2016 Idaho Mule Deer Hunt Video
This footage taken shortly after taking my 2016 Boone & Crockett buck in Idaho. It was extremely hot, flies everywhere, I was dehydrated, but very pleased with the outcome of an impromptu bow hunt. I hope you enjoy this short film!
Ultimate Archery Instructional Video
I’ve been collaborating with my videographer friend, Shane Thompson, on an awesome archery instructional video. The content for this video is based on lessons I’ve put together and used to teach hundreds of people over the years.
The first instructional video will be out soon and I will post the link here.
Below is the intro video. Pretty cool, huh?!
Three Steps to Better Archery: Video
My friend Shane Thompson helped shoot this video to demonstrate better archery shooting. These techniques were explained in my last article.
This video examines the three most common mistakes made by both beginner and advanced archers and shows you how to fix them. I hope it helps!
Top 3 Tips to Improve Your Archery
Now that spring is here, you’ve probably taken your bow out, dusted it off, and sent some arrows downrange. Maybe some were bulls-eyes while some were errant, but it’s early yet and there’s always room for improvement.
In the last ten years I’ve worked tirelessly at becoming a better hunter. But at the same time, I’ve also developed some bad habits. These habits are common to most archers and include punching the release and lack of follow-through. What you do at the end of your release has the greatest effect on accuracy. So in today’s lesson we’re going to relearn how to shoot.
Bad shooting habits develop because we’re too focused on hitting the bullseye. Everyone knows that humans can only focus on one thing at a time. Ironically, if we focus too hard on the bullseye, we’ll actually miss it!
Here’s the fix
- RELAX!: A famous target archer once said, “A relaxed mind cannot exist in a tense body, and a tense mind cannot exist in a relaxed body.” More than anything else, the bow and arrow fights relaxation. First, there’s the mental stress of hitting the bullseye, especially in a hunting or competition. Second, when you draw your bow, your whole body becomes physically tense as it struggles to crank back and hold all that weight. So, now your mind and body are under duress. Your fight and flight response takes over and all that matters in the world is getting rid of that arrow. Now STOP! Tell yourself you will not release until you calm down. Breathe in and out a couple times. Put your sight pin on the bullseye, then take it off, and put it back on again. Who cares if you miss? Refuse to shoot until you are completely calm. Eventually this will become habit and will have the greatest effect on your accuracy.
- The Open Grip: By now you probably know how to grip your bow, but it’s worth another look. First, your bow’s grip should begin at U-shape between your thumb and index finger. Second, your grip should contact your hand along your life line (the line that separates the fleshy part of your thumb and middle of your palm. Third, the grip should end at the center of your palm where your wrist begins. If you do this correctly, the middle knuckles of your bow hand will form a 45-degree angle slanted away from your grip. NOW, this is only the beginning. When you draw your bow, your fingers should be relaxed and open away from the bow’s grip. Your fingers should remain relaxed throughout the entire shot. The best way to do this is to make an “okay” sign with your index finger and thumb lightly touching. Your hand must remain like this throughout the entire shot.
- Follow-Through: Seems simple, right?! It’s not. Again, you can only focus on one thing, so if you’re still aiming at this point, then you’re not following through. Aiming should go as far as letting the pin float tiny circles around the bullseye. At that point, your only focus should be on pushing the bow forward with your bow arm, and steadily pulling the string back with your release hand. The pin floats almost subconsciously while your focus floats freely and relaxedly between back tension, breathing, and oblivion. Oblivion is where you are free of all anticipation, free of all tension, and free of all distraction. All the technicalities of archery have become one simple action (form) and relegated to your subconscious mind. With nothing left to distract you, you are free; you are in the moment, perfectly centered between the future and the past.
The goal of archery is to relax: relax your grip, relax your body, and relax your mind. At this point, the bow is loosed on its own terms. The bow-and-arrow is accurate every time, subject only to the laws of nature which are fixed. The only variable is the shooter. The greatest obstacle YOU and how you influence the shot. When can master yourself, you will experience perfect archery with every shot.
Note: I’ve included a video in my next blog post that demonstrates the 3 steps to better archery. Here’s the Video Link.
Outdoor Music Video: The Climb
This song and storyline was written by my wife, Esther, and filmed by me.
What does this have to do with Zen-hunting? The concept for this video was inspired by man’s constant struggle between balancing modern life and his inextinguishable desire to return to Nature.
When you achieve this balance, that is Zen. We are not really hunting for animals, we are hunting for ourselves.
YouTube Video: What is Zen Hunting?
My friend, Shane Thompson, produced this short video-interview to help answer the question, “What is Zen Hunting”. Hope you enjoy it!
Close-up Bull Elk Footage 2 of 2
I’m going back through my video archives from previous hunts and posting them here. Here is some amazing, close-up elk footage from 2013. What a rush to be so close to such majestic and powerful animals!
See more elk footage from the same hunt at:
Bull Elk Video 1 of 2
My Bull Elk Video on YouTube: The Elk Whistler
Elk footage from 2013. Who needs a store-bought elk call when you can just whistle these monsters in?!
See more elk footage from the same hunt at:
Bull Elk Video 2 of 2
Superbuck: 2013 Video on YouTube
Some thoughts from the field…
Here’s another video from last year’s deer hunt. This is my 2013 trophy mule deer (superbuck) on public land. Neck shot at 20 yards with a compound bow.
Note: When I approach the downed deer, an elk bugles; when I get up again, the elk bugles again. Amazing!