When shooting field archery, always consider how wind affects your arrows. Wind can range from gentle, refreshing breezes to strong, unpredictable gusts. Learning to judge the speed and direction of wind and their effect on accuracy can keep your arrows on course during windy conditions.
Tim Gillingham, a Hoyt pro-staff shooter, says windy conditions are tough for archers to handle. He practices often in wind, and looks forward to competing in windy conditions because he’s confident he can earn points and advance.
Gillingham gives nine tips for shooting accurately in the wind.
Catch the Drift
Tie a ribbon on the end of your bow’s stabilizer to you which direction the wind is blowing. Pay attention to trees and grass blowing on the range to judge wind speeds and their direction.
Don’t Shoot First
Try not to be the first person on the shooting line. Instead, watch other archers and adjust based on how the wind affects their arrows.
Shoot as heavy an arrow as possible. Just like bullets, heavy, small-diameter arrows don’t slow down as fast and don’t drift as much as lightweight arrows.
A Faster Bow
Consider a faster bow for field archery than you shoot indoors. A faster bow allows you to shoot heavier arrows than you need indoors.
Get Set Up
Set up your equipment to shoot in the wind. Consider a wide launcher on your arrow rest to keep the arrow from falling off.
The Right Sight
Choose the aiming aperture – or sight – that works best for you in the wind. Some people use a sight that circles the target; some people shoot a dot.
Practice in the Wind
Take advantage of windy days to practice. Knowing how to make accurate shots in the wind gives you an advantage in competitions or when bowhunting.
Imagine your arrow hitting different places on the target, not just the center. This technique, known as “aiming off,” can help you compensate for changing wind directions.
Practice a technique called “bubbling” if you’re using a dot sight. Bubbling allows archers to use the level bubble on their sight and aim at the center of their target for every shot.
Gillingham prefers aiming off with a circle sight, but encourages archers to find the techniques and equipment that best suit them. He suggests they visit a bow shop to ask questions and get advice before making final decisions.