So you have made, or are thinking about making, a change to your bowhunting setup this year? Maybe the new thing is a sight, a rest, a release, some new arrows, a new bow – or maybe all of the above! If that’s true, then you to be careful that you don’t end up creating problems for yourself. My elk hunting partner, Jerud, recently made some changes himself and re-learned an import lesson along the way. He’s here, today, to share that lesson with you. Here’s Jerud…
Just because you’re not hitting the dot you’re aiming for, doesn’t mean you should be quick to start adjusting your sight or tinkering with your rest.
Like most guys, I’m always looking to improve my shooting and my gear; I’ve been called OCD when it comes to such things. But I don’t easily buy into hype and promises of the latest-and-greatest. I like to do thorough research and then decide if a new item is worth investing my money and time into trying.
This winter I installed Elite Archery’s rubber torqueless grip on my Energy 35. Do I have torque issues? No. I picked up the grip because I liked the idea of not holding a cold riser during late season hunts and I have a love-hate (mostly hate) relationship with gloves.
I also picked up a Scott Exxus thumb release. Before I started tweaking the other aspects of my setup to account for these changes, I started shooting and letting the arrows stick where they may. Yes, they were off the mark, but I had also made two significant changes that I, as the shooter, (not just my bow) needed to break into.
A younger me would have shot a few groups and then started adjusting my sight. Sometimes this works, but most of the time this results in me chasing my tail situation to figure out what went wrong – adjusting this, then that – and sometimes overcompensating and creating a new problem. And that whole mess results in a massive hit to my shooting confidence.
I have the advantage of being able to shoot indoors at home, so I get to shoot a lot. This makes me very comfortable with my form and knowing when I’m on or off. So after the recent grip and release changes, I just continued flinging arrows and breaking into this new setup. It wasn’t easy and I struggled with panic a few times.
Finally, confident that I was shooting consistent – but off the mark – I put the bow in the vise and made an adjustment to my sight.
The results: center shots and complete relaxed confidence in shooting the new setup.
The point of this post, and the lesson that I re-learned recently, is if you make a change to your setup, give it time and a lot of shots before you start freaking out and changing other components of your shot or the setup. Be honest with yourself about the quantity and quality of your practice sessions. Get the consistent form down first and put the work in to maintain it.