If you have followed any of my posts on conditioning, I talk often about varying different aspects of your workouts. Well, you can apply the same mentality to practicing with your bow. Vary your shooting stance, from standing, to sitting and everything in between. For example, kneel on one knee, two knees, two knees with your butt sitting on your heals, on one knee with the other straight out down hill (because you may be on a steep side-hill) or any other position you may find yourself in while hunting. I have shot the majority of my elk, and other big game, from my knees. This site is all about elk but I’m going to give you 4 good examples of different shooting positions I found myself while hunting bighorn sheep, that could very easily happen, and have happened, on elk hunts. I shot my desert ram at 35 yards, kneeling with my butt resting on my heals.
On my dall sheep I was standing, my stone sheep I was kneeling (tall if you will) on both knees, and my rocky mountain bighorn I was sitting flat on my rear-end, feet down hill! You never know what kind of position you may find yourself in. The best thing you can do is practice in all these positions and any others you may find yourself in. I typically shoot year-round. In the winter months I form-shoot with my eyes closed, concentrating on two things – being relaxed and calm at full draw, and squeezing the trigger. Another exercise that has helped my shooting is to draw-settle the pin on the bullseye, trying to burn a hole concentrating on it, then let down. I’ll do this several times, concentrating on two things – first being completely relaxed and calm, and second, pushing the pin to the bulls-eye and burning a hole with concentration. Word of caution! Be extremely careful with this exercise! As the hunting season gets closer I’ll carry my bow on workout hikes and practice shooting at sage or stumps while out of breath. Or I’ll do the above exercise of drawing and holding. Just remember it’s not the quantity of arrows you shoot, it’s the QUALITY, so make them all count!! These are just a few practice exercises I do that help prepare me for the upcoming elk season. Good Luck, Tony