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One of my favorite times of year to bowhunt is late August through September. I love this time of the season because it’s when I’m out chasing mule deer, elk or pronghorn. Most of this hunting is on foot and I have learned time and time again that there is a need for speed in order to increase your chances to notch tags. When I say “speed”, I am in no way referring to rushing the shot. This is really about learning to hurry up to get into position, then recovering quickly so you can make an effective kill shot before you miss your opportunity. When bowhunting, there are many times you have to hustle hard to get to a certain spot. Then, at any moment when that buck or bull appears within range, you have to be ready to act quickly and make a good shot. If you aren’t prepared, you will most likely fail to make the shot, or worse yet, make a poor shot.

For years, I’ve worked on drills that have helped me condition myself to lower my heart rate faster which has an immediate effect on accuracy. One drill I like to do is to pick up the pace when retrieving arrows and returning to the shooting line. Oftentimes I will jog to and from targets. (Always carry your arrows carefully). The key is to operate at a pace that gets your heart rate up, recreating a hunting scenario. Once you return to the shooting line, focus on deep, slow breaths to help bring your heart rate down while making shots with intent on control and execution. This is a great drill to combine with the one arrow drill. Your goal is to get faster to and from the target while also shortening the amount of recovery time in order to make good shots.

John Dudley hiking in the mountains during a bowhunting elk hunt.
The bowhunting battlefield is relentless. Be ready when your shot comes!