Bowhunting Tip: Perfecting the Sitting Position

News & Tips: Bowhunting Tip: Perfecting the Sitting Position...

PerfectingSittingPosition blogLast year while sitting in a natural ground blind with longbow in hand, a young whitetail buck approached cautiously, until he was broadside at 7 yards. I waited, with heart pounding double-time for that one moment every bow hunter dreams of — the moment when he would quarter away with head obstructed.

Seconds later, it happened.

But instead of shooting my longbow from that sitting position, and therefore minimizing my movement, I foolishly decided to stand slowly so I could shoot from a position I was far more confident in. It would have worked too, as the little buck's view of me was obstructed by a boulder. But, unfortunately, my 51-year-old knees cracked audibly as I stood and that buck raised his head in a flash, looked at me and tore off like he had hellhounds on his tail.

Ever since then, I've been reminded of the importance of shooting from a sitting position. Because of this, I now practice shooting from that position regularly. (I used to do it on occasion.)

The transition from standing to sitting might not seem like such a big deal but, as always, the devil is in the details. The first thing you need to take note of is limb tip clearance from the ground or from your tree stand if you are practicing from one. This might or might not be an issue depending on your bow's limb length, your height, your tree stand's design or the height of the chair you are sitting on. If you are sitting with your back against a tree on the ground, it certainly needs to be considered.

In most cases, any issues can be mitigated by simply canting your bow until clearance is assured.

I find that balance is also a bit of an issue when I'm seated. It's not that I'm really off-balance, it's more like I don't have that sturdy platform a good wide open stance provides. It's steady enough, of course, but it does take some getting used to.

Lastly, you need to figure out your best position. Some archers shoot with their knees together and shoulders lined up to the target. The bow is drawn beyond the knee that's closest to the target. Others find it easier to face the target, open their knees right up for a solid stance and draw between the two knees. Try both ways and determine what works best for you.

The point here is that being competent from a sitting position takes a bit of experimentation and lots of practice. But, in the end, it is an ultimately useful skill especially with turkey season rapidly approaching. So, get out there and make this a significant part of your practice routine. As always, practice hard and learn your limitations. Oh, and if you are my age, maybe oil those creaky joints too.