Archery Elk – Gear for the Hunt | 052 MAC Outdoors Podcast

This week Mia and Lea wrap up the series about the archery elk hunting season with a review about the gear they use. Hear about the gear that helped or hindered the archer during her hunt. You will get the inside scoop on calling in elk and many other pieces of gear you don’t want to miss.

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The dynamic mother/daughter duo share their hunting, shooting, and outdoor adventures. You’ll find tips, tricks, lessons, and tales from the trail. Mia is a mom, hunting guide, writer, and vlogger who lives on a ranch in Colorado. Her daughter, Lea, also a guide, is a passionate young hunter who’s in the second year of her college journey. TUNE IN because you never know what obstacles and inspiration they’ll encounter as they head outside for new adventures.

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Practice Doesn’t Always Make an Archer Perfect

There are times when we spend a ton of time practicing and don’t see perfection. Becoming an accurate archer doesn’t just mean you need to practice, it means you need to practice correctly. I practice quite a bit. As a matter of fact, I’m an instructor and spend time analyzing other people’s shots and giving them tips. For the most part, I’m consistently accurate.

With hunting season looming, demoing new bows, sights, increasing draw weights and attempting to cram in practice times, I’ve become anxious, and it’s showing in my practice.

“Practice doesn’t make perfect if you’re doing it wrong.”

The above quote is 100% true. In my last two practice sessions, I’ve continued to make a mistake. It’s one that so many people ask about. “I keep punching the trigger. How do I stop?”

How do we become perfect, or at least get close to it?


As with any problem, the first step is to acknowledge it. I knew what I was doing, but continued to do it through two practices.

If you continue to do the same thing, you’ll continue to get the same results. On day one, I knew I was anxious while I was shooting. I knew I needed to step back. I knew I needed to reevaluate and stop punching the trigger. I stepped away and left the task until tomorrow, hoping I’d relax and return to my normal shooting groove.

On day two, I stepped up to the line and realized no relaxation had magically appeared. The punching persisted, and the more I attempted to resist, the more it occurred.

How do you stop punching the trigger?

I know exactly how to stop punching the trigger (Without switching to a thumb release). I made up my mind and told myself I needed to go back to the basics and rebuild my crumbled shooting foundation. Even though this is only two practice sessions, I cannot accept practicing a technique (or lack of technique) that’s incorrect and obviously not working.

Remember the basics:

  • A balanced stance with my feet about shoulder width apart. Open the forward toe 45 degrees toward the target, for added stability.
  • A relaxed draw hand with the release snugged down, not too tight, on my wrist.
  • A soft grasp with the bow hand centered on the grip.
  • Consistent pre-draw routine. In this case, holding the bow in front of me, pointing toward the target. Keep my eye on the kill zone. Remember the slight crook in the bow arm, and a relax the draw arm after attaching the release to the loop.
  • A smooth draw. Keeping my eye on the target, I raise the bow so the sight is also on target. With my draw arm, I pull the string toward my face and reach my anchor point.
  • Use that consistent anchor point. Anchor points vary from archer to archer, but for each individual, it better be the same each time they draw their bow.
    The following are key areas where anticipation, target panic or punching can originate:
  • Put my sight on target. I have my bow arm extended toward the target and hold steady.
  • Set up for the shot. Continue to keep your sight and eyes on the target. Consciously identify and maintain your muscle activity. Continue your strength through your wrists, arms, shoulders and on through your back.
  • Touch the release. As you continue the muscle movement, through the back, use the back tension to cause your trigger finger to touch the trigger.
  • The ever important follow through. The back tension causes the draw hand to fall rearward. The energy released from the bow causes the arrow to fly and the bow to fall forward.

After returning to the basics, the shots become more consistent, and the arrows hit the ten-ring. The muscle memory I’ve worked so hard to develop appeared and consistency appeared again.

I mentioned the last four points are key areas where target panic, or punching, surface. That’s because we often put effort into looking at the target and where the arrow is going to hit, rather than the technique required to make it get there.

Isn’t it amazing, what we can do when we step back and assess ourselves? If you go back to the basics, you may realize where the breakdown is. Once we’ve identified that, those arrows will be smoothly sailing.

Have you ever had to re-analyze your set up or shot? Tell me about it.

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Archery – 5 Ways to Improve Your Shot | Mia’s Motivations

Do you have ever shoot a really nice group and then one arrow end up way off base? Maybe you’re still working on a tight arrow grouping. Today I was at the archery range, and I thought I better remind a couple of my friends about some of the basics. Forgetting these attributes could be the cause of your loose groupings.How-to-improve-your-arrow-grouping-Mia-Anstine-Motivations

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One of the most important things, when shooting your bow, is your stance. This is so important because it’s your foundation. You need to have a good foundation in order to consistently make accurate shots.

I like to practice out at the 3D range, where the ground is uneven. There are areas where you’re not exactly flat or square. This is definitely somewhere you need to practice if you to archery hunt or if you plan to shoot 3D competitions If your stance is off balance or you’re not square, your arrows are going to fly off target.

Make sure you are consistent with your grip. Always rest the spine of the grip in the same spot. Grip to tight and your arrow will soar to the right, if you’re right-handed and opposite, if you’re left-handed. You also want to make sure that your elbow is turned out. Definitely don’t lock out, and don’t drop it down or you’ll get slapped with a string

Trigger Pull
Your back tension, when you draw your bow should cause you to touch the trigger, thus releasing your arrow.  Be sure to use this, to cause your finger to hit the trigger. Don’t SLAP or JERK the trigger. Doing so will cause the arrow to go off target.

Anchor Point
Know your anchor point. Whether you use a thumb release or index trigger, always be consistent with your anchor points. Make sure the string crosses your nose and cheek in the exact same spot, every time you draw your bow back. If you’re using your thumb to anchor behind your head, put in in the same location every time. Same goes for your knuckle or other part of your hand if that’s what you’re anchor is.

Follow Through
Always follow through on your shot. No peeking to see where your arrow is going. Don’t drop the bow. Remember to let your back tension pull your string arm back. Let the kinetic energy cause the bow to fall toward the target.

The more you practice at home, the more your shooting stance will be ingrained in your memory. If you practice enough, you won’t have to think about these details. You’ll become more accurate the consistent.

If you begin to have difficulty, it’s often easier to focus on these basics, to bring you back to center, rather than wonder what you’re doing wrong. Look at what you need to do right. For more archery tips, product reviews, and other great things, head over to my YouTube channel to watch my videos.

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