Outside of Christmas, opening day of deer season just might be the single greatest day of the year. It’s a day we plan for with great expectation. All the prep work and practice leads up to the season we impatiently wait for all year. But has your practice included realistic shooting scenarios? It’s easy to thump a few arrows from the front porch a week before season, but have you gone through a regimen that pushes you to practice like you play? Have you shot with your camo on? Do you know how your string will hit your face, even when you’re wearing a mask? Now is the time to eliminate any surprises that could creep up on opening day. And if you haven’t done so already, now is the time to make sure you go through the different bow shooting positions to prepare you for a variety of circumstances and scenarios you might encounter in the treestand or ground blind. I was watching a hunting show the other day where a lady couldn’t draw her bow back from a seated position when a buck walked up at 12 yards. It was a disaster! She had practiced from a standing position, but couldn’t handle drawing from a seated position in the treestand. Don’t let this be you. Whether you’re hunting from a treestand or ground blind, here’s 4 shooting positions you should practice before opening day.
Yes, this is a no-brainer. Shooting from a standing position is what most of us do all summer long. But what you need to consider is practicing beyond your normal flat-footed, shoulder width apart stance. Practice with your feet together, spread apart, and on uneven ground. Consider your treestand platform and how much room you have to work with as you prepare for the shot. Rarely will things be perfect in the heat of the moment. Learn to shoot regardless of how your feet are positioned and pointed.
As mentioned with the woman above, drawing your bow from a sitting position can surprise you. The back muscles used to make it happen will have to work a little extra when your legs and feet aren’t in play. This one comes back to bite countless treestand and ground blind hunters every year when they fail to practice the seated shot. Be sure to practice from a block or bucket, if not the actual stool or chair you’ll be using on the hunt.
The kneeling position can be one that provides a ton of flexibility while you’re hunting from a portable ground blind, or even a natural brush blind. In fact, I often ditch my ground blind chair when the shot opportunity arises so I can maneuver around for the best shot in the kneeling position. The kneeling position also allows you more flexibility when it comes to clearing the window and avoiding arrow contact with the blind. But it’s a shooting position that you need to practice. It may feel a little awkward at first, but with practice you’ll find this position to be a solid option that keeps you mobile in the moment of truth.
You can bet your family and neighbors will laugh at you when they see you practicing this one, but it’s a shooting position that you need to make sure you practice before opening day. This shooting position is primarily for the treestand hunter. Think about it – how many times have you found yourself crouching in the treestand to slip an arrow under that branch or brush you should have cleared out before season? This position often comes when the chaos unfolds in the treestand. The inability to be flexible and shoot from a crouching/squatting position can cost you big time. Be sure to practice this one. It’s a lot harder than you think. It’ll test your balance like no other shot will.
Shooting Positions You Should Practice – Conclusion
If you’ve been slack in practicing any of these four shooting positions, be sure to do so before opening day rolls around. Eliminate any surprises from your shot routine and you’ll be ahead of the game when the opportunity presents itself this year.
Have a great season – shoot straight!