Winter is here and many of us are stuck inside dreaming about bowhunting. For many bowhunters, winter is when we put our bow in the case and store it away until the weather warms up. The truth is, the winter can be a great time for a bowhunter to bring their archery skills to the next level. 


Winter is a great time to shoot small game. Shooting squirrels and rabbits with a bow is challenging and rewarding. If you are considering small game hunting with your bow during the winter, use a small game head like a judo point so if you miss the animal you are aiming at, the arrow will simply bounce off the ground or a tree and be easy to find. Small game hunting can help bowhunters fine tune their shooting skills. Aim small, miss small is certainly the case when bowhunting small game. Luckily, with the Adjustable Red Dot (ARD), it allows for shooting small game from straight up in a tree to down a hill with ease. This can happen because of our arc technology in our bow mount. By eliminating your peep sight and using the ARD, it allows for quick and simple target acquisition.  


Winter is a great time to join an archery league. Most towns have an archery club that offers a 3D or spot league in the winter. Several pro shops offer an indoor techno league where you can shoot at animals on a video screen. The goal of all of these leagues is to help bowhunters keep their shooting skills sharp during the off season. By joining a league you can perfect your form. For example, the ARD has a great feedback system to let you know if your form is off. If you are torquing the bow a little bit the dot will move or you simply cannot see the dot. Using a red dot on your bow will help you to perfect that form for the regular season. 


Another way to keep you using your bow in the off season is to test out new gear. Have you been considering purchasing a new bow? Now is a great time to do that. Have you considered buying new arrows, a new bow sight like the Adjustable Red Dot, or an arrow rest? Do it now so by the time hunting season rolls around, your new setup will be sighted in and ready for the woods. Researching new technology and looking at videos on YouTube are a great way to see what is out there. 


Winter is a great time to work on any bad shooting habits you have. Over the years, I have struggled with target panic. To overcome this problem, I would shoot into a target with my eyes closed. This is called blind bale shooting. When blind bale shooting, you stand 3 or 4 yards from a target and shoot. The goal of the exercise is to be close enough to the target that you don’t have to worry about missing the target even when your eyes are closed. With the worry of missing the target eliminated from your mind, you can shoot your bow with your eyes closed and focus on your shooting form, your hand grip, and slowly pulling the trigger on your release. 

Because your eyes are closed, every little detail of the shooting process can be slowly executed. Blind bale shooting helps me eliminate my target panic. I doubt I will ever really get over target panic. Blind bale shooting helps me reduce the impact it has on my shooting.

This practice will transition easily with an ARD set up on your bow. A red dot is a very intuitive way to shoot. A round scope allows your eyes to focus on your target without the stress and worry about peeps and pins. 

Most of us go stir crazy in the winter. Blind bale shooting, testing out new gear, and shooting in a league are great ways to stay involved in the wonderful sport of archery when bow season is still months away.