Archery coach Alli Armstrong Vaughan on training for Hunti

White-tailed deer hunting is most often done from some sort of hide or stand, but many archers do not practice from these locations. (Photo courtesy of Alli Armstrong Vaughan)

Training the way you hunt is essential, and summer provides a great opportunity to get out and shoot your archery in preparation for the upcoming hunting season. You never know what the circumstances will be when you have a chance with an animal. Therefore, it is better to be ready for any situation or shooting position. While practicing the different positions below, keep the fundamentals of form in mind. During these situations, try to limit your overall movement as much as possible. After adding these techniques to your training routine, you should be confident in your experience in the next archery season!

Tree stand – standing shot

Archery coach Alli Armstrong Vaughn on practicing hunting situations
The author is shown training from a tree in preparation for archery season. (Photo courtesy of Adriana Armstrong)

I’m from Illinois, so between October 1 and mid-January you’ll find me in a tree. It’s the number one practice shot I do because I’m very likely to pull one off in the fall. It’s good to remember with these shots that angles come into effect. While standing, remember to bend at the waist to account for these angles. In addition, it is important to be fast and quiet. I can replicate this by trying not to make a sound when I grab my bow from the hanger and stand up in the tree stand.

Blinded on the ground – Shooting seated

Archery coach Alli Armstrong Vaughn on practicing hunting situations
Alli demonstrates a blind shot on the ground while sitting down. (Photo courtesy of Adriana Armstrong)

Another realistic shot I like to practice is sitting down and shooting blind on the ground. Drawing your bow while seated may seem more difficult than drawing it standing up. Be sure to practice this move ahead of time, so you’ll be ready when the time comes. Remember that form is always important. In a seated position, I also practice rotating the waist while stepping back. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the blind’s openings so that you can turn quickly to pull through all the windows.

Spot and Stalk – Pull to your knees

Archery coach Alli Armstrong Vaughn on practicing hunting situations
When shooting from your knees, it can be harder to draw your bow. It is essential to practice this so that there are no problems when this situation arises during the hunt. (Photo courtesy of Adriana Armstrong)

For spot and stalk situations, I practice kneeling shooting. It can also be more difficult to draw from this position, so practice is required. ;Furthermore, I practice shooting at the edge of a tree or various cover. It’s very realistic when you’re spotting and stalking because you’re trying to stay hidden rather than shooting in the open.

Shoot in your hunting gear

Archery coach Alli Armstrong Vaughn on practicing hunting situations
Alli is pictured shooting in her hunting gear. When you draw and anchor in a hunting jacket, it feels different than a t-shirt. (Photo courtesy of Adriana Armstrong)

It is important to shoot with the same equipment and clothing that you will use during your hunt. Shooting in casual summer clothes in the yard will be very different from shooting in a heavy hunting jacket. If you haven’t had it in a while, a coat might feel a little constricting, so be sure to train with it. Make sure your sleeves don’t interfere with your release and the collar or hood doesn’t affect your anchor points. You might even end up having to take pictures with your backpack; it doesn’t hurt to try a few shots like that to find out what it would look like.

Film in a variety of weather and temperatures

Remember to train in bad weather and varying temperatures. It can be wind, rain, snow or even cold. However, if you do this, be careful of your bowstrings and the effect the precipitation might have on them. The chances of having perfect weather on every hunt are slim, so it’s good to be prepared for adverse conditions. When you’re cold it can be harder to draw your bow, so check that your weight isn’t too heavy for you.

Take photos in low light and direct sunlight

Archery coach Alli Armstrong Vaughn on practicing hunting situations
Low light can cause your viewfinder pins to look different as well as light through your sight. Being ready for it could mean the difference in a successful shot if you can do it legally and ethically. (Photo courtesy of Adriana Armstrong)

Similar to the weather, lighting will almost never be perfect during your hunt. Generally, the best times for animal movement will be dawn or dusk, which means low light. Prepare for those low-light situations where you can still shoot ethically and legally. Your pins and the light through your gaze will look very different than they would with more daylight. The same applies in direct sunlight; it is wise to be ready for both.

Shoot with broad heads

Archery coach Alli Armstrong Vaughn on practicing hunting situations
When hunting season approaches, Alli practices shooting with a broad tip on his arrow to ensure his full gear setup is accurate. (Photo courtesy of Adriana Armstrong)

Once I get closer to hunting season, I change my field tips and shoot wide points to make sure my full gear setup is accurate. Putting broadheads on your arrows at the last minute and expecting them to hit precisely where your field point arrows can be damaging. They will fly slightly differently than your field tips, so take that into account beforehand.

Shoot the same species

Archery coach Alli Armstrong Vaughn on practicing hunting situations
Alli feels her best practice is complete when she can shoot the same kind of 3D target she hunts in. Realistic simulation of arrow placement provides excellent preparation for the hunt. (Photo courtesy of Adriana Armstrong)

Shooting points on a foam or layered bag target are great for aiming down your bow and ensuring your bow is always visible, especially after travel. However, I’m getting my best practices on a 3D target that’s the same species I’m hunting. This gives me a realistic idea of ​​where to place my arrows and increases my chances of success. 3D targets are also the best way I have found to practice different angles.

Earnest A. Martinez