Archery season opens in the Carolinas between mid-August and mid-September, and in South Carolina’s Lowcountry, hunters can take bucks with a gun on Aug. 15. Regardless, it’s time for all hunters to pull out the bows and rifles to make sure the eight months of downtime hasn’t dampened perfect accuracy. The last thing any hunter wants is a swing and a miss on opening day when that megabuck is standing still, broadside and within lethal range. 

Most of the time, the crosshairs and the sight pins are dead on the money, even though they could have been bumped a few times over the offseason. But it’s always good to test them out to make sure weapons are shooting true, dead on the money. Shooters should practice at different distances, from close range to the longest possible shots, to insure accuracy and precision are one in the same. 

Beyond the equipment, it’s a good move to practice shooting, just to get re-acquainted with the rifle, compound bow or crossbow. Archers need to practice more than anybody else. There are lots of moving parts, and even if a bow is capable of splitting arrows at 30 yards, the hunter has to do everything right to make sure his or her arrows hit their intended target. Archers should also practice in elevated stands when their hunting stands are going to be 20 feet off the ground, and they should shoot at various distances to ensure the big one doesn’t get away.