ARCHERY PRACTICE: The Southern Iowa Weekly Routine

Not everyone has the ability to go out and shoot a full 3D course in their backyard, but that doesn't mean that you can't use what you do have to maximize your archery shooting abilities and proficiency. Knowing the type of shots that southern Iowa produces for us each year, I have designed my own weekly archery routine that should help hunters from out-of-state with being prepared to come into Iowa ready to rock n' roll. Yet, we will talk about a few scenarios that always get overlooked and others that are basically guaranteed to happen.


With our stands, which are 20' ladder stands with fold-up seats, we encounter most shots within the timber or timber edge between 20yds and 45yds. Most stands are 10'-25' above the animal at the shot due to terrain/elevation changes. With our ground blinds & bale blinds, we are usually looking at 20yds to 60yds because we are overlook plenty of food plot or field. Most blinds are level with the animal, but you can expect slight elevation changes to either be a little above or a little below level. Elevated blinds, 5' and 10' are obviously aimed at providing elevation for the betterment of the shot opportunities, and those yardages range equally to even more than the ground blinds & bale blinds.

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DAY #1 & DAY #4 - "One Shot - One Kill" Mentality - Ground Blind Emphasis

1 x Shot at 40yds from seat at level target

(take 5 min break)

1 x Shot at 50yds from seat at level target

(take 5 min break)

1 x Shot at 60yds from seat at level target

(take 5 min break)

1 x Shot at 50yds from seat at level target

(take 2 min break)

1 x Shot at 40yds from seat at level target

(take 2 min break)

1 x Shot at 30yds from seat at level target

(take 2 min break)

1 x Shot at 20yds from seat at level target

(take 1 min break)

1 x Shot at 40 - 60 yards (random) seat at level target (no rangefinder)


NOTE: This forces you to not get into a lazy/relaxed rhythm with your shooting, which you'll never have anyway from the stand/blind in the deer woods. You will most likely get only 1 shot, so make it count! Focus. Breathe. Exhale. Squeeze.


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DAY #2 & DAY #5 "One Shot - One Kill" Mentality - Standing/Treestand Emphasis

1 x Shot at 30yds standing & from above target

(take 5 min break)

1 x Shot at 40yds standing & from above target

(take 5 min break)

1 x Shot at 50yds standing & from above target

(take 5 min break)

1 x Shot at 60yds standing & from above target

(take 3 min break)

1 x Shot at 45yds standing & from above target

(take 3 min break)

1 x Shot at 30yds standing & from above target

(take 2 min break)

1 x Shot at 20yds standing & from above target

(take 2 min break)

1 x Shot at 30 - 50 yards (random) standing & from above target (no rangefinder)


NOTE: This forces you to not get into a lazy/relaxed rhythm with your shooting, which you'll never have anyway from the stand/blind in the deer woods. You will most likely get only 1 shot, so make it count! Focus. Breathe. Exhale. Squeeze.


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DAY #3 - "Repetition & Increasing Rate of Fire" Mentality - Standing or Sitting

5 x Shots (Warm-Up) 1 Shot @ Each, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60

5 x Shots at 20yds

(pull arrows)

5 x Shots at 30yds

(pull arrows)

5 x Shots at 40yds

(pull arrows)

5 x Shots at 50yds

(pull arrows)

5 x Shots at 60yds

(pull arrows)

3 x Shots at 55 yds

(pull arrows)

3 x Shots at 45yds

(pull arrows)

3 x Shots at 35yds

(pull arrows)

3 x Shots at 25yds

(pull arrows)

3 x Shots at 20yds (take your time on these three arrows; best shots of the day)


NOTE: This allows you to get your reps in, but don't do so without paying attention to your repeated mechanics. Replicate everything you do every single shot. Get that established so that when you're tested, you're solid. Remember, get anchored, inhale, controlled exhale, squeeze.


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If you are blessed enough with time to go shoot on Day #6 and Day #7, mix it up and make the most of it. Challenge yourself. Put yourself into uncomfortable shooting scenarios. Get a range on a target at 35yds, and start walking backwards, spin around once, stop, draw, and shoot. Guessitmate your distance is a great scenario to get to known your bow better. Shooting at longer distances is also something I love to do to make my closer shots better. I've gone out to 80, 90, 100, lost a few arrows, then come back to 60 and in every 10yds. Bow does the target look like the broadside of a barn. I can't miss my bullseye. Work on your breathing technique. Like long-range rifle shooting & precision pistol shooting, breathing is as important as the gun. Anyways, I hope this helps. If you try this out, share your feedback in the comments. I'm anxious to see how it worked for you and if it did help you improve your shooting abilities. Blessing from Iowa - stay safe out there!

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MDL Outfitters is an Iowa-based Limited Liability Company owned & operated by Matt & Jill Petersen. 

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