The closer we got to September, the more arrows I would shoot. Since it’s pretty convenient for me to slip out to my backyard and sling a few, I shoot almost every night. I really am pretty disciplined when it comes to shooting with the exception being that I probably don’t shoot enough during the actual season.

Certainly, I should as the weather gets colder and more layers are required to go out and hunt. Instead of getting all dressed up I end up shooting in the warmth of my basement. That works but shooting outside while wearing heavy layers is a lot different.

I tried to time out my practices so that I was shooting more as summer was starting to come to a close and as the archery season was approaching. That was the plan and that’s what I’ve been doing for years and years, until this year. It seemed like the more I shot, the more frustrated I was getting. The low point for me was when I broke two arrows because I missed the foam target and the arrows smashed into the safety back stop. That’s an all-time record for me and not a record to brag about.

When I broke those two arrows, I knew that it was time for me to stop. I needed to take a break and take a few deep breaths before trying again. Starting over meant a visual inspection of my bow to check if all of my sight marks were still lined up. I always mark the critical points using either nail polish or a white marker to ensure that nothing goes sideways on me.

At first, I thought that everything was OK until I stumbled across the vertical set screw that was loose and barely threaded on. To make matters worse, I could tell that only the last three threads of the set screw were catching which meant the vertical alignment of my bow was not secure.

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I headed to the hardware store and bought a longer set screw, just to be safe. I didn’t want to be sitting up in a tree stand on a mountain somewhere and discover that problem again.

Having fixed that problem, my shooting somewhat returned to normal with a couple of exceptions.

Now I don’t name my arrows, but I number them so I know if a certain arrow pulls left or right or deserves the title of hunt-worthy. I have arrows that never leave my backyard because they are so erratic. The only reason that I keep them around is to shoot them for muscle memory. I know they shoot terrible, but when I’m loosening up or just starting to shoot in July, it’s all about proper form and technique.

Having said all of that, I found out that a couple of “junk” arrows got mixed in with my practice arrows and thus made it seem like I was shooting way worse than I actually was.

There have been other small things that have happened to influence my shooting. I’m not sure if the glue on my fletchings has a shelf life but holy smokes I’ve gone through a pile of bad veins on my arrows. And if one vein goes bad, I rip the others off so I know that it’s time to re-fletch or replace.

So that is my entire preseason of shooting summed up in a few paragraphs. I know that those things can all be explained, but I’ve never had so many things happen all at the same time. The timing of all of this defies logic. Then again, maybe not. Maybe it can all be explained like all of the other craziness of 2020.