3,650 Arrows – A Bowhunting Challenge for 2014

Thirteen down, 3,637 to go. One of my goals for 2014 is to practice with my bow more consistently. In the past I have gone through streaks where I practice religiously, and then periods where I’m “busy” (lazy) and don’t pick up my bow for weeks.

3,650 Arrows

My goal is to shoot 3,650 arrows this year. You math geniuses may notice that is equivalent to 10 arrows a day, every day. More than the total number of arrows shoot, it is day-to-day consistency that I am really after. Going out and shooting 100 arrows a day usually isn’t all that productive, and rushing through 10 shots just to check-off my goal could actually be harmful to my shooting. ¬†But if I can pick up my bow nearly every day and shoot 10 patient, well-executed shots, then I know I will be more effective with my bow in hunting scenarios.

“The first shot is all that matters in bowhunting.”

Achieving this goal will require dedication and creativity. For example, today (January 1st), I had to shoot in my garage; I started at 8:00pm, so it was pitch black outside, snow was blowing, and the temperature¬†was in the teens. I had to stop after the 4th arrow to console my son, who was crying from his crib. Those challenges, and many more to come, are what I will have to fight through if I’m going to reach this goal. Shooting ten arrows is a small feat, but day-to-day consistency will be a real challenge.

How About You?

In what ways do you want to get better as a bowhunter in 2014? Maybe you can make a goal to shoot 3 times every week? Maybe you want to increase your effective range? Maybe you want to shoot in more tournaments to test your skills under the nerves of competition?

How are you planning to improve in 2014?

The Author

Mark Huelsing is a regular guy with an irregular passion for bowhunting and the outdoors. Learn more about Sole Adventure or get in touch with Mark...

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  • nobodyparticular

    First of all Mark, great blog! As an aspiring bowhunter, I’m a long way off from any of this stuff, but your post made me wonder: what’s your garage like in terms of your practice set-up – how far do you have to shoot and what kind of target do you use?

    Thanks, and good luck in the coming year!

    • SoleAdventure

      I’m a huge fan of Rinehart targets. (A little pricey up front, but well worth the money for their longterm durability.) I use the 18-1 and the RhinoBlock XL (pictured above). I can only shoot about 5 yards in my garage, but I’m not shooting groups, or shooting for accuracy at all, actually. When I practice indoors it’s all about focusing on shot execution (good form, clean release, etc.). It’s often said, and somewhat true, that you can practice shooting or practice aiming, but not both at the same time. I used my indoor time to focus on shooting, not aiming. That said, when I do “aim” at those short distances, it’s usually by sticking something really small (like a golf tee) in the target.

  • Nathan Smith

    I like this idea as I have a similar goal myself. I just have been looking for a good area to shoot where I live as I don’t have a garage to shoot in currently.

    • SoleAdventure

      It certainly makes it tough when you can’t shoot at home.

  • Al Quackenbush

    Excellent idea and challenge Mark. Sounds like a great way to move forward and keep the arms and muscles in bowhunting shape. Love this and think I might be joining you. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • SoleAdventure

      I would love the company! Bring it on.

  • http://www.FromtheDraw.com/ Emily Anderson

    I have a similar goal, except I didn’t list a specific number of arrows. I’ll be shooting my bow every day I’m home this year. Maybe we should have a friendly competition and see who ends up shooting more arrows…

    • SoleAdventure

      Just saw your goals post. Good stuff! (I like the video.)

  • Scott Limer

    I’m in!!!

    • SoleAdventure

      Let’s do it!

  • Donnie

    I need to work on conquering my target panic this year. I drew back on a doe yesterday and couldn’t move my pin to her vitals. I felt like I would have jerked the trigger as soon as I started to raise the bow. I let down and she lived to see another day. Can’t have that happening if I draw a KY elk tag!

  • Rob McConnell

    Good one! I would have commented sooner, but i was at my local pro shop doing what i try to do everyday at lunch. Shoot. :)

    • SoleAdventure

      Now we’re talking! Good job, Rob.

  • Tyler Payne

    That sounds like a really good idea I need to start practicing myself i really didn’t have the time to go and practice at all last year in fact I had no time to even go out but my goal is to find time to practice and find time to go out and do some hunting with my bow.

    • SoleAdventure

      Good luck, Tyler! I hope you can find the time, buddy.

  • Allan K.

    Nice goal Mark and best of luck to you. I think I’m going to concentrate on getting in better physical shape and actually shoot less than I did last year. As you stated, shooting 100 arrows, or in my case last year, sometimes 200 arrows in one practice session can actually be counter productive. I’m going to focus more on the quality of shots and limit the arrows I send down range per session.

  • Chris W.

    I just purchased my first bow, decided to try something new. I’m going to try and do the same 10/day. I figure, I made the investment in my new hoyt charger, I better put the time in to learn as much as I can and devevlop the right skills to use it.

  • Zach Adams

    Mark, big fan of the blog. you are doing hunters right on here.
    i hunted for the first time 2012. bought my first bow january 2013. arrowed first deer opening day of 2013. Obsessed is an understatement. I am looking at a new bow and am really interested in the Elite line. I know you have recently setup an Energy 35. The 32 and 35 both look good. Could you give a quick list of pros and cons? I am located in TN, so most of my hunting will be stand type hunting

    • SoleAdventure

      Hi Zack. The 32 and 35 are obviously very similar, and they’re both shooters. The 32 is slightly faster (up to 5fps). Some people say they feel a little more resistance in the draw of the 32, and that the 35 is smoother, but after talking to literally dozens and dozens of people that have shot them side-by-side, I think the difference is negligible to most. Personally I like the 35 because the longer ATA fits my longer draw length better, and I also feel that the 35 holds a little more steady because of the longer riser. That said, the 32 is solid for a shorter ATA bow, and still has a comparatively long riser because of the limb geometry. Feel free to let me know if you have any other questions!