Three Basic Factors to Boost Proficiency

Posted on May 16, 2011

bow hunterBy Joe Bell

Every year brings new gear to the scene—some of it so great that it’s supposed to revolutionize the industry. I guess there’s nothing wrong with hype and selling power, but let’s be real: Very few things have truly revolutionized the industry in the last several decades—perhaps the compound bow, Scent-Lok suit and laser rangefinder.

The majority of everything else is more like slight improvements over predecessor products. But for some reason, bowhunters are searching for that silver-bullet item that will solve their problems—always have, and I guess they always will.

But, in my 25 years of serious bowhunting experience, no one item or product has revolutionized my hunting or shooting success. Instead, I’ve come to rely on three basic things to boost my proficiency: using good, old-fashioned hunting effort, utilizing proper technique and employing quality gear.

Let’s look at each one of these things to gain a clearer picture.

Effort

So you think that new back-tension release will instantly eliminate bad shooting issues? If so, you’re in for a rude surprise. A triggerless release is a great tool for programming your mind and body on how to shoot properly, which is essentially to let the bow shoot the arrow, while you focus your attention on aiming or the process of using your back muscles to complete the shot to conclusion.

However, learning to shoot a back-tension release properly requires a great deal of time and effort. The process must be slow and methodical. This means weeks, if not months, of relaxed shooting in order for the technique to imbed deeply into the subconscious. This is what will change you. If it is not done this way, it won’t work.

Proper Technique

You can equip yourself with the best bow in the world, but if it doesn’t fit you right or if you lack sound shooting technique, driving arrows into the bull’s eye or one into the pocket of a big buck is unlikely to happen on a regular basis.

The same can relate to using a feature-full, high-definition trail camera. It won’t capture that giant monarch you want to kill unless you put it in the right place and avoid stinking up the deer’s haunt. Otherwise, you’ll have a fancy piece of technology with a clogged-up image memory card of nothing more than raccoons in the night.

Quality Gear

Don’t be tempted by “new technology” slogans, when what you really need is a good product that provides worthwhile function and that is also made very well. Cheaply made products have no place in the deer woods—and they won’t last. Look for stuff made in the U.S.A. and with high-quality alloys; these will give you practical, year-after-year use so you can truly master using the product to achieve real bowhunting success.

For example, a new arrow rest with a so-called revolutionary full-arrow-containment, drop-away system will do you little good if it isn’t made to hold a tune or if the internal mechanisms freeze in basic mid-November deer weather. Sometimes, simplicity, super-high-quality materials and tight manufacturing specs are all you need in a new product.

As a consumer, be ultra cautious of high product claims and spend your money where it counts—on quality. Avoid bizarre contraptions that have yet to prove themselves, unless you feel like chucking money away. And never forget what really counts in bowhunting success: dedicating a lot of effort, utilizing proper technique and putting good products to serious use. When you keep these in mind, you’ll find yourself in the right place when shopping for gear.

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