Although I have only been shooting for a few years I have learned a lot about archery. Starting out on my own, not knowing anybody involved in archery, I have learned as I went. So my goal is to help any new archers from learning from my inexperience in the beginning. Here are some tips that I wish someone told me when I started out:
1.NEVER DRY FIRE your bow. Dry firing your bow is when you pull back the string and release it without an arrow nocked. Best case scenario you will just need to replace the string. Worst case scenario you will damage your string, limbs, cams, and you could even injury yourself or someone nearby. So if you need to put back the string for any reason nock an arrow.
2.Buy from a Pro Shop If possible buy your bow from a pro shop. When going this you will be able to test different bows before you buy. If you have to buy online or somewhere else take it to a bow shop to get it set up if you don’t know how. I bought my first bow from Farm King and they set it up for me. At least I thought they did. I took it to a local shop to get some arrows and took my first shot there and the shop owner said that my peep sight wasn’t in the right spot. I didn’t even know what a peep was. So I had to pay extra to have my bow setup to me. Buy from a shop and setup is included with the bow.
3.Paper Tune Make sure that you paper tune your bow to make sure that you have your center-shot where it needs to be. When I first started shooting I had never heard of paper tuning or how important it is. You need to make sure that your arrow is coming off the string and running straight.
4.French Tune to make sure that your sight and rest are in line with each other. This is done after paper tuning just to fine tune your center-shot. Shoot at a vertical string on your target from 3 yards. If the arrow hits left move you sight left, if you are hitting right move you sight to the right. One you are hitting the string move back to 9 yards and shoot at the string. This time you will move your rest. If you are hitting to the right you want to move the rest slightly in the opposite direction this time, so move to the left, and visa-verse. When I first started shooting and knew nothing about this and was always moving my sight. I would have my 20 good then move back and hitting to one side or the other, then going back to 20 and be off again. It drove me crazy.
5.Always Shoot the Same Arrows I never realized how important it was to shoot the same arrows for consistency. I would buy some arrows from Farm King and some from Wal-Mart or where ever. And then wondered why I was hitting high or low. Example: I shoot two different weighted arrows now, 480 grains and 420 grains, if I sight in my bow with the 420 grain arrows and then try to shoot my 480 grain arrows my point of impact will be lower with the heavier arrows. You don’t have to shoot the exact same arrows but just try to get them weighing as close as possible.
6.Arrow Spine Make sure that you are shooting an arrow that is safe to shoot with your bow. Spine means how stiff the arrow is. The heavier poundage and longer your draw length the stiffer spine you will need to shoot. The lower the number the stiffer the spine. Example: I shoot 70 pound at 28.5” and shoot a 340 spine arrow. If I was to shoot too light of a spined arrow it could break when I release and could possibly go through my hand. NOT GOOD. When in doubt shoot a heavier spine.
7.Same Anchor The key to consistency is always don’t the same thing in your shot process. If you always have the string touching the corner of your mouth, nose on the string, and hand touching the same part of your face then you will be consistent. Tip: use a kisser so that you know the corner of you mouth is always in the same place.
8.Broadhead Tune If you got into archery to bow hunt, like I did, make sure that your bow is broadhead tuned. Depending on your setup and the broadhead you shoot you might have to broadhead tune. In most cases, not all, your field points and broadheads will not have the same point of impact. So you make adjustments until they are hitting in the same spot. I’m shooting the QAD Exodus broadheads and am accurate out to 50 yards with my field points. And that’s without any tuning. So sometimes you get lucky and won’t have to broadhead tune.
So hopefully others can shorten their learning curve through my struggle. If there is anything that I missed that you would like to know feel free to ask.