Today, I want to share something I really enjoy doing for a long time: mounted archery bow hunting. I’m sure you’ve seen those epic movie scenes where skilled archers shoot arrows from horseback, right?
Well, guess what? You can learn to do that too! This adrenaline-pumping, ancient hunting technique has been making a comeback, and I’m here to guide you on your journey to becoming a master mounted archer.
So, saddle up and let’s get begin!
What is Mounted Archery Bow Hunting?
Mounted archery bow hunting is the fusion of two ancient disciplines – horse riding and archery – to create a thrilling, dynamic hunting experience.
Picture yourself galloping across an open field, bow in hand, scanning the horizon for your prey. As you close in, you draw your bowstring, take aim, and release the arrow in one swift, fluid motion. Sounds exhilarating, right?
Historically, using bows while riding horses was very important in battles. Skilled horse archers who could shoot arrows from horses made their enemies afraid.
Today, it’s a popular sport and hunting technique that allows you to connect with your primal instincts while challenging your physical and mental abilities.
Essential Gear for Mounted Archery Bow Hunting
Before we start learning this skill in detail, let’s discuss the basic equipment you’ll need.
- A suitable bow: Mounted archery requires a lighter, more maneuverable bow than traditional archery. A recurve bow, especially the traditional horse bow, is perfect for this discipline because of its compact design and quick-release capabilities.
- Arrows and quiver: Get yourself a set of arrows designed for bow hunting, and a quiver that can be easily accessed while on horseback.
- Riding gear: A comfortable saddle, bridle, and riding attire are essential for maintaining control of your horse while engaging in mounted archery. Safety first – don’t forget your riding helmet!
- Armguard and finger tab: To protect your arm and fingers from the bowstring, invest in an armguard and finger tab or glove.
Mastering the Basics
Before you even think about combining mounted archery and hunting, you need to be proficient in the basics of mounted archery. These include:
- Positioning: Learn to shoot from various positions on horseback, such as sitting, standing, and even lying down. This will help you adapt to different hunting scenarios and improve your overall balance.
- Bow handling: Practice drawing and releasing your bow while riding at a walk, trot, and canter. Start with your horse standing still, then gradually increase the speed as you become more confident.
- Target practice: Set up stationary targets at different distances and angles. Begin shooting at a walk, and gradually progress to faster gaits as your accuracy improves.
Advanced Mounted Archery Techniques
Once you’ve nailed the basics, it’s time to tackle some advanced mounted archery techniques that will take your bow hunting skills to the next level:
- Moving targets: Set up targets on pulleys or swinging ropes to simulate the movement of live prey. This will teach you to anticipate your target’s path and improve your shooting accuracy.
- Ambidextrous shooting: Learning different ways to shoot arrows while riding a horse will not only make you more skilled, but it will also make your friends impressed! Trust me, being able to switch hands seamlessly while galloping is a skill that’ll make you feel like a true warrior.
- Speed shooting: Work on shooting multiple arrows in quick succession. This is a must-have skill for mounted archery bow hunting, as it can make the difference between a successful hunt and going home empty-handed. A helpful tip: try exhaling as you release each arrow to maintain a consistent rhythm.
- Trick shots: Challenge yourself by attempting trick shots like shooting under your horse’s neck or between its legs. While these may not be practical for hunting, they’ll help you develop extraordinary control and finesse with your bow.
Safety Precautions and Ethical Hunting Practices
As exhilarating as mounted archery bow hunting can be, it’s crucial to prioritize safety and ethical hunting practices:
- Know your limits: Never attempt mounted archery bow hunting unless you’re proficient in both archery and horse riding. Accidents can happen if you’re not fully prepared, and we don’t want that, do we?
- Respect the animal: Always practice ethical hunting by targeting only legal game species and striving for a clean, humane kill. It’s our responsibility as hunters to minimize the suffering of our prey.
- Check the laws: Familiarize yourself with local hunting regulations and obtain the necessary permits before venturing out. This will help you avoid breaking any laws.
- Practice makes perfect: Regularly hone your skills to ensure you’re a confident, efficient, and safe mounted archery bow hunter. Remember, there’s always room for improvement!
Join the Mounted Archery Community
One of the best ways to learn and grow as a mounted archery bow hunter is by connecting with others who share your passion. Consider joining a local club, attending workshops, or participating in competitions.
These events provide invaluable opportunities to learn from experienced archers, exchange tips and tricks, and simply have a blast with like-minded individuals!
There you have it, folks! Mounted archery bow hunting is an exhilarating, challenging, and rewarding discipline that can take your hunting experience to a whole new level.
By following the tips and techniques outlined in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to embracing your inner warrior and mastering this ancient art.
So, go on – grab your bow, saddle up, and let the adventure begin! And remember, practice makes perfect. Keep at it, and you’ll be a mounted archery bow hunting pro in no time. Happy hunting!