There’s The Buck – Now What - with Ronnie Groom
Sequence of Events Prior to Releasing an Arrow
Editor’s Note: Ronnie Groom of Panama City, Florida, a longtime friend of mine and hunting enthusiast, teaches bowhunting schools every year. Groom knows his stuff. You’ll learn plenty this week by reading and then implementing the important information he gives us.
There is a sequence of events that must occur just prior to the archer’s releasing the arrow that determines whether or not the deer will fall once the shaft is set free. For some archers – the bowmen who have hunted deer successfully for many years – this sequence becomes automatic. But other archers find that they must think through every move – including their shots – to make sure they perform accurately just prior to the moment of truth. Often the bowmen who do miss deer offer numerous excuses to explain why there’s dirt on the ends of their shafts instead of blood and hair. One of my favorite excuses is, “The deer jumped the string.” For those unfamiliar with the term, jumping the string simply means that the deer heard the bowstring twang, reacted to the noise and jumped out of the way of the arrow. But veteran woodsman Ronnie Groom says, “That’s just not true. As light and as fast as arrows are now and with the speed of the new bows, a deer’s jumping out of the way of the arrow once it’s released is virtually impossible. More than likely the hunter hasn’t followed the proper shooting sequence when he’s seen the deer.”
Beginning the Drill for the Proper Shooting Sequence:
Webster describes a drill as, “A physical and/or mental exercise aimed at perfecting skill, especially by regular practices; the approved or correct procedure for accomplishing something efficiently.” However, to train properly to produce the desired results, the drill must be carried out correctly and in the right sequence. According to Groom, “From the moment a bowman spots a deer he should think, ‘there’s a deer – now what?’ But most hunters see deer and immediately reduce their chances of taking the animals by disengaging their brains. The most-common mistake that a hunter makes when he sees a deer, especially if the buck has a big rack, is thinking about how nice that deer head will look hanging on his wall, what story he can tell his buddies about the deer, and how at long last he’ll finally prove to his skeptical wife that all of his backyard practicing with a bow really has produced a fine buck. When a hunter’s thinking about these things, his brain isn’t in gear, and he’s not concentrating on how, where and when to bag the animal.
“The first thing a hunter must do when he spots a really-fine buck is to take his mind off the antlers and never look at them again. He has to devote his total attention to the shot he has to make. The first part of the drill begins when the hunter sees the deer. He should notice the direction from which the deer is coming, put his bow and arrow in his hand and stand facing the deer. The archer should be conscious of not standing-up or making any move when the deer’s actually looking at him, or when the deer’s in a position that he can see the hunter move. Once the hunter’s standing and has his bow at the ready, he should be turned so that he can make a shot on the deer – even though the animal is out of range.”
Tomorrow: Planning the Shot with Ronnie Groom