Start your summer shooting

Joe and Andy of Average Joes Archery demo shooting at the Game Fair

If you are dusting off the bow for the start of summer shooting here are some tips.

Well it is finally here, summer shooting season.  With the cold winter and longer than normal spring we are a little antsy to get out and do some outside shooting.  Some words of caution; if your bow has sat in the case since the end of deer season TAKE IT SLOW!  You can do a lot of damage to yourself and to your enjoyment by trying to do too much too fast.

Think about short shooting sessions at a close to medium distance.  No more than 30 to 40 minutes at half of your maximum shooting distance.  Don’t think you can start the season shooting for 2 hours ending with that perfect 80 yard shoot.  It doesn’t work that way.  I like to start at a medium distance like 20 or 30 yards.  If you are going to shoot longer distance do it earlier in your routine.  Check your bow at 20 then move to longer distance and work your way back closer.

Think about turning your bow down from the peak weight you ended with last season.  Most bows are adjustable at least 10 pounds from peak weight.  If you ended last year at the peak turn it down and work your way back up.  With most modern equipment the weight adjustment won’t change your sight at close range.

“If it hurts when you do that, then don’t do that!”  Pain in joints or muscles when holding or drawing the bow is bad news and can lead to long term problems.  I know it’s not the cool thing to do but try to stretch out wrists, elbows, and shoulders before and after shooting.  Last year I had an elbow injury that just wouldn’t go away and the more I pushed the worse it got.  Don’t risk a summer fun shooting for a couple more shoots early in the season.

Stay positive with your practice.  You didn’t just miss a record buck or lose the tournament so let the bad shots go.  Always stay upbeat; no one is perfect especially the first couple times out.  Try and end on a positive note.  If you notice your groups starting to spread out then it’s time to put your bow away.  There will be a lot of opportunities for good shots don’t let a couple bad ones ruin a good time out shooting.  Remember shooting your bow is fun, don’t mess that up for you and those around you.

Good luck and have fun out there this summer!

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