Advanced Instictive Shooting for Bowhunting

Reviewed by Andy
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If you want to be the best then you need to learn from the best. G. Fred Asbell is one of the worlds best bow hunters and has been writing books on the subject of archery for over 30 years. What Fred doesn't know about archery isn't really worth knowing, certianly when it comes to instinctive archery at least. Picking up a bow and just shooting can at first feel very natural but it's not long before the frustration starts, which is usually the moment the instructor moves you back further than 5 yards. It can then take a life time to master and many of us drift off on a path, some with sights, some without, some with traditional bows and some with compounds.

Everybody has something to learn, and Fred still understands this for he is as willing as anybody to tell of how he has made those same journeys we have, changing anchors, different bow hand positions and beyond. Over the 50 years Fred has been shooting he has refined his methods and through the course of 3 pervious books and a DVD tried to pass those methods on to other archers. Advanced Instinctive Shooting for Bowhunting is squarly aimed at the instinctive bow hunter, but there is plenty in the 180 pages for everybody.

This first and foremost is an instructional book and there is none of the ususal "This is a bow", "this is an arrow" basic explanations you find with many other books. That is not to say or indicate that the book is for very experienced archers only just that it knows what it's focus is and sticks to it. There is a small section on tabs and gloves but Fred offers no adivce other than to state his own preference and move on to something else. 

Over the course of 17 chapters Fred takes us through the various componets of the shot, body, arm and hand positon and also chapters on practice, why we miss and then a Jane Fonda style work out (leotard optional). One of the key chapters which Fred often refers back to is Push-Pull shooting and it is a running theme from that point onwards. Personally I would say much of Fred's advice is unconventional, particuarly on stance and anchor, but this is all about instinctive shooting and he has developed his methods to make the best of that situation. There is a strong bias towards hunting, obviously as the title says it all on that front, but there is pletny there for any type of archer and in my view any exposure to different techiniques is more than welcome.  

For me the highlights are the chapters on concentration, stance and bow hand and wrist position, the two titled "Why We Miss" and "Bow Weight" come across as fillers if you want an honest opinion, which labour their points a little too much and could have been adequately covered in other areas in less detail. It's difficult to write a book review without giving too much of the plot away so I won't go in to detail about what's covered in each but there is a wealth of information in each one, you could certainly dip in and out of the book at intervals, although a full read initially wouldn't go a miss. It would be as equally useful to get it out at the range as there is some excellent advice on practice towards the end which is well worth focusing on. 

If you want to improve your archery then I can only recommend that you read as much as possible, if you are an instinctive archer then this book really is a must along with Fred's other books, but there is still plenty for those looking to improve using other aiming methods. It's clear that Fred is on the same journey as all of us, constantly looking to improve and refine his methods, thankfull he has invited us all along.

Rating 
Content

It's wasy to read with a nice two column page layout. The chapters are packed with information but Fred has avoided any waffle. Plenty for anybody looking to learn something new or improve on current methods.

Quality
Softback but a nice shinny cover, there are tons of colour photos. One word of warning on those, there are as many images of people doing things wrong as doing them right so make sure you read the text.
Value for Money
Not cheap, especially if you are outside of the US as it doesn't seem as if it's available on the world market. But archery books are not cheap so if you were to by any archery book this would be as good a choice as any.
Overall
A must for any instinctive archer and a must for anybody really wanting to expose themselves to tradtional archery methods, plenty in there for everybody.