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Improving Archery Accuracy for Better Bowhunting: Our 3 Tips for Success

Right about now, many draw odds have come out, and the fate of our Fall hunting seasons is known. Whether you drew a coveted early archery bull elk hunt here in Arizona, or are planning on taking advantage or some OTC options, things are heating up. Just knowing what our Fall is going to look like from here on out is calming. It’s also incredibly motivating. We’re buying gear, e-scouting, and shooting our bows like mad. The time for preparation is now and each of us are going to have our focus on different things. These areas of focus aren’t only a reflection of the season to come, but the seasons that have passed. If someone had issues with their physical fitness last year, it’s probably in their best interest to invest time in that this year. Maybe, there was some mishaps with shooting? Now, is a great time to buckle down and work out the kinks, which is what we’re going to chat about today. 3 simple, yet extremely effective tips, to help improve archery accuracy for better bowhunting this Fall.

Start Small for Better Archery Accuracy

Josh Kirchner practicing bowhunting accuracy in his backyard

More than a few things in life are better looked at as a marathon, not a race. Archery falls into that category 100%. There is a lot of focus on long range shooting nowadays and it’s for good reason. Stretching out the distance magnifies inconsistencies in your form, makes one feel more comfortable at shorter ranges, and it’s pretty darn cool. While that is beneficial, starting small before doing so is essential. In this world of instant gratification, many folks want to skip to the fun stuff. We get it. However, building a foundation to your archery game will help solidify your skill in the future. Even if someone isn’t new to this, shooting that measly 10-20 yards in the backyard that we take for granted, is great for training. Think about it and really focus on proper form and shot execution. The mechanics of shooting 20 yards vs. shooting 80 yards are the same. Those short reps in the backyard go a long way.

Pick a Spot

Arrows in the target at an Arizona archery range while practicing archery accuracy.

“Aim small, miss small.” Have you ever heard that phrase before? This saying, along with “pick a spot,” are king in the accuracy realm of bowhunting. You see, when we are practicing in the comfort of our own homes, or at the range, we’re oftentimes aiming at orange dots, or some other bullseye mark. This makes aiming much easier. Most of us are happy when those arrows are just within that mark. We’d encourage you to take it to the next level though. Try aiming for an exact area within that bullseye. This will help fine tune your accuracy even more. It also translates right into picking a spot on an animal. They don’t have these conveniently placed bright orange dots on them. No, instead, we need to “aim small miss small” and “pick a spot.” Whether it’s a tuft of hair or crease in a muscle is besides the point. The point is to make your own bullseye to focus on. Many people will make the mistake of just aiming at a general area on an animal. We’re not saying that this can’t work, but your accuracy will be much better by fine tuning aiming. In the intense situations that come hand in hand with bowhunting, most of us are not operating at 100%. Because of that, trying to be as accurate as possible is going to leave less margin for error. Doing so will pay off big and help lead to the heavy pack that you’re longing for.

Relaxing for Better Archery Accuracy

Josh Kirchner honing his archery skills at the archery range

These days, bows are more efficient and accurate than ever. They are masterpieces of engineering and we are beyond lucky to have the privilege of shooting them, not to mention hunt with them. These things know exactly what to do to get an arrow where it needs to be. It’s us that are the problem. Humans are full of fault and inconsistencies. Us with a bow in our hands in no exception. One of the best things that someone can do to increase their archery accuracy is to relax. No, we’re not talking about hanging out on the couch and giving your TV a workout. We mean, relax while shooting. Everything from your grip, to settling the bow arm at full draw, and pulling through the shot. The less human interference that is put on the bow, the more consistent shots will be. Relaxing your grip will lead to much less torque and less tension in your bow arm will result in less shaking. We want to let these fancy bows do the shooting, not us. We just get to feel cool after the arrow goes where it needs to.


Nate LaCost from Ross Outdoors with his archery antelope from 2019
Nate LaCost from Ross Outdoors with his archery antelope from 2019.

I think it’s safe to say that everyone wants to find success out in the field. With that beings said though, there is no denying how hard bowhunting can be. It has been said many times that the “stars have to align.” While that makes notching a tag sound like a magic trick, there is definitely success to be had. The good thing is, is that you have control over some of those stars that need to align, with one of them being accuracy. Investing quality time into this is investing into your coming season. And with us only having control over so many things in the field, it’s important that we do what we can on our part. After that, it’s up to Mother Nature. As always, if you need any help with your bow set up, are looking to get into a new rig, or just want to chat hunting, stop by Ross Outdoors. Happy to have you.

Written by Josh Kirchner of Dialed in Hunter

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