I was talking to a friend the other day and he told me that he had been up scouting for the hunt. He told me he had seen several nice bucks. He was excited but he told me he was nervous because he just knew that he was going to blow it. He just knew that he would pull his bow back on a nice buck and then make a mistake. That reminded me how important it is to prepare, especially using archery, for the hunt.

Of course it is important to shoot your bow and shoot it at several distances. It is easy to stand at 20 or 30 yards and put the respective pin on your sight on the target, but once you have your sights set you should just stand in a spot, figure out the distance and then shoot. It used to be a tradition of ours to go out and “stump” hunt, where we would take turns shooting at rotten logs. Another thing to do is practice shooting sitting down, either in a chair, or on the ground with your back to a tree. I remember a hunt where I was sitting down on the ground with my back to a tree and a nice four point (eight point Eastern count) buck came by about fifteen yards in front of me and I went to pull my string back and I wasn’t sure I could do it. Needless to say that buck got away. We also used to climb up on the roof and shoot, it is a rarity when you are able to?line your sights on a buck on level ground, so you need to practice the actual conditions you will be facing. If you prepare thinking of all the different situations you will or may face you will not be nervous when that once in a lifetime buck comes by.

But like I told my friend, if you do make a mistake, you will have a great story.

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  1. We try to prepare ourselves for the actual hunt by shooting from a variety of different positions and locations.

    We also keep score. I have found that that helps to put pressure on you. Of course it isn’t the same pressure that you will feel when a buck steps through, but it is about as close as you can come to that kind of pressure.

    I also try-while I’m sitting in my stand-to imagine what I will do if a deer comes from this way, or this way, or that way. I think getting mentally prepared that way helps as well.

  2. Hey Dad, Great to see ya on the post. Good point about being ready. You never know what situation you will be in when you come accross that buck. We sure lost alot of arrows out stump hunting. Good times.

  3. I learned a lot in the 3-D leagues we’ve shot in. Not only do you get practice on a target at various yardage but I was shooting with some really good archers that were able to give me tips and help me out a bit. During these league (they’re only once a week) I build up strength too, it goes away quick if you are practicing!!
    We have a “tree stand” set up where we shoot in this league too, Jason hated shooting from up there at first. I think it was because it cost him so much in arrows!! They would put a target 3-5 yards out so it was an almost straight down shot, it’s surprising what pin you need to use for an angle like that! It’s been a while since Jason shattered an arrow on the concrete from that tree stand and the jokes of it being Jason’s tree stand have faded away but that’s because he overcame it and developed that shot, practice from unique situations builds confidence when you have that shot.

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