By Holly Overman
We all have heard the saying “Practice Makes Perfect.” Well, that applies to hunting too. Many sportsmen/women shoot their bows throughout the year to get ready for hunting. The closer season gets, the more you practice.
When August gets here that means bow season is just around the corner. It’s time for all your preparations and plans to really come together. It’s also a good month to get all your gear and equipment ready to go. With that in mind, it’s time for my shooting practice to switch gears. Shooting with the mentality of the hunt.
Now, if you’re wondering what I mean by that… it’s basically switching from just shooting a target to visualizing shooting a deer or other game you plan to hunt. It also means referring to your experiences and applying that to how you practice.
An example would be when and how to draw back, ranging the animal’s distance beforehand, and knowing your abilities to adapt if circumstances change.
To clarify even more, let’s dig deeper…
Shooting from a variety of conditions and lighting shows you what to expect from your equipment. Consider if it’s well lit, shaded, or slightly windy. Shooting from different ranges gives you insight on how to aim if your game isn’t standing at a specifically pinned yardage.
It’s wise to shoot while sitting and standing because you might shoot differently from either position. How will you handle obstacles in your way such as a limb or bush? You need to know when to work around it or wait to make the shot. Always be ethical with your decisions.
When you draw back, be aware of what’s all out in front of you. You never know when you’re being watched. When target shooting, visualize them out there and practice discreetly drawing back while remaining aware. Quickly get on your target, focus, aim for the vitals and let it fly.
Shooting with your range finder will show you the best way to do it while hunting. That, plus you’ll want to know if it’ll affect how you shoot in any way as well.
Testing your strength and endurance is always a good idea too. So how do I do it? Well, I could use my hunting pack, but mostly I get my toddler on my back sitting in his carrier. His unpredictable movements present the perfect way to test my abilities because even your environment can change on you. Plus the extra weight tests your stability and strength of endurance.
Some days, it’s even a challenge in itself just to get out and shoot. Just one arrow could make the difference and it’s up to you on reaching your goals. So do what you can to achieve those goals. Opportunities don’t happen, you create them. Always make a total effort even when the odds are against you.
Mishaps and setbacks will come at you from any direction. They hit me with my bow string popping and majorly sore muscles. So, I took some downtime to rest and replenish, but mentally continued to prepare for the hunt season. It’s always smart to be as prepared as possible for any circumstances that may occur.
So to sum it all up, I’m mentally shooting for the hunt in preparation for different circumstances that could be presented. Stay focused on your goals, aim for what is true, and you’ll always successfully hit your mark.