So you want to be a bow huntress?

So you want to be a bow huntress?

There is no hiding the fact that female hunters are increasing and taking the outdoor industry by storm. Between 2006 and 2011, the total number of female hunters increased by 25 percent according to National Geographic Daily Talk. Those numbers are continuing to climb. What was once a male dominated sport has been invaded by dead eye women like Nicole Reeve, Tiffany Lakosky, Kandy Kisky and Melissa Bachman. With more leading ladies promoting involvement in the outdoors, it is important that new huntresses get started off with a proper shooting foundation.

Contrary to belief, there is more to bowhunting than those popular Instagram selfies in camo and bikini bowfishing babes. Whether you are new to bowhunting or have a few seasons under your belt, it is important to set the bow up properly and master the fundamentals of shooting. Having the correct draw length, draw weight, shooting form, and grip will provide accuracy and consistency.

Draw length and Draw weight

Hunters come in all sizes. To reach full potential as a hunter or a shooter, the bow must fit properly. When pulling back a bow, you need to be relaxed and comfortable so they can execute a great shot.

Whether the bow is used or new, the first adjustment that needs to be made is draw length. Draw length is the measure from the knock point to the back side of the bow at full draw. Having a draw length that is too long or too short can produce inconsistent shooting.

The easiest way to determine a proper draw length is the “wingspan” method. Simply stand with your back against a wall, arms spread out and have someone measure from your middle finger tip on the right had, to the middle fingertip on the left hand. Take that measurement and divide it by 2.5. This will give a starting point for finding the proper draw length. Keep in mind the length of your release and adding a D Loop to the string will alter the draw length slightly.

After the correct draw length has been established, the next step is finding a comfortable draw weight.

Not everyone can pull 60+ pounds starting out, nor do they need too. The poundage you are pulling back should allow you to draw the bow straight back from any stance for several rounds without soreness. Building poundage on a bow should be done gradually. Before heading off to the woods check with state rules and regulations for minimum draw requirements.

Shooting Form, Grip and Anchor Points

Shooting form and procedure are two areas that need particular attention when striving for accuracy. Develop your stance by standing in line with your target, back in an upright position; feet shoulder width apart and a slightly bent arm. Gently squeeze the release trigger and follow through with the shot by letting your release hand slide back alongside your face and neck. Avoid jerking or punching the trigger for a smooth shot.

Having a consistent grip and anchor points for every shot will provide a routine that produces tight groups. There are several grip techniques. Some close the hand around the grip, others use a relaxed open hand. Stabilizing the bow during release is vital to prevent torquing or jerking the bow during release. The ideal grip places the bow grip in the center line of the hand, thumb parallel to the top of the grip, bow hand relaxed and closed around grip with finger tips loosely touching. You should strive to shoot exactly the same way every time an arrow is released. By establishing anchor points your shots will be persistent. Anchor points are actions that can reproduced while shooting no matter the circumstance. If an anchor point is unpredictable, it is hard to shoot consistent. When shooting lacks accuracy the shooters confidence suffers as well. When I first started shooting a bow I lacked anchor points. My groups were all over the target and I became frustrated. Find what anchor points work best for you and incorporate them into your shooting routine.

After coming to a full draw, I establish my first anchor point. I place my (right) release hand to my face and put the pointer finger knuckle behind my lower ear where the top of my jaw is. Then, I put the kisser button in the right corner of my mouth and the tip of my nose on the string. This is the routine I follow every time I draw my bow: knuckle to ear, kisser to mouth and nose to string. These motions become habit and I automatically find these anchor points without a second thought.

The best way to perfect your anchor points is to let those arrows fly. Practice shooting standing up, from a tree stand, sitting down, or any circumstance you may face while hunting. Shoot in full camo to get a feel for realistic scenarios and take into consideration how bulky your clothes may be during different hunting seasons. Practice and perfect shooting techniques so they become instinctive when the buck of a lifetime steps into your shooting lane.

Happy shooting!

Feb 05, 2014 | Category: Amber's Category, Blog, Bowhunting | Comments: 1


One comment on “So you want to be a bow huntress?

  1. Brooke

    This blog is very informational! When I first started bow hunting the hardest part for me was being consistent. Making sure I shot the same way every time, that way I could improve my shot. I also noticed I would try and over do it at first and by the end of the courses I was shooting my muscles were so tired that my shots were very off. It takes practice but at least it’s fun to go out and shoot!

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