“You can do everything right as a hunter, but if you don’t make the shot, you won’t have success when it comes to notching a tag,” says professional archer and teacher, John Dudley, whose passions for hunting and archery go hand in hand.
"I teach people based on my experiences, both what limited me but also what helped me excel,” he says. “People tell me they tried something for the first time and have never shot so good or they watched one video and instantly started shooting better. That kind of thing is rewarding and keeps you coming back.”
Dudley first became a competitive archer to improve himself as a bowhunter. He tells bowhunters aspiring to improve to become year-round archers by participating in winter leagues, events or group outtings.
What he loves about archery, he says, is a little hard to describe. “It’s always felt natural to me. I just love watching arrows fly.”
His love for bowhunting is in its complexity. “It’s constantly hard. It’s a continually moving chessboard, and you have to learn to react and adapt—and then be able to be at your best in a split second—that’s the difference between success and not.”
“Shoot with people who will put a little bit of pressure on you to improve. All of that stuff starts adding some big checkmarks to your column.”