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HELPFUL HINTS

Spot-Hogg is always looking for ways to help educate and inform archers. If you have any helpful hints you would like to see added please E-mail them to us along with your name and state to info@spot-hogg.com.
HOLD STEADY
This is a hint that was sent to us from Dustin Steiger - Warren, PA: In order to hold steadier, open you stance slightly and try to "lower" your bow arm shoulder. It helps to point your bow arm elbow toward the ground as much as possible -- if you open your stance a little you shouldn't twang your arm. Try to relax your shoulder as much as possible letting it seat back against your body. Let your skeleton do most of the holding if you can instead of you muscles -- YOUR SKELETON IS MUCH STRONGER! Relax your muscles as much as possible while still keeping the bow up -- you WILL hold steadier!!!
MENTAL ATTITUDE
After thoroughly developing your shot sequence, you should associate a positive or good feeling about it. Since our conscious mind can only focus on one thing at a time we want our subconscious mind to run our shot sequence for us. Our subconscious wants to please us, so by associating a good feeling with the perfect shot sequence, it reinforces our subconscious.
LEVEL OUT
Consistent left and right problems and inconsistent arrow flight, often can be traced back to inconsistent vertical alignment of the bow (canting the bow varying amounts). Having a level on you sight, that is part of your sight picture through the peep on every shot is the best way to practice and shoot. This is the only way consistent vertical alignment can be accomplished.
NAIL POLISH FOR YOUR REST
This is a hint that was sent to us from Chuck Schwarz: "Before you go out on opening day take some of your wife's colored fingernail polish (colored is used so you know how much you have put on) and paint a small layer of it onto your arrow rest. This will allow you to draw your bow in complete silence. There will be no metal to metal contact to make any noise, and no stupid shrink to fit stuff that is bothersome to use. You can get about 15 shots before you will need to repeat this. I've been doing this for years and have had great success. Try it.....it works."
BROADHEAD ACCURACY
Hunting season is almost here and it is time to get some practice in with the broadheads. As bow hunters, we should be more accurate with broadheads than with field points. This, however, requires that we do a considerable amount of practicing using broadheads. Try using a sand pile as your backstop and use cotton balls thrown on the sand pile as targets. Make sure there are no rocks in the sand pile. You'll have no problem pulling your arrows. You can shoot the sand pile with broadheads until you can't pull your bow back anymore and it still won't wear out. If you can hit the cotton balls, you'll have a great amount of confidence when in the field, pursuing game. Be sure to either sharpen or replace your blades before your hunt. The sand will dull them, but it's the easiest way to practice with broadheads and well worth the effort it takes to replace or sharpen blades.
THE HUNTERS AND THE HUNTED
When in the woods hunting, be very cautious of wild animals that may be hunting you. Especially cougars, they are extremely dangerous and do not make a sound when they are stalking you. Be aware of your surroundings!
NOCKS
Avoid using arrows that use a taper for installing the nock. Use arrows where the nock is inserted. Like Easton's UniNock. Your arrow grouping will be a lot better.
WARM-UPS
When warming up for a practice session shoot your first couple of ends standing just a few feet away from the target buts so that you can hit them with your eyes closed. Close your eyes to shoot these arrows and feel your form. This will help build muscle memory so you can execute the shot the same every time.
BETTER ACCURACY
You can increase the accuracy of your shot by having the bow sit on your thumb pad rather than running down the middle of your hand. There are many tendons in the middle of your hand that can affect your shot. Your thumb pad has very few tendons, therefore increasing your accuracy.
You should also have your fingers loosely curved around your bow; any stiffness in your fingers can also affect the shot.
DRAW LENGTH
Proper draw length is extremely important when it comes to precision shooting. 1/4 even 1/8 of and inch can make a big difference in your form. To find the exact draw length that is right for you, you will have to shoot several practice sessions using different draw lengths. By recording the results of these practice sessions, you will find a draw length that is not only comfortable but one that produces the tightest groups. An easy way to vary the draw length of your bow without having to retune your bow each time is to use a "D loop". They are easy to replace and by varying the length of the "D loop" you can effectively change the draw length or your bow up to 1 1/2 inches.
LOCK THE GUARD
Putting a 5/16 serrated washer where your cable guard attaches to your bow, helps to keep your cable guard from coming loose and moving on you.
DONT BLINK
Don't blink your eye's when you shoot. Blinking is a form of flinching and it will cause you to miss the spot
FOCUS ON THE TARGET
When aiming take note of what your eye is focusing on. The target? Your pin or scope? Try to teach your eye to stay focused on one thing throughout the shot. The eye has a tendency to change what it focus's on through the course of the shot. This can confuse our brain and subconscious. The result being no clear message sent to our shooting muscles, which can turn into what is commonly called, "TARGET PANIC"!
NOCK HEIGHT
Monitor your nocking point height, by measuring from your nock to you peep sight. This will give you a reference point to check, if your bow changes, also lets you know if you nocking point has moved.
Here at Spot~Hogg we have just experienced some Carbon extreme 3-d arrows from Game tracker Archery. We fletched up a 1/2 dozen and came to the conclusion that, so far, these are the best arrows we've tested. They are grouping in sizes of nickels and pennies. These arrows are wonderful!
If you find that your arrows are not grouping, try rotating the nock so that your next vane or feather becomes your cock vane or feather. Shoot the arrow again and see if it groups better. It is possible that the seam of the arrow or high spine of the arrow is the cause.
YEAR ROUND PRACTICE
Find or organize an indoor league to participate in during the winter months. You'll have fun with other archers and improve your shooting skills.
DONT BE TOUCHY
Touching your face with the bowstring can cause string deflection, which in turn can cause inaccuracy depending on the amount of applied pressure. It is best not to touch the string to any part of your body.
ARROW CONSISTENCY
The indoor season is upon us. If you want to shoot a 300 on a Vegas face, or 60 X's on the NFAA indoor round, then you need to find out if every arrow you are using will hit the exact same hole. One arrow, which may be only 1/2" off, will cost you points in this kind of precision shooting. Find a dealer near you with a Hooter Shooter and shoot all your arrows through it. Tune your arrows so they all use the same arrow hole at 20 yards or 18 meters. If an arrow can not be tuned to hit the same hole as your other arrows, set it aside and use only the ones that use the exact same hole.
SANDBAG PRACTICE AT CAMP
Take a couple of bags of sand, which come in bags made of paper, to your hunting camp. These make an excellent practice target for broadheads. As your broadheads cut the paper of the bag you are left with a pile of sand to shoot into. This will stop your broadheads and the arrow can be easily removed. This will dull the blades on your broadheads so replace or sharpen the blades on the arrow or arrows you will be using to shoot animals. Leave the blades on the rest of your arrows so you can shoot a few shots each day at camp to stay tuned up.