6 Ways to Keep Your Archery Skills in Check During the Off-Season


How Many of These Things Do You Do?

String Bow

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1 | String Bow

Shooting a bow indoors at home can be challenging due to limited space, but there’s an alternative way to get reps in that can be done almost anywhere. A string bow is a simple training aid that consists of a section of cord with a d-loop that’s attached to a handle of some fashion. String bows are available commercially but they are also easy to make yourself. The primary use of a string bow is to work on release execution. Developing a surprise release, overcoming target panic, and getting familiar with different style release aids are just a few benefits of using a string bow.

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3D League

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2 | 3D League

Joining a league at a sportsman’s or archery club is a great way to ensure you stay committed to shooting regularly throughout the off-season. Most leagues shoot one evening a week and 3D offers great practice for bowhunters. As you hone your skills, you’ll also work on shot placement and keeping score every week lets you see improvements along the way. 3D leagues are also a great way to spend time with family and friends and meet other bowhunters in your area.

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Spot Leagues

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3 | Spot Leagues

To some, shooting spot targets may seem redundant and get stale after a while. I once found myself as someone with these exact feelings. However, archery is a sport of consistency and repeating the same shot again and again will truly show you where you stand. If you want to use the off-season to become the best archer you can be, joining a three- or five-spot league will certainly help you get there. If you’re apprehensive due to limited experience, don’t let that keep you from getting involved. You’ll often find the best archers in the area at a winter spot league and plenty of people willing to help you out.

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Open Shoot

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4 | Open Shoot

Archery leagues are outstanding practice but having flexibility to freely work on different aspects of your shot is also extremely beneficial. During the cold winter months many archery clubs hold open shoots where you can send arrows downrange in a relaxed and non-structured setting. You can often get this type of practice in at your local archery shop if they have an indoor range or shooting lane on site. These environments are best for getting familiar with new gear and working on different training exercises.

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Build Strength and Stamina

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5 | Build Strength and Stamina

Shooting a bow engages muscles that aren’t used extensively in day-to-day life. Working to improve the strength and stamina of these muscles will help your archery game. If you hit the gym regularly, incorporate some archery-specific exercises into your routine. A cable machine is a great way to simulate the drawing motion and will help you draw and hold your bow more easily. If you want to build archery muscle at home check out archery training aids like the AccuBow. Most of these products use resistance bands that vary, or have adjustable weights of resistance.

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The Garage Range

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6 | The Garage Range

If you don’t have an archery range or club near your home or your schedule won’t allow the time commitment of a winter archery league, there’s another option. Shooting indoors at home can limit shot distance but close range practice is far better than no practice at all. A garage or basement will work just fine as long as you have a safe and substantial backstop. Shooting regularly at home can be easily forgotten with the pace and obligations of life, so set a time when you’ll shoot each week. If you do so when the cold and snow finally subsides, your archery skills will be on point and you’ll be ready to get outside and keep shooting.

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Unless you live in a place where you can bowhunt hogs or exotics during the winter months, you’re likely all too familiar with the off-season void left between the fall and spring hunting seasons. While hunting opportunities may not be abundant during this part of year, there’s no better time to work on your skills as an archer. Regardless if your form and technique could use work or you’re interested in trying out new equipment, the winter months is the time to make it happen. Let’s look at a few ways you can keep your shooting skills sharp and have plenty of fun along the way.