Punch It Like a Pro
How to shoot like a hunter— and hit your target like a champ
Most competitive archers will tell you that to be really accurate, you need to fire the bow with back tension or at least a surprise release. But most bowhunters don’t shoot that way. By and large, we punch the trigger when the sight picture looks good—and we’ve all been told that’s the wrong way to shoot. But not by Gold Tip’s Tim Gillingham. “Don’t let anyone tell you that punching is a negative,” says the pro, who’s won every major 3D championship multiple times doing just that, though he calls it “command-style” shooting. “It can work really well in competition, and I think it’s the only way to shoot for hunting. A surprise release assumes you can hold perfectly steady on a stationary target, but that’s just not practical in the field.” In other words, you don’t have to change how you shoot. You can keep your current technique and shoot lights out with Gillingham’s practice regimen.
Get a release with a light trigger that breaks cleanly. Pull harder with your string arm to help slow the pin down. Shoot when the sight pin passes over the center of the bull.
Switch to a 3D buck ahead of hunting season.
Shoot paper at 5 yards to perfect form.
Work on sight picture at 10 to 20 yards.