Off Season Bow Hunting Practice | Effectively Using 3D Targets
As bow hunters or competitive shooters we are always looking to up our shooting. We pay attention to the details from the accessories on our bows and our shooting form, to the way we shoot and how we practice. This winter and spring, don’t be caught inside on a day off. Hit your local archery or bow shop, see the professionals, and practice on 3D targets.
The first time shooting at a 3D target can really play tricks with your mind and cause you to fumble what should be a chip shot for you normally. If you’re used to only shooting your hunting bow at a 2D bullseye, your first time with a 3D target will cause some frustration. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid this humiliating situation.
When you take out your hunting bow at the beginning of the season, you’ll want to practice semi-regularly to get into the rhythm after a winter off. Start by going to your local bow shop and G5/Prime Dealer to tune it up. The local archery and compound bow pros will make sure your G5 Prime bow is at the top of its game before you even begin to practice.
(Video) – Riley and Jen operate the Bow Shop out of Nephi, Utah. They have seen all types of archers from hunters to competitive target shooting. “A family that hunts together stays together.” The Worwood family is the perfect example of that!
Doing simple archery drills will help you to get dialed back in quickly. But shooting at 2D targets only gets you so far. Many archery and bow shops are paired with a simple range, possibly some 3Dtargets in the 20-30 yard indoor range. But many others might also have outdoor 3D courses. Grabbing a couple friends and heading out to these outdoor ranges is a fun and practical way to dial yourself in before the season.
The advantage of 3D shooting over the flat 2D, is having to compensate your point of aim to make sure you’re truly hitting the vital area of your target animal. In other words, if you have a hard quartering away shot, you can’t simply aim at the middle of the bullseye, so to speak, and still expect an ethical shot. Instead, you need to aim further back on the animal to ensure your broadhead passes through the boiler room and gets you on a blood trail fast.
The best way to prepare yourself for a real hunting situation is to practice with 3D targets that match your chosen game animal and matching the situation. First, this helps prepare you mentally by allowing you to more easily visualize a real shot. In doing so, you’ll have developed some muscle memory from drawing back on a whitetail buck 3D target all summer, which takes out one more variable that could lead to disappointment in the woods.
Second, you’ll quickly learn how to adapt your point of aim and angle of entry based on different positions you shoot from. If you’ll be hunting in a tree stand, practice shooting at a 3D target from a tree stand. You’ll quickly see that you’ll be shooting higher or lower than you intended. If you get so used to only shooting at a black dot or an orange circle, it will add more stress in a hunting scenario when you have no fixed point to aim at. Plus we all know that hunting conditions and scenarios can change in a heartbeat, meaning you need to be able to adapt quickly for different shot opportunities. A good way to practice this is on a competitive archery shoot, which can replicate some adrenaline and pressure you’ll experience on a real hunt.
One way to make all of this easier is to use high quality archery equipment. Prime’s high-quality hunting bows, like the newest-for-2015 Rival, will deliver the performance you need to put a deer down quickly. It shoots at a whopping 340 feet per second, and only weighs 4.3 pounds out of the box. It features newly designed 7000 Series aluminum risers, interchangeable grips, and comes in several different colors or patterns.
Archery can be like a game of Jenga, where someone is always pushing the wrong piece at the wrong time, and things could come crumbling down at any time. You need to stack the deck as much in your favor as possible. Practicing with 3D targets is one piece of that puzzle. Don’t leave things up to chance.
Do not just sit during the off season, grab your G5 or Prime bow, hit the local bow and archery shop, and practice on some 3D targets.