Bowhunting warmup for whitetails, bears, and stranger things via 3-D targets
I recently ran across an article about how to get into elk hunting and shooting shape. The advice for getting fit was spot-on, but the tips pertaining to target practice left something to be desired. Essentially, the author encouraged everyone to shoot 100 arrows per day during the lead-up to the September season.
While 100 might be a nice number (sort of like saying our state has one-million deer), it doesn’t mean much to the individual. Some bowhunters could shoot 100 arrows in a session without a problem, most couldn’t. This is especially true if you’re just getting back into the swing of things.
There are a few different philosophies at play as far as the number of arrows one should send downrange per day besides shooting enough to reach triple digits. Others prefer to take one good shot per day, or maybe a single shot in the morning and one in the evening. Those who prescribe to the less-is-better mentality feel that only taking one or two shots adds a greater level of importance to each, and forces better concentration.
This isn’t a bad idea during the season, but I feel that it’s not the best approach for summer shooting. Instead, I recommend shooting what you can handle and not an arrow more. This involves a level of modesty that can be tough to muster at the range when you’re surrounded by your buddies so it might be best to go at it solo for a while.
Try to shoot four- or five-arrow rounds and as soon as you feel any fatigue in your arms or that you can’t hold and aim as easily as when you started then it is time to stop. Take note of that number, whatever it may be. From then on, you can build up a round per week as long as everything feels good. If it takes two weeks, or three, so be it.
Overshooting will not do you any good. In fact, once you hit the point where your arms are toast from too much shooting, everything after that will go downhill including the much-needed mental aspect of hitting a bull's-eye. Lose that and you’ll be wishing the only problem you had was a fatigued bow arm.