by Trace Breen

Most bowhunters spend their summer evenings standing twenty or thirty yards from a target and  shooting. Although this type of practice is fun and can help you prepare for fall, there are several more realistic ways to get ready for deer season. Below are a few options to help you prepare your shooting for opening day.


  1. If you are a treestand hunter, spend some time shooting from a treestand. Shooting from the ground in your backyard is not the same as shooting from an elevated platform. When shooting from a treestand, you have to learn to bend at the waist and compensate for the angle of the shot. When shooting at a target on the ground, doing these things aren’t necessary. Putting a treestand up in your yard during the summer is a great option. The goal should be to get comfortable shooting from a tree so when the moment of truth arrives, your body and mind know what to do even if you have buck fever.


  1. If you bowhunt from the ground, chances are you hunt from a blind of some type. It makes perfect sense to spend some time during the preseason shooting from a blind. Most people hunt and shoot from a seated position when they bowhunt from blinds. Long before the season opens, I like to put a blind up and get comfortable shooting out of the windows. Sometimes I bowhunt from elevated Redneck Blinds. I like to bring a target with me in the field a month or so before the season and practice shooting from an elevated blind. Getting comfortable shooting from a variety of different types of blinds is always good.


  1. Almost every fall, I head out west and hunt elk, mule deer or antelope. When I am planning a western hunt, I try to practice shooting my bow from my knees. When I am doing a spot and stalk hunt or hunting over a water hole, I hunt from my knees to help keep me hidden when I am taking a shot. I practice shooting from this position during the summer so when September rolls around, I am ready.


  1. Very rarely do we get a perfect shot in the woods. Usually, there is a twig in the way, we have to hold at full draw longer then we would like, or we are forced to thread the needle through a small opening between two threes. To prepare for this, try stump shooting with judo points. Very few people do this anymore but it can help you fine tune your shooting skills in the woods which is where it matters most.

*This blog post was originally posted on morrelltargets.com