By Mark Kenyon
If I told you there was a way you could noticeably improve your archery accuracy in less than 5 minutes, would you believe me?
Probably not. We live in a world where every hunting show, book, magazine and website promises us a quick fix to our deer hunting woes – but most often there aren’t one size fits all, quick changes that really work. Sometimes though, we find a gem. And we’ve got one today.
Make The Change
If you haven’t already, get an allen wrench, and remove the grip from your bow. What you’ll be left with, on most bow models today, is a much thinner piece of the bow riser, which is your new and improved bow grip.
Now go shoot. If you were to carefully measure your average group size before and after, I can almost guarantee your group will be tighter now that you’ve made that change. Believe me now?
So why does the removal of your bow grip improve your accuracy? It’s because of torque. Torque is the force that is applied to your bow, in one direction or the other, from your hand contacting the grip of your bow. This contact can greatly effect your accuracy, as it will push your bow side to side, throwing your arrow off the mark. The first way to minimize this torque is to open up your hand when gripping the bow. In an old Wired To Hunt YouTube video, click here to watch, I explain how loosening your hand grip on the bow can dramatically reduce your torque and improve accuracy.
But once you’ve done this, the next way to reduce that torque is to minimize the space that your hand has to contact the bow – and this can be achieved by removing the large grip. By minimizing the space of contact, there is less of a chance that your hand can put a force on your bow in any direction other than straight towards your target. This will ensure less side to side variability in your shots, and more accuracy.
I was reminded of the importance of bow grip when I read a recent article in Field & Stream, in which Scott Bestul, Dave Hurteau and Will Brantley shot three different bows with and without their large bow grips (Bear Motive 6, Matthews Creed, Hoyt Charger). They each shot their bows with/without grips at 30, 40, and 60 yards and averaged out their before and after average groups.
The results were compelling, and it was one of the only tests they conducted in which a simple tweak to their archery set-up did actually immediately impact their accuracy. At 30 yards their groups shrank from 3.05 inches to 2.43, at 40 it changed from 3.88 to 3.62, and at 60 it went from 6.01 to 4.98 inches.
I really like the over-molded rubber grip on my Bear Anarchy, as it’s comfortable on the hand, and doesn’t get icy cold in the winter. But, after being reminded of the dangers of torque, I decided I better remove the grip and see if it helped.
With the simple work of an allen wrench, I had the over-molded grip removed, and I was down to the much thinner riser of the bow.
I got to shooting and I noticed two things. Number one, without the larger grip attached, the bow sat much more snugly in my hand. And secondly, while I wasn’t able to mathematically measure it out, it seemed that I was visibly shooting tighter groups. Most notably when I shot out at 40 yards, I could tell I was putting them in the ring much more consistently than I had been earlier this year with the chunkier grip attached.
Kill More Deer
So there you have it. If you have a few extra minutes today, take off your bow grip and you’ll be able to say you made a meaningful improvement to your chances of killing a deer this fall. By minimizing the size of your bow grip, you’ll reduce the contact your hand has with the bow, which will in turn lessen the chances of you torquing the bow when shooting. The end result will be more consistent groups, and you becoming a more deadly hunter. Sound good?
Have you tried this and seen positive results? Any other tips? Let us know in the comments!