It takes practice and time to get your archery shot perfect. Like riflery, getting good with a bow takes a great deal of focus and finesse, both in yourself and your equipment. Here are five pro tips to improve your shot and make you a better marksman.
Practice consistency with your posture
If you’re new to archery or just looking to refresh your skills after a few years away, one key practice area is your stance. Cobra Archery suggests keeping your feet pointed square to the target that you’re shooting at and should remain spaced slightly less than shoulder width apart. Practicing this stance before every shot will help make it part of your shooting routine and improve your accuracy and form.
Focus on follow-through
One area that many bowhunters and archers struggle with is follow-through. There is a very common tendency for shooters to drop their arm or loosen their grip as soon as they release the string, which can lead to dropping the shot or having it stray off course. American Hunter recommends that you focus on holding your stance after you release the drawstring and wait until you’re certain that your shot has reached the target before relaxing your grip and positioning to better ensure accuracy.
Drill on your aiming
You’ll need to be able to quickly draw, aim and fire when hunting in the field. To help practice sighting in quickly, Livestrong recommends you stand 20 to 30 feet from your target, aim at your target and hold it as long as you can before drawing back down without releasing a shot. Do this three times at that distance, step back an additional 5 to 10 feet and repeat. This repetition helps hone in on targets quickly and gives you practice at holding a target in your sights until you have an ideal shot.
Pat attention to your breathing
Just as with rifle shooting, the timing of your breathing can help provide a more stable and true shot. Maintaining control and having a controlled, steady breath release just prior to setting into your aiming can help you achieve a more relaxed and focused mentality. KSL International Academy offers a great breakdown and visualization on its website.
Work up your distance shot
Once you’ve gotten good at hitting targets at short range (20 to 30 yards), work your way up to 100 yards incrementally. As Field and Stream points out, a small mistake at short range may still leave you in the target zone, but may cause a major miss at distance. Improving your distance accuracy through practice and attention will only make you better in the field, and may also help you hone or refine any small inaccuracies in your sighting or form.