Whether you are new to archery or you are a veteran, one thing many of us struggle with is relaxing before, during, and after the shot. Many bowhunters love to have a death grip on the bow while they are shooting. Many believe if they want to keep their bow steady, they need to grip it tightly. The truth is the tighter the grip on the bow, the greater chance there is of making a bad shot. Why? Because when the bow is tightly gripped, we often move our bow arm upon the release of the arrow. The lack of follow through results in not hitting the mark. A relaxed grip often results in hitting the mark. When the bow arm is relaxed and you aim and shoot, the bow doesn’t jerk or move around much. It basically stays in about the same place as when you shot. Relaxed form and shooting is how the professionals shoot.
To shoot with a relaxed bow hand, you need a wrist sling. A wrist sling helps support the bow and keep your hand where it needs to be to make a good shot. Pine Ridge Archery offers a wide variety of wrist slings including the Nitro Wrist Sling and the Kwik Sling. When adjusting your sling, make sure it is snug around your wrist so it can help support the bow when you are shooting so a good shot is made. A simple wrist sling can really help shrink arrow groups at short distances and extreme distances.
When talking about shooting with a relaxed bow hand, it is also important to discuss your trigger hand. Many bowhunters, especially when in high pressure situations, tend to jerk the release and punch the trigger when shooting. This can result in a loss of accuracy. Any retired military sniper will tell you that if you want to hit the mark every time, you have to gently squeeze the trigger, not punch it. When choosing a release, make sure you buy one that has an adjustable trigger so it can be adjusted to be a smooth trigger that doesn’t take much pull to go off. Teach yourself to slowly squeeze the trigger. When the arrow gets released, it should be a surprise. In order for it to be a surprise, you need to learn to slowly pull the trigger.
Learning how to relax the trigger hand and the bow hand when shooting can greatly shrink your arrow groups.
BY TRACY BREEN
About the author: Tracy Breen is a full time outdoor writer, consultant and game dinner speaker who often discuss how he overcomes cerebral palsy. Learn more about him at www.tracybreen.com