It is both fun and challenging to shoot a longbow out in the wild. When using the longbow to hunt, you need to know a few things that will help you enhance your skills to become a better hunter. In the lines below, you will find a useful guide to help you use your longbow more skillfully on your hunt.
Longbow Options For Hunting:
Before you go out hunting with a longbow, you need to first understand what kind of longbow works best for you. The longbow is essentially a string and a bent shaft. The accuracy in shooting is crucially dependent on hand-to-eye coordination. In a longbow, deflex is the curve amount directed towards the shooter, while reflex is the curve amount directed away from the shooter. Modern longbows feature varying degrees in terms of deflex/ reflex in the bow limbs. For your hunting expedition, you can opt for one of these longbow types:
- Laminated Longbows- These longbows come with laminated construction, and feature several layers (thin) of fiberglass and wood, which are squeezed together using heat-cured adhesives and high pressure. Although, the laminations are not prominently visible, yet they greatly improve the bow’s overall performance and efficiency.
- Custom-Made Bows- Usually, a longbow comes in a one-piece design, but there are options in takedown models as well. Takedowns are those longbow models that you can easily disassemble by removing the bow limbs from its riser. These days, craftsmen are also offering one-off custom models for enthusiasts and passionate hunters.
Hunting With A Longbow:
In order to hunt with a longbow you need to know how a longbow works, for example, there are no release aids to help you with your shooting when using a longbow. Most importantly, you will have to work on your shooting skills as well as shooting style. Take a look at the following guide to help you understand better how to hunt with a longbow:
Shooting Styles– Generally, two styles of shooting are popular with longbows- Mediterranean draw and three-under.
- Mediterranean Draw- This is essentially a style involving string-gripping in which your index finger is placed above the nock of the arrow, and your ring and middle fingers remain under the nock.
- Three- Under- This is another shooting style involving string-gripping in which the ring, index, and middle fingers go below the nock of the arrow.
While you will need a lot of practice in order to master both these style, opt for the one that you feel comfortable with.
Cant- Cant is the act of tilting a longbow purposely to ensure that the arrow rests on the arrow shelf so that you can enhance the sight window while shooting instinctively. You can alternatively try using a simple rest; however, a majority of the serious longbow hunters prefer canting their bows to shoot directly from the arrow shelf.
Drawing– Anchoring or drawing the longbow consistently requires strong muscle memory, which is only possible if you practice a lot. Try releasing the arrow only after your index finger brushes past your mouth’s corner. Alternatively, you can consider bringing the bowstring to the tip of your gap shoot and nose. Gap shoot is essentially a shooting style common with longbow shooting, in which the arrow point is used as an aiming reference. Here, the “gap” indicates the space that lies between the target and where you need to hold the arrow point. The only way to develop your style is through continued practicing.
Remember, longbows don’t come with the kinetic energy that recurve bows offer, and this can make penetration a big problem. Therefore, keep the broadheads extremely sharp, and the shots as close as you can.
While it is tough to hunt with a longbow in the open, the best way to enhance your skills is to spend more time on practicing. An important tip is to practice on the same situation over and over again to improve your hunting skills.
For example, if you prefer hunting from a treestand, keep practicing shooting from a treestand; it will improve your aim and shooting skills. You can also consider talking to other enthusiasts and serious bow hunters to expand your information base and to gather experience on how to improve your skills in hunting.