Archery Talk: Proper Bow Fit by Bear Hunting's Jay Strangis

Archery Talk: Proper Bow Fit by Bear Hunting's Jay Strangis

June 22, 2010 - Joel

Most bear hunting is not about making long-range shots; it is about
picking a tiny patch of fur and putting the arrow on the spot while your heart is pumping madly. Assuming that
shots on bear will be close, some hunters underestimate the accuracy necessary to make a clean kill. Pieplate groupings at 20 yards are not good enough. When nerves are high and it is “game on,” we need to shoot baseball-sized groups at 20 yards. Nobody wants to trail a wounded bear into the bush.

Whether you are new to archery or have been in the sport for years, one of the best things you can do for your shooting is insuring your bow fits properly. You are going to be a much better shot at crunch time with a bow that fits. Looking back on my own shooting, I was years into the game beforerealizing my draw length was too long. This seems to be a common problem for many archers, one best recognized by frequent string slap on the forearm as well as only “fair” accuracy. Once I changed to bows with shorter draw length, my shooting improved dramatically.

Getting Fit
If you are new to the sport, we will assume that you have already determined which eye is dominant and whether you are a right or left hand shooter.

Let us also assume that you have chosen a bow with a draw weight that is comfortable for you. Now you need to determine your proper draw length. Checking draw length is not an exact science, because everyone is built differently.You may be 5´ 8˝, but have the arms of an ape, or you may be 6´ 2˝ with short arms (i.e. Payton Manning), so formulas based on height do not work. A better formula suggests
measuring “wingspan;” your outstretched arms from fingertip to finger tip then dividing that distance by 2.5. This should get you quite close.

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