Skip to main content

The First Shot

The First Shot

For bowhunters, the only shot that really matters is the very first one. When you get right down to it, bowhunting accuracy isn't really about shooting groups; it is about shooting one arrow, the first arrow, perfectly. However, not many of us actually practice with that in mind.

Typically, we'll go out and warm up before we get serious about making good, accurate shots. The problem is, I've never had the chance to warm up before shooting at a deer. That's why I think it's important to learn what you have to do to make that first shot perfect, every time, without any warm up.


For me, the difference between the first shot and the 10th shot is just a matter of relaxation. When I shoot my first shot, my muscles are usually tight, and I'm feeling a little tense. I usually warm out of it and allow myself to relax. However, if I can make myself fully relax during the first shot, I can almost guarantee that it's going to hit in the middle. But this is really hard to do, especially when you're shooting at a big buck. It's something you just have to practice.


Now, here's what I do to practice that first shot: For a month or so before hunting season, I keep my bow out in my garage, and every time I walk by, I grab it and shoot one arrow. It may take me several days to shoot one group. These groups aren't necessarily as tight as they would be if I warmed up and shot all the arrows at one time. And not only that, the group might be somewhere other than in the middle of the target. But I sight my bow in based on the results of a series of first shots.

If you can get all your first shots to group together, especially if they group in the same place as they do when you're warmed up, you're truly ready to go hunting.


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

High Country Colorado Turkey Hunt

High Country Colorado Turkey Hunt

Danny Farris and Doyle Worbington of J&D Outfitters are hunting turkeys in Colorado.

Turkey Decoy Beatdown

Turkey Decoy Beatdown

Bowhunter contributor Matt Palmquist witnesses a hen trying to destroy one of his decoys while hunting turkeys in Kansas.

Kansas Turkey Bowhunt

Kansas Turkey Bowhunt

Bowhunter contributor Matt Palmquist sets up shop for a turkey hunt in Kansas.

Tree Saddle Hunting: Best New Climbing Aider Options

Tree Saddle Hunting: Best New Climbing Aider Options

A climbing aider is a device that you use in conjunction with a stick that helps you gain more height per stick, but at the addition of very little weight to the stick setup. An aider can provide one or two more steps per each stick section, thereby greatly increasing height potential when needed and allowing you to carry fewer total sticks to gain a specific height.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The latest top products that will enhance your big-game pursuits this season.New Attractants, Calls and Decoys for 2021 ATA Show

New Attractants, Calls and Decoys for 2021

Jace Bauserman - January 11, 2021

The latest top products that will enhance your big-game pursuits this season.

Fixed, hybrid and mechanical killers are ready to carve paths of destruction in 2021.New Broadheads for 2021 ATA Show

New Broadheads for 2021

Jace Bauserman - January 06, 2021

Fixed, hybrid and mechanical killers are ready to carve paths of destruction in 2021.

A simple, classic steak and French fries duo gets a wild makeover with this Elk Venison Steak-Frites Recipe.Elk Venison Steak-Frites Recipe Recipes

Elk Venison Steak-Frites Recipe

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

A simple, classic steak and French fries duo gets a wild makeover with this Elk Venison...

If you're looking to upgrade without breaking the bank, these quality rigs will get the job done.New Budget Bows & Crossbows for 2021 ATA Show

New Budget Bows & Crossbows for 2021

Tony J. Peterson - January 15, 2021

If you're looking to upgrade without breaking the bank, these quality rigs will get the job...

See More Trending Articles

More How-To

Experience your best shooting by following this three-pronged approach.3 Steps For Shooting Accuracy and Confidence How-To

3 Steps For Shooting Accuracy and Confidence

Joe Bell

Experience your best shooting by following this three-pronged approach.

If you desire peak performance from your hunting bow, learn these skills.Bow-Tuning Techniques for Peak Performance Bows

Bow-Tuning Techniques for Peak Performance

Joe Bell

If you desire peak performance from your hunting bow, learn these skills.

Taking long-distance shots at big-game animals has become acceptable, but here's why it isn't the ethical choice.Is it Ethical to Take Long-Distance Bowhunting Shots? Conservation

Is it Ethical to Take Long-Distance Bowhunting Shots?

Curt Wells

Taking long-distance shots at big-game animals has become acceptable, but here's why it isn't...

See More How-To

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Bowhunter App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Bowhunter subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now