Opening day of archery bull elk and archery buck deer are less than 20 days away here in Oregon. This will be my first year bowhunting. I wanted to share some of the things that I have learned over the last year while I have been practicing and preparing for my first year bowhunting.
If you are new to bowhunting, find a reputable pro-shop that has bows you can shoot. Do not buy a bow just because you like how it looks. You might not like the draw cycle or other aspects of shooting that particular bow. Whichever bow you choose, make sure that it fits YOU and feels comfortable to hold! I have been shooting a Bowtech Carbon Rose for little over a year and have recently switched over to a Bowtech Eva Shockey Signature Series.
Make sure your draw length is correct! The pro-shop will have you stretch out your arms with your palms facing forward (do not overstretch). They measure from the tip of your middle finger to the other and divide that number by 2.5. For example, my measurement is 65, so my draw length is 26 inches.
Another very important thing is your draw weight; make sure you check your state laws. You must meet minimum weight requirements. If your bow is too easy to pull back, increase your weight. If it is too difficult to pull back, decrease your weight. If you do not meet minimum weight requirements, remember that practice, practice, practice will build up those muscles. Sarah Bowmar has a great video on YouTube you can watch; she shows you how to increase your draw weight. My current draw weight is 47-48 pounds, but I plan to get that up to 50 pounds soon (legal archery bull elk minimum weight is 50 pounds in the state of Oregon).
Make sure your anchor point is consistent. The anchor point is where your hand, release and face all meet when you are at full draw. You can have a kisser button added to help you find the correct spot, normally the corner of your mouth. Grip is another thing that needs to be consistent. Some people only have the grip touching the fleshy part of their palm and have fingers pointed out straight (not my favorite way). Another way is to have the grip touching the fleshy part of the palm and very lightly place the fingertips on the opposite side of the grip. The third way is to have the grip touching the fleshy part of the palm and having your knuckles make a 45-degree angle parallel to the grip.
Choose accessories that work for you. My bow is equipped with a Montana Black Gold Revenge 5 pin bowsight, a Spider Archery 8” Predator Series Stabilizer, a QAD Ultra Rest-Bowtech Version, and a custom wrist sling from Premium Paracord Designs. I use a Tru-Fire Edge Buckle Foldback Release, Easton Axis arrows and G5 Montec 100 grain broadheads.
Practice in the position you will be hunting in! If you will be in a treestand, practice in the treestand, but ALWAYS remember to use your harness for safety. If you will be in a blind, practice while sitting down on a chair and on the ground. If you are spot and stalk hunting, practice standing and sitting in various ways to try and mimic being in the woods. In addition, do not forget to practice in your hunting gear! That way you have time to work out any bugs that you may come across. I will be hunting in a Barronett Big Mike blind and I will be using the Pro-Edition hunting line from Próis Technical Hunting and Field Apparel for Women.
Bowtech Women ambassadors Rihana Cary and Krissy Hay Knox have a very helpful video on YouTube that I always refer back to if I am struggling with shooting my bow. If you want an ethical shot, you must practice. You owe it to the animal you are hunting to practice as much as you can.
Good luck on your bowhunting adventures and remember, “Practice makes perfect. Repetition is the key to building muscle memory.” Rihana Cary-Bowtech Women Ambassador
Andrea Fumeo, Oregon Huntress
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