Getting ready for bow season? Or, have you already taken your deer? After meeting Zelenda Koch, perhaps I have a better chance of scoring on one this year. She's currently working toward obtaining her Ph.D. in geosciences – sedimentology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Zelenda has been all over the United States with her bow, shooting competitively with her friend Tony Platt.
I met Zelenda and Tony at T.A.Z Archery this week. Spending time at a 3-D range for some extra lessons before hitting the woods is a good idea. Certainly slinging arrows at a 3-D target is more beneficial and more fun than hitting flat paper targets.
“Learning your equipment helps you become more confident, and become a better shooter,” Zelenda said.
Sometimes one pesky arrow just doesn’t quite make it in the kill zone. Questioning yourself and your shooting skills is common, especially for a novice. Try numbering your arrows to help with identification; maybe it’s the arrow's fault, not the archer's. Platt, a pro Staffer for Elite Archery, found that my fletching was interfering with the cable clearance. A small adjustment to my nock was all it took to fix the issue.
I reluctantly admit missing a deer last year. It can be devastating to watch an arrow sail over a beautiful buck. Zelenda examined my form to help boost my confidence for this year. She determined it was good, except for a slight lean backward.
“Narrow your stance a bit. That way you're less likely to lean back in order for you to keep your balance,” Zelenda said.
My arrows were consistently landing in the kill zone. Maybe last year my calculated yardage was because of the angle at which I was shooting. I didn't take height into consideration. I also think the wise buck ducked my arrow. This year I'll invest in a rangefinder, instead of just pacing off the steps around my stand, just to be safe.