Should I Practice with my Hunting Arrows?

Should I Practice with my Hunting Arrows?

Unlocking the Secret to Precision and Performance

As an archery hunter, you often hear, “Should I practice with my hunting arrows?” It’s a valid question, especially when we invest heavily in top-notch equipment hoping for improved accuracy and performance. Delving deep into the nuances of this question, we’ll explore the pros and cons, some potential alternatives, and the impact of practicing with hunting arrows on your overall hunting experience.

Why the Question Matters: The Value of Consistency

Arrow broadhead tip

In every sport or discipline, consistency is the key to mastery. Hunting is no different. When we consistently practice, we internalize the technique, get familiar with our equipment, and improve our accuracy. Here’s where the debate kicks in: Is practicing with the exact gear you hunt with an essential aspect of this consistency?

  • Muscle Memory: Repeatedly using the same equipment reinforces our muscle memory. A slight variation in the weight or balance of your practice arrows compared to your hunting arrows can throw off your game when it matters the most.
  • Equipment Familiarity: Knowing the peculiarities of each arrow’s flight can be beneficial. Every arrow, no matter how minutely, can fly differently.
  • Confidence Building: When you practice with the same arrows you hunt, it builds confidence. Knowing that you’ve hit the bullseye numerous times with the same arrow you’re about to release on your hunt can be a game-changer for your mindset.

Concerns with Using Hunting Arrows for Practice

However, as with all things, there are concerns hunters have raised about consistently using hunting arrows for practice:

Broadhead practice arrow
  • Wear and Tear: Potential wear and tear is The most obvious concern. High-quality hunting arrows are not cheap; constantly using them can decrease their lifespan.
  • Broadhead Dilemma: If you’re practicing with broadheads, they can wear out, become dull, or even get damaged. Practicing with them might mean you’ll need to frequently replace or sharpen them, which can be time-consuming and costly.

Potential Alternatives and Compromises

If the thought of wearing out your hunting arrows bothers you, there are alternatives to consider:

  • Duplicate Arrows: Buy an extra set of the same arrows you hunt with. Use one set strictly for practice and the other for actual hunting. This way, you maintain consistency without compromising the integrity of your hunting set.
  • Practice Tips: Consider using practice tips if you’re concerned about broadhead wear. They replicate the weight and balance of broadheads but are designed for repeated use.
  • Regular Maintenance: Regularly inspect and maintain your arrows. This way, even if you’re practicing with them, you can ensure they’re in top condition when it’s time to hunt.

Conclusion: Should I Practice with my Hunting Arrows?

After weighing the pros and cons, my personal process is;

  • I do have a practice and hunting set of the same exact arrows.
  • I practice with field tips for a better part of the off-season.
  • When the opening day is a couple of weeks away, I will start practicing with my broadhead but limit it to the same two broadheads.

I find my field tips and broadheads perform very closely with subtle differences.

Ultimately, the decision rests with each hunter, but knowing the intricacies can make the decision well-informed.

Should I Practice with my Hunting Arrows? FAQs

Can practicing with hunting arrows affect their flight during an actual hunt?

Over time and with excessive use, any arrow might show variations in flight. However, with regular maintenance and inspection, this risk can be minimized.

How often should I inspect my hunting arrows if I’m using them for practice?

Ideally, after every practice session. Look for any signs of wear, cracks, or bending. The fletching should also be inspected for damage.

Is there a significant difference in flight between practice arrows and hunting arrows?

The difference should be minimal if both sets are from the same brand and model. However, minute variations can always exist due to manufacturing tolerances, wear patterns, or even the way the arrows are stored.

Can I sharpen my broadheads after practicing with them?

Yes, you can. If you choose to practice with broadheads, it’s essential to keep them sharp. Invest in a good broadhead sharpener and ensure they’re razor-sharp for your hunt.


  • Michael Hodgdon

    A firearm, shooting, outdoor, and hunting enthusiast for over 35 years. Thank you all for the suggestions on topics you would like to see; we'll keep posting as you keep sending them in. Please comment; we will try to answer all comments quickly.

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