Many Compound shooters and beginners in archery, see the appeal in the added challenge of shooting traditionally. It is a great way to reconnect with the land and animals you hunt, by eliminating extra gear and distractions. Just the stick, string, and what you place your aim on. Here are three ways to help you get started in traditional archery.
Three Things to get you started with Traditional Archery
- Finding the right equipment. The first step is to find a bow, the biggest mistake beginners make is choosing an expensive bow. It is wise to get an affordable bow to start with and if traditional archery is for you, you can eventually invest in a more expensive custom bow. Fleetwood Edge and Samick Sage is a good quality start yet still affordable. When buying your first bow, start out with a light drawback! Keep it 25-30 pounds, even for guys. This will help with learning to shoot properly, it will help you maintain your form without experiencing fatigue. Shooting with a light drawback will prevent you from building bad habits struggling to pull a heavy bow, and it will help you get lots of reps.
Eventually, your muscles will get used to shooting a traditional bow and you can upgrade to heavier limbs. Buying a bow with interchangeable limbs is a must. You will be able to upgrade when you feel comfortable.
Do not stress on arrows when starting out, just get arrows that fit the spine class of your draw weight. As time goes on you can start to experiment with spines, point weight, fletchings, and more.
- Mental Consistency. Shooting traditional is just as mental as it is physical, and shooting instinctively is something that requires consistency. Since you are not using a sight you must develop good form and do the same things every shot. Most shooters build a checklist that they run through in their heads. It seems like a hassle but eventually, it becomes very natural and you do it without even thinking. Here is an example of mine: Feet shoulder width, bow canted, look at where I want to hit, drawback while looking at where I want to hit, anchor string in the corners of my lip, smooth release, keep looking at target after release, keep bow hand up after release.
When building form, the most important things are to look at where you are aiming, anchor point, smooth release, and a follow through. As long as you maintain these every shot, you will develop a checklist.
Keep in mind that becoming accurate will take time and you will experience frustration. But all you can do is focus on what you can control, your form.
- Practice. Practicing is what is going to create success. Targets are great but if you do not have access to any, buy a Judo point and you can walk around and shoot at stumps, clumps of grass, or even horse poop. It doesn’t have to be complicated to get reps in. Another thing that I highly recommend is going to Traditional Bow Shoots. These are often 3D targets and realistic shots that you could experience hunting. They are also a blast and give you an opportunity to meet experienced archers and hunters of whom you can ask questions. There are also vendors usually selling traditional gear, which provides you a good opportunity to get help and stock up for the year.
Traditional Archery is a worthwhile hobby. It is a great way to simplify things and help you get back to enjoying the experience of hunting and shooting.
At the end of the day all you need is a bow, some arrows, something to shoot at, and a good mindset.
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