Backyard Beginners Archery

Going into my sixth year of hunting and fourth year hunting archery season, I would like to still label myself as a “beginner”. Each bow season, I learn more and more and acknowledge mistakes I have made in the past. Being a hunter, I can faithfully say there is always more to learn and there is ALWAYS room for improvement.

Kaylee4After sitting out a rough 2015 early bow season, to have my first shooter underneath me the day before rifle season- and on the peak day of rut for our county, I had everything come together in a moment, all to let it fall apart. We practiced day in and day out in preparation for the season, but little things effected my shot that snowy November morning, and it will be a moment that can either haunt me forever or lead me to where I am now.

Are you a beginner archer? A new hunter? I’m here to give you some tips and tricks to becoming a better hunter from backyard shooting.


  1. Kaylee2Understand your bow. Know what every part is and what makes it work.
  1. Be sure to practice with an experienced archer. Have someone who knows the in's and out's of archery and how to safely shoot your bow. (Another tip: have this person take pictures of you shooting so that they can show you what you need to fix and what looks good).


  1. The above tip will also help you build appropriate muscle memory, which is one of the most important aspects of archery shooting.
  1. Kaylee3Being a beginner, start sighting in your bow from the nearest pin to the furthest. (Once you become a better shooter, a huge tip to make your shot more accurate is practicing backwards, farthest shot to nearest! Example: If you have a great shot at 50 yards, chances are your shot will be even better at 20 yards.)


  1. To have a very precise shot, shoot for points of the target. For example, on a block target that has diamonds, aim for the four corners of each diamond. This will let you zone in on a smaller target which will allow your shot to become more accurate. If you aim small, you miss small. (Another great tactic we find fun is taking a playing card and simply hitting the suit on the card- our personal way of gambling)
  1. Kaylee5For hunters, taking something as simple as a piece of plywood the same dimensions of an average stand and placing your feet, as you would be in the tree during the real thing. (Once more advanced, practice from a tree to get the full effect)
  1. Lastly, start preparing for the season with backyard shooting by adding material that you will be wearing during the upcoming season. For me on those hot summer days in the Midwest, the last thing I want to do is put on my Scent Blocker Knock Out jacket, let alone Triple Threat Layers. Make it something as easy as a hat or gloves if you plan to have it on in the woods. For example, if you don’t practice with gloves and get into the season and go for a shot, your trigger will feel 100 times different. Don’t be the person to make a silly mistake.

With these tips and tricks, the only way you will get better is if you practice and be sure that each shot is made with determination and attention. At the end of the day, have fun and remember that practice makes perfect.

Kaylee Schoenfelder

Instagram Handle- @RisenOutdoors

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