Pennsylvania Game News - January 2021 - 54

was difficult to draw my bow. The cold
had stiffened my muscles and my bow's
heavy draw weight added to the problem.
Eventually, I summoned enough
strength to draw and line up the sight
pin. But in that time, the buck had turned
and no longer offered a good shot. He fed
away from me, his rear toward me. And
with each passing minute, he stepped
farther away. It was a lost opportunity
that helped me realize I didn't need to be
a macho man or have the fastest bow. It's
more important to draw a bow comfortably, to shoot accurately, and have what it
takes to get pass-through shots.
Eventually, I set my draw weight to
50 pounds.
It's important to smoothly draw your
bow. The pull should be comfortable,
allowing a slow, straight draw to your
anchor point, free of unnecessary movement, and resulting in a good shot.
A friend and I were shooting in his barn
one evening and, I noticed he drew by
pointing upward and straining to roll over
the cams. I asked what his draw weight
was, but he didn't know.
I suggested we meet at the local
archery shop the next day to check his
draw weight on a bow scale.
We learned it was 66 pounds the next
day. I suggested he crank it down about
6 pounds so he could draw without struggling. At first, he was reluctant, because
he'd always shot that way. But with some
convincing, he agreed. The change was
dramatic and, today, he wonders why he
hadn't seen the light sooner.
Many bowhunters are getting older,
and perhaps less capable of drawing vertical bows. This past year, I was rehabbing
from shoulder surgery and, at the time,
I couldn't put on a shirt without help.
Throughout rehab, I was concerned about
whether I could hunt with a bow in the fall.
54

Cleared eventually for normal activities, I tried drawing my bow, set at 55
pounds. Shockingly, I couldn't draw it
back more than a few inches. I reduced
my draw weight to 45 and was able to
shoot throughout the summer, gradually
increasing it to 50 pounds. Even though
the reduction in draw weight produced
slightly less arrow speed, I compensated
by using a slightly lighter, smaller-diameter arrow.
A friend's son - a big man - draws
a bow with an 80-pound draw weight.
Despite his obvious physical strength,
I've often wondered if 80 pounds was too
much, even for him, because excessive
draw weight can lead to a rushed shot and
poor accuracy.
There are several ways to check if
you're drawing more weight than you
should.
First, face a target and hold your bow
in front of you without drawing it. Then
put the pin in the position that you will
be holding at when aiming at full draw.
Now, draw the bow without raising it. If
you can draw and keep the pin on target,
your draw stroke is horizontally parallel,
and your draw weight is perfect for you.
However, if you find you are raising your
bow arm, you should consider reducing
your draw weight a few pounds.
Most of us hunt from tree stands with
comfortable seats and take shots from
a seated position. If you struggle to get
your bow back when seated, you're likely
drawing too much weight. To find out,
sit on a low stool of the same height and
try to replicate the shot you'd take if you
were in your tree stand. If you find it difficult to draw, you might be drawing too
much weight.
Another test is to bend at the waist, and
while aiming at the ground, draw your
bow with your bow-hand just below the



Pennsylvania Game News - January 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - January 2021

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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2021 - Contents
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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2021 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2021 - Cover4
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