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Thread: Shooting tips?

  1. #1
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Default Shooting tips?

    So what are some tips seasoned pros would offer a begginer, so far I'm pretty much dead on out to 15 yards but beyond that I wouldn't trust myself on any big game smaller than a caribou. So what as some tips that can help me get better groupings at longer ranges? WHat are some mistakes that begginers make that I should try to avoid?

    Thanks for the help!
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  2. #2
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    practice and confidence is the big thing. Keep shooting and buidling those muscles. Once you have good muscle memory shooting will be easy. Also practice on your fourm. Some night I will shoot and don't pay attention to the target. I focus on my mech and fourm.
    If you are good to 15 back up to 20 then 25,30,40 and so on.

    Make it fun also. starting out I would shoot at 10 if I hit the X ring I would move back to 15, 20, 25 and so on. If I missed the X ring I would go back to 10 yards.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

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    What are you shooting? Recurve? Longbow? Compound?

    When I moved up to a fast compound, my shooting was doing the same thing. Turned out I was gripping the bow too firmly. When I went with the loose grip that most shooters use, my groups tightened right up.

    Probably helped having an Olympic archer to coach me.

    Keep shooting, and have fun.

  4. #4

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    If I remember correctly, you have a compound with no sight, correct? I use the same set-up right now. Develop oonsistency, especially with where you anchor your finger when you draw back. Always pick a small mark on your target to aim for, very small. Don't shoot the same shot for very long (vary your position, even if it's only 2 yards, practice on knees, etc). If you get a chance, take your bow out for rabbits, ptarmigan, or other small game. They're fun and will really help your instincts and improve your focus on small targets.

    If you want to check your mechanics, I'd recommend trying to schedule a short lesson with someone at Fletchers or BCA (I think they do lessons?!?).

    Have fun too, don't stress. Consistency takes practice but you'll notice improvement over a few months.

  5. #5
    Member akhunter3's Avatar
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    everything above.

    Practice Practice Practice Practice.


    If your shooting a compound be careful of your grip on the bow; it needs to be loose enough to not cause torque. I had problems with that when I first started, really throws off your shots; especially past twenty yards.
    Other then that, work on form, muscle memory, etc. I've found widening your stance just a tad will help you stabilize especially on the longer shots.

    Most of all: PRACTICE!!!

    Jon

  6. #6
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    thanks guys, I'm shooting a compound with a 2 pin sight with a finger tab.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  7. #7
    Member H_I_L_L_B_I_L_L_Y's Avatar
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    Default tips

    Im also going with the practice.practice.practice. Its very important to keep good form that way its second nature when your in the feild. The hand torque plagued me also when i started. Something that works for me is to make sure the pin is centered in the peep everytime. It makes a big difference. I also hold my bow on target until the arrow hits. It keeps me from dropping it to soon. Good luck and have fun. Hillbilly

  8. #8
    Member NDTerminator's Avatar
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    If you don't all ready use one, put a wrist sling on and as others have said, don't grip the bow too firmly. A wrist sling allows you to use a light grip with confidence, knowing your bow isn't going to jump out of your hand.

    At the same time, don't start to use such loose or open grip that you close your hand and "grab" the bow when you release. This is a common novice mistake that causes you to pull your shot, usually low. A repeatable, light, torque free grip that allows you to control the bow is your goal.

    Perfect practice make perfect. 10 shots practicing good form & follow through are far more valuable than 50 poor ones. Work up slowly and as soon as you begin to feel fatigued, quit for the day. In fairly short order you will condition your muscles (archery primarily utilizes your back muscles rather than arms/shoulders) and be able to increase the number of good shots per session.

    Back in my hardcore 3D days, I worked up to 100 good practice arrows 5 days a week.

    I respectfully disagree with Hillbilly on how to use your peep. Like using a ghost ring sight on a rifle, you shouldn't consciously aim through your peep, but let your eye naturally center the front sight (in this case, the pin). If your peep is set at the correct height and you use a consistent multiple reference point anchor (mine is drawing hand first finger on the side of my jaw bone, nock at the corner of my mouth, string on side of nose) you won't have to look for your peep. It will be properly positioned in front of your eye at full draw and you should only be peripherally aware of it. Now simply focus on your pin, the target should be slightly blurred underneath it. Concentrate on a smooth release and follow through...

  9. #9

    Default archery zen

    Have been working through the same thing myself over the last few years - I am now totally engrossed in seeking a higher plane of archery existence and every year seems like I can feel out some kind of improvement. Couple of things I was doing wrong initially:

    My grip was all wrong - I was holding it deep in my palm which left too much room to cant my wrist one way or another. The proper grip is across the fleshy part of the hand towards the thumb down to about the point where the life line hits the heel of your hand. That way the grip is anchored near where your hand and wrist come together. Also I had success with a "low hand" grip where my fingers are more perpendicular or even angled upward with my forearm. Some good pictures on the internet - search for torqueless grips for example.

    Another problem was trying to hold steady on the target rather than letting my pin float in the vicinity. The bow arm and hand are supposed to be relaxed. If tensed, it gets almost impossible to hold steady an then the tendency is to try to anticipate moving over the target and punching the trigger which works pretty good initially but eventually falls all apart. Good discussion of this dynamic on the Archery Talk website in FAQs. Now I've learned that if all of the rest of my mechanics are sound, the arrow tends to gravitate toward the bullseye when I release even if I am floating around it abit. When my mechanics were poor, I was always tending to push it off one way or the other.

    Aim small miss small is a pretty obvious one but I was getting so hung up in thinking about my hand or my anchor or my release that I was forgetting to concentrate on the center of the target.

    Shooting with eyes closed was really helpful for working out the feel of the grip and release. Get close enough so you'll still hit something safe, don't work about aiming, close your eyes and concentrate on relaxing you grip and easing off the release. This works really good for me during a shooting session if I am getting tense - settles me right back in.

    Another good one had to do with practice discipline. I was getting in the bad habit of just touching off a couple arrows to get warm and then bearing down to practice. However, in hunting there is no such luxury. Now sometimes I'll have a practice session where I shoot one and only one arrow aiming to make it a perfect shoot. I try to shoot at least alittle every day even if it just that one perfect arrow. I am lucky to live out the country where I can shoot but you can also do it in the garage or even the house if the wife is out and you just get a few feet away.

    Longer distance shooting is good practice. Even if you won't shoot an animal from that far, if you practice it regularly the shorter distances seem like chip shots.

    Finally, don't settle for jsut being in the circle, look to get finer and finer. When you start busting knocks in the black, and you have to spread your arrows to different spots, then you are really getting it grooved.

    Well, that's enough of my blather. There are other guys on here that are way better shooters than I. Perhaps I should be the cautionary tale for why you'll want to be careful starting down this road - It definitely gets addictive.

    [Just curious why you are going with a finger tab rather than a mechanical release? It's all a personal preference but with one of the new bows, a sight, a peep, a mechanical release, a string loop, and a good drop away or whisker biscuit rest, it is downright scary how accurate you can be. I've heard the discussion on one less thing to go wrong, old school, purer style and all that. And I know there are plenty of finger shooters out there that can shoot my lights out. Accuracy just makes a huge difference at game time. The difference between dead sure at 20 yds and dead sure at 40 yds is a big deal. And before anybody flames me, let's save the ethics discussion on how long a shot is too long for another time. pm me your address if you want to try a release. I'm sure I've got an old spare floating around that I can send you.]
    Last edited by Bfish; 05-29-2007 at 13:58. Reason: further inspiration

  10. #10
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Consistancy

    Consistancy is the key. Do everything exactly the same every time. If something needs to be changed, only change one thing at a time. Develope a consistant pattern, then change what needs to be. Unless you are doing everything the same, everytime, you don't know what to correct.

    Fifteen yards is bear baiting shooting. For caribou you need 50 yards. If 15 is it, then you are going to have to restrict all your shooting to 15.

    Practice, practice, practice!

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  11. #11
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    Default String loop & release...

    Groups your arrows better than anything I know out to 40+ yards...

  12. #12
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    [Just curious why you are going with a finger tab rather than a mechanical release? It's all a personal preference but with one of the new bows, a sight, a peep, a mechanical release, a string loop, and a good drop away or whisker biscuit rest, it is downright scary how accurate you can be. I've heard the discussion on one less thing to go wrong, old school, purer style and all that. And I know there are plenty of finger shooters out there that can shoot my lights out. Accuracy just makes a huge difference at game time. The difference between dead sure at 20 yds and dead sure at 40 yds is a big deal. And before anybody flames me, let's save the ethics discussion on how long a shot is too long for another time. pm me your address if you want to try a release. I'm sure I've got an old spare floating around that I can send you.]

    finger tab is a financial thing for sure will PM you,

    also if anyone has a decent rest sitting around they could give me for the cost of a 6 pack or so I could really use one that doesn't destroy my vanes (im sure it hurts my accuracy even more than using my fingers) in the meantime I'll take everyone's tips into account and try to get out to that 27 yard mark so I can pass bowhunter ed.

    This next fall my goal is to kill some ducks, shouldn't be a problem when the teal show up and won't leave my decoys untill I kick them
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    AKPM, are you right or left handed?

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    right handed, should be left handed I suppose, but my bow is right handed
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    If you truly are left handed, then you should get a left-handed bow. I've got a WB for a left handed bow that I'd let ya at.

  16. #16
    Member lab man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    Consistancy is the key. Do everything exactly the same every time. If something needs to be changed, only change one thing at a time. Develope a consistant pattern, then change what needs to be. Unless you are doing everything the same, everytime, you don't know what to correct.
    I agree 100% with the this. You need to do the same exact thing every time. Feet, hips, anchor point. You need to find a sequence, and follow that exact sequence every time you shoot. I would lose the finger tab and just go with a release. If you're already shooting a compound with sights, a release would probably be the best way to go. Remember, don't chase your arrows all over the target. I'll probably shoot at least 40 arrows before I adjust a sight, and I've been shooting for a long time. Groups matter much more than where you actually hit on the target. Good luck this year, archery takes much more practice than hunting with guns. -Eric

  17. #17
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunt_ak View Post
    If you truly are left handed, then you should get a left-handed bow. I've got a WB for a left handed bow that I'd let ya at.
    I'm lefted eyed and I can shoot both ways so I guess left handed, at any rate I definately don't have the cash for a new bow and used lefties are hard to come by so I'll make due. Thanks for the offer though you guys all pretty much rule (even though some of us butt heads some times)
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  18. #18
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    As far as "making due", I would think you would want to learn the way that is most comfortable for you. If you've read in some of the other threads, its more important what eye dominant you are and being left eye dominant, you might want to hold out for a left handed bow. Save the pennies and watch ebay/craigslist. I almost bought a right handed bow from a friend and thought the same thing (make due) but he said "save your money and learn how you are going to shoot the right way". Just a suggestion.

  19. #19
    New member Goat's Avatar
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    Default .02

    Dont stare at the pin too long. I found my best groups are when I release as soon as the pin is on the target. The longer you hold it the more wobble inside the peep.

    Also, to break up practice try using a 3D target. When I started to get bored with the Block I got a deer and now practice has a new twist. I used the block for the past 6 years before I got bored with it tho.

  20. #20
    Member NDTerminator's Avatar
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    Powder Monkey, I apologize for making some assumptions about your setup and knowledge in my prior post. The following advice is given with the best intentions and with the conviction of having been in your shoes before. I've been shooting archery since the early 60's and consequently have some experience in these matters.

    Sounds to me like you are cutting corners in an effort to get up and shooting. All this will lead to is frustration, poor results, and bad shooting habits that are extremely difficult to break.

    First off, ascertain which is your dominant eye and get the proper bow (LH or RH) with the proper draw length.

    Decide if you're going to shoot fingers or release. If you are going to finger shoot a compound, you need to get a bow that will allow you to do it. Most all compound bows built since the mid 90's are are designed to be shot with release. The hard fact is if you are going to shoot with fingers and w/o sights, you are far better off to shoot Traditional. I know, I shoot both Trad and compound. They are two entirely different endeavors.

    If you are going to shoot compound with fingers, bear this in mind. As a general rule, compound bows under 40" axle to axle have too acute of string angle to be shot well with fingers. Most short compound bows have too small of sight window to be shot well with fingers, if at all. You will need soft cams or wheels, as hard cams are at best very difficult to get a smooth finger release with. To my knowledge, the only currently available compound specifically made for finger shooting is the Reflex Caribou, and it's a specical order bow.

    Once you decide if you're shooting release or fingers and have selected the proper handed bow, you need to get it tuned and setup correctly.
    The draw has to be set for you and the eccentrics have to be in time or it will be impossible to tune. No tune, no consistent accuracy.

    Now you have to select a rest. The rest is, next to your arrows, the most critical piece of the gear. A cheap rest (I'm not talking price) is a waste of time & money. Unless your shooting Traditional, your rest will run from $50 to well over $100. If you shoot fingers your arrow's pardox is horizontal, where if you shoot a release it's vertical. So being, you will need a rest specific to your chosen release method. Your rest has to be properly setup, as if your fletching makes contact with the rest, you will never get good arrow flight (with the exception of the Whisker Biscuit).

    The last piece of the puzzle just to get started is the arrows. You need arrows of the proper spine and length for your setup. It's a complete waste of time to shoot arrows of varying lengths and spines, as well as with different weight point and damaged vanes.

    Unless you cover these bases properly, you are wasting your time...

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