Many compound archers and beginners in archery, see the appeal in the added challenge of traditional archery. 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
Find 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 men. This will help with learning to shoot properly and maintaining your form without experiencing fatigue. Shooting with a light drawback will prevent you from building bad habits and 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.
Have 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 my traditional archery mental checklist:
- 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 are 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.
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.
A few of your questions answered about traditional archery:
What is considered traditional archery?
Traditional archery refers to the practice of using bows and arrows in a way that follows the historical methods and techniques of archery. It typically involves the use of traditional equipment, such as recurve bows or longbows, and emphasizes a more instinctive style of shooting without relying heavily on modern accessories like sights or stabilizers.
What is the difference between traditional archery and modern archery?
The main difference between traditional archery and modern archery lies in the equipment used and the shooting techniques employed. Traditional archery utilizes traditional bows, such as recurve bows or longbows, and emphasizes a more instinctive shooting style. In contrast, modern archery often involves the use of compound bows, which employ pulleys and cables to generate higher arrow speeds, and may incorporate accessories like sights, stabilizers, and release aids. Modern archery also places greater emphasis on precision and accuracy.
What are the three types of archery?
The three main types of archery are target archery, field archery, and 3D archery.
- Target archery is the most common form and involves shooting arrows at stationary targets placed at specific distances. It is often practiced in controlled environments, such as indoor or outdoor ranges, and is featured in Olympic and other competitive events.
- Field archery takes place in a natural setting and involves shooting at targets of various distances and sizes placed along a course. It simulates hunting scenarios and challenges archers to adapt their shooting techniques to different terrains and target placements.
- 3D archery involves shooting at three-dimensional foam animal targets placed at various distances in a natural or simulated outdoor environment. It provides a realistic hunting experience and requires archers to judge distances accurately and make shots from different angles and elevations.
How hard is traditional archery?
The difficulty of traditional archery can vary depending on individual factors such as physical strength, coordination, and experience. Like any skill, it requires practice and dedication to become proficient. Initially, it may feel challenging to develop the muscle memory and coordination required to shoot accurately. However, with consistent practice and proper guidance, archers can progressively improve their skills and enjoy the rewarding experience of traditional archery.
At the end of the day all you need is a bow, some arrows, something to shoot at, and a good mindset if you want to be successful in traditional archery.
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2 thoughts on “3 Ways to Get into Traditional Archery”
Great article Maddy!! Many years ago when I was living in Weatherford, TX I sold my compound bow and all of my gear and went full Traditional. I have a Hoyt Dorado with 45 lbs limbs and it shoots around 50 lbs with my draw length. You have me thinking now that I should get my two daughters into archery now?!?!
I’m sure you’re daughters would have a blast with a bow in their hand!