Should I Take the Shot? How to Figure Out Your Maximum Bow Range

A big part of bow hunting is knowing your maximum bow range.

What is a legitimate test to discover your maximum bow range? Before you would consider that 40 yard shot you should be able to produce four-inch groups at 40 yards. That is 4 arrows in a 4 inch circle at 40 yards every time.

Your shooting ability should be based on your worst groups on your worst day. In other words if you ever put an arrow outside a 4 inch circle at any distance you should not consider that your maximum bow range. This may seem harsh but most bow hunters skills are drastically reduced in real hunting conditions. Are you as good on game as you are on paper? Do you practice in awkward positions with your hunting clothes on? What about shooting your bow with an elevated heart rate? Your 4 inch groups will probably be more like 8 inches in the field!

Tips to help you extend your maximum bow range.

  1. Practice most of the time at ranges well beyond your comfort zone. If most of the time you practice at 60 yards, your 40 yard shot will feel like a chip shot.
  2. Practice in hunting clothes, gloves, hats and face masks from awkward positions. Positions used in the field.
  3. Focus on the alignment of your bow and watch the bubble level on the sight. Proper alignment is crucial for distance shooting.
  4. Follow through. At short distance you can get away with bad habits but at long distances, form is crucial. Relax your grip and try to remain motionless until the arrow hit’s the target.

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