A wonderful and mighty topic. The weather can play a huge effect in your outdoor time. If you’ve spent a fair amount of time outside, then you’ll definitely agree with me that the weather affects archery. I’m not really going to teach you something that you don’t already know, but it is good to go over some basic ideas so that you’re aware how things will affect your gear and shooting performance.
How the weather affects your equipment
Most people who are going to have an issue with the weather and their equipment are going to be those using traditional bows. Wood and most other natural compounds will react with the weather. That’s not saying that some parts of the bow will react different on compounds as well. The most notable for both will be the bow string. You want to be sure and keep your bow string waxed to prevent any moisture getting on it.
If you have a traditional bow, and you’re in a different weather condition than normal, then you want to slowly warm up the bow and see if you think it will handle the weather. If you don’t think it will, then just don’t shoot that day. That can be a small downside to bad weather for traditional bows.
Your arrow will be affected very strongly by wind and water. These two things will do the most to your arrow and can really knock it off course. The only other thing that will do that a lot is if you hit something like a branch, but that’s not really weather now is it? It might be worth doing some warming up and test shooting to see how your stuff is affected that day. The weight of your arrow and how it’s set up will also affect how things turn out as well.
Weather affects you too
You are the other part of the shooting ensemble, so don’t forget that you need to pay attention to what you’re wearing and the condition that it puts you in.
Being dry and warm is nice, but that’s not always the case and being prepared and having the right gear can really help you perform at your best when you need to.
Being still in icy conditions for a long time like you might experience while hunting can also seriously impact your ability so you can either not shoot or practice these skills at another time and place, but in similar circumstances to help you practice so you can do the best when you need to.
Weather is an inevitable part of being outside and being prepared for it is the best thing you can do. You can’t change the weather, but you can change how you deal with it.
I love talking about personal development and growing and expanding yourself. It’s a fun topic that I like to read and learn about on my own time. So every now and then, I’m going to force you to read about it. It’s just a fun hobby and I feel that it’s helped me out so I thought I’d take a bit and help you to learn about archery etiquette that you might like to be aware of and then practice it. It won’t do any good if you don’t practice it.
What on earth am I talking about. Simple really, how to deal with other people at the archery course or range when you’re there. Most of them are basic and make sense, but it always surprises me who doesn’t think before they start talking or acting.
My number one rule is to be polite to others and be considerate of what’s going on. Most people are there to relax, have fun, and enjoy their shooting time. Don’t try to ruin their time and they won’t try to ruin your time.
Always ask first
Part of hanging out with other archers is going to involve talking about gear. It’s all good to share and enjoy, but be sure to ask someone before you ever touch their equipment. It’s special to them and you wouldn’t want people grabbing and messing with your gear unless they asked first, so be sure to ask before you touch.
Practice course safety
The worst thing is to be behind a target looking for an arrow that missed when someone decides to step up and start shooting at the target with you behind it. It’s not cool at all. Be sure to leave your bow or something so people know there’s someone around and do not shoot until you are absolutely certain that there isn’t anybody back there.
Clean up your trash
It’s not that difficult to clean up your own trash. There’s probably at least one or more trash cans out on the course that you can use. So use them. One piece of trash doesn’t sound bad, but when you get a hundred pieces of trash, then it really starts looking like a dump. Don’t be the guy everyone hates because he’s a lazy slob and won’t clean up his own mess.
You might love your pets, but most others think their vicious terrorizing psychos. I love my dogs, and I take them to the range with me when there’s nobody there. If someone shows up, I put them on leashes. Every now and then others bring their dogs and we’ll let them all hang out together. Don’t think your pet is the greatest in the world just because he’s yours. Eating arrows might sound cute to you, but it is horribly rude and downright evil to the other person. Back to rule one. Be polite and considerate of others.
I didn’t really mean to rant today, but there’s some times that people just seem to skip out on thinking and it really bugs me. I hope that you’ve never done this and that you’re the picture of archery etiquette perfection and politeness. Have fun shooting and enjoy meeting all the neat people out there who shoot too.
It’s always great to find out that there’s a community of people who all love archery. It’s also really cool that I’ve found these free archery tutorials on The Youtubes. The reason that I want to share this with you is that I’ve got this belief that people learn differently. Some people learn really well one way and others learn better another way. This also goes for teachers. For some reason, I connect really well and understand one teacher, but I might not understand or connect really well with another.
With the spirit of helping you find the right information, I’m going to share the videos that I’ve found. There are more videos available once you get on the youtubes, but I’m just giving you the opener video for each that I’ve found.
This guy is at Alan’s Archery Channel and is focusing on traditional or olympic style archery. Whichever you wish to call it at this point. It’s really good information for any beginner and he has several videos that will get you lots of really good information on getting started with good technique. I recommend watching a few of them to help you improve your own skills.
I couldn’t put the second video here, but it’s a series of videos that’s been put together by the Archery Great Britain group. The videos are a bit more focused on helping out a coach to be a better coach, but if you’re learning, then you’re going to be your own coach a fair amount of time.
They’ve done a good job and the focus is on Olympic style archery. If you’re ever wondering why I focus on this type of archery a lot, it’s quite simple. You’ll find the most coaches, help, information, and best practices for Olympic archery. Everything you learn there can be carried over into another style of shooting. Instinctive shooting will have a lot in common even though you’re not using bow sights.
I hope you take some time and watch through all the videos on each channel. You’ll find that you learn something that will make you a better archer and that’s the point of this website. So go take a look and see if it helps because I’m sure it will.
I’d like to think that I’m pretty good on helping people out when they need to figure out what’s going to be the best thing for them. For most beginners I always recommend getting a bow that has already been made for you. I think it’s just a better and faster and way to get started. I also made my own longbow after I got started in archery and I’m sure that you’ll be interested in finding out where to go to find out more on how to make a longbow.
The first thing to know is that you can take this process as far as you want it to go. What I mean is that you can start from a tree trunk or you can start from a bow that’s 80% done and finish it yourself. There is almost every version in between that you can get to start from. This is really helpful to know depending on the time, effort, and equipment available to you.
The second thing to know is that there is more than one kind of “traditional longbow” out there. The most basic is made from a single piece of wood and then you also have laminate bows which are made from multiple strips of wood and other material glued together. These bows are then pressed and shaped to make them more effective. You can start with plans for any of these and don’t forget that you’ll also have to make some of the specialty equipment, or buy it, just to make the bow. I’m not trying to stop you, but educate you so you don’t get frustrated because you didn’t know going in.
Get educated on how to make a longbow
Please check out any or all of these to get you the right starting points to making your own bow. I thought it was super awesome when I made my first longbow. It was a 62″ red oak D shaped longbow that pulled 40 lbs at 28″ and man it was awesome to see it completed and shooting arrows down the range.
The Traditional Bowyer’s Bible Volume 1 is filled with lots of very useful information on archery and building bows. It will cover lots of different topics that get you all the information you need to make your own bow. You’ll also find that lots of other people reference this book so it helps to be able to see what they’re talking about as well. This is the first book in the set and if you’re getting started, then I’d say to check out getting this book first and adding the others as you progress in your bow building.
Poor Folk Bows Bow Building – This is the website that I used to make my first red oak board bow. It has been kept going for quite a while and has tons of useful information and more so that you can follow right along and make your very own bow. I like that it has options for those in apartments because I built my bow while living in an apartment. There are several bow build alongs that will get you all sorts of information on how to make the bow, how to make the strings, and how to make arrows. You could get almost everything you need to get started just from this site.
Long Bow Build Along – This is a really long in-depth version of the laminated longbow build along that you can go through to get a lot of detail and information on how to build your own bow. The laminated style takes a lot more work and forethought on getting things together, but you can make some amazing and beautiful bows this way. The current bow I’m shooting is a laminated bow and I love it.
Build a bamboo backed bow – This site has a pretty detailed guide on getting a bamboo backed bow together. You’ll have to deal with getting all the equipment and parts together before you can make the bow so there is plenty of prep work. This is a pretty good guide to get you going with this style of bow.
I hope that these four resources will get you pointed in the right direction. It’s not a perfect list of everything, but it will get you thinking and help you figure out what you want to do. Knowing how to make a longbow and actually doing it are two different things. I hope that this helps you go from wanting to do it to actually having your own longbow that you made. I’d love to see any pics on a bow you built.
Many many years ago I started down the instinctive archery route and was surprised how I’ve never really looked back. I’ve always enjoyed getting out and shooting, but it’s not always just about hitting a target that matters. It’s about how you do it that matters. Being able to hit a 3D target bullseye from 2 yards with nothing but a bow, an arrow, and your eyes has an awesome feeling to it.
I know that when you start-up instinctive shooting of any kind that there’s a learning curve that you’ve got to get over. In fact, it’s not too hard to get out there and make a one-off shot and think you got it. That’s a piece of cake for most people. If you want to be hitting tight groups of arrows over and over then I can help you with that too.
Shooting good doesn’t need to be extremely challenging and can be tailored to a person of any age and ability. With that in mind, let’s focus on beginners and helping them out to get better results quicker.
Stand very close to the target.
Everyone wants to feel like Robin Hood, but you’ll FEEL BETTER if you learn to make a good shot at a very close range first. Put the target about 7 to 10 feet away and no further. There’s two really good reasons for this. The first is that you’re more likely to hit the target and get closer to a bull’s eye each time. The second is that you’re less likely to miss and that means you don’t have to go hunting for arrows or have them broken from hitting things.
Spend some time learning
I know it’s not the most fun, but even a short 10 minutes of instruction will go a very long way and make you a better shooter from the beginning. I shouldn’t laugh, but it’s pretty funny to watch someone who has no knowledge pretend that they don’t need any help or instruction stand up with a bow and look like a Lego character with no arms. Be okay with being a beginner. You don’t have to spend weeks on end reading and watching videos, but a few minutes here and there will make you better and that means you’ll enjoy the sport and you’ll be more likely to stick with it if you’ve invested some time in yourself.
Buy extra arrows
Arrows are projectiles shot at a high-speed. They break and parts on them break. Plan on it. Buy lots of arrows, not just 3, and when you’ve either lost or broken half of them in the first 20 minutes, you’ll thank me for helping you have a better experience. Yes they can be expensive, but there’s a lot of different types of arrows out there. You can easily go through tons of arrows if you’re shooting at too long of a distance or if you aren’t hitting the target properly. The other tips I’ve mentioned will help you with all of this. Seriously, buy extra arrows because you’ll want them, need them, and find you’ll shoot them all.
Have a bow release aid
Get a glove, tab, or anything to protect your drawing hand. You will make your fingers hurt like crazy if you don’t take care of them. This also goes for an arm guard to protect your forearm that’s holding the bow. It’s going to get painful very quickly if you don’t start of protecting them from the beginning. Sure you can take a few shots bare handed if you want, but if it’s more than 2 or 3, then you’ll want to protect your fingers. It’ll let you shoot more and more often.
These few tips will go a long way to making sure that you have a much better shooting experience from the beginning in instinctive archery shooting. You don’t have to listen to me, but you’ll have a better experience if you do.
I’m sure this post has been a long time in coming, but it can be extremely difficult to put mental aspects into words that make sense. I’m going to do my best to talk about the focus and control that you need for shooting at your best and how to get there over and over again. I call it getting in the zone and the goal is to learn how to get there before every shot.
You can do this because I learned how to do it by learning from others that were already doing it. It wasn’t the easiest and it takes a lot of time and practice, but it can be done.
A pre shot routine
The first step of getting things ready is to develop a pre shot routine that will help you to always get your mind in the right place. A pre shot routine can last anywhere from 10 seconds up to a couple of minutes and it is something that you do before every single shot that will prepare your mind and body for what it is about to do. If you take some time to look at other sports that deal with accuracy, you’ll notice that every player develops a little “thing” that they always do. That’s their pre-shot routine and you can start by copying theirs first.
I’m not talking about mind powers. I’m talking about the effort that it takes to focus on only one thing and to block out all the other things that you could have distracting you. I found that when I started blocking things out, that I kept finding more and more things that distracted me. It took a lot of effort and practice, but it’s easier now to block out everything and focus only on the shot and making it the best possible.
Dealing with Fatigue
Fatigue is one of those things that doesn’t sound like it’s that big a deal, but I’m here to say it makes a big difference. Imagine going to a tournament where you end up making 60 shots over 2 hours plus warming up. There is a lot of room for getting tired, sore, muscle fatigue, and more. The more energy you use, the harder it gets to focus and make a good shot. The main cure for fatigue is consistently practicing. This gives you more stamina over time to continue making good shots.
Learn to stop
The other part of practicing so that you get good at focusing completely over and over is to know when to stop. You not only need to learn how to turn on the ability to focus and block things out, but you also have to learn how to turn it off completely so that you can relax and conserve your mental energy. I know it might sound a little weird, but it’s true. I’m sure you know people in your life that are so passionate or committed to something that they never “turn it off.” It’s kind of the same idea, but the purpose is to help you conserve your mental energy so that you can spend it where it’s needed most.
Taking a shot with a bow isn’t that hard. Making a great shot is definitely harder. Making a great shot for every shot is very difficult and that’s what the mental aspect of the sport of archery is going to come down to.