Archery hunters that wait until a week or so before the beginning of hunting season to start archery practice do not shoot their bow enough. Instead of practicing year round these lazy hunters make excuses. This is extremely irresponsible and reckless. By not practicing during the summer months they limit their effective range and when the moment of truth comes they risk wounding the deer and losing it.
Every archery practice session should start with shooting form work. Proper shooting form is the single most important part of archery practice. The goal is to develop proper shooting form without thinking about it. With enough practice your form will become second nature. For this reason the first couple arrows of each practice session should be dedicated strictly to form. Concentrate on your anchor point, grip and stance. If you can not consistently group your arrows tightly bad form often is the cause. Most archery shop pros will happily watch you shoot a few arrows and give guidance.
Archery hunters should practice at different distances up to their maximum effective range. Do this without the aid of a range finder or at set distances. The reason is obvious; you never know what distance the deer will show up. The goal is to be able to shoot soft-ball size ( 4 inch ) groups at every distance. At the end of each practice session shoot a few arrows five to ten yards beyond your maximum range. Over time this will help increase your maximum effective range. What you consider your maximum range should not change until your arrows group around the bulls-eye every time for a week.
Do not do all of your archery practicing from a standing position. Archery hunters should include sitting and kneeling positions. It is rare that an animal will give a hunter a perfect situation at shot time. Most shots on game are taken from the sitting position. It is good to change the position of your chair often. The key to this kind of practice is keeping a correct form in all stances. Anchor points have a habit of traveling when using different stances.
As hunting season nears shooting from a tree stand should also be included. This will be easier with a partner. Your partner can move the target around while you stay on stand. After your turn shooting you would do the same for him. When shooting downhill remember to bend at the waste. It is critical to keep your upper body straight and maintain proper form. It is good to do some of your archery practice in your hunting cloths, this includes any face mask you wear. The closer to hunting season the more you should wear them. I have a set of clothes that I use only for practice. That way my hunting clothes can remain scent free and fresh.
When archery season is over do not put your bow away. Keep it out and use it. Archery hunters do not have a good reason not to practice year round. Cost is not a factor as the arrows can be reused countless times. The only real investment is time. What better way to spend time than doing something you love?