Archery And Bowhunting Blog

The Meaning of Brace Height in a Compound Bow

Just about all popular pursuits and hobbies are full of jargon and technical terms that are specific to it. People who are heavily involved in these pursuits often take the terms that are used daily for granted. Archery and bow-hunting is filled with these kinds of terms, particularly when discussing the bows. One of the phrases used to describe a bow is the brace height. For those trying to buy a compound bow for the first time, trying to work out it's significance might be very confusing.

The following is a brief description of the brace height, what it refers to in a compound bow and what the significance is in terms of the bow's performance.

In the simplest terms, the brace height is the distance between the string when it's at rest and the deepest part of the bow grip.

The reason this measurement is always quoted as part of a bow's specification details is that it indicates the potential speed the bow can shoot an arrow. If a bow has a short brace height and a long draw length (the furthest distance the string can be drawn back) it tells you that the string will be drawn a lot more tightly than a bow with one that is longer. The conclusion to that is that the bow will be capable of shooting arrows at a greater speed.

There is a trade off with the speed capabilities of bows with short brace heights. In general, it is more difficult to shoot accurately using a bow with a short brace height.

Although compound bows with longer brace heights are not quite as powerful as those that are shorter, they are still highly desirable. This is because these types of bows offer more forgiveness when they are fired. For the newcomer to the sport as well as the occasional shooter it is very likely that the technique that is used to fire the bow is going to be less than perfect. A bow that has a larger brace height will not punish the shooter quite so severely and this means it will still be possible to shoot relatively accurately.

If you are new to the sport of archery and you're looking for a new compound bow, try to resist the temptation to buy the fastest, most powerful bow possible. Err on the side of accuracy and learn how to shoot properly before moving up in power. A brace height that is over 7 inches might be a suitable place to start.

There are many compound bow models that cater for all levels of shooting experience. An experienced archery sales representative should be able to help you find a suitable bow. Make sure you test the bow to ensure it feels right in your hands.

Strength Training For Archery - How to Improve Your Aim and Draw Weight

What exactly is strength training for archery? What exactly does increasing your strength do for you if you are an archer or a bow Hunter? Undoubtedly, by now you are familiar with the fact that most professional sports teams utilize strength training as part of their conditioning program. Progressive resistance or strength training has been around since the time of the ancient Greeks.

Milo of Croton a Greek wrestler increased his strength by carrying a newborn calf on his back every day until the calf was full-grown. Strength training for archery will yield you many benefits such as improving your aim and your draw weight.

Strength training will enable if you are a bow Hunter to go after bigger game. There are many ways to increase your strength for archery. There are some archery exercisers sold on the market today such as the Bowfit that can provide you a decent workout. This archery exerciser is very low in cost but unfortunately only allows you to train in one specific movement.

While it is important to train in a "sport specific," exercise it is just as important to strengthen the supporting muscles. Such as, shoulders, chest, stomach, trapezius muscles, biceps and triceps. By strengthening your entire upper body and your legs you will have a stronger base from which to shoot from.

One of the quickest method to increase your strength is by using isometric exercise. Isometric exercise is a scientifically validated training protocol that has been well established in bodybuilding circles. In addition, isometrics has been used for rehabilitation for years. Isometric exercise has the advantage of increasing muscle and ligament strength, both at the same time.

The strength gains from isometric exercise have been well documented. In some cases, increases in strength of 300% in as little as four weeks are possible. What this means to an archer or bow hunter is that you can quickly improve your aim and draw weight.

If you are not familiar with isometrics here is a quick example of an isometric exercise that you are now performing. When you draw your bow and hold it steady to aim it, you are utilizing isometrics. The act of holding the drawstring in is in essence what increases your strength. This is isometrics.

You can use isometrics with any type of exercise equipment. The best of course is an isometric exerciser but you can also use a good set of resistance bands. One of the advantages of these two pieces of exercise equipment is that you can exercise your total body as well as perform "archery specific" exercises at a very low cost.

If you have not included strength training as part of your archery training program then try it, you will be amazed at the results.

Archery Exerciser - What is the Best Archery Exerciser

What Is the Best Archery Exerciser?

If you have been into shooting the bow or bow hunting for any length of time you probably have come to the realization that being stronger will improve not only your aim but also reduce or prevent injury.

It is not enough to just practice shooting. As in all sports today the realization has, come that to get better you must strength train. The best Archery Exerciser is one that mimics the same movements that you perform when shooting (There is recent medical research that states that we improve in that specific movement that we perform repeatedly.)

Therefore, if you begin to exercise with weights and perform bench presses, you will improve in your bench pressing. (That is why it is important to perform the same movements as in your sport.)

In addition, you must utilize isometric holds in order to maximize your strength training ability. If you look at the process of drawing your bow... you pull back on the drawstring until you can pull no further... you aim and then you release. This process is both an isotonic and isometric exercise.

Merely performing an exercise that incorporates the pulling back of the drawstring without the isometric hold will not be as effective.

In the opinion of many experts, the best bow exercise equipment is an isometric isotonic exerciser that can mimic the exact movements just described. Many of these isometric exercisers will allow you to perform other exercises in addition to the ones that will strengthen your sport specific muscles.

One other consideration for the best bow exercise equipment is that it provides you with enough resistance to grow. Nothing is worse than investing money in equipment and then quickly outgrowing its use.

What Are the Muscles Used in Archery

Here is a list of the muscles you should focus on in order to improve your archery skills.

  • Upper Back and Shoulder Muscles - these are the muscles used when you draw the bow.
  • Lower and Upper Shoulder Muscles - these muscles are used to control the draw are.
  • Forearm Muscles - strengthen your forms is essential for holding the bow and for the strength in your hands to pull the drawstring.
  • Stomach or Abdominal Muscles - having a strong core is essential for any sport but especially for archery or bow hunting. Your ability to maintain a steady hand is also about breath control.

Training for the bow does not need to take hours of your time each day. Utilising the proper Archery Exerciser that incorporates both isotonic and isometric exercises and allows you to mimic the same movements that you perform in archery does not take hours. A good isometric isotonic exerciser can provide you with a 7 to 10 minute workout that you will only need to perform 3 to 4 times a week. This will leave you plenty of time to devote to the sport we all love.

Archery Bag Targets - What You Need to Know Before You Buy

Archery Bag Targets offer a great way to improve your archery shooting. By using them on a consistent basis, you can improve your accuracy and have a little more fun that just shooting at a basic bulls eye target. However, just reading the marketing material of the various archery bag targets will not tell you everything you need to know. Here, is a list of tips and suggestions to help make sure you make a wise and intelligent purchase.

  1. Plan on doing some occasional maintenance work on the target.

Even the most highly durable archery bag targets will require you to replace covers occasionally. For this reason, you should plan to have to purchase a few additional covers through the course of the year. Also, recognize that not all of the bags are created equal. The heavier bags tend to stand up better to wear and tear. However, for the lighter bags you may need to occasionally look into adding additional filler to keep them in working order.

  1. Determine whether you will need a bag target stand.

Some bags with come with a stand included which is usually made of aluminum. However, if one is not included, stands can normally be purchased for under $30. When looking at stands, check to make sure it can handle the weight of your bag target. A number of stands can only handle up to 40 lbs which will not be able to support the heavier bag targets which can reach 50 lbs.

  1. Some bags are made for only certain types of arrows.

Review bag targets' descriptions and instructions to see if your bag can handle your preferred arrows. For instance, a number of target bags are not designed to handle broadheads. Because these special arrow points are designed to wreck havoc, you may need to opt for a special kind of highly durable bag target for shooting practice with broadheads.

  1. You get to choose between block targets or bag targets shapes.

These two types of archery bag targets are more similar than they are different. With a similar price range and weight and width dimensions, deciding on which one works best for you will simply be a matter of your personal preference. Some archers prefer the basic simplicity of block targets whereas others like the variety a block target offers. Block targets let you shoot from 4 different sides and manufacturers place different kinds of targets on each side.

Regardless of whether you choose block targets or bag targets, you are at great point in history to purchase archery bag targets. Never has there been a time where there has been more options in color and style than in the present.

The silver screen is full of them: Bows and arrows slung across the backs of heroes and heroines. Think of Hawkeye in "The Avengers," Legolas in "The Lord of the Rings," Merida in "Brave" or Katniss in "The Hunger Games." 

Recently, the weapon that predates recorded history has made inroads into 21st Century schools, where archery has become one of the most popular activities.

Today, the National Archery in Schools Program includes 12,000 schools in five countries — or about 1 million youths. Among them: Sarcoxie, Carl Junction and Joplin.

'I was hooked'



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A good relationship

Your archery equipment needs to be both safe, and well fitted and suited to you and your needs. Whether you buy your archery equipment from an archery shop or not, it's a good idea to strike up a good relationship with a helpful and knowledgeable archery shop owner who loves helping people get started.


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Whether you're new to archery or a seasoned veteran of this great sport, if you are not using this simple technique you are falling short of your true accuracy potential, and selling your self short of becoming the great archer you aspire to be.

I see it all the time, whether in forums, in person, or whatever; people are asking all the time "How do I improve my shooting?", "How can I make more consistent shots?" The answer is with the use of anchor points.


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As an archer or bowhunter, you know how important it is to be accurate to be able to hit the bull’s eye. If you are not able to do it well, you will not be able to reach your target. 


1.     Tuning

If a bow is out of tune, then there will be problems with its accuracy. There are two things to consider when tuning a bow: timing and center-shot alignment. Improving both of these factors will improve a bow's accuracy.


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Part 3 of Mental Game Series: Subconscious

Journey into your Mind: The Subconscious Journey


Everything that is automatic in your body comes from the “subconscious” part of your mind. Your subconscious mind controls everything that you do because like a computer, it is programmed to do so.

Understanding how your subconscious mind affects your STRONG/WEAK column is crucial and today you will take a journey into your mind and begin to connect the pieces  of the puzzle from week one.


Subconscious vs Concscious


In simple terms your conscious mind commands your thoughts and your subconscious mind obeys by what it knows. As an example of your subconscious mind is your heart. The heart beats without you having to even think about it. It does that because the subconscious part of the brain is programmed to make that work for you no matter what, even if you consciously tell your heart to stop beating it will always beat. Conscious thoughts allow us to make changes to what we do or how we do it.

“You control your conscious mind just by thinking it.”



All your habits of thinking and acting are stored in your subconscious mind. It has memorized all your comfort zones. The subconscious mind also works hard to keep you in those comfort zones.

Your subconscious mind causes you to feel emotionally and physically uncomfortable whenever you attempt to do anything new or different, or to change any of your established patterns of behavior.

You can feel your subconscious mind pulling you back toward your comfort zone each time you try something new. This is the feeling you get when you when you get uneasy about something.  Even just thinking about doing something different from what you are accustomed to will make you feel tense and uneasy.


Changing Habits



People have been pushing the envelope of what makes them feel safe or how they react to fear. The difference between most people is that if you can push through your fears and you reprogram your subconscious to accept that what you are doing is the new normal, then you start to improve your abilities and you increase the levels at which you can perform both mentally and physically.


An old rule of thumb is that it takes 21 days to change a habit. That is because the average person must consciously think about the change for 3 weeks before the subconscious mind just reacts and makes it normal. By doing something the way you want to do it over and over and over, again and again and again, you eventually change the habit and it becomes automatic to you. So automatic that you never have to think about it again and it becomes natural.


That change is done consciously until the subconscious is reprogrammed to make it normal. You can change anything in your life you want to by consciously making an effort every single day until your subconscious makes it a normal habit.


STRONG vs WEAK: It is in your mind


Three weeks have gone by since I had you make your STRONG/WEAK columns. Did you catch that? Three (3) weeks! By now the thing you chose to work on should start becoming more natural to you and you should already start feeling confident about that item. If not then don’t worry, just keep working on it. Remember that 3 weeks is just an average and there is not rush on building confidence that will be with you forever.


Using imagery will help you keep a conscious focus on what you are wanting to change. Imagery will help speed things up and help teach your subconscious what it is that you want to be done. By physically practicing that change and feeling more confident you will be able to move onto your next item.


As I stated in the first article in week one, you will start to see how the pieces of the puzzle come together. I am sure you are still curious as to why we don’t erase the WEAK items and only cross a line through them so that we still can read them. Not to worry because next week you will learn why that is important and until then keep working on imagery and keep focus on reprogramming your mind so that you can physically make the change long term as well as feel confident about the changes.


I changed my subconscious to know that my Legend Archery Pro Sling will keep by bow safe and I don’t have to worry about it ever hitting the floor!


Follow back next week as I explain why we don’t erase WEAK items and I will start my series on using psychology to “psych-out” the competition.

The spring weather is coming out and that can mean only one thing, it’s time for shooting again in the great outdoors. Nothing beats the satisfaction of getting out there with a bow. It puts greater emphasis on being more active. Some take up running, some take up cycling while other choose archery. Now for some people like me that presents a problem if you are a non-driver and are probably still working on passing your test. Making it really difficult when the archery range is only accessible by car and there is no public transport other than a cab that sometimes doesn’t go down that way. So I have forced to rely on improvising my technique indoors in places where I don’t need a shooting range. This might sound hopeless but if you can work a way around it then you can get through it and be prepared for when you’ve got access to a shooting range.

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