As I show in the accompanying video, as the season approaches you need to shoot often to build strength and to make good shooting habits.
1. Relax: Shooting a bow starts with your feet and legs and leads to your bow arm and bow hand. Everything should be relaxed. Bend your bow arm just enough to unlock the elbow and let your fingers hang naturally in a relaxed grip.
2. Follow Through: The follow-through is both mental and physical, and serves to hold everything together long enough for the arrow to escape the bow. Many bowhunters snap their hand closed at the same moment they release the string—destroying accuracy. Resist the common tendency to drop your arm when you release the string.
3. Make a Surprise Release: Target panic is the attempt—and the inability—to hold the pin steady on the intended target while taking a shot. Invariably, the afflicted will issue a “Now!” command in their mind when the pin hesitates on the spot. Trying to time the shot eventually creates a mental gridlock resulting in very inconsistent (and distressing) shooting. The cure is simple, just learn to create a surprise release.
4. Float Your Aim: One of the most damaging misconceptions in archery involves aiming. Many feel that the pin should settle rock-steady on the spot they want to hit in order to enjoy great accuracy. This is where target panic gets the spark that turns into a flame. If you are releasing the string correctly, with a surprise method, you won’t be able to time the shot, nor do you have to. Just let the pin float around and over the spot. When the surprise release goes, you will be amazed by how close the arrow hits to the center.
5. In-Season Practice: Most bowhunters make the mistake of shutting down their regular practice when the season starts. You need to keep up your strength and maintain your form throughout the season so it will still be sharp when you need it.