For many, work productivity drops off around Sept. 1. For others the beginning of October marks their transition from church-regular to human possum. Regardless of when your hunting season starts, it’s time to get serious, and shoot to kill.
Middle Distances and Wind
You’ve been nailing 10 rings all summer and obliterating your 3D buck, but have you shot from anywhere other than 20, 30, 40 and 50? How about in the wind? It’s tough to hold the pin anywhere but the vitals when you’ve been picking the same spot all summer. In the next few weeks, shoot a few rounds from middle distances and on windy days.
Twilight (Not the Book You Nerd)
At full draw the sight picture shouldn’t surprise you. Brighter or dimmer pins than expected can distract you when focus is paramount. Hit the range at dusk to understand how your peep and sight will appear in low-light conditions.
Put a Shirt On, You Hunk
You’ve been parading around all summer shirtless flexing for babes and smacking bullseyes at 100 yards. Start shooting with a long sleeve shirt, hat and facemask. Not only do sleeves and zippers get in the way of the string to influence your shot, they also add noise. Fling a few arrows while wearing the exact camo that you’ll wear on the hunt.
If your string catches your sleeve, you can order an armguard or wear merino, which is a bit more form-fitting for your sexy bod. Consider switching to face paint if your facemask affects your anchor point. Make necessary changes now instead of after some cactus-head swamp donkey ducks your arrow.
In a perfect world, broadheads would fly identical to field points and your dog wouldn’t shit on the carpet. But, just like your dog, sometimes broadheads shit on the carpet. When practicing with broadheads, note if they’re grouping or scattered on the target. As long as your broadheads are consistent, a quick sight adjustment solves the problem.
To find your best arrow-broadhead combo, start with six arrows numbered 1-6. Note which 2 arrows hit closest to the bullseye each round. After a few reps a pattern develops. Next, number each broadhead. Shoot the top three arrows with broadheads. One arrow will travel better than the others. Rotate the broadheads to determine if it’s the point or arrow making the difference. Once you have determined the top performer, put that combo away. The next time you shoot, that arrow will be through the chest cavity of a herd bull rolling in a puddle of piss.
It’s difficult to account for all of the variables that will impact a kill shot. But realistic practice in August–dressed for the hunt with broadheads at a middle distances –can lead to fewer unknowns in September
Drawing on a live animal with adrenaline pumping will feel different than your shots on Tuesdays with the buddies. By varying your practice routine September shots will start to feel routine as well.
For drills specific to elk hunting check out our 2019 post on Shooting Drills to Get Ready for Elk Season.
Good luck this season,