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How to do Archery in the Wind and Rain - Part Two

I have already written a post on the topic of How to do Archery in the Wind and Rain before, so you may want to read that one first.

What I am writing here is more advanced skills for succeeding at archery during even more horrific weather conditions.

I do struggle to imagine when a person might use such skills, such as maybe bowhunting during a rainstorm, windstorm, etc.

If it was a competition I would wager they would just reschedule the competition for the next day.

Included below are some basic archery tips for shooting in wind and rain, mixed in with more advanced skills.

#1. Practice on rainy and windy days - the rainier and windier the better. The more practice you get the better you will understand how to shoot in adverse weather conditions.

#2. Dress for the weather conditions. Clothing that keeps you warm and dry, water resistant hoodies, rain jackets, pants that don't flap in the wind, boots that are waterproof, double socks for warmth, etc.

#3. Water resistant sunglasses or glasses. Why? The water will run off them faster instead of collecting in droplets. If you wear glasses, you will want these when shooting in the rain.

#4. Don't fuss about the rain. REVEL IN IT. Enjoy this opportunity to learn how to shoot in horrid conditions and you will be better for it. Don't let the weather put you in a foul mood. Let it uplift and make you excited to try something new and challenging.

#5. Have fun. Experiment with shooting longer distances than you normally do, fast shooting, shooting while kneeling in the mud, etc. Having fun while shooting will allow you get rid of your fears of the rain and give you confidence when it comes to future events when you need to be able to shoot in the rain.

#6. Learn to adjust your shots during heavy rain. Typically you need to aim a few inches higher.

#7. Keep your arrows dry until you are ready to shoot. Your fletching will get wet and clump together. They will fly better if they are not soaked.

#8. Once your arrows are already soaked, nothing you can do about it. Just keep practicing and learn how to shoot with wet fletching. (Wider fletching would be better in conditions like this.)

#9. Bring a towel. Honestly, you will need it.

#10. Bring an umbrella. Well worth it just to keep warm.

#11. Bring a friend, someone who is willing to hold the umbrella for you while you shoot.

#12. During windy conditions use a wider stance to help keep yourself still so the wind doesn't blow you around so much.

#13. Shoot from a kneeling position to get better stability in extreme wind. (This means you will need to practice shooting from a kneeling position in extreme wind.)

#14. Learn to shoot without fletching on your arrows. This will be a good learning experience so you learn what happens when there is no fletching.

#15. Learn to shoot in-between wind gusts for increased accuracy.

#16. Watch the grass or trees (or a wind sock) to give you a better idea of when it is gusting and when it is not.

#17. Do yoga and body weight exercises to give you better balance during windy conditions.

#18. Tie a ribbon or feather to the bottom of your bow, to give you a better idea of wind direction and gusts.

#19. Learn from your mistakes.

#20. Learn from your clusters where to aim.

#21. Adjust for shifting wind conditions - be vigilant and learn to aim in a different direction depending on what the wind shifts to.

#22. Stay hydrated. Yes, you are surrounded by wind and rain, but being dehydrated internally won't help you. Many archers forget to stay hydrated even on hot days.

#23. Make sure you slept well the night before and are well rested. Your balance will be better if you are well rested.

#24. Shoot in wind and rain for longer periods of time (eg. 4 to 6 hours). The longer you shoot the more used to the wind and rain conditions you will become, making you more in tune with how to shoot in such conditions. Shooting for 30 minutes and then going home is not enough time to kickstart your learning process.

#25. Bring hot tea with you. Avoid coffee and things with caffeine in it. Hot tea will keep you warm, whereas caffeine will make you jittery and make your brain jumpy - which slows the learning process.

#26. Take a hot shower after your archery session is over. This is more for health reasons, so you don't get sick. Drink some hot tea too to warm up your body temperature.

#27. Eat fruit - releases fructose sugars into your blood slowly and raises your blood sugar / energy levels slowly, which is what you will need. Avoid white sugar, brown sugar or sugary foods.

#28. Take up bowfishing - and wade into the water while doing bowfishing instead of standing on a dock or in a boat. Get used to the water and shooting while in the water and cold / shivering.

#29. Practice even in the winter - in cold, windy, snowy conditions. If you can practice in cold conditions then you can learn to shoot in any weather conditions.

#30. Strip down to your skinnies and shoot in barely any clothing. This will give you a better appreciation and understanding to what cold does to your body while doing archery. (South Korean Olympic archers go through a similar process, including sitting under ice cold waterfalls in order to make them resistant to cold. This gives them a mental edge when doing archery.)

#31. Take up Zen meditation. I recommend the book "The Unfettered Mind", which is a series of letters written by a Buddhist monk and sent to samurais, but the concepts he discusses applies to archery too.

#32. Practice archery daily, regardless of wind, rain, fog, snow, mud, low light conditions.

#33. Practice archery at night sometimes, even during wind and rain on a cold dark night. Learn to shoot at night and shooting during the day will seem easy.

#34. Learn to block out distractions and yet still be in tune with your surroundings. Food for Thought: You sense the rain, but don't feel the rain. It is the difference between sensing something and becoming distracted by something.

#35. Always look to challenge yourself. Remember wind and rain is just an extra challenge. Learn to accept and embrace challenges by trying new things, not just in archery but in life in general. You will be more mentally prepared for a challenge if you learn to accept every day challenges as a learning experience.

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