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Today's Archery Practice

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:24 pm
by FireCloud
Whew, it was really HOT and HUMID practicing with my bow today. Heat index got up to 107. I need an indoor air conditioned practice range! Here is my first group of the day, shot from 10 yards, less two pulled that were out of the zone.

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And, here is the final group of the day shot from 15 yards. In this group, I shot two other arrows that hit the block just outside the deer outline so I pulled them before taking the photo. These are the six that were potential killing shots. I am happy enough at this point in getting 75% of my shots inside the smaller than real life deer outline of the target.

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Re: Today's Archery Practice

PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:02 pm
by mhn
Looks like your practice is payin off! I didn't catch your post earlier, but I've been shooting traditional for 16 years, and hunting with it for 12, and the last 7 with my recurve only, {loaned my compound to gtk} I wouldn't go back to a compound now for nothing. I have several custom recurves and longbows, but my best buck taken with a recurve was a Bear Kodiac 48" 50#@28 that a friend of mine thew in the dumpster and I got it out, shot it a few times to get my arrows tuned and killed a 12 pt. on public land 5 weeks later. Point is they all do the same job, I think people rely on equipment more than thier own woodsmanship now days! Keep it up!

Re: Today's Archery Practice

PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:26 pm
by FireCloud
I bought this bow about this time of year in 1968 before archery season started that year, so I am starting into Year 42 of shooting this bow. Would not think of giving it up for all the tea in China! :D

Like every shooter, I want better groups of course. But considering a couple of things, I am pretty happy with how I am grouping so far for only a few days of time after a six month stretch without shooting any.

When you evaluate my shooting groups, keep in mind I am right handed and thus hold the bow in my left hand. This puts my left eye as the eye that is most directly facing the target. The only problem with that is I am legally blind in that eye and cannot see anything but a blur with it (20/200 vision with the 200 being in that eye.) But I refuse to let a small thing like being partially blind keep me from enjoying archery. If you practice enough, you can learn to overcome this sort of handicap. But if you want to see how hard it is to hit a target with only one good eye, take your stance and close your left eye, shooting only with your right eye open. If you hit the target at all you are doing pretty good!

The other factor is that I finger shoot instinctively. No release aid and no bow sight. Like most people who try to overcome some adversity life gives them, I refuse to use any "crutches" and just force myself to learn to shoot well without them. It does take a while, but after 42 years or so, you can get the hang of it. Patience and dedication pays off.

My normal instinctive shooting style is basically a smooth motion of raising the bow, drawing it back, and aiming all in one non-stop process. Once started, it is like a golf swing...just a continuous motion and follow through. When it works correctly, my bow should be on target at the exact moment my knuckle reaches my anchor point so that I release at the first touch of the anchor point. I don't "hold" and "aim" once the bow is fully drawn. Many shooters do it differently of course, so I am trying holding and aiming but so far that has produced very poor results. Just focusing my vision on the spot where I want the arrow to hit and allowing the hand-eye co-oridination function of the brain to tell me when to release works fairly well.

I do miss some shots like any other archer. Research studies show that both compound and traditional archers typically miss about 13% of their shots at deer, or hit the deer about 87% of the time. My goal is to get to that same 87% mark in my practice, but realistically I probably will never shoot better than 75% of my arrows into the kill zone on live deer. Last year, I took six shots at deer and hit three of them. None of those three were poorly placed shots however two of the arrows did not get enough penetration to be killing shots and at least one of those deer is still alive and doing well. I am practicing up to go after her again this year! :)

Re: Today's Archery Practice

PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 6:53 pm
by mhn
Well that makes a big difference partner! My hat's off to you for stickin with the trad. bow! I wouldn't trade it for nothin in the world! Keep trying to tell these guys that new fangled sh@! ani't worth the feeling, but I guess they think they have some advantage or comfort in it. Stick with me brother!