"There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot." - Aldo Leopold

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Archery Spring Training

I love baseball. Particularly, I love the Yankees. I am unapologetically a huge New York fan. I care not that they buy players year in and year out. I would do the same thing if I had the money, though personal needs for a Derek Jeter or an A-Rod are pretty low unless they can paint my house. I'd be swapping out gear and hunts, for sure.

Still, baseball is a fantastic sport. It requires eye-hand coordination, focus on a small target, and rigourous repetition to achieve success. Spring Training is a particularly exciting time of the year. Teams report to camp to begin working towards achieving their goals for September and October. How they perform here sets the groundwork for what they hope to be a winning fall.

Bowhunters should really take note.

If you could find a better time of the year to practice with your archery gear, let me know. Too many years have passed when I’ve waited until August or late July to start shooting arrows. It’s hot and muggy, and storms often put an end to my session.

And even though bow season is over half a year away, the next couple of months offer the right opportunities to be outside tuning up for September. It has been a particularly cold winter across the nation and shivering can really impact your archery accuracy. Thank God that’s over. Now, you can spend a couple hours outside, taking your time before the opposite happens and summer sweat accumulates in your armpits until the point where the stink starts killing grass.

Many outdoor writers, much wiser than me, suggest you conduct your archery practice from natural hunting positions, such as from a stand. I primarily use climber stands. This is not happening in the summer. One reason is the aforementioned Stink Factor from running the stand up and down a tree. The other is I don’t favor myself a lightning target.

I’m betting stand hunting is how 99% of us will kill a deer during bow season, so it makes sense to practice from there. And not just by loosing arrows, but also in how to bring your gear up the tree quietly, and finding a comfortable position from which to shoot. All of these are more practical exercises than standing flat-footed and seeing how far you can hit the target.

I don't always practice what I preach; Spring is an awfully busy time as we prepare for turkey season and other outdoor pursuits. But it wouldn't harm you or me to spend an afternoon or three playing with the bow.

Oh, and Go Yanks!!!


Albert Quackenbush said...

Couldn't agree with you more, Ian. I now practice year round. You should definitely shoot from those other positions, but you can be creative when it comes to treestands. You can try to shoot from a steep hill for instance. I understand shooting from a climber in summer. Screw that when you are by yourself! Good luck this year!

Ian Nance said...


This was kind of a trifling I'd been working on...maybe down the line I could get you to do a guest post on archery practice tips...

The Writing Huntress said...

Ian- Love the post.. I really can't stand how some hunters think that if they pick up the bow in September they'll be ready for season. Then again, there are those lucky ones like DU who can do that and shoot perfect every time. Me, however, I have to practice constantly and given that spring in NC is BEAUTIFUL, it is an awesome excuse to spend some time outside. Except now that I've shot that stupid decoy so many times, he looks like swiss cheese.


PS. I used a climber in 100 degree heat last summer.. that means anyone can do it :-)

Mark said...

Good post. I have been shooting year round, but now is the time when the weather is really cooperating.

Albert Quackenbush said...

Ian, I'd be happy to do a guest post. Let me know when and I'll get to working on it. Cheers and thanks for asking!