You’ve no doubt heard the expression “don’t sweat the small stuff.” Bow hunters can throw this saying away and never use it. If you don’t pay attention to the small stuff you’ll severely lessen your chances of taking an animal. It’s that simple. I was reminded of this over the past few weeks while preparing for, and taking part of, the opening day of archery season and figured I’d share what I re-learned during that time.
I have a group of men I shoot bows with every Wednesday evening before church. Shooting by yourself is fine but shooting as a group means you have more eyes to look at technique and more years of experience learn from. One of the shooters in our group was having a rough time grouping his shots together. One shot would be dead on, the next 5 inches right, following by another 6 inches left. The culprit was not centering his sites in the middle of his peep on every shot. Just a few millimeters of difference on the alignment between his eye and his sites was causing his arrows to spray around the target. By concentrating on centering the sites in the middle of the peep he instantly shrunk his group size. The small stuff matters.
How many of you have a favorite arrow? I do. It seems to fly right where I’m looking no matter what. It has a #1 marked on the fletching. It goes in my quiver in the same spot on every hunt so I know exactly where it is even in the dark. Ever tried to locate the precise arrow you want in the pitch black right before dawn? Small stuff
Ever had to nock and arrow in the dark? You should practice this as well because half the hunts every day start in the dark. What about clipping your release to your loop without looking at it? They are easy to clip on when you can move around freely but what about when a monster buck pops out 15 yards away and you aren’t ready? Clipping on then becomes much harder. Practice clipping on without looking and with minimal movement.
How does your facemask inhibit your shooting? Ever tried practicing with it on? You should. Small stuff like that is the difference between steaks on the grill and an arrow stuck in the ground between the buck’s feet.
Those of you who use crossbows, how loud does your safety click when you move it to the fire position? Loud enough to spook a deer that’s only 15 yards away?
If you hunt from a ground blind have you spent any time practicing from a sitting position? Drawing and shooting while seated uses different muscles than while standing. Small stuff.