To be a good bow hunter, you have to take into consideration a few different things. You need the right tools, the right environment and the right form to truly master the ancient weapon. If you pick up a bow, head into the woods and expect to come out with something, you’re pretty much barking up the wrong tree.
There’s a fair chance, however, you already know this information, seeing as you’re on a bowhunting site. What you may not know, however, are some of the options out there to assist you in achieving better results in relation to shooting form.
Shooting a bow takes strength. Even the newer, high-tech compound bows take a fair amount of strength to aim, pull and fire. The key to increasing arm strength in relation to shooting a bow is, in my opinion, resistance training. Your goal isn’t necessarily to bulk up, but to increase the amount you can pull and increase the amount of time for which you can hold it.
In particular, you want to work the left anterior deltoid muscle, the right rear deltoid muscle and the right rhomboid muscle. This is for right-handed folks. Left-handed archers should do the opposite sides. Dumbbells are a great way to exercise, as they require finer movements than, say, a barbell. This can translate well when considering how long you can hold the string after drawing it.
Alternatively, you can build up some of this ability by simply shooting your bow, doing your best to hold the string back as long as possible after drawing. This will help build arm strength and get you into the feeling of actually holding the string taught.
Maintaining proper form means having very good posture. You need to be able to stand up straight while drawing the string back, aiming and firing. Sometimes, this can be uncomfortable strain on your back, though there are tools out there to help this.
Apart from medical items like heating pads and such, you may want to consider a good back brace, something which, in addition to helping relieve the strain, can improve your posture for the better. All told, posture could be one of the most important parts of maintaining proper form, though it’s one of the more difficult to improve without some additional help.
Finding and consistently using anchor points is a great way to make your shots consistent, thus becoming part of your form. Techniques such as pulling the string until it touches the tip of your nose or your lips are important, as these let you constantly draw the same distance.
Some items, such as a kisser button, can help with your form. A kisser button sits on the string and, when the string is drawn fully, will lay between your lips. This helps you know, each and every time, that your draw is the same. It’s a neat little invention which isn’t required, but can be a huge help if you’re finding you lack consistency with your shots.
Another handy tool is a release. If you’ve watched Robin Hood or any other archery films over the years, you’re used to seeing the bow string being drawn back with bare fingers. This isn’t as common thanks to the invention of release aids. These handy tools can be attached to your bow’s string and can serve somewhat as triggers.
The string is drawn back and the release aid is triggered to let the arrow fly. As someone with carpal tunnel syndrome, I feel as though this is a great tool to keep my issues from flaring up, which almost certainly happens when I draw a string with just my fingers.