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Short distance shooting, Long distance courage! by Sebastian Reece

Sebastian ReeceGrowing up having nothing more than my dad showing me how to shoot a bow, I killed my first deer with a bow hardly capable of getting the job done. It had the minimum draw weight, if not even a little less, allowed in West Virginia at the time to legally bow hunt for whitetail. A cheap  hundred dollar Bear combo from Wal-Mart. My Dad and I chased it forever. We were constantly adjusting that bow as it always had something wrong with it.
Yet, in this mayhem I learned one thing that always had my confidence up, the attention span to keep going, and the appropriate standards for shooting a bow for someone my age at the time. Especially with the equipment I had.  I was ten years old and didn’t care much for practicing as most kids that age wouldn’t. Yet my dad constantly had me practice, everyday, shot after shot, until it was perfect. What I learned was, that no matter how close I was to the bullseye, I still had to keep practicing. If my arrows were close together, it was the greatest feeling. A Robin Hood feeling if you will. That when you are so close to splitting an arrow, and once you do, it almost becomes an addiction that you strive for. Always on the hunt for your next split.
As I got older and started helping out others in shooting a bow I learned this; That it builds more confidence, courage, and the certain spark to get a young child into Archery, by having arrows be consistent, rather than accurate. Let’s say you have a bulleyes four inches in diameter. In reality if you hit the first arrow an inch to the left, the second an inch low, and the third an inch high, you are doing good. But from there we all know its very difficult to make a correct adjustment beings nothing is following a pattern or consistent. That is also how it processes in a child’s mind, that he or she is all over the place because even though they are close to the target, they don’t know which arrow was a good one or a bad one because none of them are close together.
Which brings me to this conclusion. If all three arrows were an inch high, it would make it easy to adjust and have them shooting dead on. From experience, I personally know this is what every kid wants to do once they get to that point and think they are a professional archer all of the sudden, and that is jump out to forty or fifty yards and see if they can hit the bullseye still. While this is all fun and games, right before deer season for a youth archer, this shot is not necessary. I recommend thirty yards at the max. This should be the max shooting yardage that your average youth bow and archer should be taking shots at an animal to humanly and effectively take it down. Reasons would be many variations like wind, tiredness of the arms, exhaustion, and especially during the hunt what we like to call “Buck Fever.” All of this takes into effect when hunting especially as a young hunter. At anything less than thirty yards these effects will not play such a large role in fluttering the shot.
To get your son or daughter get into the field with the confidence and precision they will need with a bow, I suggest this; Having them take repetitive shots between twenty and thirty yards. Then dialing it in so it is relatively close to the bulls eye. Just repeat this process every time you practice. This will lead to confidence that youth hunters can get it in his or her head that when they put that pin on the animal, they know for a fact that it is going to land when releasing the arrow. This is just a great way to build up the confidence in your son or daughter, get them hooked on bow hunting. As we all know how addicting it is. Therefore having them carry on one of the oldest forms of hunting traditions still out there. Amped up of course with some new technology! Good luck hunting!

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