Monday, March 24, 2014

Archery Season is Only 5 Months Away

Even though there is still snow on the ground, I find myself dreaming of bugling bulls and timberline muley's. As I get older, it seems more and more often I find myself on the eve or archery season wishing I had devoted more time to shooting my bow. Summers just aren't as long as they used to be! One of the biggest problems I face as it gets close to hunting season is when I take off my field tips and screw on some blades. It's always frustrating to spend the entire summer dialing your bow only to have to redo it all over again. After wrestling with this for several seasons, using different broad heads, different arrows, etc. it was a very simple trick a fellow archer told me that made all the difference.

Paper tune your bow with a bare shaft. It's really that easy. I've always paper tuned my bows but doing it with a an arrow without fletchings made a huge improvement in the flight of my arrows when it came time to put on blades. So here's a quick guide to tuning your bow now so you don't have the stress on the eve of hunting season:

1) make sure your bow is as close to set up as you can before you start paper tuning. Make sure your knocking point is square to your rest, make sure your sight is level and square to your riser, make sure your limbs are tightened evenly, you want your arrow to lie in the upper half of the rest mounting hole in your riser when you view it from the side. If you don't have a center shot, put an allen wrench in each limb bolt and run a string around them making a complete circle and then make sure your arrow is as close center as you can make it. If you're shooting a new bow or a new string, shoot it a few hundred times and the repeat all of these steps because your string will stretch! Then shoot a few arrows until you're sure you can hit a target at 10 yards.

2) To set up a paper tuning station of sorts, just take a big piece of paper (newspaper works great), stretch it tight and place it approximately 5 yards from the target. I have a small table that I screw two 2x4's into and then staple the paper between them. If you have access to do this indoors it will help, but if you must do it outside, it has to be DEAD CALM!

3) Stand 5 yards behind the paper (10 yards from the target), and start shooting. I try very hard to use the absolutely best posture and mechanics I can. We don't care where the arrow hits as long as its in a safe direction. If you flinch or twitch or just didn't like it, ignore that hole and shoot again. When you get a shot you like study the hole. Tears side ways means your rest needs to move left or right, tears up and down means it needs to move up or down and tears at an angle mean its a combination of the two. Repeat this step over and over again until the arrow tears an absolutely perfect circle. Be very critical, remember, time spent now will save you time later. Make sure your arrow is clearing the rest and riser cleanly because this can mess with your mind!!

4) Practice, Practice, Practice and more Practice.

It might be simple but some time spent now on your bow will save you huge headaches in 4 1/2 months and ultimately help insure that one opportunity you get next fall counts. Archery has become incredibly more popular over the last decade or so, but the fact it takes a skill set to consistently and ethically harvest animals has not
. You owe it yourself and the animal to spend the required time now!

Good Luck This Fall!
Tight Lines and Shoot Straight
Ryan Johnson

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