4 Things Every Bowhunter Should Do This Summer

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You're only as good as your archery practice regimen

You've checked and double checked your Obsession bow. It's in fine working order. Now, get off the couch and reintroduce yourself to the practice range. This year, make your practice time enjoyable and productive by using this collection of tips and techniques.

Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice does. (Craig Watson photo)

1. Fling 'Em from 50

The average (archery) shot distance on deer is usually 20 to 30 yards. Many bowhunters don't practice beyond those distances. Instead, try practicing at longer distances. Even at 50 yards, you might be surprised at how your accuracy suffers. We're not suggesting taking long shots at live game, but practicing at longer distances will help develop a more perfect shooting form and release technique at shorter range while improving your concentration on each shot.

2. Try Two-a-Day Practice Sessions

Try practicing twice a day -- once in the morning and once in the evening. The danger of shooting too many arrows per session is twofold. First, you could develop improper techniques or ingrain existing bad habits. Second, it's easy to develop bad techniques when you're fatigued. Straining to draw, hold and release doesn't help. When hunting, we usually get one chance. Not a dozen. Perfect practice makes for perfect shots.

3. Recycle Some Arrows

We're all a bit guilty of squeezing as many years as possible out of our bowhunting equipment, and that includes arrows. Most of us tend to practice with older ones, while saving the newest ones for final sessions prior to the season. But new arrows often group differently than older ones. Instead, start with 2 dozen arrows of identical make, weight and vane characteristics. Use one dozen for practice and the other dozen for hunting. Once the season is over, rework practice arrows and delegate hunting arrows to next year's practice sessions. Do this every year. You'll have both practice and hunting arrows that fly consistently and group the same each year.

4. Find Your Head

Want to stir up trouble? Start a conversation about the best broadhead. But much like the rifle debate, the best broadhead to use is the one you like best and performs to your satisfaction. One thing to remember: expandable models sometimes lose energy and penetration when entering game. That said, it really isn't a problem with modern bows unless it's a low-poundage model. Otherwise, most modern expandables are fine for deer hunting.

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