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OVERBOWED OR JUST A NOOB?

  • OVERBOWED

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  • SUCK UP AND LEARN TO SHOOT

    Votes: 8 44.4%

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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys -- absorbing a lot of uber-wisdom here on the forum. Thanks for a great resource.

So here is one stupid noob question. My draw weight right now is about 65 pounds. It is not hard to draw, but after a couple hours at the range, my left arm is getting fatigued, leading to accuracy problems over and above those I would associate just with being a noob. I am getting some good groupings, but after a while, things kind of go down the toilet due to left/bow hand instability.

I am a short guy at 5'6", but lift a lot and go about 180. Farmer carries, flies, some pretty heavy rowing and lots of the shoulder stuff I figure would mean this is not so much of a strength thing as a technique problem. I have shot only a couple of times. There are I am sure very specific core muscle groups that need to balance each other out for consistent accuracy, and I am equally sure those things will come with more time.

Does it make sense to spend a couple bucks to knock back the draw weight, or do you think it makes more sense to spend a few bucks to have someone at the range work with me on my form? I have absorbed a lot of stuff, including proper grip and rotation of the bow arm here already. But you don't know what you are doing wrong until someone who has some competence gives you a kick in the butt.

Thanks in advance.
 

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I suggest getting some one on one coaching. If you are shooting over 100 arrows during your two hours at the range, you should be getting fatigued. I got a lesson this morning, and it's the best $20 I've spent in a while. The coach quickly identified a couple of things for me to correct and I was more accurate almost immediately. Reminded me of when I used to get a golf lesson. Good Luck! And welcome to the sport.
 

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Fatigue is normal, especially when starting out. I would not push it when you start having a hard time holding steady. This can cause you to form poor form/habits that are hard to break. When you start struggling, step away for an hour or so and then return IMO.
 

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Snafu
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After a couple of hours of shooting, fatigue is normal. Training when fatigued can be good if you force yourself to execute a good release. If you are unable to do that your training will likely lead to bad form that may carry over to your shooting when not fatigued.
Having said that, if you can find a good coach to help you it will very likely help your shooting by training you to have good form and how to execute your shot correctly and consistently.
You should be able to turn your bow down a little bit to ease the "over-bowed" situation and then you can turn it back up as you shoot more. Normally it does not take long to increase your strength and if it is taking a couple of hours to fatigue you may be pushing yourself too hard. Some rest periodically through your sessions can be very helpful.
 

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You might have too much bend in your bow arm. Pictures of your form would help to see if your bow's drawlength, your peep height, and/or your form needs to be adjusted.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You might have too much bend in your bow arm. Pictures of your form would help to see if your bow's drawlength, your peep height, and/or your form needs to be adjusted.
The bow arm thing is something I have already figured out from looking at form critiques around here (again, deep respect). Also, I think I need to rotate it so that the crease in my elbow is towards the bow rather than pointing up to the sky.

I had the draw adjusted to suit my arm length and everything. The peepsite seems in a good position. But I'll be at the range tomorrow a.m. and will get some photos. If they have bandwidth, I may get a quick lesson and one for my son. They have a kids' program but it does not kick in until next week. So we can each get a leg up.

Watch for more in a bit ... thanks for all the cool stuff so far.
 

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Food for thought; My assumption is that you have 70# limbs. If you can back them off a bit, I'd drop it to 60#. I'm a skinny 140 pounds, about 5' 11" so I know that your arms are twice the size of mine. I used to shoot at 70# which is half of my body weight. I don't know of any 200 pounders that are shooting 100# bows. Regardless of how much you work out, shooting a bow utilizes a very specific combination of muscles. All of your working out helps, but you really need to shoot to bring the whole package together. It will come in a relatively short amount of time You'll see referrence to try shooting, sitting down with your feet off of the ground. It's amazing how much your lower body adds to your ability to draw your bow. Another thing to try, not that you would shoot this way, is to rotate your stance to an exagerated angle to the target, both to the right and left and try to draw. It's almost impossible. This can come into play if you do any shooting from a tree stand and that deer is not right in front of you. There are many like me, starting to put a lot of years behind us that have decreased the pull weight of our bows. Enjoy the journey!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Quick update. Went into the range near my house on Sunday to get a lesson. They backed off the draw weight to just under 50 pounds.

They told me my draw length was still too long and they could not adjust it as they are not Martin dealers. But they set me up with a different bow and we worked through some stuff. I was starting to feel things get dialed in.

Went further down the road to the Martin dealer, and they put in the mod to shorten the draw length, although they said the bow was pretty close to dialed in without it. They also kind of told me opposite stuff to do from a form standpoint than what I just heard at the other place. :confused: So it seems like I am caught between two competing schools of thought, personalities and commercial interests. Good gravy! Is this anything others have experienced with archery places in your areas?

So now holding at draw is more comfortable. Some of that had to do with the fact that I was having to pull too far back and hyperextend, I think. I was also rotating my torso too far to a 90 degree angle some of the time, leaving that left arm unsupported by the core. I AM still feeling things the day after, partiicularly when I have just lifted with the same muscle groups, but am a lot steadier.

Bit by bit my friends ...
 

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Big lesson in backing off the draw weight. Shoot comfortable - shoot better. And an arrow with a sharp broadhead from a 50 lb. bow will pass through a deer just well as one from a 60 lb. bow.
 

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Are you planning on hunting or shooting competition? For hunting you need to be setup with enough horsepower to drive your arrow and broadhead combination through your game animal at the yardages you expect to hunt. For most people a 50lb bow and a good sharp fixed blade broadhead is plenty, for larger animals or longer distances or if you want to use a mechanical head, it might not be enough. I would work on your form and get things settled in and the correct muscles working properly and then start increasing your draw weight, it's something you can do yourself in your own time. Find a weight that is comfortable, for hunt training you don't need to shoot 100 arrows a day, 30-40 in a session will work on your groupings and form. With hunting the most important shot is the first one out of the bow, you rarely get a second shot.
 

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If you are new to the sport, keep your bow weight down for a while and work on form and precision. You can always increase the weight as you improve.
Ask the folks on here about those tips your shop people are telling you, especially if they seem odd. You can get a considerable amount of help here including complete shooting form help.
With the bow weight down you will be able to learn faster how to shoot properly and it will certainly be more enjoyable.
By the way, there are numerous hunters here who shoot deer with their bow set in the 50# range. If you do a search there is even a recent thread on it.
 

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Shootin and Cussin
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In that "Couple of hours of shooting", how many arrows are you shooting?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Are you planning on hunting or shooting competition? For hunting you need to be setup with enough horsepower to drive your arrow and broadhead combination through your game animal at the yardages you expect to hunt. For most people a 50lb bow and a good sharp fixed blade broadhead is plenty, for larger animals or longer distances or if you want to use a mechanical head, it might not be enough. I would work on your form and get things settled in and the correct muscles working properly and then start increasing your draw weight, it's something you can do yourself in your own time. Find a weight that is comfortable, for hunt training you don't need to shoot 100 arrows a day, 30-40 in a session will work on your groupings and form. With hunting the most important shot is the first one out of the bow, you rarely get a second shot.
I don't imagine I'll be too interested in competion, except for a bit of a social activity to push myself along. Deer hunting is the thing here in Wisconsin, but I have a bit of an interest in small game.

As a guy who ties his own flies, I tend to use more rabbit fur and hackle feathers than deer hair. But you figure out how to use the materials you have on hand, right?
 

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I am going to go against the grain here, but this is based on my personal experience:

You sound to be quite fit and strong enough. If you are right handed and the left arm is the fatigued one, that is because you are holding the bow up with your arm, shoulder muscles, and not letting the string tension help you out. Shortening the draw length is good, because over-extending quickly leads to fatigue. You want the arm straight enough so that you have bone-on-bone in line with the shoulder, and the arm pressed into the sholser socket (not so much that you hunch the shoulder). Then, when you pull back, the tension on the string actually levers the bow up into position so you do not have to try and lift it with the arm. IF you start bending the arm, you have to fight the string pull.

What you may want to try and what worked for me was to actually increase the draw weight until you get this balanced. It sounds like you don;t have enough tension to hold the bow on its own. I was able to increase the holding weight on mine by adjusting the limb stops, but with yours you may have to increase the overall draw eight. If your right arm was bothering you, I would say you were over-bowed, but you made no mention of that..

All that said, 2 hours of steady shooting is a bit, especially for a relatively new shooter, so some fatigue is expected. When I first started, I would walk around a few minutes each day holding a 5 lb hand sledge out straight with my left arm for a few minutes at a time. Not saying it didn't help, but getting my form where the arm acted as a pivoting rod rather than doing all the holding made the biggest difference for me.

Go
 

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Didn't really count, but quite a few.
Slow down....

Start out with say, 20 arrows an hour and work your way up from there. Even the pros limit their shots.

Also, when practicing for hunting, shoot a lot less shots. I'm fortunate that I live in an area where I can shoot. I shoot an arrow and set the bow down for a an hour or more. Then I go back out and shoot another one.
 

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The first question is what is the main reason to shoot your current draw weight that is hurting your shoulder? For example for 3D competition (faster arrow flight) to help with ranging error issues, or hunting Elk size games.

If your shoulder "HURTS" and the main reason why you are shooting the current weight is not one of the reasons above, then I would recommend, sell the bow and get another one (used), 10 lbs lighter draw weight, and maybe higher let-off. By the time you buy a new set of lighter limbs, installation, tuning, driving back and forth to the Pro shop, etc...it will costs you more money in the end. HTH.
 

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I'm 225lbs. And have lifted since i was 13. I used to shoot 200 to 300 arrows a day @ 70# and it never bothered me a bit. When i finally learned to lower my front shoulder (at this time i was shooting 60#) and draw and hold the bow with my back, i was sore as could be. I now shoot 55.5# for target, and 1 arrow at 60# when the pin is on his boiler.
 

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Another thing i forgot to mention, is i would just turn my #age down. Practice good form, and when the right muscles get strong, keep shooting daily and once a week turn yout limb bolts a quarter turn 1 full turn a month and you'll never notice the increase.
 

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Rule of thumb .... when you start to get tired...STOP !! ........you'll get bad habits otherwise..... pick it up again on another day when your fresh
 
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