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Proper Shooting Form

Proper Form allows for more accurate shots

Proper Form allows for more accurate shots

Without question getting a perfect shooting form from a tree stand can be challenging. Seldom does the deer, bear, elk or turkey allow for a broadside shot at twenty-five yards directly in front of us. But for the record we will look at proper form to see how we should do it under all situations.

First, it all begins with the feet. Our foot placement should be about 70 degrees towards the target. Some like to be a bit more open, others a tad more closed. But getting the feet right can make a great difference in how we hold our bow arm towards the target. Our feet should be slightly more than shoulder width apart and well balanced.

Our shoulders should be 90 degrees to the target. With our bow arm, (the one holding the bow) slightly bent. We do not want our elbow to be fully locked. The bow should be perfectly vertical. Most bow sights have a level on them to help us to make sure the bow is perfectly vertical.

Shooting the bow should be a relaxed event. We should never be so strained by pulling the bow that we are tense. If there is ever a mistake in shooting a bow and arrow it is that too many men think that testosterone kills big game. Meaning they think they need to pull 70 or 80 pounds to kill big game when the fact of the matter is that you do not. Many female hunters pull far less than that and still shoot straight through animals the size of moose. Find a draw weight that is comfortable for you to draw while holding the bow vertical. Without grimacing or winching, draw the bow in one fluid motion. When you reach that weight that is perfect. I personally know several people who are shooting compound bows with sub-fifty pound draw weights and they kill a lot of animals with their bows.

While practicing for a high level competition recently, I noticed that my shots were drifting to the left a bit. This competition was shooting at 50 meters (54.6 yards). I kept shooting and could not figure out what was going on. So I made a slight adjustment in the placement of my feet. Moving my left foot (front foot) about two inches more towards the right thereby closing my stance ever so slightly. This minor adjustment was all that was needed to bring all of my arrows back to the center.

Posture is another important element in shooting accurately. Straight back, chest out and good posture allow for strong form and the use of your upper back to hold the bow string. The upper back muscles are far stronger than the shoulder muscles and should be incorporated in holding the bow string. This is taught by once the bow is drawn to full draw. Practice pulling your shoulder blades towards one another. This will transfer the stress of the bow string from the arms to the shoulders.

The more comfortable you are and the more relaxed the easier it is to hold on your target and hold steady on your target. Far too many shots on animals are rushed, we get the sight pin on the animal and punch the trigger and then wonder why the shot was high, back or low. By practicing aiming and aiming small, we can make better shots on targets and on animals.