Hunting tips: Building consistent bow accuracy

By: JPT Member Andrew P. Gawin

When I started shooting a compound bow 4 or 5 years ago, I practiced at every opportunity and shot ten yards…which slowly improved till I was good at ten yards, then twenty, but only good, not great. That meant missing the target on every fourth or fifth shot! I had to admit that I was at a much greater risk of wounding a deer than killing it, beyond 15 yards!

Last year I read an article on building bowhunting accuracy, It listed the ten steps of bow form and accuracy, which I promptly passed off as someone writing another article on bow shooting and accuracy…. until later when I could again barely hit the target at twenty yards. So I decided to read that article and start applying the steps. Doing so dramatically improved my shooting! Now, I’m nowhere near being able to compete in the nationals,  but 40-60 yards is an enjoyable challenge! Since I bought a different bow a few months ago I’m practicing these ten steps almost every evening, and they are gaining in importance!

The 1st step is stance, your feet should be at a ninety-degree angle to the target and shoulder width apart, toes pointing inward. 2nd is release hook-up. 3rd is bow arm position, with your elbow slightly bent and arm relaxed. 4th is hand position which should be at a forty-five degree angle to the bow handle with the palm holding most of the bow weight. 5th is pre-aiming, which is pretty important so you don’t torque the bow. 6th is draw and anchor, drawing is pretty straight forward, and always draw to the same anchor point. A kisser button helps, but doesn’t completely remove the human error element. 7th Aim. 8th release activation, for a good release activation you should SLOWLY pull your fingers into the trigger, don’t jerk the trigger it WILL pull you off target! 9th follow through, is pretty straight forward. 10th is relax, if I don’t, I just keep making the same mistake over again.

These ten steps can also be learned from YouTube or from an archery coach, but just being conscious of the details and applying these steps has helped me! Even now my worst shots are due to me torqueing the bow, release activation, or follow through. If you start applying these ten steps I guarantee that your accuracy will improve!

Thank you for the tips Andrew!

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