Archery: Test Your Range Finding Skills

Your ability to sink one arrow after another into the bull at 25 yards is awesome. But can you do … Continued

Your ability to sink one arrow after another into the bull at 25 yards is awesome. But can you do it at 13 yards? Then at 31? Now at 45?

The foundation for consistent accuracy–at any range–is practice, but not just with your stick and string. Before you can make the shot, you have to know the distance, which is why your pre-season workouts should always begin with a range-estimation session.

You’ll need a buddy and a backyard, two commodities that most of us can find easily. And one of you needs a laser rangefinder.

Step 1: Define Your Course
The deck to a light pole. Light pole to the basketball hoop. Hoop to the swing set. The reason backyards work so well is that they feature lots of ranging targets at various distances.

You can tie a bandanna to the targets ahead of time if you want. The trick is picking targets that are obvious and reasonably spaced, offering a variety of ranges.

Step 2: You Guess, Your Buddy Verifies
Make this a game-or a bet. The way you play is to guess the range to the first target. Write it down on a piece of paper.

Your buddy then shoots the distance with the laser rangefinder. Walk to the first target and guess the distance to the second (in this case, from A to B). Your buddy verifies. Repeat all the way around your range.

Step 3: Mimic Hunting Conditions
Try to replicate hunting scenarios. If most bow shots where you hunt are inside 30 yards, concentrate on that distance, but mix it up. Make sure you include targets that are visually clear and unobstructed (A, B), and some against cluttered backgrounds (C).

Make sure you include game-size targets and try ranging from a stand (D).

Step 4: Trade Jobs, Then Mix Up Course
After you run the course, you get the rangefinder. Your buddy gets the paper. Change up the course so he has to guess different ranges than you did. Subtract the difference between your guesses and the real distances. Add these for your score.

The player with the lowest score wins. Loser mows the winner’s lawn for the next month.