A lot of what I write about is doing things to simulate what you will be experiencing in the field. Why not practice shooting your bow like you would in a hunting situation? A fun and effective way to achieve this is through 3D shoots.
These 3D shoots can range from a few friends getting together to a very formal competition. Likely if there is just a few of you you’ll probably have 5 or less targets. However, I have heard some shoots with 50 or more 3D targets and stations available. It’s similar to golfing with a weapon! You shoot at one station and then move to the next. Except in this case you usually want a higher score since the smallest kill zone is generally 10 points with the point values shrinking as you move farther away from the bulls-eye.
The great thing about these they can be found just about anywhere you are located. Most of the time around me here in small town Midwest there is a local shop with a flyer up somewhere or you just ask someone and they’ll direct you to the next competition. However, if you’re new to an area, traveling and want to shoot while on the road, or just want to expand your experiences I found http://www.3dshoots.com/ and was very easily able to navigate to a 3D shoot near me (or any location for that matter). I was actually pretty impressed when I tried it.
Now the reason I am urging you to participate in these shoots is the variability in the shots. The same variability that you will encounter this fall. When you come to each station you will be presented with different distances and scenarios each time. You may be shooting 70 yards over a pond or you could be shooting almost straight down from an elevated position. That’s the beauty of it. I’ve shot from a seated position in an enclosure simulating a blind, had to thread the needle in the fork of a tree to reach a kill zone, in extreme downhill scenarios, etc. To add to the entertainment factor just about every kind of animal (or zombie or dinosaur) comes in a 3D archery target these days so it can get pretty interesting. Also, you’ll be shooting at a target representative of a live animal during your hunt so you’ll need to be comfortable with the anatomy and kill zone associated with that quarry.
I would suggest that you take a range finder with you. But I recommend that you shoot first after estimating the distance, then break out the range find to see how close you were to guessing the span. This would will help you with judging distances and make you more effective in situations where you just don’t have time to get a reading electronically. There is always the case where your rangefinder doesn’t work or the underbrush is too thick to get an accurate reading.
Another great thing about these shoots is they get you outdoors and moving. That’s what Hunting Fit is all about! And absolutely do not forget to get the whole family involved. These are fun and healthy for everyone. Don’t delay, find a shoot, and make time in your weekend. Heck, pack a cooler and have a family picnic while you’re all together. It will only further reinforce the fun factor of this great training tool.