When it comes to filling archery tags with a bow, very few bowhunters kill as many animals annually as Shane Mowery from Bone Maniacs. Shane is a full time bowhunter who makes his living doing taxidermy, shooting videos for social media, and guiding big game hunters. He sleeps and breathes bowhunting and believes the reason he fills so many tags is because he practices shooting his bow daily. “One of the main reasons I am successful is because I shoot my bow almost every day year-round.  When an opportunity presents itself, I am confident in myself and the equipment I shoot. Confidence is important, especially when it comes to taking longer distance shots,” Mowery said.

Over the last several weeks, Mowery has killed several animals including a Boone & Crockett bear and a bull elk and distances greater than 60 yards. Being able to make long distance shots is why Mowery’s freezer is always full. “I regularly shoot at distances greater than one hundred yards, so I feel confident when I have a 70 or 80-yard shot on an animal that is standing still,” Mowery noted.

Many hunters will read the previous paragraph and cringe at the thought of taking an 80-yard shot. Mowery is the first to admit that everything has to be perfect for him to take a long-distance shot. “If an animal is moving, if an animal is alert or looking my way, I wouldn’t take the shot. An animal has to be relaxed and feeding.  The wind needs to be calm, and the shot needs to be wide open with no obstructions. When everything is perfect, I will take a long distance shot on a bull elk or a good-sized bear that is busy feeding,” Mowery explained.

Recently Mowery killed a monster black bear feeding on an apple tree. The bear was over 80 yards away, sitting still chewing on apples. “The bear I just killed might end up being a new world record for a sow black bear. I never would have been able to get within 20 yards of this bear. I was able to tag the bear because I was comfortable taking a long-range shot.”

Even if you are a whitetail hunter and your typical shot is 30 yards or less, being able to accurately shoot at 50 and 60 yards will greatly increase your success rate at 20- and 30-yard shots. Mowery suggests that everyone should learn how to accurately shoot at 50 yards and beyond. “The key to success boils down to shooting daily and making sure that every arrow in a quiver is perfectly tuned. All my arrows are spin tested, weigh almost exactly the same, and fly like darts.  Having a perfectly tuned bow and a quiver full of perfectly tuned arrows is critical.”

Most professional archers and hardcore bowhunters tune every arrow that goes into a quiver. They make sure every insert, every nock, and every broadhead weighs the same and flies perfectly. The easiest way to be a consistent long-range shooter is to have equipment that is tuned. An easy way to make sure an arrow is perfectly tuned is with the Arrow Inspector. This nifty tool is a spin tester that allows the archer to spin the arrow at a high rate of speed. If anything is wrong with the arrow, it will wobble on the Arrow Inspector. 

Shane Mowery fine tunes his own bows and only shoots equipment that can accurately shoot at distances beyond 100 yards. He currently uses a Bear Archery Execute bow and a Bone Maniac arrow tipped with a Sik F4 broadhead. 

Do you want to increase your long-range accuracy? Shoot daily and shoot at distances outside your comfort zone. Pretty soon a 40-yard shot will seem easy. If you shoot at 80 yards in your backyard, pretty soon a 50-yard shot will seem easy. Shoot at distances in your backyard far beyond what you would shoot in the field. This will this make you a better shooter and will increase your confidence in the field. 


- Tracy Breen