Punch It Like a Pro

How to shoot like a hunter— and hit your tar­get like a champ

Field and Stream - - F&S - By Dave Hurteau

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.

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