Taking Bow Turkeys - the Toughest Of Them All
Day 1: Archery Coach Frank Pearson Discusses the Importance of Developing Your Own Shot Routine with Your Bow
Editor’s Note: Frank J. Pearson (www.frankpearson.com) has been teaching archery since 1984 in South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Ecuador and the U.S. Ranked the number-one professional in men's freestyle three times, he’s been in the top 10 for many years. When we asked Frank what type of archery he teaches, he answered, “All kinds, including bowhunting, 3-D archery, Olympic style, recurve, bare bow and longbow.” Today Pearson will teach us the bottom line in archery – how to shoot more accurately and more consistently to take turkeys with our bows.
Here are some problems associated with a bowhunter missing a turkey:
* He or she doesn’t have a shot routine or is trying to use someone else’s shot routine to shoot the bow. Last year I had a man come in for some lessons. I asked him, “What do you do for a living?” He said, “I’m a carpenter.” I asked him, “Can you build a house without a blueprint?” The carpenter answered, “No, I can’t.” Next I asked him, “Can you build a small shed without a blueprint?” He explained, “I still will need to make a drawing first - a blueprint.” I told him that archery is just like being a carpenter. You have to have a blueprint – a set of instructions - that tells you how to shoot accurately. You need to write down every little thing you do to shoot accurately to make a shot routine. Then, you need to do everything written down on that list each time you shoot. Always consult your written list. In one day, I had that carpenter shooting accurately out to 60 yards. Some of the items on his list were to make sure the pin was in the center of the peep sight, before releasing the arrow, to check his level to make sure the bow was level, have 2 pounds of push on the front of the bow (the riser), have 2 pounds of pull on the string when aiming, and then let the shot happen. You must mentally go through your shot routine with every bow shot you make.
* He doesn’t understand what causes him to shoot accurately, including how to stand. Once you develop and start using those little elements of your shot routine, you can shoot accurately more consistently. Once you have your shot routine, any time you don’t shoot a good shot, read your shot routine. You’ll quickly and easily see which step you skipped that caused you to shoot inaccurately. Always have your written shot routine with you every time you bowhunt. This key ingredient will keep you shooting accurately consistently.
For instance, many instruction manuals written on how to shoot accurately usually recommend that the bowhunter stand 90 degrees from the target he’s trying to shoot. Standing 90 degrees from the target may be good for one out of 100 people. But most people have to either open their stances more than 90 degrees or close their stances to less than 90 degrees to aim correctly at a turkey. I tell my students to stand any way they want to in front of the target, draw the bow, aim, close their eyes and stay at full draw, until I tell them to open their eyes. When the student opens his or her eyes, if his sight has moved to the left or to the right, I help him adjust his stance accordingly. This is the way the student needs to stand every time he approaches a target and prepares to shoot, because this is the way his body lines-up best to make an accurate shot on a bird. Every person’s body has a history, and that history dictates how he needs to stand to shoot accurately. Very rarely if ever do I see two people stand the same way to shoot accurately.
* He doesn’t look through his peep sight and put the correct pins in the center of the peep sight, before releasing his arrow. Most hunters will draw their bows back and put the proper pin sights on a turkey but will forget to look through the peep sights to line-up their shots.
* The cams on his bow may be out of sync, his arrows may not be straight, or his nocking point may have moved, and any of those problems will mess up bow accuracy. To solve this problem, I’ll suggest he go through the whole process of tuning his bow correctly. If an archer always shoots the way he/she has learned to shoot accurately, (following his shot routine), the other problem that causes inconsistency is usually a problem with the equipment he or she uses. You must have your shot routine written down on a piece of paper. Then you can check it anytime you make a poor shot to make sure you’ve done every item on that shot routine, before you’ve released the arrow. If you have, then your equipment may be at fault.
* His adrenaline rush causes inconsistency. When you shoot your arrow, and it hits a turkey, you get an adrenaline rush. Because you’ve succeeded, the natural response is to shoot another arrow quickly just like you have the first arrow. The faster you shoot your arrows, the faster you want to shoot your arrows. Then you’re shooting so fast you’re no longer in control of your body or your bow. Adrenaline rush will cause inconsistency. To solve this problem, slow-down between shots, take a deep breath, and shoot slower. Give your body time to get over the adrenaline rush, and you’ll shoot much more accurately. These helpful hints will help you become a better archer whether you’re a bowhunter or a target archer.
To learn more about turkey hunting from the masters, get these Kindle eBooks by John E. Phillips, including: “The Turkey Hunter's Bible (available as an eBook or in paperback),” “PhD Gobblers: How to Hunt the Smartest Turkeys in the World,” “Turkey Hunting Tactics” and “Outdoor Life’s Complete Turkey Hunting.” Click on the links above, or go to http://www.amazon.com/kindle-ebooks, type in the names of the books, and download them to your Kindle, and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.
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About the Author
John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors. Click here for more information and a list of all the books available from John E. Phillips.