Kelly’s Corner – Practice, practice, practice

As bow season comes to a close here in southwest Missouri, I find myself already thinking and preparing for NEXT season. In our household, not only do we hunt as a family but we also practice as a family. Generally we get really excited thinking about preparing for the next go ‘round of hunting and start practicing and putting in countless hours of shooting and strength training. Hunting for us is serious business.
One way we get in some practice, and my favorite way, is shooting bow tournaments. It’s my job to get online and seek out shoots that are close in proximity to our house. For us, the 3D target shoots are best because you are actually using targets that look like the animals and the vitals are clearly marked to really help you know where on the animal you need to fire that arrow. The best place I have found to find a shoot near you in The website is easy to navigate through, making finding a tournament for your family a piece of cake.
Bow tournaments are actually a lot of fun and if you get a group together, it makes it even more enjoyable. If you’ve never been, you definitely need to try it out. There are several of us in our family that shoot bows and getting up early on a Saturday morning to shoot a tournament is usually the ONLY way I can get three boys up without struggle…unless they’re getting up to go hunting of course. Once we’ve up, though, we’re ready to put the hammer down on each other. It’s competitive and I mean competitive. I’m the only girl among four guys so they do cut me some slack every now and then. But once we shoot at the first target all bets are off and we’re all on our own. There are usually 30 to 40 targets at the bow shoots. Normally you go through half of them and then come back for the second half. There is absolutely ZERO stress during the competition. It’s a laid back atmosphere and you meet a ton of new people. Really the only stress you encounter is with your own family. I am very competitive but mostly with myself. And let me tell you that the day is ruined, and everyone else’s, if I lose an arrow. I will say that I usually lose at least one per tournament. I will say that I have gotten better about hurling an arrow into the abyss of no man’s land…never to be found again. Over the years I’ve stock piled up and now have quite an arsenal of arrows so if I lose one (or two) it’s okay. All in all, tournaments give you a lot of quality practice and after several hours of walking around and laughing, you don’t even realize you’ve shot forty times. It’s a ton of fun.
Another way I get ready for bow season is running and working out. I normally run anywhere from 3 to 5 miles a day getting my heart rate ready for those long treks through the woods. I also use a Bow Trainer. I love my Bow Trainer. It’s a rubber band system that allows you to strengthen the muscles needed to pull back your bow easily and without injury. I have actually increased my poundage using the Bow Trainer and would consider it to be an important tool and indispensable. I also lift weights to gain strength in my arms, shoulders, and back…all the body parts needed to bow hunt.
Put up targets in your back yard and you will have 24/7 access to them. We’ve actually done that and normally at least one of us daily will go back there and take anywhere from 20 to 30 shots just to keep loosened up. We’ve even been known to have competitions amongst ourselves just for the fun of it. There are some good climbing trees not too far from the targets and we’ve also put our climbers up and shot out of them for even more practice. The possibilities are endless of what you can do to get in some good old fashioned practice.
We love hunting shows and in the evenings, all year long, you can find us sitting around the t.v. learning anything and everything we can for our next season in the stand. You can always find something that you DON’T know and can apply when you’re out there in the woods. The Outdoor Channel is our best friend year round. I also subscribe to every bow hunting magazine known to man, or woman, and piles and stacks of outdated issues can be found throughout our house…mostly though in the bathroom. That room is most frequented so I will go out on a limb and say most of the knowledge is gained whilst in there.
Preparation is absolutely key to advancing your skill level when shooting a bow. It’s also a major component in successfully hunting. Hunting, to me, is nothing more than a grown woman’s hide and seek and the best way to hone your skills is to put in the time and practice. I personally love to go out and practice by myself. I’ll turn my music on my phone and stick it in my back pocket and just start shooting. It’s therapeutic for me. It can be for you too. Just go out there and do it. Step out of your comfort zone and push yourself a little bit harder. It will be worth it and the improvement you see will just be a bonus.

May 22, 2016 | Category: Blog, Bowhunting, Kelly's Corner | Comments: none


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