Success in archery is all about consistency and repetition. Larry says archers should be practicing frequently throughout the offseason, even if it’s only 5 minutes a day. The more you practice your shooting sequence, from draw to release, the more muscle memory you build. By training your mind and body to perform the same process time and again, the whole motion becomes second nature. This kind of familiarity with your process then creates a feeling of confidence, something Larry says is important with archery. The more comfortable and confident you are, often times the more accurate you’ll be. Larry highlights the importance of practice noting that as humans we are creatures of habit and we can all too easily form bad ones, so it’s important to think about your shooting sequence and practice often. And when it comes to practice, he offers a few tips on shooting different distances and explains why he likes to shoot out to 50+ yards and dial his bow in, noting that accuracy at longer distances equates to greater confidence at shorter distances. Draw weight is something that is often misunderstood or a macho show of strength. The reality is that you don’t have to be able to pull back 90 pounds to shoot a deer, elk, hog or any other North American big game animal. Larry says that it’s all about comfort. His bow is setup with a 65-pound pull and while he can physically pull 75-80 pounds he reminds other shooters that you need to be able to pull that set weight regularly and comfortably. If you struggle to pull your bow back and have to do a dance to make it happen, it’s too much. Larry says for those that can only pull 50 pounds, that’s fine, you can kill a deer and other game. Ultimately, it’s not just about poundage, but also what you put on the tip of your arrow that all work together.
Knowing the distance you are shooting is critical for bowhunters in determining whether or not a shot is ethical and then where to aim. In many ways, rangefinders have really changed the game for hunters. No longer do you have to wonder or guesstimate how far an animal is away. That kind of information in the field is always incredibly valuable and can help you make more ethical and precise shots. However, the reality of hunting is that every situation is a little different. You aren’t always afforded the ability to throw up your rangefinder and get a distance on an incoming animal. Because hunting is unpredictable, Larry says that being able to improvise and field judge targets by sight, instead of being solely reliant on your rangefinder, is a valuable skill. In addition, proper shot placement is always crucial, regardless of what you are hunting with bow or firearm. Carefully selecting where to aim can make the difference between wrapping a tag around an animal and watching it run away. Something many archery hunters are familiar with is the possibility of an animal jumping the string as they shoot. Is it possible to take a shot that compensates for an animal reacting to your string? Larry says he breaks the body down into three sections - lower, center and upper body. By aiming at the lower third of the body or just slightly above, he creates a little more room for success where, even if they jump, the arrow can still clip the lungs or other vitals.
Finally, Larry talks Elite’s Ritual Series bows. Highlighting their efficiency, Larry says that the Ritual line allows more energy to leave with the arrow which in turn makes the bow quieter, more vibration free, and able to hold speeds better across different draw lengths. The name “Ritual” was named with the hunting experience in mind, Larry says, with the idea of getting back to the basics, where it’s all about the experiences, memories, animals hanging from the skinning pole and more. The original Ritual debuted in a 33-inch riser model and based on user demand Elite then brought out the more compact 30-inch model. New for 2019, Elite introduced the Ritual 35-inch model for others who wanted a little longer platform. Larry says the great part about the Ritual series of bows is that they will fit virtually any hunter out there. Whether you are a ground blind or tree stand hunter, spot and stalk hunter, prefer longer-range shooting or up-close short-range shooting, there is a model well suited for virtually every bowhunter. He encourages people to check out the Ritual, get it in their hands and see how it feels noting that if you don’t ever shoot it then you’ll never know.
Listen in as Larry McCoy joins us for a wide-ranging conversation about bowhunting. Be sure to catch “Respect the Game”, currently in its 8th season, every Tuesday at 9:30 pm ET on Sportsman Channel. You can also watch Larry McCoy and “Respect the Game” anytime on MyOutdoorTV.
Bows and Broadheads,