John's Journal...


Shoot Short and Light, and Choose Quality Accessories with Allen Conners

EDITOR'S NOTE: Allen Conners of Gadsden, Alabama, the winner of the title of
World Champion Target Archer numerous times, the Archery Shooters Association Shooter of the Year award, the Cabela’s Championship and the Buckmasters World Championship, Conners also loves to bowhunt. He originally became a target archer to improve his bowhunting skills and shoots target archery when he can't go bowhunting, his first and foremost priority. Hunting with a bow requires a great amount of precision. To make an accurate bow shot, you have to have your bow, arrows, broadheads and shooting skills all finely-tuned, as John Stiff mentioned yesterday. Conners says that over the years he’s learned that the little things, the forgotten or overlooked aspects of bowhunting, often cause archers to miss their shots when they have bucks in front of their broadheads.

Shoot Short and Light:

Click to enlargeI believe the two-most important factors in shooting a bow more effectively include shooting a draw length shorter than you normally shoot and shooting less weight than you actually can pull. You'll have a much better chance of getting off a good shot when you shoot a bow with a shorter draw length rather than a longer draw length. Even if you shoot with your normal draw length, when you have on bulky clothes in the winter months, you'll have a much greater chance of having your bowstring hit your clothing and throw your shot off than if you shoot with a slightly shorter draw length. Remember that when you shoot from a tree stand or a ground blind, many times you won't shoot from the same position you shoot from in your backyard. When you have to bend, twist or turn to get off the shot and have on bulkier clothes than you do when you practice in your backyard, your string is much more likely to hit your clothing. If you normally shoot a 29-inch draw length, I suggest you shorten that draw length to 28-3/4-inches when you hunt. By shortening your draw length only 1/4-inch, you'll reduce the chance of your string hitting your clothes when you take a shot at a buck. I hunt with a bow that has a 1/2-inch shorter draw length than the bow I shoot in tournament archery.

Click to enlargeToo, most bowhunters tend to pull the maximum amount of weight they can shoot. When you shoot in your backyard, pulling the maximum amount of weight doesn't present a problem. However, you must remember what happens to your body when it gets cold and remains immobile for many hours while you sit in a tree stand. You won't have an opportunity to get your muscles warm, stretched and prepared to take a shot when a deer appears. If you shoot a lighter draw weight when you hunt than you generally do, you should draw smoother and get off the shot more easily and cleaner than if you have to struggle with the bow to pull it back. How much weight you can pull back won't matter if you spook or miss the deer. By lowering the draw weight of the bow, you reduce your chances of spooking the deer, and you'll get a cleaner and more accurate shot than if you try to pull your maximum draw weight.

Choose Quality Accessories:

I never understand why an archer will buy a high-quality bow and put inexpensive accessories on his bow and arrows. When you choose accessories for your bow like arrow rests, sights, stabilizers, broadheads and quivers, remember that each of these accessories in some way influences how well and how quiet the bow shoots.

Click to enlargeAlways select tried-and-true quality accessories that have a history of good performance in the field. Don't pick the cheapest, no-name accessories you can find and expect them to perform as well as good equipment does. Also consider the environment in which you'll put your accessories. Often you'll hunt in the rain and in the cold. Your bow may get banged against the side of the tree as you pull it up or put it down. You may fall down as you walk and climb in the woods. Your bow will be subject to extreme vibrations if you use an ATV to get to your hunting sites. Even if you travel to your hunting site in a car, and especially if you travel to your hunting location in an airplane, your equipment will get knocked around some. Make sure you purchase accessories that can stand up to the torture of bowhunting. If you save $5 or $10 on an arrow rest and miss a buck, will that extra $5 you've saved make your hunt enjoyable?


Check back each day this week for more about "HOW TO SHOOT YOUR BOW BETTER"

Day 1: How to Tune Your Bow
Day 2: Shoot Short and Light, and Choose Quality Accessories with Allen Conners
Day 3: Check Your Equipment before You Hunt, and Line Up Your Peep Sight for All Types of Shooting
Day 4: Practice Judging Yardage, Don’t Just Shoot Dots, and Learn to Shoot Under Pressure
Day 5: Use Carbon Arrows, Keep Your Bow at Arm’s Length, and Don’t Let Your Ego Cause You to Miss Deer



Entry 316, Day 2