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Reflect on each post as if it’s a live feed into the life of a “365 day a year whitetail & turkey fanatic”!

DRY RUN PRACTICE – Archery Pre-Season Part 2

Many hunters wonder why they flub easy shots at animals when they can stack arrows on top of each other, Robin Hood-style, on the practice course. Most times, the answer is simple: It’s all of that extra gear you carry into the woods that you don’t carry onto the practice course.

If you’re like me, you’ll be decked out in a T-shirt and a hip quiver when shooting 3D courses or practicing in the backyard. I am not wearing a face mask that obstructs my field of view or interferes with my anchor point. Nor am I wearing a pair of gloves that feel funny on the trigger of my release. And I never have calls, binoculars or rangefinders hanging around my neck, dangling very close to the drawn bowstring.

When you finally get a shot at that buck of a lifetime, with extra accessories you are not accustomed to carrying while shooting your bow getting in the way, you quickly realize that drawing on an animal feels nothing like summertime practice. The unfamiliarity suddenly kills your hard-earned confidence, leaving you with a feeling of insecurity and despair. There’s only one way to prevent it and it’s not as hard as it may seem.

Putting on some of my fall hunting gear in the heat of early September is not my idea of a good time, but neither is missing a trophy game animal. The only way to feel confident and comfortable on opening day is to have a dress rehearsal, now I might wait for a cooler day then trying to do this on a day when the temps are in the 80s. It’s not fun but you don’t have to shoot but a few arrows, in most cases I will only shoot 6 to 12 arrows with my gear on, and then continue shooting until I’m done for the day.

One other fun thing I like to do it is shoot form different positions, now some hunters will maybe put up a stand in there yard and shoot from it. I have found a way that works for me, I jump up on the roof of a barn and shoot from there this gives me two things. 1: Shooting from an elevated position and 2: it is also not level footing. I like to mix up shooting from a sitting position even kneeling; you ever know what position you will be in when you need to make a shot.

I switch from fun backyard practice and 3D competition around late August and go into hunting mode, which gives me a good month or so to practice. This involves wearing my normal hunting clothes, complete with gear, once (6 arrows) every practice session. Now is the time to discover that my bowstring smacks my jacket or that my rangefinder gets in the way, not when I am in the field, with the Mac Daddy of all Mac Daddies looking at you like “what’s up now boy”!


** Photos By: Jacob Groth


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