Traditional Archery: The One Arrow Advantage

News & Tips: Traditional Archery: The One Arrow Advantage...

OneArrowAdvantage SGblogWhen it comes to practicing with a traditional bow, there are two basic approaches. Some folks like to empty a quiver and shoot a group before walking up to the target and retrieving their arrows; others, myself included, prefer the one arrow method.

This means I stare down the target and shoot just one arrow at it. Whether the shot is good or bad, whether I'm stump shooting or 3D shooting, whether I'm flinging my arrow from a known or unknown range, I only shoot one. Then I retrieve it and do it again.

This seems simple but, truth is, there's a lot going on here and most of it is mental. That's because, once you figure out the mechanics of shooting a bow and how to hold for different ranges, archery (and all other shooting for that matter) is a mental game where the key to success is unwavering focus and consistency during the shot process.

The idea behind shooting one arrow is straightforward. You go into the shot knowing that you need to make it count. You don't get a do over; you can't adjust your aim on the next arrow — at least not immediately.

This thought forces you to take your time and really focus on the mental and physical shooting processes. Before I even nock an arrow, I've already visualized the shot sequence and estimated the sight picture needed for that range.

After the shot, during the walk up to the arrow, I'm analyzing what went right and what went wrong and the next time I step up to the shooting line, I try to do better.

And, eventually, you'll find that you do consistently better, even when it's the very first shot of the day. This breeds confidence each and every time you raise your bow, which has obvious benefits for the hunter since we can never warm up for the big game animal that we're hoping to arrow.

The other benefit is physical. That little break between shots allows your shooting muscles a bit of a rest, which means you can shoot more before fatigue sets in. Also, you walk a lot more, which is never a bad thing. For instance, shooting 100 arrows in a session whose average range is 20 yards means you are walking 40 yards for each shot — 20 there and 20 back. That equals 4,000 yards or over two miles of walking during practice. Sure, it's not strenuous walking but do that twice a day and your doctor will be happy.

Next time you string up your longbow or recurve, give this a try. You might find that one arrow makes all the difference to your confidence in the field.