Archery/Bowhunting Basics Reminder

August 16, 2018 | « back

By: Ted Nugent

Nothing worthwhile comes easy.

This is one of life’s many truisms that continually serves us well for time immemorial.

My dear old dad relentlessly pounded many such quality of life colloquial ditties into my thick, mushy, youthful skull pretty much every day of my life! Lord have mercy do I ever look to the heavens and thank him and God daily!

Be the best that you can be.

Do a job right the first time so you don’t have to do it again.

Keep your nose to the grindstone.

Never give up.

Aim small miss small!

Anything worth doing is worth doing to the best of your ability.

Tell me who you go with and I will tell you what you are.

Never take the easy way out.

Put your heart and soul into everything you do.

When in life you come to a fork in the road, take it!

I could go on, but I have a funny feeling if you’re a dedicated deerhunter you already abide by such sound pragmatic advice and utilitarian commonsense.

With summer dragging on and most prime hunting seasons still a ways off, this continues to be the perfect time of year to continue to hone our aim small miss small reasoning predator skills for that magic fall season of glee that will be here before you know it!

Firearms marksmanship is a very important discipline and specialized touch unto itself that demands continual practice, training and honing.

I shoot a variety of my favorite firearms constantly throughout the year and take great pride and happiness in maintaining my gun skills. As a longtime sheriff deputy and year ‘round concealed carrier I am compelled to train and qualify for my very serious professional and citizen responsibilities, but since I enjoy it so much, it’s not like I have to force myself to dedicate time at the range.

Same goes for archery honing, but more so. The firearms holy tactical-grail of breath control, mechanical ergonomics, sight-picture acquisition and subconscious trigger-squeeze ignition can be maintained to a fine degree with a weekly regimen, but great archery control takes much more attention.

Shooting my Mathews bow on a daily basis, often with family and friends allows us to openly critique and appreciate the shared observations of like-mined dedicated archers.

When bad habits creep into our shot sequence, errant arrows and bad hits on game are an unacceptable price to pay when the clear and present remedies are right at hand.

Here are some primary reminders that often arise when observing archers, especially on a number of hunting TV shows out there.

I am always rather surprised how many archers commit some basic anti-archery mistakes in their shooting style, even in commercials promoting archery equipment!

The most glaring oft-repeated violation is the grip-grabber. I am only a lowly guitar-player archer, but Lord knows I have learned from the greatest bowhunters that ever lived, and by all archery 101 rules you cannot be the best archer you can be if you alter your grip upon the release of the arrow.

I watch so many archers touch off their arrow then immediately grab their grip, thereby altering the flight of the arrow from that infinitesimal nano-second prior when the sights are lined up and the decision to shoot is made.

Whatever grip you choose, it must be maintained exactly the same from anchor right on through the shot and ultimately until the arrow hits the target.

The next glaring violation is what I call “the crack house clearing trigger finger”!

We all know that when preparing to fire a gun, the trigger finger must be straight out along the firearm and not on the trigger until the target is acquired and decision to shoot is made.

When mistakenly employing this trigger-finger position in archery, the time it takes to drop that finger onto our release trigger is enough of a move to cause a serious miss downrange.

When shooting a mechanical release, the trigger-finger must be placed firmly onto the trigger as soon as we attain fulldraw, actually beginning trigger pressure as our sights are aligned.

The best arrow release will occur when we firmly wrap our trigger-finger firmly around that trigger like an orangutan gripping a branch.

My most successful shot sequence mantra applying those two priorities includes a mental connection between my right hand and left hand working in unison like a sight-pin/trigger-finger unified ballet.

Oneness must be achieved between our two hands and eyeballs to execute the ultimate arrow release, and when we do so, that’s exactly what will happen.

I literally repeat to myself as I draw my bow; right hand left hand right hand left hand over and over again as my sights are aligned and triggerfinger pressure is increased, solid anchor is achieved and the arrow is away.

Since we are guaranteed the God given gift and right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, there is no doubt that this basic archery 101 reminder above will maximize it.

Seriously think grip and triggerfinger every shot! Do it and celebrate the most accurate arrows of your life. Aim small miss small and prepare to do the backstrap boogie like you mean it.