Unless you bowhunt for turkeys in the spring or bowfish over the summer, your archery form is sure to get a little sloppy between deer seasons.
It’s actually good to take a break after the season ends to let your body recover, but don’t wait too long to gear up and get back in the saddle. Summer is right around the corner, so it’s time to set up your SpyderWeb Target and get to work!
Performing these four archery drills can help you stay on target this summer so you’ll be more confident, consistent, accurate, and lethal by the time opening day rolls around:
Drill 1: Changing Shot Angles
All too often, archers fall into the trap of practicing the same shot over and over. They quickly pull out the target, shoot a couple arrows on their flat lawn, and call it a day. This doesn’t do much to prepare for field conditions. An often-overlooked archery drill is simply to get up into a tree stand (or even the top of your garage, shed, etc.) and practice different shot angles. Replicating these field situations also forces your body to get used to bending at the hips instead of just aiming the bow lower.
Drill 2: Random Ranges
You’re crushing targets at 20 and 30 yards. But can you hit exactly where you want at 32.5 yards? How about 11 yards? A buck might cruise through from any direction and at any distance. When he does, you need to be ready to range him and shoot. Have a buddy pick random spots to shoot from throughout your effective range (maybe it’s 2 to 40 yards). Use your rangefinder to judge the distances and take one shot from each spot. Then, it’s your turn to pick the spots and his turn to shoot.
Sure, the amazing technology in rangefinders these days helps take the guesswork out. But sometimes you won’t have the luxury of time to use one, and need to be able to make a shot quickly using only your ability to judge distances.
Additionally, don’t be afraid to take some long distance shots in practice. You probably won’t feel comfortable taking an ethical shot at a deer from 50-60 yards, but practicing for it will force you to fix small form errors and make you a more confident archer.
Drill 3: Adrenaline Rush
So you say you’ve mastered different angles and ranges? How about when a nice buck comes on the scene and your heart starts racing?
Enter this archery drill. Put your release on your wrist, knock an arrow, and then set the bow down at a distance from the target. Now sprint 40 yards off to the side and back to your bow. Immediately hoist and draw your bow and shoot as soon as you’re able. The goal of this drill is to get you used to target acquisition when your heart is racing and it’s difficult to aim. It also teaches you how to effectively use and control your breathing. You can also do jumping jacks, burpees, whatever it takes to get your heart pumping.
Drill 4: The Long Hold
Can you stay at full draw long enough to outwait a buck? Place your target at 30 yards. Draw your bow and hold it for two minutes—don’t aim, just hold. Then, bear down and aim for a full 15 seconds. Make the shot anytime after those 15 seconds are up. When you can do this easily, move back to 40 yards.
Commit to spending some quality time with your bow and your SpyderWeb Target this summer and b when you’re looking past the pins at a wide-framed eight pointer next season, you’ll be thankful you did.
What are your favorite archery drills? Check out our Facebook page and drop us a line—we’d love to hear from you!