6 replies [Last post]
Joined: 01/27/2002
Posts: 7914
Practice Like You Hunt: Making Every Shot Count (feature)

September 2005 Feature Article:

Practice Like You Hunt: Making Every Shot Count

Please use this area to post comments or questions about this feature article.

Location: Wa.
Joined: 03/31/2004
Posts: 1300
Practice Like You Hunt: Making Every Shot Count (feature)

Worth reading, good common sense article.

Location: Central VT
Joined: 01/14/2006
Posts: 16

Pretty good article but one quote I highly disagree with is this:
"There is no more realistic or entertaining way to prepare for archery season than a good 3D shoot."
That's about as far from the truth as possible. I think many 3-d targets are the CAUSE of poor shot placement. Many of the "kill zones" are not at all consistent with actual kill zones on real animals. At 3-d shoots, it's all about "score" and "angle" is never figured in. A deer could be quartering to you or away, but if you stick an arrow in the "ten zone", you score points! Also, there are WAY too many shots at distances that should never be attempted by most archers (35-50 yards), who do nothing but practice at some old McKenzie deer, while standing in shirtsleeves in their backyard after supper, but way before good light is gone.
If you hunt from a treestand, practice from it, at the height you'll hunt at and preferably in the woods. There's no need to take 26 shots per night with your bow, if you can't make the very first shot you take be a perfect one! You won't get 25 warm-up shots when hunting. At least as many deer are wounded and lost by piss-poor archers, as are taken each year. Archers need to learn when to NOT shoot, and quit worrying about when TO shoot!
The majority of archers need to practice ethics a lot more than shooting their bows.

Joined: 01/25/2006
Posts: 1
Practice Like You Hunt: Making Every Shot Count (feature)


I understand your point, and agree that shooting at the scoring rings on an angled target is not the shot angle that you would want on a live animal. However, there are now targets that have vitals designed just for quartering shots. I haven't shot a ton of 3D shoots, but the ones I have been to didn't have many, if any, angled shots, and the distances for the bowhunter class was always 35 yards or less.

3D shooting is not a tool for learning shot placement, but one for improving accuracy, learning to judge distance (which I would dare say causes more missed shots or wounded animals than poor shot angle), and learning to make the first shot count. You only get one shot at each target, so just like actual hunting conditions, you learn to focus on that one shot, realizing that there is no room for error. Even though in hunting, the first shot is the only one that counts, I think it is important to shoot your bow as much as possible over the course of the year. It will improve your accuracy, which in turn, will improve your confidence in your shooting ability. Knowing when TO and when NOT TO shoot is indeed very important, but it won't do you much good if you cant make the shot when its there.

Just my 2 cents. I understand where you are coming from, and I completely agree that understanding shot placement and taking ethical shots are critical. I just feel that accuracy that comes from consistent practice, especially the type of practice that places the shooter in actual hunting situations is also important. I do appreciate the constructive criticism!

Brian Grossman

Location: Idaho
Joined: 02/28/2006
Posts: 159
Practice Like You Hunt: Making Every Shot Count (feature)

At least as many deer are wounded and lost by piss-poor archers, as are taken each year


I have a hard time believing what you have said here. I know a lot of bow hunters and have hunted with many of them for years and have always been able to retrieve my game and theirs. I'm sure it happens often, but not on as large a scale as you say, but how can you possibly measure something like that. Do you have any figures or it that just an opinion? I think the majority of archers are responsible enough to know their shot placement and practice enough to make a good shot. 3 D targets are just for fun and most people don't make them a bible on shot placement. Most intellegent people know the difference so lets not all friek out on 3 D targets.

Location: WI/MT
Joined: 02/01/2006
Posts: 66
as close to the real thing

I am curious what better way of practice there is than walking a 3-D course then going up to the target and taking a look at how the arrow would have entered the animal. Well other than coraling up a bunch a deer and have at it. Please let me know. I am certainly not the best shot with my rock and wood and would like to be better.

Location: MN
Joined: 03/01/2007
Posts: 30
Practice Like You Hunt: Making Every Shot Count (feature)

sorry I havent read the link yet, but I total agree with practice the way you're gonna hunt & hunt the way you've practiced.
with this said I'll NEVER practice indoors EVER !! I have a stand hanging in the back yard with my own little practice range setup, & I wear my hunting clothes every now & then, & practice in different kinds of weather. cuz the last time I checked the game I hunt dont sit inside or only comeout to play on nice days Wink
but I disagree about the 3D targets, they're great for learning the entrance/exit wound. I dont do 3D shoots (yet) but when I shoot at a 3D target I could care less what those little rings on the target say. its all about the shot placement & angle to get both lungs.
3D targets are a very useful tool for practicing close up shots in a treestand, this will allow you to know when its to close to shoot.
when I shoot a 3D target I always look at it & figure out if the shot would of taken out both lungs. just because the target isnt real life size doesnt mean squat, if it was it'd just be bigger thats it, if you cant get both lungs on a smaller target do you think a bigger one will help ?
I dont shoot for score, I shoot for both lungs.

a archer will see how far he can shoot, but a bow hunter will see how close he can shoot.
with that said 3D scores dont mean squat in the field

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