So as promised, this article is a continuation from last week in which we discussed crossbows for handicapped or disabled hunters. This week we will focus in on how to get you and your weapon shooting efficiently and accurately with consistency. Everyone ready? w00t...let's go!
First, if you are someone who has difficulty holding a gun or bow, you are going to need some type of shooting platform that you are comfortable with. If you are going to shoot recreational, this can be a saw-horse or anything like it that will enable you to handle the weapon effectively. If you are going to hunt however, you are going to need something that will be small enough for a ground blind.
My recommendation is that you play and tweak until you find your perfect solution. If anyone has designed something, let me know. I would be happy to test it and write an article on it.
SoleAdventure.com and is an excellent example of a key concept in archery - Anchor Points. On a crossbow with a scope, you should hold it the same, touch the stock with your cheek at the exact same point, and be looking with the same angle in the scope each time you shoot. Because weapons are rarely accurate straight out of the box, using anchor points will allow you discover how and why your weapon is shooting inaccurately so that you can make the proper adjustments. Once you know where it is missing consistently, you can zero it in as they say.
The dial on the right side of the scope is windage. It is important to get this one dialed in first. You don't want to miss the tartget completely and kill the neighborhood squirrel. Make a shot or two for consistency and then make some adjustments and repeat until the target you are aiming at is in line and not left or right. Once you've got your windage, begin working on elevation which is the top dial on the scope. A typical 4x30 crossbow scope is meant to be dialed in at about 20-25 yards, meaning that the main cross hairs is spot on at that distance. Again, make several shots and then adjust until you are right on at 20 yards in a nice tight grouping.
Any last minute tidbits? Yep! For those of you in a powered wheelchair that has the ability to elevate up and down be sure to shoot with your chair always at its bottom most position. I experienced a sudden problem with inaccuracies because my chair was slightly elevated one day. I was shooting everything very low on the target where I had been spot on just minutes before. After discovering the issue, I bottomed my chair out. I began shooting flawlessly again. The difference of being elevated had caused my eye to look through the scope at a different angle than I had been. Those anchor points are very important.
Lastly, shoot a lot. Shoot at targets on different type of terrains - uphill, downhill, side-hill. Every shot has minor differences. If you haven't experienced it, you are more likely to miss when the critical moment comes.
Here are some pictures of my setup:
The third picture above is a shot at 50 yards with a slight wind coming from in front and to the right. Shots will never be taken on animals at this distance; however, I did have to win the game - hehehe.
- Scott Anderson