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How to keep target practice fun? Opinions? Tips?


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Okay, so I know that it happens to the best of us..... I put a bad shot on a nice 9 pointer last year and never found it. I have no excuse other than it was my fault completely. I didn't practice shooting nearly enough. I bought a new mathews bow before last season, sited it in, and maybe practiced shooting it three times. I know, I know, I should have shot more and practiced shooting from a stand instead of off the ground. But this year I have been shooting a lot every week. Anytime that I get, even if it is only 30 minutes, I have been shooting my bow. My pins are set at 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 yards. My groups are pretty good all the way up to 40 yards. I have been shooting off of the top of my shed that is 10ft-12ft high. Any tips on how to get tighter groups at 50 and 60 yards? Such as a better stabilzer? I currently have a cheap one on there. Also I have been getting kind of bored just shooting at the block target I have. What do you guys do to keep it fun? Is there any target courses around to shoot? I am located in salem county. Let me know! Thanks!

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 My groups are pretty good all the way up to 40 yards. I have been shooting off of the top of my shed that is 10ft-12ft high. Any tips on how to get tighter groups at 50 and 60 yards?


My farthest shot with a bow, in 35+ years of hunting, was 17 yards.  For me the challenge of bowhunting is getting close enough to make an easy shot, not trying to make a difficult shot.  Just my own personal opinion.    

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IMHO, there may be nothing you can do to get tighter groups at 40+ yards.  There are a considerable amount of variables that will cause your groups to get wider, and it's expected they will get wider at longer distances (think MOA for guns, same kind of concept, also known as the cone of uncertainty).


It's good knowledge that you have a tight, effective range out to 40-50 yards, and it should be one of the defining criteria on whether or not you take a shot.  If you can't group in the kill zone at that distance, it's not worth taking a shot and having it land badly.


To keep things interesting I play "around the world" with my target and the people I shoot with.  Set up 5 or so different spots in the yard and take one shot from each spot in a rotation.  I have about a 160° radius that I can shoot from between 15-35 yards at varying elevations.  Makes for a good competition with the kids and my hunting buddy.  It's also very helpful for those shots where the deer isn't accommodating and you need to understand shot placement for a quartering away/toward shot.  Also put the target right beneath you and see where the arrow placement goes.  Those are some of the harder shots when the deer is 5 yards away from you and you're 20' up a tree.

Sapere aude.


When you cannot measure, your knowledge is meager and unsatisfactory.

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Tips at shooting better groups at 60 yards?  Get 35 yards closer.  lol.  The farthest shot I've ever taken at a deer was 26 yards.  Another one was 22.  The rest were all under 20.  


Too much can go wrong between the time you release the arrow and the time that the arrow impacts the animal. 


Have you had your bow tuned by a reputable shop?  By that I mean, one of the 3-4 best places in the state?


In order to shoot better groups at longer distances when you practice, make sure you're doing everything exactly the same every single time you pick up the bow.  same foot positioning, same body positioning, same draw routine, same anchor points, same breathing, same release.  don't grip the bow too tightly or too loosely.  are all of your arrows exactly the same length and weight?  how do they spin?  have you weighed your points?  The list goes on and on... 

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