reduced wind drift.

A FOC value range of 7-18 percent is widely used as the best for a good balance between arrow range and arrow flight stability. If your calculated FOC doesn’t fall with this range, don’t fret. You can still have reasonably good arrow flight with an FOC as high as 18 percent, but your range will not be as good. Try not to go below 7 percent.

How to determine the FOC manually. Take one of your arrows, fully equipped including tip, that you will be using. First you must find the balance point on the arrow’s shaft. To do this try to balance the arrow on your finger or a flat edge.

Once you have successfully balanced the arrow, place some sort of mark at that spot on the arrow’s shaft. Next, measure (inches) from the bottom of the nock grove to the balance point. Then measure (inches) the length of the arrow from the nock grove to the edge of the arrow shaft, not the insert (this is called the arrows cut length.) Divide the arrow length by two, this will give you the physical center of the shaft. Now subtract the physical center number from the balance point value and divide by the arrow length value. Multiple this number by 100 to get a percentage (%).

Example FOC Calculation

Balance Point Length 17.25"

Arrow Length 28"

Arrow Length / 2 14"

Balance Point Length - (Arrow Length / 2) 17.25 - 14 = 3.25

3.25 divided by Arrow Length 3.25 / 28 = 11.6% FOC

In this scenario, the tip of the arrow is a bit heavy for the arrow but the FOC is within the 7% - 18% range (use the lower end for aluminum arrows, the middle range for aluminum/carbon composites, and the upper end for carbon and hunting arrows).

If I wanted to lower the FOC for this arrow I could change to a lighter point or I could add weight to the end of the arrow. Lead tape works pretty well, it can be installed near the nock by completely wrapping the arrow’s shaft. Lead tape can be found at most sporting good stores. Once you have the FOC calculated, use some trial and error to get the FOC percent you want.

Different types of arrow shaft have, based on experience, different recommended values for the FOC, ideally:

Aluminum shafts: 7-10%

Aluminum/carbon composites: 10-13%

Carbon Shafts: 13-16%

Discussion Starter · #8 ·
String/Nock Matching
Your string and nocks must work together or grouping problems will result. For starters, push a nock onto your string and check how tight it fits. Can you slide it up and down the string fairly easily or does it fit so tight that you can’t move it? Proper fit can also be tested by pulling the arrow off of the string with just your index finger and thumb. A slight tug should "pop" the nock off the string. If you hold the bow so the string is horizontal and the arrow falls off by its own weight, then the nock fit is too loose. Check the tabs or "ears" of the nock to see if they stay spread apart after the nock is snapped onto the string. If so, the fit is too tight. “When nocks are properly fit on a string, the nock should look much like it does off a string. If the string is too large or the nock too small, you may see the “ears” of the nock spread when on the string.” If nocks are too tight, you may get a horizontal spread in your group.

If your nocks fit too loosely, they may slide down the string as the string is released. You will usually get erratic high arrows or groups spread out vertically with loose nocks. You can easily overlook this little problem because a high nocking point and a weak launcher can also cause vertical grouping. Check all of these items to be sure.

In either case, one of two remedies must be employed. If your nocks fit too tightly you must either reduce the diameter of the bowstring or increase the throat size of your nocks.

Always match a new string to your nocks before you buy it. Then check the nock fit after it’s installed. If the fit is not correct, make it right or you’ll spend some frustrating hours trying to shoot groups and failing. Do the same when you switch brands or styles of nocks. Remember that the throat size must always match the string size if you want good groups with less tuning.

String Stretch and Creep

Technically, creep is non-recoverable elongation, whereas stretch is the recoverable elongation (or elasticity). Creep is a problem, stretch is a blessing. Thus, what we generally refer to as stretch is actually creep. Stretch is the natural elasticity of the string as it is loaded through the shot cycle and returns to its pre-shot length. Anyone who used Kevlar strings will know how harsh a string with zero stretch is (and how soon it breaks). So we actually need our strings to stretch to ‘soften’ the shot cycle and prolong the life of the string. Creep occurs when the string material is taken past the point where stretch can recover it. This is a problem and leaves the material in a damaged state. The fibers used for modern bowstrings are purpose designed, often with specific performance and usage parameters, creep being one of those parameters.

With the advent of custom made, “prestretched” strings, many thought that the days of bowstrings stretching were long gone; unfortunately it is not so. ‘Prestretching’ the string, as done by most of the custom string manufacturers, involves many techniques that take much of the creep out of the bowstring material prior to production. The string is then wound and served under tension, thus giving us a string that shouldn’t creep, once “shot in”. The string needs to be shot in to allow the fibers to settle against one another, to take account of any tight bends (around cams, etc) and tight/loose spots in the serving. Usually 30 - 40 shots is all that is required. Waxing the string allows the strands to slide over each other and bed in properly; keeping the string waxed helps
smooth the fibers against each other as the string is rotated around the wheel or cam.

So why, if we’ve done as the string manufacturer instructed, does it creep sometimes? Almost invariably there is one cause, heat. It doesn’t need to be much or for long, but heat will ruin your nice (expensive) new string and cables in a very short time. Just how short a time are we talking about? If the heat is established and the strung bow is placed in the container, the damage may be done in less than 10 minutes, and a suitable pre-heated container is your car’s trunk! The amount of heat required is relatively small and most countries are capable of easily reaching a temperature that will cause failure to start. A temperature in excess of 140° F is enough to start the process in most modern strings, which is not that hot at all, nor is this a difficult temperature to attain. If there is strong sunlight about it may well be reached when the bow is left in a bow rack whilst waiting turns to shoot. If fitted, a metal peep will quickly reach over 150 degrees, causing a localized weakening in the string, and creep will set in. This change due to heat is of great importance.

We should all try to develop habits to stop us from putting our equipment in a position where it can be damaged. I have mentioned target archers, but bowhunters can get the same from hanging the bow in the sun, and anyone can get it traveling with the bow inside a hot car. Once the elastic properties of a string have been exceeded, it loses its ability to restore itself to its original length; you’ve exceeded the ‘elastic limit’ of your string, or rephrased, it’s junk now. Once the elastic limit has been exceeded, it will take very little to break the string, although it may hold out for while, it has been irreparably damaged. Of course, creep lengthens the string ,which changes your tune, and your score is going into the toilet as you discover the problem. So to prolong the length of string/cable life, wax them, keep your bow cool, and get in the habit of shading your bow when it is not being shot.

Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Target Panic

Target-shyness, Target-Panic, call it what you will, it all results in an uncontrollable desire to release as soon as the sight gets onto the gold or even the target face.

The Miracle Cure? - there isn't one!

Blank Boss Shooting...

A complete waste of time! As soon as you put a target face back on the boss, back comes the panic.

First, we need to understand the cause of Target Panic.

There appear to be two main causes... Over-bowed and Over-aiming


Obviously, if you are drawing more weight than you can comfortably relax with whilst at full draw, you will want to release as soon as possible. This can lead to releasing earlier and earlier until you reach the point where you release before reaching the aiming point. (This is not really target shyness, but you end up with similar results.)


This generally comes from the archer believing that aiming is more important than the correct execution of the shot. The archer then tries to aim harder which puts tension into the shot and before they know it, they are on a spiral downwards until they cannot aim on the middle without shaking like a leaf.

Some of this may go against what a lot of so-called "top coaches" say.

"The glowing sight pin or glow-dot has caused more cases of Target Panic than any other single item of archery equipment."

Try some of these statements for size...

1."Whilst shooting at a Field Face at 30 yards, the angle of deviation necessary to miss the gold is so small that it is humanly impossible to group your arrows inside the gold. Yet, many archers are capable of doing it. It would even be difficult to make a machine accurate enough to do it!" TRUE

2."The subconscious part of the brain is very good (once taught) at performing very precise tasks without you realizing you are doing them, and far better than the fully-conscious part of the brain." TRUE

3."The subsconscious visual part of the brain is very good at centering objects in it's field of vision." TRUE

4."If you are not consciously lining up a sight with the target, you cannot have target panic." TRUE

5."Changing release aids will cure target panic." FALSE

6."Back-tension release aids prevent target panic." FALSE

First, let's qualify these last two statements...
It is true that by changing your release, especially if you change to a reverse-trip or a back-tension release, you will get rid of target shyness... TEMPORARILY!
The reason is that once you get used to the new release, so that you no longer have to think about using it, you will go back to trying to aim consciously and the target shyness will return.

Now let's consider the subconscious side of the brain. There are many tasks you perform each day...

...Changing gear with a manual gearbox in the car. First you depress the clutch pedal with the left foot, then you either increase or decrease the throttle for going either down or up a gear, then you move the gear stock, adjust the throttle and let out the clutch, and at the same time you are steering the car and observing road conditions both front and rear! This whole operation is performed in about 1 second. ...Putting a fork in your mouth whilst eating. How often do you stab yourself with it?

...Writing with a pen.

All these things your subconscious can do time and time again and very seldom gets it wrong. So, aiming a sight at a target is a very easy task for it in comparison!

How do you cure Target Panic?

If you have a mild problem, then try this. It is not a quick fix and you may have to repeat the process many times. The trick is to be absolutely confident in the ability of your subconscious to do the aiming for you. Assume you are shooting compound with a scope and release aid. You may have to modify this for other styles. Take the lens out of the scope and shoot at a face at 25 yards. DO NOT AIM! Just stare at the bullseye through the peep sight and the scope body. DO NOT TRY TO LINE ANYTHING UP Put your finger on the trigger, feel the trigger, feel where it is on the finger and feel the increase in pressure on your finger. Remember, you are not aiming and you are not lining anything up. You are just staring at the gold through the scope body. By now the release has gone off and the arrow is in the target. REPEAT THIS 4 OR 5 TIMES.

You may find that putting something like Blu-Tac on the trigger will help you concentrate on the feel of the trigger. By now you should have a group of arrows in the target. Apart from the odd stray, they will be in a fairly tight group. DO NOT ADJUST YOUR SIGHT TO GET THE ARROWS IN THE MIDDLE... just continue the exercise and learn the feeling of "aiming, yet not aiming". When you think that you feel what it is like to let the sub-concious do the aiming, put the lens back in, but not with a spot. Instead, put on a big circle, and I mean big... let it fit around the outside of the blue on the target. Now go through the same routine again.

You may be amazed at how accurate you are with such a big circle, and you may never go back to a smaller one. As you progress, note that you never actually focus on the ring on the scope, you always look through it. Try different sized rings and find one which is comfortable for you to use. As soon as you feel you are using your fully-conscious side to aim, then go back to reinforce the good work you have already done.

· Registered
206 Posts
This is some great info. Thanks Mike! I appreciate you sharing your knowledge with us "common folk" :)

Discussion Starter · #12 ·

When I can't shoot, which is often, I try to emerse myself in as much info as possilbe to pass my time and to learn & improve on my hobbies, so I figured I would share some of the info I have collected over the years. :(

Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Bowhunting Basics written by Keith Riehn

If you have decided that you are up to the challenge of bowhunting, here is a guide to everything you need to know.

What is it about pursuing wild animals with a bow that really gets my adrenaline rushing? I'm not sure I can answer that question with a concrete explanation. There is just something mysterious about the inner drive that keeps bowhunters hungry for that next hunt, as if life depended on it. Whether I got this intractable passion through heredity or conditioning, one thing is for certain, I have the fever!

Though the passion may not be explainable, there are some obvious reasons as to why a hunter may decide to take up archery hunting. As a teenager my father introduced me to hunting deer and turkey. Within a few years I realized that I could no longer stand the overwhelming desire for the seasons to roll back around. It was then that I discovered that if I take up bowhunting I could pursue big game for nearly one third of the year. Anything that could put me in the woods that often was definitely worth looking into. Generous hunting seasons were my main motive to take up the sport. If you like a challenge and enjoy the outdoors, bowhunting has just what you need. Most serious bow hunters are competitive in nature and thrive on the chore of outwitting their prey on its own turf. Bowhunting is not for everyone, but if you can handle some frustration and you are willing to invest some time and energy towards achieving a tremendously rewarding task, then you may have found your niche.

Once you have decided that you are up to the challenge of bowhunting, it is time to invest in some equipment. The amount of money you will need to spend will greatly depend on your personal preference and personality. Some archers keep things very simple and still achieve great success while others find the need to have the most updated and sophisticated equipment no matter the cost. Most bowhunters find a happy medium somewhere in between. There are items that are essential to having success and others that are basically just bells and whistles. Assuming you are just getting into the sport, lets cover some basics that you will require.

The bow: There are so many quality bows to choose from, the decision will really just come down to personal preference. There are five characteristics that archers look for when deciding what is right for them. What is top priority to you may not be top priority to the next hunter. These characteristics are:


Quality - Is the bow going to endure the abuse often associated with bowhunting? Lets face it, the tactics necessary to take game with a bow does not allow the hunter to pamper his weapon. A bow hunter will be traveling through thick cover, climbing to elevated tree stands and often putting the bow through potentially rigorous conditions. Are the manufacturers reputable and do they stand behind their product? Is the bow quiet, yet efficient? Ask these questions to fellow bowhunters. The best quality bows will have proven themselves.

Speed - To many archers this is a top priority. To others it is just one more variable to consider. There is no question that speed has many advantages. A blistering arrow flies with less trajectory for longer distance allowing the hunter more room for error in judging distance. However, speed does come with a price. Some degree of accuracy and consistency is often sacrificed to achieve greater velocity.

Accuracy - Plain and simple, accuracy is critical. When a hunter feels confident in his shot placement, success usually follows. To be accurate it takes a well tuned bow and a great deal of practice. To achieve accuracy, a hunter needs a bow that feels comfortable and fits properly. Before deciding on a particular bow, I would encourage any bowhunter to become familiar with the many styles and types available.

Forgiveness - Of the five characteristics listed, this may be the most beneficial to a less experienced bowhunter. Forgiveness is the measure of the amount of error in the archers form, grip, anchor and release a bow will allow when achieving an accurate shot. As a general rule, bows with a longer brace height of close to 8 inches will have more forgiveness than those with shorter brace heights. Brace height is the distance from the bow handle to the string of an undrawn bow. Larger brace height comes with the price of a degree of speed loss, though many bows with large brace heights today are still producing remarkable speeds.

Aesthetics - It would be naive to say that looks do not matter to most hunters. Some will claim it is not important, and to some it is really low on the priority list. However, break out a bow in a crowd of bowhunters and the first thing commented on will be its looks.

The best advise I can give it to look at all five characteristics and make sure the bow you choose is a good mixture of each. Usually one of these characteristics will stand out a little more than the others and that is where personal preference comes in to play.

Once you have chosen a bow with the characteristic that you desire, it is time to decide on the essential accessories required for your set up.
These are:

Arrow Rest
Wrist strap

Arrow Rest - The rest is the accessory that supports the arrow during the shot process. There are many types of rests to choose from. Personal preference will come into play when choosing a good rest. Through the year, many changes have been made to make rests more practical and efficient for the bowhunter. There are rests available that secure the arrow, eliminating the chance that the arrow could fall off the rest at a critical moment. To many bowhunters this feature is invaluable. Another feature on some of the latest designed rests are the ability for the support arm of the rest to actually drop out of the way as the string is released, eliminating all contact with the arrow. By doing this, the possibilities of unwanted interference and noise made from arrow friction with the rest are a thing of the past. My recommendations are to find a rest that is easy to adjust while tuning and accommodates what you feel will be most beneficial for your hunting style.

Sights - Sights act as an aiming point of reference on your target to aid you in making an accurate shot. Multiple sight pins allow a hunter to set a reference at several yardages, eliminating the need to aim high or low on a target after judging the distance of the shot. Many hunters are shooting high speed bows that produce very flat trajectory and prefer to use just a single pin. With a little practice you may find that this helps to keep things simple. Some states allow the use of electronically lighted pins which could come in handy at dusk and dawn. Check the game laws in the areas you will be hunting to see if this option is available to you. Decide what you want out of your sight before making a purchase.

Stabilizer - This is a weighted extension that protrudes from the front of the bow to help the hunter with balanced form while shooting. Most stabilizers are efficient so there is no need to get real technical when choosing one. I suggest that you find one that also serves the purpose of eliminating unwanted vibration allowing a smoother, quieter shot. Less recoil means less noise and less hand shock.

Wrist Strap - Any wrist strap that is comfortable to you will do the job. It is simply there to assure that the bow will not leave your hand during recoil. The last thing you will want to see is your bow plummeting to the ground from an elevated tree stand.

Other items you may want to consider for your bow are:

String and limb silencers

String loop (for use with a release aide)

Arrow quiver

Now lets take a look at arrows:

The biggest decision you will have to make about arrow selection is whether to use aluminum or carbon arrows. Aluminum arrows have been a proven asset to bowhunters for many years. They provide stable and consistent flight with a surplus of penetration. Aluminum arrows tend to be heavier than carbons which teamed with speed can produce unmatched penetration. Carbons on the other hand are very durable and dependable in maintaining straightness. Because they are lighter and often more narrow, they offer the bowhunter faster arrow speed and flatter trajectory. Most arrow manufacturers have an arrow shaft selection chart to aid you in choosing the right arrow for your set up. Another minor decision to make will be choosing between feather or plastic veins to stabilize the arrow in flight. The average fletching is around 4 inches in length but can be larger or smaller depending if you are looking for more stability or speed.

Now for the business end of the arrow! After practicing with field points and maintaining a respectable grouping out to at least 20 yards, you will become more confident in making a clean shot on an animal. One of the most important variables in making a clean kill will be the amount of penetration the arrow gets and damage done to the vital organs as the arrow passes through. A top quality broadhead will be a determining factor in getting this job done effectively. Do not cut corners in choosing a broadhead.

Fixed blade heads and mechanical heads are the two main types of broadheads being used by the majority of bowhunters. A strong case could be made for choosing either style of broadhead, and you will find advocates of both throughout the bowhunting population. Fixed blade heads have no moving parts and tend to be very durable and reliable. Mechanical heads have floating blades that open on impact and tend to be easily transitioned from field points with little or no difference in flight. Try both and see what works for you. Confidence in your broadhead will go a long way in feeling good about your shot.

Optional Equipment for Hunting:

Once you have your bow and arrows ready to go, there are some optional equipment to consider to make your hunts successful. I find that for bowhunting a lightweight, easy to set up and take down treestand is almost a necessity. Climbing treestands work great if there are trees available with little or no limbs up to twenty feet from the base. Hang-on treestands work just about anywhere there is a tree and are quite handy teamed with the right steps or ladder.

Ground blinds seem to be becoming increasingly popular with bowhunters. Most serious bowhunters have a good quality blind in their arsenal for those times when treestands are not a good option. If you plan to hunt turkeys with your bow, a good blind will be invaluable.

Camouflage clothing for all weather conditions is a must. Bow seasons across North America tend to be quite liberal in length. Count on hunting in just about any and all types of weather conditions. Staying comfortable will keep you in the field. Success in bowhunting is usually teamed with long hours of relentless pursuit. You have to be out there to be successful. A nice roomy backpack to hold additional clothing and food will aid you in preparing for weather changes and temperature fluctuations.

Long hours in boots that are too hot in early season will lead to shortened hunts and undesirable excess odor. On the flip side, nothing will send a hunter back to camp quicker than cold feet. There are too many quality footwear products available these days for a hunter to allow this to happen.

As a bowhunter, you will find that hours can be spent looking through catalogues and surfing the Internet looking at all of the latest gadgets and equipment available to make your hunt more enjoyable. Nothing beats trial and error and seeking advice from fellow bowhunters to find what all you will feel is necessary for your hunting experiences.

Now that you have the equipment necessary to start hunting, how can you put yourself within bow range of your game? Obviously, your strategy and the degree of difficulty will vary from animal-to-animal. There are two key ingredients to harvesting an animal with a bow and arrow. These are preparation and fortune. Preparation begins with knowing your equipment and your personal limitations. It is not necessary to mimic the skills of Robin Hood in order to make a clean shot on your prey. What it takes is substantial practice and recognition of your effective range. I have found that 3-D targets are one of the best ways to sharpen these skills. Most 3-D targets come with an outline of the vital section of a life size animal. Visualize different scenarios as you draw back and focus on the target. Nothing builds confidence more than walking up to a 3D target with 3 or 4 well placed arrows protruding from the boiler room. Don't forget to practice from various elevations. Shot placement can change with changing angles. Keep working yourself farther and farther from the target until you start noticing marginal shot placement consistency. Once you establish this marginal distance, work your way back towards the target until you find yourself drilling the kill zone with tight arrow groups. Make note of this distance and discipline yourself not to take shots at live animals beyond this distance. You have established your "effective range."

Once you become comfortable with your shooting ability, it is time to focus on how to put yourself within effective range of a live animal. Whitetail deer are the most popular game animal bowhunted in North America and thought by many to be the most challenging. Bowhunting expert Chuck Adams claims that if you can take a whitetail deer with a bow then you can feel confident that you have the skills to take any huntible game animal in North America. There are an endless number of resources available such as magazines, books, and videos pertaining to hunting deer. One topic that always surfaces in achieving success is "scouting." Many deer hunters will make their first trip into the woods on opening day of rifle season and harvest a deer. Not to take away from the challenge of rifle hunting, but that kind of fortune just does not happen often for bowhunters. To get within range of deer on a consistent basis takes a respectable amount of scouting. Its is critical to understand the purpose of deer movement in your area and gain knowledge of the routes they will take to get from bedding areas to feeding areas and vise versa. The movements will change as the season progresses due to changes in the availability of preferred food sources. Changes will also occur with even more severity as the mating or "rutting" period occurs. Catching a deer in a vulnerable state of mind is a big key to success. The best way to accomplish this is to not educate the deer. A deer sensing "pressure" is very difficult to catch off guard. Once you establish good stand sites, stay away from the areas you are intending to hunt. The most important key to fooling a whitetail is not allowing him to get a whiff of human scent. Deer rely heavily on their nose as their main source of defense. Staying undetected in close range can be quite a task. There are many scent eliminating products available and they certainly help, but nothing beats paying attention to wind direction. If you keep the wind direction in your favor you will drastically improve you odds of arrowing a deer. I mentioned "fortune" as the other key factor along with preparation in being successful on a particular hunt. No matter how much time and effort you put in to your hunt, your fate is ultimately controlled by the instincts and choices the animal will make on its own. You never know when opportunity will knock, so be prepared to answer when it does.

Although deer are the most popular game animal pursued by bowhunters, you will find that there are a number of other challenging creatures out there to chase with a stick and string. The deer hunting tips pertaining to scouting and pressure will go along ways in hunting just about all game with a few modifications. I can't emphasize enough how important it is not to educate any animal to the fact that they are being hunted if you plan on getting within bow range. Familiarize yourself with various game and remember there is always more to learn about the sport. This ongoing lessons are what keeps my mind drifting away throughout the year anticipating trying something new while bowhunting. Are you looking for a challenge with countless satisfactions and rewards?
If so, take up bowhunting.

Discussion Starter · #15 ·
BizzleBigBuckBungalow said:
Some great info Mike. Thanks for posting where it could be reached for references. :( :grin:
Yeah, it's good to have a "reference library" all in one place. Thanks for the effort to get it all together for us.

Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Proper Bow Grip
How you grip the bow can have a profound effect upon accuracy. What is presented here may be against what you’ve been taught, but it’s based upon the teachings of several world-class archery coaches.

Don’t Shake Hands!

A majority of archers want to ‘shake hands’ with the bow when they grip it. Holding the bow like this is wrong for two reasons:

It puts your hand off-center with the grip, which is likely to result in your twisting the bow (torqueing) at the moment of the release; and

It’s more likely to result in your grasping the bow tightly and/or catching its forward movement while the arrow is being released, both of which can also lead to torque/twisting.

Don’t reach for the grip as if you were going to shake hands with it. Instead, start with your hand perpendicular to the ground and then turn it clockwise (for right handed archers) about 20-35 degrees. Next, lift your fingers slightly toward the sky and let the grip fall into the natural ‘pocket’ that’s been formed in your palm.

If you can’t feel the pocket right away, it’s probably because you’re forcing your fingers open. This causes the muscles in your palm to become hard. This makes the natural pocket--the gap formed by the hand’s muscles and bones--disappear. Once your fingers are around the bow you have to let your hand and fingers be as relaxed as possible to let the pocket form. Just let them hang as they will. You don’t want the bow jumping out of your hand at the shot.

The Consistency of the Low Wrist

It used to be that archers were taught to use a high or medium-wrist grip when holding the bow, but if the grip on your bow will allow it you should hold a low wrist. Medium and high-wrist grips were thought to be superior because they resulted in less hand contact with the bow. The assumption was "less hand contact equals less possibility of torque."

While there is something to this line of thinking, a low wrist is much more ‘repeatable’ than a high or medium wrist. It’s much easier to feel you’ve got your hand on the bow the same way every time with a low-wrist grip. The lo-wrist grip, combined with a tilted hand, aligns the grip in the ‘pocket’ of your palm. And if you’ve got the grip in the ‘pocket,’ you shouldn’t have to worry about torque because this is a very neutral way to hold the bow.

High and medium-wrist grips require you to place your hand at specific angle on grip every time without the benefit of having the ‘feel’ of your hand along the bottom half of the grip. Repeating this angle is difficult shot after shot. And if you don’t repeat it, you will have arrows hitting high and low because you’re changing the vertical pressure you’re exerting on the bow with each shot.

A wide grip can also make it difficult to hold a bow the same way every time. There’s too much metal or wood to fit into your hand’s pocket. Additionally, highly non-slip grips are also bad news. You don’t want your hand to stick to the grip... more like let the grip slip into your hand.

Let the Bow Jump!

One bad habit that many archers have is catching the bow at the moment of the shot. You don’t want to do that. You should let the bow jump forward out of your hand. You’re less likely to torque the bow this way, especially if you anticipate when the shot is going off.

Use a bow sling or finger sling. This will allow you to shoot with a relaxed, open hand and let the sling catch the bow. Many indoor, FITA and field tournament shooters use finger slings because they really allow you to let the bow jump out of your hand.

Unfortunately, finger slings are not practical for bowhunting. You can use a modified ‘real finger sling’ while hunting. Here’s how it works: When you grip the bow lightly touch your index finger to your thumb and let these two fingers, and only these two fingers, catch the bow after the shot. The trick here is keeping the rest of your hand and fingers relaxed. If you practice with a finger sling enough this will become quite natural.

Watch the bow, especially the stabilizer, at the moment of the shot. If it jumps straight forward then it means there’s no torque on the bow and you’re doing things right.

· Registered
2,512 Posts
Well, :roll: :| , nicely done.

I attempt too use many of these same ideas everyday at the shop. It is amazing how many guys that come into the shop with some off the wall idea that has absolutely no relevance to archery technique, it makes you go :neutral: :razz: .
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