Hunting Washington Forum

Big Game Hunting => Bow Hunting => Topic started by: vandeman17 on July 08, 2020, 09:48:00 AM

Title: Time needed shooting to be ready for archery
Post by: vandeman17 on July 08, 2020, 09:48:00 AM
I am one that doesn't shoot my bow in the winter but generally starts in the spring with a few rounds per week and then by mid to late summer I start shooting daily to be ready by September. This year, I inured my right shoulder and haven't been able to shoot my bow. I would really like to be able to hunt archery elk in Oregon in early September but I haven't bought my tag until I know I can shoot my bow comfortably. My question is how long do you think it takes you to feel ready to hunt when it comes to shooting? I am thinking a few weeks but I have no idea since I generally do it slowly over a few months.
Title: Re: Time needed shooting to be ready for archery
Post by: WapitiTalk1 on July 08, 2020, 10:05:19 AM
I don't shoot year around either Vande and honestly, have only started shooting my bow recently in anticipation of my early SEP departure for my stick and string elk hunt.  There have been a few hunting years where I was unable to shoot much at all up until a week or two before season (for various reasons including recovering from MED issues as you are).  No worries.  As long as your bow is tuned, and, sights are dead on for your personal max shooting distance at a live critter, you'll be fine if you have a few weeks to shoot before you head out.  It's the muscle memory thing that needs locked down to feel confident that "the shot" is gonna hit where you want it to.  Don't sleep on the idea of lowering the draw weight (back off the limbs) on your bow so you can start shooting earlier than later.  Once your bow muscles get acclimated to drawing and holding your bow back on lower poundage, you can add a 1/2 a crank or so to each limb every handful of days until you get back up to the full poundage desired (and, what your arrows.. length/spine/weight are matched to your bow at full poundage).         
Title: Re: Time needed shooting to be ready for archery
Post by: Rainier10 on July 08, 2020, 10:14:01 AM
I am shooting 18-24 arrows a day.  I started off shooting twice a week a month ago.  I was spot on after just a few days of shooting.  I think it is like riding a bike, you never forget it just takes a little bit to get the hang of it again.
Title: Re: Time needed shooting to be ready for archery
Post by: vandeman17 on July 08, 2020, 10:21:50 AM
I am shooting 18-24 arrows a day.  I started off shooting twice a week a month ago.  I was spot on after just a few days of shooting.  I think it is like riding a bike, you never forget it just takes a little bit to get the hang of it again.

That is my hope. Right now its a combination of being able to shoot my bow but also having the shoulder strong enough to do all the other parts of the hunt like setting camp, hopefully quartering and packing etc.
Title: Re: Time needed shooting to be ready for archery
Post by: STIKNSTRINGBOW on July 08, 2020, 10:22:46 AM
Even Fred Bear admitted that he only practiced a few weeks before his hunts.
He spent so much time working on his designs and business that he just did not get to it.
.
Once you have the form and muscle memory, it really is not that critical.
It's more important to have the strength and mobility.
.
My own shooting suffered from a shoulder injury and I have to practice with a lower poundage bow, but the motion is the same.
Title: Re: Time needed shooting to be ready for archery
Post by: 300rum on July 08, 2020, 10:28:48 AM
 :tup:

Even Fred Bear admitted that he only practiced a few weeks before his hunts.
He spent so much time working on his designs and business that he just did not get to it.
.
Once you have the form and muscle memory, it really is not that critical.
It's more important to have the strength and mobility.
.
My own shooting suffered from a shoulder injury and I have to practice with a lower poundage bow, but the motion is the same.
Title: Re: Time needed shooting to be ready for archery
Post by: jrebel on July 08, 2020, 10:36:26 AM
I agree with a couple weeks is all that is necessary for the seasoned archery hunters.  I have been archery hunting since I was 8 years old and it really is like riding a bike.  I start shooting a couple months before to make sure my muscles for drawing and holding my bow back are in good shape.  I have pulled the bow out a couple weeks before the season to notice fatigue when drawing and holding for longer periods of time....this concerned me so no I start shooting in the late spring.  This also gives me plenty of time to get gear tuned up and fixed if I notice a problem.  Last thing a guy wants to do is pull his bow out a week before the season and notice a cracked limb or broken site  :yike: :yike:....with only a few days to try and remedy that situation. 

For a new archery hunter....it would benefit them to be shooting at least a couple months before.  The more you shoot the better your muscle memory will be in the heat of the moment when things often transpire very quickly. 

Title: Re: Time needed shooting to be ready for archery
Post by: mburrows on July 08, 2020, 10:46:56 AM
All a matter of how good and how confident do you want to be. With the injury i would be overly cautious and keep it minimal to not aggravate your shoulder.

But there is no doubt a correlation to how oftern you practice quality reps to how good you actually are with achery gear just like anything else.

That being said. A guy can be proficient enough to kill with just a few weeks of practice if he has a solid baseline and starting point. A new guy needs much, much more range time and practice.

I shoot at least 3 days a week because i love to shoot the same way some guys like to golf.
Title: Re: Time needed shooting to be ready for archery
Post by: Jpmiller on July 08, 2020, 11:05:24 AM
I personally limit myself to 40 yards under perfect conditions and realistically most hunting shots I'm only taking 30 or less. I shoot most days spring and summer but that's because I enjoy it. I'm probably confident and accurate enough after a week or two. Not sure how much a difference it makes but in my younger days I probably shot 100-150 arrows a day almost year round so I have some experience with my bow and some muscle memory to fall back on but I wouldn't imagine someone competent with their equipment couldn't get back up to speed just as quickly.
Title: Re: Time needed shooting to be ready for archery
Post by: Jpmiller on July 08, 2020, 11:06:20 AM
My sessions I'm shooting probably close to 100 arrows, how many are you guys sending down range each time you get the bow out? That might make a difference too.
Title: Re: Time needed shooting to be ready for archery
Post by: vandeman17 on July 08, 2020, 11:07:21 AM
My sessions I'm shooting probably close to 100 arrows, how many are you guys sending down range each time you get the bow out? That might make a difference too.

When I am shooting its usually 15. 5 rounds of 3 shots at different distances, angles or positions
Title: Re: Time needed shooting to be ready for archery
Post by: Rainier10 on July 08, 2020, 11:29:32 AM
18-24 arrows a session.  I have a 6 arrow quiver in my practice bow.

I have a practice bow, 50# and my hunting bow, 68#.  They are identical bows except the poundage.  The month before I hunt I start shooting my hunting bow.  I have two sights for it.  One that is set for field tips and one that is set for my broadheads.  I shoot field tips right up until the hunt and then switch to broadheads and the sight for broadheads.
Title: Re: Time needed shooting to be ready for archery
Post by: Karl Blanchard on July 08, 2020, 11:42:06 AM
Common misconception about muscle memory is that it is retained. It is not. You could shoot 200 arrows a day for 7 months but if you take a month off it is mostly gone. Another issue I see SO MUCH, especially with newer shooters is too much practice. Fatigue leads to sloppy shooting, which leads to poor shots, that WILL developed into target panic. It's not the number of arrows, it's the quality of the arrows.

I normally start earlier in the year but due to no 3d's I want to attend I haven't started shooting. Probably will start here in the next few weeks. I shoot 5 PERFECT arrows a day once I start. By perfect I mean stance, form, hold, release. My block is at 14 yards which is right outside my back door to the wall of my shed. Grab my bow, shoot my shots and hang it up. Obviously this is with a tuned and sighted in bow. Of course there are some sessions shooting with buddies where you have those 100+ arrow sessions but I stand by my motto of quality, not quantity.  :twocents:
Title: Re: Time needed shooting to be ready for archery
Post by: Skyvalhunter on July 08, 2020, 11:44:37 AM
The amount of time taken off usually is what it takes to get back to prior to the absence
Title: Re: Time needed shooting to be ready for archery
Post by: Rainier10 on July 08, 2020, 01:04:14 PM
I agree with what Karl said above.  Too many shots leads to fatigue and poor form.  One thing I will add is that I am most concerned with that first shot I take each day.  If that is not dead center in the bulls eye that is a big issue.  In the field the first shot is the one that counts.

Another thing that I do is the month before the season starts I carry a 8 pound dumbbell with me all day just to get used to having the weight of my bow in my hand.  I teach hunter ed with a guy that carries a 12 pound bar with him before rifle season for the same reason.  My bow is less than that so it makes it easier when I get to the field and am only packing a 6 pound bow in my hand all day.
Title: Re: Time needed shooting to be ready for archery
Post by: Special T on July 08, 2020, 01:08:53 PM
If it were me and i had hurt my shoulder i would shoot one arrow first thin in the morning at a close distance.  I have heard of a lot of folks talk about the single cold shot is the best practice because it is likely the same kind of condition you will actually be shooting under.  :twocents:  Good Luck!
Title: Re: Time needed shooting to be ready for archery
Post by: vandeman17 on July 08, 2020, 01:32:08 PM
If it were me and i had hurt my shoulder i would shoot one arrow first thin in the morning at a close distance.  I have heard of a lot of folks talk about the single cold shot is the best practice because it is likely the same kind of condition you will actually be shooting under.  :twocents:  Good Luck!

I agree and I do that sometimes in my normal shooting. I also like going for a run or doing burpees and then shooting to recreate having to settle down and be steady
Title: Re: Time needed shooting to be ready for archery
Post by: Jpmiller on July 08, 2020, 07:19:06 PM
I completely agree about shooting too much and getting fatigued. I'm shooting the same bow I bought as a teenager and the thing maxes out at #55. It's comfortable to shoot large amounts but Karl is also correct in that losing focus and getting sloppy hurts much more than helps. That's one of the reasons I really encourage my wife to shoot with me, I have to make sure my groups stay tighter then hers do  :chuckle:
Title: Re: Time needed shooting to be ready for archery
Post by: OutHouse on July 08, 2020, 07:31:59 PM
My sessions I'm shooting probably close to 100 arrows, how many are you guys sending down range each time you get the bow out? That might make a difference too.

 :yike:  That's insane. Definitely never shot that many arrows in a session.  Now that I think about it, I've probably only ever shot something like 40 arrows max in any given sitting.

I agree with the comments on quality versus quantity, fatigue issues, etc.  I think for most people the small stabilizer muscles fatigue rather quickly. I start shooting right about now. After maybe 15 arrows I can tell that accuracy is already decreasing. The comments about the first shots being the most critical, definitely correct. When the hunting season starts and the days before, I only shoot a few arrows a day.
Title: Re: Time needed shooting to be ready for archery
Post by: rtspring on July 08, 2020, 08:07:58 PM
4 arrow groups few times a day!  I have two different bows so I shoot both.
Title: Re: Time needed shooting to be ready for archery
Post by: dilleytech on July 09, 2020, 06:26:39 AM
Some guys shoot once check there sights and kill an animal every year. Some guys shoot weekly all year and usually miss. Your best bet is to just shoot as much as you can and learn to tune your bow. With Compound archery it isnít that hard to achieve accuracy. The hard part is getting the yardage right. So use a rangefinder.
Title: Re: Time needed shooting to be ready for archery
Post by: huntnnw on July 09, 2020, 06:48:18 AM
been shooting since I was 11 yrs old. Anymore Ill start shooting in August and its 1 arrow at a time with a broadhead.
Title: Re: Time needed shooting to be ready for archery
Post by: TriggerMike on July 09, 2020, 09:10:36 AM
I've found that the less I shoot, the more accurate I am, to an extent  :dunno: I just shot my first arrows of the season on Tuesday and will progressively ramp it up more between now and the end of August.
Title: Re: Time needed shooting to be ready for archery
Post by: Rainier10 on July 09, 2020, 10:11:29 AM
Shooting at the same dot gets expensive.  I have 4 rinehart targets banded together and I shoot at different dot each time, six arrows six dots.