Long-Distance Summer Bow Practice Pays Off in the 'Heartland'
Like their bowhunting neighbors, Lee and Tiffany Lakosky to the north in Iowa, Missouri bowhunters Michael Hunsucker and Shawn Luchtel believe in value of going long.
In terms of summertime practice while shooting their bows, that is.
"I love shooting (my bow) at long distances," said Hunsucker, an Outdoor Channel television personality and co-host of the hit show Heartland Bowhunter. "I'll practice out to 100 yards and beyond during the summer.
"Obviously, I'd never do that (shoot at such distances) at a live animal in the fall, but if you can hit in the 10-ring at 100 yards, at shorter distances like 20 or 30 yards, it's almost like a joke in terms of how much easier it seems."
Using the Trophy Ridge React Trio bow sight - which has a unique fixed 40-yard pin that can become a movable pin out to 120 yards - Hunsucker gets dialed in throughout the summer months at various distances including the long-range shots.
And as summertime pushes towards early fall bowhunting seasons, the intensity of Hunsucker's practice sessions will pick up accordingly.
"August is probably the time of the year that I shoot the most," said Hunsucker. "I love to practice my bow shooting and I'm a big believer that the more you shoot, the better you will be."
(Photo courtesy of Michael Hunsucker)
Hunsucker says that summertime practice sessions are "all about being consistent, making sure that your archery equipment is tuned and that you anchor in the same point every time. Shooting practice is what gets you there."
But as fall arrives on the calendar and bowhunting seasons open, he'll begin to back off his shooting regimen.
"I usually like to get tuned in and practice a lot with my bow during the summer," said Hunsucker. "But when hunting season rolls around, I don't shoot as much. I'll shoot a few times before each hunt just to make sure that my form is good, the muscle memory is down and that the bow is still tuned properly."
In a year that has already been filled with shed hunting, stand site selection, improving existing deer habitat and monitoring trail cameras, shooting a bow faithfully during the summer months is just another step in the overall process for Hunsucker.
"There's always something that can be done to improve your odds on taking this game animal," he said.
Even on a summer evening spent deep in the heartland of America's best bowhunting region for big, mature white-tailed deer.