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.