Consistency is the key to success in any sport, archery is no different. However, I can personally attest that archery is a sport that will quickly reward your consistency. On the flip side, archery is a perishable skill, If you ignore it, your skills will quickly ignore you.
Make it a Habit
I recommend that you shoot at least 10 arrows a day, this will take you roughly 10 minutes but will provide you with huge gains over a short period of time. It is easy to make excuses, but everyone can carve out 10 to 15 minutes a day. It is a great habit that while reducing stress will truly make you a better archer and bowhunter. Heck, it might even make you a better person, committing to something and sticking to it is a great confidence booster and gives you an easy win during your day. I made this commitment last Summer leading up to my Utah Archery Mule Deer hunt and it paid off in Spades.
Starting from Scratch
I will admit, I was rusty when I first started the habit last summer, I was only pulling 55# at the beginning of the process. This was a bit of an ego check as I was used to always shooting 70-80# while preparing for my past hunts. I was coming off of a neck injury and six months of physical therapy. I needed to start off as easy as possible to rehab my neck and gain back the necessary strength in my shooting muscles.
Seeing Progress Gives You Momentum
As the days passed I quickly built my strength and confidence while only shooting the 10 arrows a day, and at a distance of only 20 yards. I would tell myself I have to at least get these 10 arrows in no matter what, I literally have no excuse ( I do work in an archery shop after all). A few weeks went by and before I knew it I was up to 60# again, then 65# and finally 70#. My 20 yard groupings were as tight as I ever remembered and I was truly enjoying my little 10 arrow sessions. It is a great way to start the day, setting a positive mindset knowing I accomplished a small goal and got to do something fun as well.
The Transfer of Power
This close range practice transferred amazingly well into my outdoor shooting at longer ranges. Historically, leading up to my hunts I did most of my practice outdoors at different distances. The difference this time was that my poundage was constantly changing and I didn’t want to sight the rest of my pins in until I was at my final hunting weight goal of 70#.
I was expecting to be all over the place at further distances, but after sighting in my pins, I was able to hit my Block Target consistently at ranges up to 100 yards during my outdoor practice sessions. The 20 yard consistent practice transferred amazingly well over into my long range shooting.
I can attest that nothing changes in your shot process going from 20 yards to 100 yards, your mistakes are only magnified. Putting in the work at 20 will ensure you can make those longer shots when crunch time comes. I am proud to say I was able to fill my tag on a beautiful Velvet Buck that season with one well placed arrow from a long range shot.
So why should you shoot 10 arrows a day? Why not is a better question, it only takes a few minutes, you will be in a better mood when you’re finished, and your archery skills will show dramatic improvement in a short amount of time.
Ross Outdoors Owner