Watch this video demonstrating and explaining the Howard Hill shooting style and see what you can use.
Howard Hill is a man that needs no introduction in most archery circles. A Hall of Fame archer, prestigious bowhunter, and consummate archer, Hill may have been the finest archer to ever have lived. Not only was Hill an incredible archer, but he hit the scene when archery in America needed a shot in the arm. Hill, along with Fred Bear, Art Young, and Ben Pearson, came along when interest in archery was dwindling. They adventure bowhunted, shot archery video, wrote hunting articles, and in general promoted the sport when it most needed advocacy. Hill was one of those outspoken leaders we can thank for our modern archery revolution.
As mentioned, some consider Howard Hill the best shooter to ever have lived. While this opinion is certainly debatable, the fact that Hill was an incredible shot remains. Hill is credited with over 2,000 kills in his bowhunting career, including bull elephants and lions. Read his book Hunting the Hard Way, and you’ll also realize he pursued nearly anything he could with a bow and arrow. He hunted deer, elk, buffalo, a tremendous amount of birds, and was successful on all of them. He shot close shots, and executed a few very far shots. At one point he claims to have killed an elk at over 180 paces. It was these sorts of feats that earned Hill the reputation that follows him today.
Of course, when you are as successful as Howard Hill people naturally want to know your secret. Hill was not terribly shy about teaching people his style of archery. In fact one of his disciples, John Schulz, made a video demonstrating the Howard Hill shooting style. After his time with Hill, Schulz himself went on the lead a life as an acclaimed archer. The Hill shooting style proved well for him, and those he taught.
Recently, a fellow uploaded a Youtube video of the vintage Howard Hill shooting style tutorial. It is about 40 minutes long, but certainly worth a watch. Not only is Schulz a good teacher who breaks things down easily, but his style can offer some tips you may find useful. If you don’t have time to watch the full 40 minutes, I’ve included a cheat sheet below the video to help you skip to portions of interest.
Video Cheat Sheet
Anecdotes @ Beginning
Schulz begins the video with some anecdotal stories about his relationship with Hill. It certainly is entertaining and highlight Hill’s supreme talent.
Form starts @ 10:50
Describes as “casual and fluid”, this portion of the video describes the Howard Hill style draw. It gives advice on your front shoulder, bow hand, draw, anchor, and head tilt. Everything builds off the basic foundation so this part is certainly worth watching.
Anchor @ 13:55
More detail about how to hold the bow string and your anchor point.
Bow Hand @ 14:40
Contrary to the philosophy of many, Hill reportedly claimed to, “Get ahold of it” in reference to the bowhand. Schulz also stresses that upon release both hands should do nothing.
Sequence @ 16:40
At this point Schulz demonstrates the Hill shooting style several times.
Handling Arrows at 17:30
Interesting insights at this point. He explains the importance of handling arrows by the nock and why you should set your nock point below your nock, rather than above.
Shooting for Speed @ 23:35
For those of you looking to improve the speed at which you can shoot, there is guidance at this point in the video.
Sight Properly @ 24:25
Hill used a peripheral vision technique that is similar to the gap shooting method. Schulz explained several ways you can cut the gap between your reference point and target.
Moving Targets @ 32:14
For those archers already proficient in their archery form, here is information about how Hill taught to hit moving targets.
Hopefully you’ll take the time and watch the entire Howard Hill shooting style video. It is entertaining, enjoying, and very educational. Although you may not be able to incorporate all the tips into your shot, you may find something to include. Perhaps you are a beginner and you’d like to start from scratch with this technique. Maybe you are just fine with how you shoot, but like the stories and learning about how a legend shot. Whoever you may be, if you’re an archer hopefully you appreciate this vintage video.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on shooting tips and styles. Please comment in the space below.
Also, thanks for taking the time to read this article and watch this video on Howard Hill’s shooting style.If you like the content, I’d encourage you to follow the blog by subscribing at the bottom of the page You may also enjoy this article I wrote on another historic archer; Chief Compton; The Forgotten Father of Archery.
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