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Three common bow-shooting myths.

Three Common Bow-Shooting Myths

As an archery dealer, you are guaranteed to hear plenty of mumbo-jumbo about shooting performance and technique. Bowhunting abounds with myths -- fallacies based on old wives' tails and advertising misinformation. To be a truly effective salesperson, you must learn to dispel such bogus ideas. Here are three especially common bits of bow-shooting baloney. By knowing the facts about these subjects, you can effectively sell customers what they really need.

Arrow Penetration

Many bowhunters overemphasize the difference between light and heavy hunting arrows. An especially heavy, full-length shaft (say 600 grains) will certainly penetrate more deeply in game than an unusually lightweight overdraw shaft (say 400 grains). This is a fact of physics. However, the difference between the two is often exaggerated. On average, a very light shaft and a very heavy shaft from the same bow are quite close in penetrating energy. At most, the heavy shaft will possess five or six percent more penetrating power. On deer-size game, both arrows will normally slice completely through the chest, canceling any theoretical difference. On a big creature, like an elk, the difference in penetration won't be more than two or three inches -- hardly enough to worry about.

Most bowhunters are best served by whatever shaft provides the best accuracy on game. In long-range shooting situations, where flat trajectory can give you an edge, a light shaft is usually best. In short-range, dense-woods circumstances, a medium to heavy shaft might be a more accurate choice. Penetration depth is seldom the prime concern unless your quarry is a moose, brown bear or other animal over 1,000 pounds.

A second penetration myth concerns arrow shaft diameter. Modern archers often notice that small carbon or aluminum arrows penetrate more deeply in foam targets than larger-diameter shafts.

The incorrect conclusion is that such shafts will compare similarly in game. In truth, a giant 2512 aluminum shaft and a tiny carbon shaft will penetrate the same in game animals, provide they weigh the same. Animal flesh does not clamp about a shaft like target foam, and possesses natural oils and fluids which prevent penetrating friction.

It is a mistake to purchase small-diameter hunting shafts to increase penetration in game. Large-diameter shafts will perform every bit as well.

Shooting Distance

Myths abound about how far archers should shoot at game. Some bowhunters are religiously opposed to shots beyond 30, 35 or 40 yards. In reality, ethical shooting distance must be an individual choice -- not a rigid, mandated matter.

On average, a beginning bowhunter cannot hit a deer's vital eight-inch chest zone beyond 20 or 25 yards. Most intermediate and advanced bowhunters can hit an eight-inch target out to 40 yards. A few gifted, diligent bowhunters can extend their game-getting range to 50 or 60 yards. Every archer should keep shots at game within his own personal "sure kill" limitations.

A few bowhunters believe that longer shots increase the chance that target animals will move and take non-vital hits. However, studies indicate that closer animals are more intimately threatened by danger and thus likely to jump, duck or wheel at the sound of your bowstring. For this reason, there is no ethical objection to shooting at 50-yard or 60-yard deer, provided these animals are calm, and provided you are certain you can hit the mark.

Broadhead Versus Field Point Accuracy

Broadheads are prone to veer off target unless a bow is perfectly tuned, for this reason, many archers believe that broadheads and field points never hit the same place downrange. The truth is, a perfectly adjusted bow shoots all types of arrowheads in the same place. The key is using heads that weigh exactly the same. If your field points, blunts, and broadheads all weigh 125 grains, for example, your setup will theoretically produce identical point of impact.

The key to success is knowing how to tune your bow. Unfortunately, many bowhunters and even archery store owners to not. The key to success is knowing how to tune your bow. Unfortunately, many bowhunters and even archery store owners do not. The invariable result is erratic point of impact and the reinforced notion that consistent accuracy if impossible.

By learning solid bow-hunting basics and selling arrowheads of identical weight, you can help customers achieve the same point of impact downrange. They will appreciate the favor, and be more prone to shop at your store!

PHOTO : Deer and other spooky, high-strung animals sometimes flinch or duck the arrow. Contrary to

PHOTO : popular belief, this is less likely to occur as shooting range increases.
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Title Annotation:hunting with bow and arrow
Author:Adams, Chuck
Publication:Shooting Industry
Article Type:column
Date:Apr 1, 1990
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