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    How to Make a Simple Archery Target

    Archery targets come in all shapes and sizes as well as different materials. These however can become pretty costly. The good thing is, is that you can build a target out of inexpensive materials and it takes hardly anytime at all.

    1. What you need to do is get a hold of a burlap sack(coffee bean sacks work very well), it should be about 2.5 ft in width and 3.5 ft in height.

    2. Next you’re going to need about 15-20lbs of rags/old clothing. If your wondering where to get these you can go to a thrift store, 2nd hand store, salvation army store etc and if they receive clothing that is in too rough of shape to sell then they throw it out.

    3.Take the rags and stuff that bag until it is just below the top of the bag, making sure that you get as many rags as possible in there.

    4. Take the top of the bag and seal it. You can do this by threading small rope through the holes of the bag. And there you have it your very own target.

    It’s important to note that this target is only good for field points and will not be able to handle any kind of broadheads, including expandable.

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    Archery Tips – Improving your Shot Accuracy


    Accuracy is a major part of archery, whether you’re a beginner or an advanced shooter. Archers are always trying to improve their accuracy in order to get better penetration, and of course to get bragging rights.

    You see it with company ads all the time. They come out with these sights and rests that have been “designed with the archer in mind”; Guaranteed to make you more accurate.

    Well that’s great that the equipment is good and promotes accuracy but what good is accurate equipment, if your inaccuracy is due to your inconsistent form. In this article I am going to give you 3 pointers that will help you to improve your form and therefore improve your overall shot accuracy.

    The first pointer and probably the most important is that you need an Anchor point, I cannot stress this enough. If you take anything from this article take this pointer. It alone will improve your accuracy a great deal. When you draw your bow and are at full draw you have to find at least two points; one where you can anchor the string and two where you can anchor your hand EVERY time you draw your bow.

    When I’m shooting my first anchor point is putting my index knuckle behind my ear lobe, and my second anchor point is putting the string on the tip of my nose. In doing this I am guaranteeing that every time I shoot my bow I am going to be consistent therefore improving my shooting consistency and accuracy.

    The second pointer is your stance, yes your stance does play a major role in your shot accuracy. When shooting at a target you want to be standing so that your side is pointing at the target.

    Your feet should be pointing perpendicular to the target and should be a little less than shoulder width apart. The reason you want to stand this way is because it allows for the greatest stretch, so you can reach the full draw potential, and helps you to avoid letting the string creep forward on you before you let go, giving you the maximum speed from your bow.

    The third pointer is your grip. The way you grip the bow has a big effect on where the arrow will end up. Grip can be broken down into 2 factors; the strength of the grip and the way the hand is wrapped around the bow handle.

    When shooting your bow the best way to hold your bow is to put the center of the handle running down the muscle right under your thumb. You then want to place your 4 finger tips on the front of the handle (see Avoid Getting Stung by your Bow for pictures).

    When you grip the bow you want to grip it just hard enough to keep it in your hand. The most common problem with gripping it tightly is that you tend to torque(twist) your bow either left or right and that causes the arrows flight pattern to be erratic, ending in missing the mark you aimed for.

    Following these pointers will no doubt have you shooting more accurately and consistently than ever before. Now it does take a little while to get used to these pointers as most of us have to break our old habits and it also takes lot of practice to master true proper form but when you do finally get it you’ll be shooting like a pro.

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    3 Ways to Reduce Hand Vibration and Noise

    Every archer at one time or another has experienced some sort of hand vibration or noise coming from their bow after shooting it. Its an issue that isn’t all that serious but does get quite bothersome, especially for those of us who hunt. There are a few things that cause this vibration and noise that we will discuss.

    Loose Hardware: One of the biggest causes of noise and vibration is loose equipment, mainly the sight and rest. If these items are the least bit loose they will vibrate when the bow is shot and make noise. To find out if anything is loose, take your finger and tap the sight and rest with your finger.

    If there is a vibrating tinging noise then simply tighten down the bolts a bit, making sure not to over-tighten them as the riser is only aluminum and strips very easily. If everything is tightened and the noise persists you may also want to get little cushion buttons and place them on the items that are making the noise.

    Limb: vibration: When the bow is fired the limbs create energy as they return to their original position. This creates hand shock in the handle and creates a punching sound. There are ways of greatly reducing both of these by putting Limb Savers on the limbs. When the limbs return to their starting position the shock will be dissipated through the silencers instead of the bow. I would recommend the Ultra LimbSaver – Ultra Solid Limb for a solid limb and the Sims Vibration Laboratory LimbSaver Super Quad Vibration Dampeners for split limbs. The other way to help get rid of overall vibration caused by the limbs and other equipment is to get yourself a good stabilizer, I would highly recommend using the Sims Vibration Laboratory LimbSaver S-Coil Stabilizer

    Bow String Vibration: The string when released will actually go past its original starting place and vibrate until it is at rest. This does cause vibration and noise as well. The way we fix this is to get string silencers. These are made of a rubber material and the fit in between the string or around the string and as the string vibrates back and forth these silencers absorb the energy and silence the string.

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    When to Change Your Bow String


    As you probably already realize your bow string is an essential part of the bow, because lets face it if there is no string then there is no possibility of shooting. It would be like a car without a motor.

    That being said it is very important that you keep an eye on the condition of the string so as to make sure that it will deliver the best performance possible. The most common questions I hear are: “when should you change the string and cable”, “what could I do to prolong the life of the string/cable”, “and what do I do if the string breaks.”

    Now first of all I just want to state for those of you who aren’t very familiar with the bow. The purpose of the string is to pull on the cams causing them to rotate. As the cams rotate they pull on the cables which are attached to the ends of the limbs of the bow. As the cables are pulled their length shortens causing the limbs of the bow to bend, this is what produces the energy within the limbs.

    WHEN SHOULD YOU CHANGE YOUR STRING

    Ok so let’s start of with the first question “when should the strings be changed”. Well what you need to do is simply look at the condition of the string. What you’re going to be looking for are badly frayed sections, or broken strands on the main part, and on the part that rides on the cams. There is also going to be areas of the string that have serving on it. When you see this serving coming undone or badly spreading apart it is time to change the string.

    Also pay attention to the draw-length of your bow because as a string ages it becomes stretched out and this in turn lengthens the draw of your bow causing the draw to become too long. This however does not always mean you need to replace the string more often than not you can bring it to a repair shop and they can put some twists in the string to shorten it back up.

    HOW CAN YOU PROLONG THE LIFE OF YOUR STRING

    How can I prolong the life my string?, there are a few suggestions that I would make to you. The first is to get a hold of some bowstring wax. You can buy it at almost any archery retailer or repair shop. I have used almost every wax out there and I would strongly recommend the new Dalton High-Speed Bow Wax Conditioner it goes on very smooth and absorbs into the string very well.

    When you first receive your new string it will be pre-waxed but as your bow is introduced to the outdoor elements in time this wax wears off, and that’s when you’ll notice the string begin to fray. At this point your going to want to get that wax (it usually comes in a cylinder) and put some on the string.

    Then take a rag and rub it up and down the string to heat the wax up so that it is able to soak into the string. Doing this will tremendously increase the life of your string.

    Another thing I would suggest doing is to store your bow in a dry place, leaving it in the back of your truck or in a place where there is a lot of moisture really breaks the string down. If you have been out hunting and it has been raining or snowing and your string is wet, or dirty. Take a cloth and wipe it down to make sure that the dirt and the water are gone.

    This will more than likely cause the wax on your string to become thin or may just wipe it off so you then take your wax out and re-apply the wax to your string. This will ensure that the string stays dry and that the dirt will not cause excessive wear to your string.

    The last suggestion I have for you is to get yourself a string loop. I’ve seen it all too many times. The string will be in good condition except for where the release pulls back on the string. When the bow is drawn there is a huge amount of pressure on the release and this quickly causes wear on the bowstring. So to solve that problem a lot of archers now are switching to a string loop, which is nothing more than a piece of string that attaches to the bowstring both above and below the knocking point of the bowstring. This forms a loop in which you put your release on and use the loop to draw with instead of the string.

    WHAT DO I DO IF THE STRING BREAKS

    To be honest you want to avoid this at all costs. But if your string does break you will undoubtedly have to bring your bow into a repair shop to get serviced. What happens when the string on a bow breaks could result in a couple different scenarios the first being that the string snaps and the cables are strong enough to keep the bow held down (applies only to dual cam bows), in which case place your bow immediately into your hard case and hurry yourself into a repair shop to get the bow serviced before the cables snap as well.

    The other scenario(applies to solo-cam and dual cam), if you’re not so lucky and both the string and cables break, your bow limbs will shoot forward more than likely causing the bow to jump out of your hands. With the limbs shooting forward so fast this could ultimately cause them to break, or crack. It could also cause the axles and cams to bend or break. This is a very, very costly scenario; that you can avoid by staying aware and taking care of your string and cables.

    *NOTE* In the paragraph above I make mention of cables, most bows have strings and cables they do different jobs but all of the rules with the strings apply for the cables as well.

    Taking care of your bow and using these guidelines to keep your strings and cables healthy and performing their best will not only save you a lot of money and headaches but will also make sure that the next time you draw your bow on an animal or target that you don’t end up having to pick up pieces of your bow as you watch your trophy animal get away.

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    Tree Stand Safety – Don’t let This Hunting Season be your Last

    Tree stands are a very useful invention that has helped archers all over get more animals, however; every year there are 1000’s of people hurt and even some killed while using a tree stand. This is an ever growing issue as people buy tree stands and fail to get familiar with it or read the instructions on how to use them. So to help make sure that you greatly reduce your chances of getting hurt or worse, here are some safety precautions to keep in mind that will help keep you safe.

    There are many different tree stand company’s and a wide range of tree stand designs. It is not advised to buy a second hand tree stand off of somebody without first checking it over. Make sure you check it for any damage or excessive wear. Check for cracks or bends that do not belong there. If you’re looking for information as to how different tree stands perform there is a wealth of information on hunting forums or other hunting websites. Almost all manufacturers will be more and glad to answer any questions you may have about their stands.

    READ THE INSTRUCTIONS

    As men most of us know very little of the term Instructions. For most of us when we get new things the first thing we do is take out the product and throw the rest away. Well for those of us who are guilty of that, in this case reading that piece of paper or booklet called the instructions could keep you from spending hours in the hospital or save your life.

    The first thing you should do after purchasing a new tree stand is to read the instructions till you fully have an understanding of them. If you know someone that uses that same stand have them help you familiarize yourself with the new tree stand.

    CHOOSING THE RIGHT TREE

    choosing the right tree to hang a tree stand is just as important as knowing how to use the stand properly. The ideal trees to look for have strong, straight trunks, with no dead tops or limbs that could fall and injure a hunter from the wind. Trees with medium-rough bark such as oaks hold stands very well. Rough bark trees such as hickory, or smooth bark like birch trees can cause the stands to slip. Your tree stand should be put at a height of 12 to 18 feet as this is adequate for most hunting scenarios.

    BE AWARE OF YOUR FOOTING:

    You should always make sure the steps or ladder leading to the stand itself are free of snow and ice. Ladders and steps can usually be cleaned off by a gloved hand. The steps or rungs of the ladder should be coated with some no slip tape to provide you with a better and safer surface to work with. The floor of the tree stand should also be clear of snow and ice to ensure a proper footing(it wouldn’t hurt to put non slip tape on it as well).

    SAFETY BELT/HARNESS

    Basically put hunting without a safety belt and harness is just asking for trouble , you may get lucky a few times but you will end up getting hurt. Safety Belts and Harnesses are NOT an option for tree stand hunters they are a NECESSITY. Many stands come new with belts and harnesses supplied in the box that the tree stand comes in.

    Today’s belts and harnesses come in a variety of designs in order to fit your hunting style and preference. You need to read the instructions that are included with your safety harnesses/belts and be familiar with the proper use of each of them. I can tell you right now that 18 feet in the air is no place to learn how to use them.

    When buying your tree stand be sure to look for the Tree stand Manufacturers Association sticker. Always familiarize yourself with your new tree stand at ground level before using it out in the woods. Always learn what your new tree stands strengths and limitations are.

    If you can, always try to use a full body harness. If you must use a safety belt make sure it is strapped right at your underarms and not your waist. The attachment of your belt or harness around the tree should be above you and around the main trunk of the tree. There is no need to have to have the belt/harness so tight that you can’t move, make sure that there is enough slack to allow you to move easily and yet not too much to be unsafe.

    When installing ladder stands, or even using a ladder make sure that it is on level ground and that the ladder/stands are safely tied to the trunk of the tree to prevent them from shifting or falling over.

    ALWAYS use a safety restraint while putting up your tree stand. They make the job a whole lot easier and safer. You will also want to inspect both the stands and safety gear before each use for flaws and damage that could have occurred.

    Always use a rope to hoist and lower your bow and equipment up to stand once you are settled in and ready this will leave you with both hands for climbing and will cut down on the chance of you hurting yourself with your weapon. Never modify a commercially made stand or safety device. It was designed that way because it produces the optimal performance.

    All in all this is nothing more than common sense, even though today its not very common but if you use it it will make your hunting trip and experience a lot safer and enjoyable.

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    Will Shooting without a Peep Sight Benefit you?

    A vast majority of archer’s today whether hunters or competitive shooters use peep sights. Basically for those of you who don’t know what that is, it is a doughnut looking piece of plastic that fits in between the string so that when you draw the bow you have a specific hole to look through and aim. While this method works very well and has been in use for years there are a few things about peep sights that may start you thinking about going peep-less.

    You may be thinking I’m crazy right now and don’t worry I felt the same way when I was told I should try it. I had been shooting for over 5 years with a peep and the sudden notion that I should try going without it seemed like a pretty crazy idea. Needless to say I switched and to be absolutely honest I would NEVER go back to using a peep.

    Let me explain to you why this is, you see after shooting with a peep for so long and then switching to peep-less you begin to realize the advantages of doing such, as it eliminates two of the problems that come with a peep.

    The biggest problem I found when shooting with a peep was that frequently the peep would twist and move as the string started to stretch and wear, or even in temperature changes. For those of you who are new to this sport this may not sound like a big issue but imagine pulling up on an animal or target and at full draw you go to aim and your peep sight has twisted so that your staring at the side of it or on an angle rendering your ability to aim useless. Its actually quite frustrating. Moving to peep-less completely takes that problem away as there is no more peep to twist or move.

    The next problem I found I would sometimes run into was that with only being able to use one eye it restricts the detail of your view especially as it becomes darker. As it becomes darker the amount of light that enters that little hole is dropped quite a bit and it really becomes much harder for your one eye to be able to focus on the intended target. Using only one eye to aim really kills your depth perception as well.

    Although peeps weigh very little when they are eliminated from the bowstring there is a noticeable change in the amount of vibration and speed in the bow. For example a small peep sight will take away anywhere from 3-5fps and that is without the tube to keep it from turning, while a bigger peeps with the elastic tube could take as much as 8-10fps away.

    The biggest thing to remember when going peep-less is FORM,FORM,FORM. The reason for this is that there is no longer a hole that you can line up with your eye to let you know that you are aiming with the form that you sighted in with. For this reason you must develop an anchor point that you can repeat every time you draw your bow. For me I have 2 anchor points one is putting my index knuckle behind my ear lobe and the second one is resting the string on the tip of my nose.

    By doing this I know that every time I draw my bow I will have the same form. Going peep-less is not in the least bit necessary. Its going to be one of those things that you either like it or you don’t. But its definitely something I would suggest even just to try, you never know it may just be what you need to improve your shooting.

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    How to Determine your Drawlength

    Determining your draw-length is a crucial part of archery. If you have a bow that is too long or short in draw-length your shot will be negatively affected. It is a very easy process to find your draw-length and I will show you in these next few steps.

    1. What you need is an arrow shaft with no point on it.

    2. Get a tape measure and mark lines on the arrow for every inch after 15″.

    3. When you have finished marking the arrow, your going to take the arrow and place the back end of it in the part of your neck just above your collar bone.

    4.Then extend both of your arms until they are at a comfortable length. Make sure you do not try to stretch your arms out for added length you just want it so that your arms are stretched to a comfortable length.

    5.Record the results of your measurement.

    This measurement represents your “true draw-length” However when purchasing a bow you need a bow that will be 1″ less than your “true draw”.  Knowing this measurement will ensure that you get a bow that not only fits you but has the potential to maximize your shooting potential.

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    How to Determine your Dominant Eye

    Just like hunting with a gun, in archery you will need to determine which eye is your dominant eye for shooting a bow.  This is a very simple yet effective tutorial that will teach you how to easily determine your dominant eye.

    1. Make a triangle with both of your hands by overlapping your thumbs and the top half of your fingers.

    2 Put your arms out in front of you and pick a target in the distance to look at

    3 Look through the triangle made by your hands and look at the target.

    4 Keep your hand-triangle small enough so that only one eye will be able to look through it when your hand has reached your face.

    5 Keep both eyes open throughout this procedure.

    6 Move your hands back to your face, still looking at the target through your hands. Make note as to which eye you find your hands gravitating towards.

    7 Just to make sure you can repeat the process, holding the triangle at arms distance again and closing your non-dominant eye. The target should remain centered in the opening.

    The result will be your dominant eye which means that this is the eye that you will be aiming with when shooting your bow.

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    What you Should Know Before Buying a Bow


    So your looking at purchasing your first bow, or even a new bow. You walk into the store with really no idea as to what you’re getting or what to even look for. Naturally you walk over to the archery section and head for the section of bows. You get up to the isle and notice that there are dozens of different bows from different companies. You start picking up different bows that appeal to you and you look down at the prices and you just can’t help getting a sense of helplessness as to what to buy.

    Just as you place a bow back on the rack, from around the corner the salesperson comes strolling up to you and starts trying to work his magic. An hour goes by and the next thing you know your walking out of the store with your new bow and all the accessories to that go along with it, still not knowing completely what you just bought or how to use it.

    If this has happened to you then your not alone, but after reading this article you should have a better knowledge about what to look for when purchasing a bow. The first thing that I want you to know is that although the old saying “You get what you pay for” still stands it is not always true. You’ll notice that with big names just as any other product you’re paying for that name.

    To help with this there are a couple of things you can do. The first would be to look at forums and customer reviews of the different bows out there, to gain a general knowledge of what companies to go with and which ones to stay away from, the more you know about bows the less of a chance your going to buy one that is unreliable. The second thing you can do and should not even think twice about it is to try the bow before you buy it. This will give you a feel for the bow and it will also let you know how it shoots.

    I cannot stress this second point enough “BOWS ARE NOT A ONE SIZE FITS ALL”. I have seen it way too many times where a person will go into a store and he/she will be sold a bow and the bow will be way too short or way too long for them and they are unable to remain consistent or even hurt themselves.

    Before purchasing any bow, you need to find out your true draw-length and your bow has to have a draw-length of 1″ less than your true draw. If you have purchased a bow that is too short or too long, most bows have modules that will govern the draw-length of the bow. They are not usually very expensive and you can usually get them from anyone that owns a archery store, or deals in archery equipment.

    Within the last couple of years the world of bows has taken a turn towards a new system called vertical limb technology. What this means is that the limbs of the bow are on more of a horizontal plane in relation to the riser of the bow. Why is this important when buying a bow, well this new technology stops the bow from wanting to jump forward after being shot. This in turn reduces the amount of vibration and movement in the bow, giving you a smoother more comfortable shot.

    The reason this works is because the older bows have limbs that are more upright when the bow is drawn the limbs bend back and upon release the limbs shoot back forward causing a forward jump of the bow. This new technology when released instead of both limbs being thrown forward, both limbs are thrown in opposite directions therefore the energy cancels each other out; eliminating the jump.

    If you’re a hunter than another feature to look for is let-off. This is the amount of weight that is taken off the pull of the bow at full draw expressed as a percentage. So lets say you have a 60lb bow that has 85% let-off, at full draw you would be holding a total of 9lbs of weight. This feature is definitely nice to have when your sitting there in the cold with your bow drawn back waiting for that desired shot on the animal.
    Generally speaking the best tip of advice is to simply do your homework before buying a bow. Bows are fairly expensive and the last thing you want is to purchase something that you can’t even effectively use.

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    The Importance of Paper Tuning your Bow

    Bow tuning is not very commonly practiced by a majority of bowhunters. This is more than likely due to the fact that it is fairly time consuming and does take a bit of knowledge to do. Some archers are under the impression that if they go out and buy the most expensive rest and sight that this will help them to avoid having to tune their bows. Unfortunately it will not work like this.

    It MAY lessen the frequency of tuning you have to do but you will still have to tune your bow. Tuning your bow is just the act of basically moving your rest up/down/left/right so as get your arrow flying out of the bow as smoothly as you can.

    Tuning your bow is not necessary but it is recommended for a few reasons. Tuning your bow not only helps to improve your shooting and reduces the amount of wear to your equipment but also keeps your arrow shooting as straight as possible.

    Now you may be asking yourself does it really make that big of a difference, well let me assure you that it does and could mean the difference between getting your trophy animal and kicking your self in the behind for missing. Let me explain what I mean.

    An arrow that flies from a none tuned bow will most definitely have a wobble in the back of the arrow, now that wobble may not be serious enough to hurt your shot a great deal on a calm day but lets throw some wind in there and you have yourself a huge chance of that wobble becoming worse as it is caught by the wind. The wobble also creates more wind drag that will slow your arrow down causing less penetration.

    An arrow that is shot from a bow that is not tuned has 4 possible outcomes these are that the arrow will either be kicked out so the back of the arrow is pointed down, up, to the right or left. This plays a huge role on how your arrow will fly and how it will hit and enter your target.

    For example if your arrow is kicked out and the back of the arrow is pointing downward the arrow will try to stabilize as much as it can before hitting the target but more times than not when the arrow hits the target the arrow will be going in on an angle, which greatly reduces the penetration of the arrow. Paper tuning makes tuning a bow a whole lot easier and less painful as it serves as a visual aid so that you can see how your arrow is flying from your bow.

    When the arrow goes through the paper if it is not going straight in, it will actually make a tear in the direction that the back of the arrow is pointed. This will take the guessing work out of tuning your bow and cut the time down as well.

    So whether your a competition shooter or a hunter you will benefit greatly by spending an hour or so tuning your bow to guarantee your arrows are flying straight. If you would like to know exactly how to paper tune your bow look in our tutorial section.

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