10 Ways to Increase Your Effective Kill Range

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Have You Already Tried These Things?

As bowhunters, we’re constantly working to hone our craft. And when we aren’t, we should be. It’s easy to let it slide. Busy lives often make archers who practice an endangered species. Nonetheless, it’s important we try to get better.

Other people might not have that problem. Maybe they just feel they’ve plateaued in their abilities. It’s a common occurrence.

Regardless of your scenario, there are things we can all do to improve our skills. And each of these things will help motivate us. Why? Because you’ll see results. And when you see results, motivation comes much easier. And soon you’ll see your effective kill range begin to lengthen.

Have a Smoother ReleaseHave a Smoother ReleaseHave a Smoother ReleaseHave a Smoother ReleaseHave a Smoother Release

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1 | Have a Smoother Release

Most of the time, our problems are in our hands. Literally. Make sure you are slowly releasing the trigger. Don’t jerk the trigger. Don’t torque your hand. Relax. Take deep breathes. Smoothly release the arrow.

Another issue is a bad release. All too often people use release aids that are sticky, jumpy, stiff, etc. Releases should be smooth and flawless in doing their jobs. Anything less is unacceptable. You’ll never be as effective as you could be by using a subpar release.

Photo credit: Heartland Bowhunter

Perfect the Follow ThroughPerfect the Follow ThroughPerfect the Follow ThroughPerfect the Follow ThroughPerfect the Follow Through

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2 | Perfect the Follow Through

A lot of people practice a bad follow through. Some people drop their bow as the arrow leaves. Others let it fall sideways. Keep the bow still until the arrow reaches its target. Doing this will ensure you don’t negatively affect the flight of the arrow with a bad follow through. Once the arrow hits, allow the bow to slowly tip forward.

Photo credit: Heartland Bowhunter

Think Quality of Practice Rather Than Quantity of PracticeThink Quality of Practice Rather Than Quantity of PracticeThink Quality of Practice Rather Than Quantity of PracticeThink Quality of Practice Rather Than Quantity of PracticeThink Quality of Practice Rather Than Quantity of Practice

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3 | Think Quality of Practice Rather Than Quantity of Practice

Don’t shoot a ton of arrows just to shoot a ton of arrows. It’s better to shoot a few good arrows than a bunch of bad ones. I’d rather practice by focusing and making eight or 10 good shots than 20 or 30 average ones.

Once you get tired, quit for the day. It’s too easy to develop bad habits when fatigued. That’s the last thing you want to do. We practice to progress, not regress.

Photo credit: Heartland Bowhunter

Shoot Under Bad ConditionsShoot Under Bad ConditionsShoot Under Bad ConditionsShoot Under Bad ConditionsShoot Under Bad Conditions

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4 | Shoot Under Bad Conditions

It’s not always going to be sunny and 75 degrees when shooting at an animal. Practice under bad conditions to help prepare yourself for the real thing. Shoot during rainy, snowy, windy, cold and hot conditions so you’ll be ready for those hunting situations.

Photo credit: Bill Konway

Practice Like You HuntPractice Like You HuntPractice Like You HuntPractice Like You HuntPractice Like You Hunt

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5 | Practice Like You Hunt

It’s important to practice from treestands, with hunting clothes on, etc. It’s much different than shooting while wearing street clothes. You might not think so. But it is. I assure you. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way. Practice real-life situations so you have better odds of capitalizing during the moment of truth.

Photo credit: Heartland Bowhunter

Increase Arrow SpeedIncrease Arrow SpeedIncrease Arrow SpeedIncrease Arrow SpeedIncrease Arrow Speed

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6 | Increase Arrow Speed

There are several ways to do this. The best way is to buy a faster bow. But you can also increase your draw weight, reduce arrow weight, etc. That said, make sure all components of your setup are in harmony and make sure you shoot the arrows that fit your bow's specs.

Photo credit: Shutterstock/David Carillet

Practice with Your BroadheadsPractice with Your BroadheadsPractice with Your BroadheadsPractice with Your BroadheadsPractice with Your Broadheads

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7 | Practice with Your Broadheads

You’re missing the boat if you don’t practice with your broadheads. Tune your bow. Tune your broadheads. Life will be much simpler for you. And hunting will be more enjoyable, too.

Photo credit: Heartland Bowhunter

Practice Long-Range ShotsPractice Long-Range ShotsPractice Long-Range ShotsPractice Long-Range ShotsPractice Long-Range Shots

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8 | Practice Long-Range Shots

Long-range shots are one of the best things you can do. Shooting at distances of 80, 90 and 100 yards can make 20-, 30- and 40-yard shots seem much easier. And they will be because you’re dialing in at further distances. This doesn’t mean you will (or should) shoot at animals at these long distances, though. It’s just for practice.

Photo credit: Melissa Bachman

Learn to Judge Yardage BetterLearn to Judge Yardage BetterLearn to Judge Yardage BetterLearn to Judge Yardage BetterLearn to Judge Yardage Better

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9 | Learn to Judge Yardage Better

Range finders are some of the best tools known to modern-day bowhunters. But you still need to be able to judge yardage. You won’t always have time to range an animal. And knowing distances will make you more lethal downrange.

Photo credit: Heartland Bowhunter

Listen to Your Gut InstinctsListen to Your Gut InstinctsListen to Your Gut InstinctsListen to Your Gut InstinctsListen to Your Gut Instincts

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10 | Listen to Your Gut Instincts

This might be the most important thing on this list. Always listen to your instincts when shooting a bow. That’s the most natural element of archery. Don’t fight it. Don’t aim it. Relax. Live in slow motion when at full draw. And let your instincts take over.

Photo credit: Melissa Bachman

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