Whether your new to the sport or have been shooting for years there is always room to improve. Archery is an art and very few people master it. In my opinion that is what draws me to archery and hunting in general. Its a challenge, your not always going to win, and when you do that feeling will have you coming back for more.
When that arrow is smoothly released and you see it ark and drop right into the spot your pin was floating on there is no better feeling. Hopefully these items below can help you improve your accuracy.
Stabilize Your Rig
The farther I dig and learn about ways to improve accuracy, stabilization is always at the top of the list. Adding a stabilizer to the front and or sides of your bow can be an easy way to boost your accuracy. Stabilizers work in couple ways.
1. Absorbs vibration in the bow. When you release the arrow, all that energy from the cams has to go somewhere. Most of the energy sends the arrow down range. The remaining energy is pushed through the bow and down into your hand. You will hear people comment “that bow is dead in the hand”. This means they are feeling very little vibration in the grip of the riser. Stabilizers help absorb this energy.
2. Reduces noise. As mentioned above the stabilizers absorb the energy which causes vibration. Vibration causes noise. Less vibration = less noise. Pretty simple but a quieter bow can mean the difference in a lethal clean shot, a complete miss, or worse a wounded animal. Deer especially are always on edge and can drop multiple inches by the time your arrow arrives as the load up their legs to escape.
3. Stabilization. No ground breaking information here. I mean its called a stabilizer for a reason. A good tip to know though is the more weight your have at the end of your stabilizer the better the bow will balance. The weight will pull down causing the bow to stand up straight. This is very important for increased accuracy as it will help you hold your pin over your aiming point.
Pick the Release that is Right for You
Here is a brief over view of the type of releases used for compound bows. Finger releases are the cheapest option and most prevalent ($15 to $75). Thumb or button releases are slightly higher in price ($15 to $100). Hinge and Tension releases round out the top of the price range ($100 to $250). These prices are approximate as you might be able to find a good sale but wanted to give a base price range.
1. Finger Release (Wrist Rocket): Has a lever you pull with your finger to release the string. Wraps around your wrist with a buckle or Velcro strap.
2. Thumb Trigger/Button Release: Just as it sounds. A release that is activated by pressing a button with your thumb.
3. Hinge Release: Has no button or lever to pull with your finger or thumb. Hinge releases are activated by the backward rotation of the release.
4. Tension Release: This type of release is activated by then tension you exert as you pull through your shot. Often these types of releases have a safety that you can turn on as you initially start your draw so the release doesn’t activate and you give yourself a bloody nose.
Each of these have their pros and cons. Its a lot like asking who makes a better truck Ford or Chevy. Everyone has an opinion and you won’t be able to form an opinion until you try a couple different ones out but here is a little secret. No matter what release you use what really matters is the process or execution of your shot with the release.
For example you can shoot a finger release just like a tension release. Perform the same pull through motion with your back muscles by trying to pinch your shoulder blades together. Another way to describe it would be to start with your arm at your side and stand next to a wall. With your off hand raise your arm straight out just like your holding your bow. With your dominate arm do an upright row and bring the knuckle of your index finger to the corner of your mouth. At this point your elbow should be directly behind your shoulder. Now pretend your are aiming your bow at a target and slowly begin to pull your hand back from the corner of your mouth. Keep pulling until your elbow hits the wall behind you.
Repeat this process over and over again then take it out onto the range and give it a shot. At this point you don’t care where your arrow hits the target. Your focus should be on executing a good shot with the process mentioned above.
A Clear View of Your Sight is Important
Peep sights allow you to get a complete un-distracted view of your sight. A peep sight is a small plastic circle that is placed in between the strands of your bow string. When your at full draw you should be to see your sight and sight housing completely through the peep sight. Peep sights range in size based on the diameter of the opening inside of the peep sight from 1/32″ to 1/4″.
It is best to go with the smallest size peep sight possible. As mentioned above you want to be able to fill your entire sight housing in your peep sight. The peep sight is to big if you can see the background on the outside of the sight housing.
Types of Rests
As with everything you have some decision to make here as well. Regarding compound bows, they require some type of rest. It would obviously be highly inaccurate to shoot straight off the shelf. Here are the 3 main types of rests.
1. Launcher Style: This type of rest is usually 2 prongs or a thin piece of metal with a “V” cut into it at the end to support the arrow. This style of rest is mainly used for target shooting because a huge draw back with this type of rest is the arrow can be easily knocked off. Trust me nothing is worth than sitting for hours in the cold to draw back for a shot and have your arrow slip off the rest and spook whatever animal you were after.
2. Containment Style: Want to increase accuracy and only spend a bit of money? A containment style rest is your best option. Leading this pack is the whisker biscuit. Its a circle of tiny bristles with a small opening in the upper corner that allows the arrow to be placed in the rest. You would have to purposely try to knock the arrow out of the tiny notched opening and even still it would be hard to do.
There is a reason why there have been so many whisker biscuits produced. They work plain and simple. It’s a basic, accurate, and cost effective rest that will work every time.
Another perk is a whisker biscuit usually comes standard on any bow that is a “ready to hunt” package deal.
3. Drop Away Style: This is the most accurate type of rest in my opinion. Why you ask? When an arrow is released the energy from the string is put into the arrow. This causes the arrow to flex. The 2 other styles of rest are in contact with the arrow the whole time it passes through the bow.
A drop away style does just that. As the arrow is initially released the rest drops away allowing the arrow to flex without any type of resistance.
Protect Your Investment
An over looked item I think a lot of people forget about is your bow case and sight cover. Many archers have fallen prey to being out in the field and when the moment of truth comes they miss the target due to their pins have been moved.
Bows get abused. Rattling around in the back of your truck as you head to your hunting location. Knocked on a door or a branch snags your bow as you try to get into position before the sun rises.
I recommend a hard case to store your bow. Stay away from soft cases. Yeah you might save some money but in the long run it could come back to bite you. You can spend a fortune on a bow and even a lower priced bow will still run you a couple hundred bucks. Take care of your bow and it will be there for you when you need it most.
In the end accuracy is king. What good is it if you can’t hit what you are aiming at? Yes, practice is very important but having the right tools for the job will dramatically help improve accuracy.
Have any tips or another item you think is important? Let me know in the comments below. I’m all ears.