The time has finally come in – Mr. Eight and BoneShed Archery have met for one last time. While some of our team members could have gotten him sooner, it was a team effort to make this happen. Here is what took place:
It was a cold morning hunt in Virgina. A cold front had just moved in and would only be staying for a day or two. The deer were out in the field eating the soy beans from the second that I got into the tree stand. In normal fashion, each deer slowly made their way to the tree line only to disappear before there was enough light to tell whether or not they were a buck or a doe, except for one of them. The last deer that was out on the field was about 100 yards away and seemed to be taking its time with leaving for the day. Once there was enough light, I could tell that it was a buck, but I could not tell which one. Then in normal fashion, the deer made his way to the tree line and started to head in. Once all that could be seen was his tail, I decided that it could not hurt to try to bring him back with a grunt. Worst case he continues to go into the woods and ignore my grunt, best case he responds. With a short and quiet grunt, the deer turned on a dime and came back to the edge of the field. Once he stuck his head back down to the ground, I did another low and quiet grunt. This time he responded fully. he picked up his head determined what direction the grunt came from and a b-line straight for my stand. Once he came into range, he turned broad side to give a 15 yard shot. By this time my nerves had kicked in and I was shaking uncontrollably. I drew back and let go, a miss! I could not believe it, I missed. To my surprise, the buck did not go anywhere, he wanted to find this other buck. With shaking still in control, I managed to get another arrow, draw back and connect with a 22 yard shot. At this point I was nto sure which buck I had just shot. I knew it was a buck, but I had stopped paying attention to the points when he made a b-line for me. Now the real change started, tracking the deer. The tracking took a long time, but after about 200 yards, he was finally found, and to my surprise it was Mr. Eight. Finally after watching and tracking this deer since June, I was able to put everything together. Somethings learned from this hunt:
IT HAPPENS FAST – When the time comes it will happen fast. Keep in mind that it may not happen again so try to remember as much detail as possible.
POWER IN THE BROADHEAD – The only thing that actually saved this hunt was the broad head. At BoneShed Archery we use RamCat Broad heads. Even though the shot was bad the broadhead did its job perfectly.
MISS DOES NOT MEAN THE END – If you shoot and miss, this does not mean the end. Stick it out and try to keep calm. With Bow Hunting you could get another chance.
To the down fall of most people, they tried to be a pro at the beginning. Recalling the first time I had my new bow in my hand and was ready to shoot, I wanted to stay out there all day long. Believe it or not, I barely did a dozen arrows down range. It was not a matter of being to tiered, actually I felt completely fine, but rather it was a matter of preserving what I had been taught for the day. With hunting season right arround the corner, keep in mind that three arrows at a time is better than over doing it. Here are three thoughts in regards to this mindset to consider…
Time will tell not today – We are sure you have heard the saying “Practice makes perfect…” But, what many fail to acknowledge is that practice time is something that grows. When starting out, take your time. Focus on the fundamentals. Instead of trying to grow into pro status in one practice session, take the time to let your skill mature over many practice sessions.
Quality over Quantity – Take your time with each shot. There should be no rush. As you take your time, you are actually training your body as to what to do to perform when the time is needed. Focus on picking up the arrow, notching the arrow, attaching the release, lifting the bow up, pulling back the bow-string, finding your anchor point, breathing, steadying your hands, and a smooth release. If one was to do this with every single arrow, three arrows will be plenty of practice.
Eyes closed – This may sound strange, but if you have someone there with you, practice pulling back the bow string, anchoring, and getting situated with your eyes closed. By doing this you allow your mind to focus on each and every step. The goal is muscle memory, not speed. Speed will come once muscle memory has been set in place.
Check it out! If you take your time with each arrow, your practice time will improve greatly. Rushing through the steps will not help in the long run. Take your time, and don’t over do it. If you notice that your arrows are going all over the place or starting to drift, stop for the day. This is a tell-tale sign that your body is starting to become tired. When it comes to archery, pushing through bad shots does not help! There must be the muscles to help produce the accurate shot that is wanted. So start with only three arrows per practice session and move your way up.