August 17, 2014
When I first started working for Buckmasters in 1997, it didn’t take long to realize I was going to learn a lot from the people around me.
One of the first really great tips I picked up was from former Buckmasters editor Russell Thornberry. He basically overhauled my bow form and taught me how to reduce torque and prevent the string from slapping my arm in a two-minute lesson.
I was target practicing on the little bow range outside our headquarters when Russ approached and watched me shoot a few arrows. After I’d released several, grouping fairly well at 20 yards with field tips, he asked, “Do you ever have trouble getting your broadheads to group well?”
“Yes,” I said. “How did you know that?”
He pointed at my hand. “Well, you have a death grip on that bow. That close-handed grip will cause torque in your bow, but you won’t notice it much when shooting field tips. Broadheads are not as forgiving. Yours are going to be all over the place if you keep gripping your bow that way.”
Russ proceeded to teach me a proper bow grip which requires keeping my bow hand relaxed, slightly open, with knuckles turned at a 45-degree angle and the bow grip resting more against the heel of the thumb instead of the place where the hand folds.
He also taught me to raise my left elbow slightly (I’m right handed) which helped my knuckles reach the proper angle and prevented the string from slapping my arm or sleeve.
Immediately, I could feel the bow fall forward in my relaxed, open grip instead of torquing and twisting in my closed hand.
My broadhead groups improved markedly that season, and I learned to allow the bow to fall forward instead of snatching the bow with my grip hand.
Russ fixed ten years of broadhead woes in two minutes!
So, learn the open-handed grip, keep your elbow up and you’ll give your broadheads the best chance to do what they were designed to do: group like your field points.
And as Russ always said, “Sometimes it’s the bow. Sometimes it’s the Indian.” In my case, it was the Indian.