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Author Topic: Snap shooting vs anchor point
doctorbrady
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I am going to stick my neck out and say that I believe that EVERYBODY has the ability to shoot better with a solid anchor and hold. My intention here is not to ruffle the feathers of my snap shooting friends. It simply stands to reason that with a consistent, reproduceable form and solid anchor one's shots will be more consistent and accurate as well. This is true whether you "aim" as a gap shooter or shoot instinctively. You will rarely if ever see a top finalist in any of the large 3-D shoots who snap shoots the target. It just doesn't build repeatable consistency. The exception to this rule is if a guy is overbowed and can't control the bow due to the fact that it is too heavy or if one suffers so terribly from target panic that they are unable to control the bow upon release. Imagine a rifle shooter who claimed to shoot better at long range targets from the hip or with a rapid freehand draw than off a stable rest. It seems incredulous. Yet as traditional bowhunters we attempt to defy what is common sense by making ourselves believe that something magical happens with a stickbow that allows us to shoot better when we are rushing the shot. If you are a gap shooter then you are certainly better off settling into your target and getting your point of reference than you are slinging off an arrow when it gets close. If you are an instinctive shooter, as I am, you are always better off giving your brain a second or two to fine tune your mental "sight picture" before you release the arrow. This also serves to better lock in the "sight picture" and "muscle memory" that you use to shoot at various distances. I saw Rick Welch demonstrate this well about a year ago while he was visiting me. He drew on the target and told me when he acquired the target. It took less than a second. He fired a few arrows this way and shot reasonably well by any standard. However, when he gave his brain a couple of seconds to fine tune the shot, his arrows slammed home with precision time after time. With the proper training and bow weight I am convinced that this style of shooting will always be more consistent than snap shooting. Brady
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venisonburger
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I tried it again, shot arrows with a couple different anchor points, one that I used for a long time, some that I never used, and then the floating type, the best was the floating, I was in the kill zone at different distances, angles, and actually slapping arrows together. My attempts with anchor points was less than impressive, I guess I'll work with this for awhile, see if it wavers, with deer season a few weeks off I don't want to get any negative issues in my brain, for now this is working I'm gonna run with it.
VB

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Traxx
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VB,
What it also could be,is that when you come to anchor,at the corner of yer mouth,you could be settlein.What i mean by that is,when you hit that anchor,you stop pulling,and relax back tension.I had a bout with this.When you dont stick the finger in the corner,you keep pulling with back tension,and get a cleaner release.

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Target archery is seeing how far away you can get and still hit the bull's eye. Bowhunting is seeing how close you can get and never miss your mark.

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Josh_IOWA
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Venison, if you start changing your anchor point it will treat you bad! If you ask anymore questions, next week you'll be shooting 3under and asking questions about some book. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

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Later, Josh. # 4143

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JC
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Well, as the famous line goes "opinions differ."

Just because you shoot quickly, doesn't mean you aren't in control, or don't have a consistent anchor. I will agree that the majority of shooters are better served with a "hold" type shot, but not everyone.

Your analogies are somewhat skewed in my opinion. If we were talking about shooting at 90 meters, I would liken that to your sniper example. If we were target shooting, I'd probably, at least partially, concede your point. However, at 10 yards in a hunting situation, it's much more like the quick draw. Ever see Bob Munden, famous quick draw and trick shot specialist, shoot? His accuracy certainly doesn't suffer from his speed. He's trained himself to do it right, but quickly. The same can be done with archery gear.

Does a baseball pitcher hold at any point during his pitch (though he does concentrate deeply on his target before his "draw" as many fast shooters do)? Does the quarterback pause at any point? What about basketball players? Hockey players, golf players? If they can do it, my question is, why can't anyone else? It's obvious the human mind and body can be trained to do some amazing feats, and with practice, at speeds that seem impossible to those who do it differently.

To some of us, it's not rushing the shot....it's the perfect pace for the shooter who doesn't hold at anchor (that's implying he's reaching anchor). To some of us, the shot is the entire time...from the acquisition of the target until the arrow hits....aiming is happening the entire time...once the arrow reaches anchor, there is no need to tary...all the fiddling in the world won't make any difference if the shooter is on target already.

Rick welch is an incredible shooter, of that I have no doubt. But what works for Rick, or Howard Hill, or Ron LaClair or anyone else does not necessarily mean it works for everyone.

Take a look at how Guru (Curt Cabrera) shoots. He barely pauses at anchor....let's see, he won the latest muzzy shoot. Watch Terry Green shoot...I'm not sure he's missed an animal in the last 2 years, and he's killed quite a few (and I'm glad he doesn't spend a lot of time at the tournaments I frequent).

Everyone should develop a style that best fits them. If it works, keep at it. If it doesn't, try something new. But don't be afraid to try something everyone else says doesn't work...cause everyone else may be wrong....at least about it working for you.

Your mileage may vary [Wink]

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"Being there was good enough..." Charlie Lamb reflecting on a hunt
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vermonster13
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The underlieing theme is they are consistent. I bet if you watched each of them shoot in slow motion, you would see them reach a consistent anchor point even if it isn't held. If you were to ask they would also tell you that they felt in control of the shot the entire time.

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longbowman
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Interesting thread. I learned to shoot in the 60's on my own and to this day shoot nearly a "snap shot" mode. However I hit my anchor "every" time but when the finger touches the arrow is gone because there's nothing for me to gain by waiting. My son shoots with training from Larry Wise and uses back tension with a solid anchor. We can both hit thrown disc consistantly and both average around 80% at 3D shoots but shoot totally different, especially in the "speed" department.
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Ron Vought
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JC - Good post and points of view on different shooting methods. I have to agree. Everyone needs to establish their own way of shooting.

The hold and shoot doesn't work so well for me. I believe my mind has too much time to think about other things using this approach. I like the "pull through" or "touch and go" method of shooting. I tried both ways of shooting and keep going back to the slow pull and "touch and go" release. I don't believe this is snap shooting like some people refer to it. I believe snap shooting to be a very quick draw with little or no anchor point, in other words no consistent anchor. I see alot of this at major shoots and most of the people I see using this method are not very good shooters. Not to say it doesn't work, but my view point is that they do not shoot well using a snap type of release.

Ron

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Terry Green
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Howard Hill didn't hold long....and he won 176 tourneys in a row...or some rediculous number.....AND he killed a bunch of critters. He pretty much snap shot, and he had a solid anchor. If you shoot fast, it don't automaticaly mean you don't have a solid anchor.

HH Shooting

HH shooting II

HH's Form Isolated

The sport is too individualized and personal to paint it with a broad brush.

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"An anchor point is not a destination, it's an evolution to execution" - Me

"It's important, when going after a goal, to never lose sight of the integrity of the journey" - Andy Garcia

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doctorbrady
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As I suspected, my comment got a few of you worked up a little bit. Let me start by reiterating the point that it is not my intention to disrespect anybody no matter what style or method they use. I think the dialogue is beneficial. First, let me say that I believe the addage "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." However, I would bet that there are a whole bunch of folks who read these posts that can't shoot with nearly the consistency that they would like. I have read hundreds of posts where folks have fretted about being able to hit 20 yard shots on game and others saying that game can't be taken ethically beyond 20-25 yards with a stickbow. What I know for sure is that folks struggle with accuracy and consistency, myself included.
My reply to JC is that we ARE target shooting. It just so happens that the targets are living critters. I have seen Bob Munden shoot and he is incredible. Keep in mind, though, that he is a trick shooter who practices a certain trick repetitively to get the result that he gets. Athletes also practice their talents a lot, and there is a difference between slinging a baseball into the "reachable zone" of another player or flinging a hockey puck into a big goal than zipping an arrow into a 4-6 inch pocket.
This is not to say that some folks who shoot quickly cannot shoot well. Obviously, some do. I have heard that Guru is a great shot, and I have no reason to think otherwise. There are many examples of people who shoot well and shoot quickly. My point, however, is this...ANY shooter with the proper weight equipment will shoot BETTER if they hold at anchor a second or two. Given a chance to do its job, your brain and muscles will fine tune your shot for you if you don't fall apart during the delay. I know that most of you have a solid anchor which helps immensely, but I believe that giving yourself a brief period to settle in serves to improve your shooting. Back to baseball... though the outfielders sling the balls very quickly to try to get it close to a baseman, the pitcher goes through slow repitive motions in an attempt at getting the baseball in the exact spot he wishes it to go. Even the fastest pistol shooters (and some are VERY fast)will shoot with GREATER accuracy if they allow themselves a little time to slow down. For those of you who were ever compound shooters or even rilfe shooters, you know that you can release the string the second that the pin approaches the target or the crosshairs move across the target. You can often hit the general area this way, but if you slow down and settle into the target your accuracy will improve dramatically. If you are a gap or "point of aim" shooter, this correlates very closely to you. Your point of aim is your sight. If you are an instinctive shooter, I believe that slowing down makes even more sense. Instinctive shooting is nothing more than relying on a mental "sight picture" and "muscle memory" to relay messages between your brain and muscles. With GOOD information, it works wonderfully, with an amazing degree of accuracy. Though are brains are created to run extremely fast, I firmly believe that the relayed information becomes more accurate when we give it some time to check and recheck itself. It probably does so thousands of times over the course of a couple of seconds. This is what I refer to as "fine tuning." Again, it is not that folks can't hit the kill zone when they release upon hitting their anchor point, but I believe they will hit better with a brief hold.
Lastly, the gentleman who started this post stated that he was hitting better with a "floating anchor." This is different than simply shooting quickly. I cannot imagine how anyone can shoot better without any sort of consistent, reproduceable reference point than with one...or two. I know of noone, including Bob Munden, who can pick up a gun and shoot it AS WELL whether shooting by aiming down the sights, shooting from the hip, or from various "floating" positions. That he is shooting better this way than with an anchor tells me that there is a problem with his overall anchor, form, bow weight...or something. My intention has not been to put him down, but to help him figure out what is going on. If he is still shooting on the money with this style, then by all means he ought to stick with it. My stong suspicion is that it won't last and he will become frustrated by inconsistency. This is where putting up some video of his form might be very interesting. Brady

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Vagrant
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quote:
To some of us, it's not rushing the shot....it's the perfect pace for the shooter who doesn't hold at anchor (that's implying he's reaching anchor). To some of us, the shot is the entire time...from the acquisition of the target until the arrow hits....aiming is happening the entire time...once the arrow reaches anchor, there is no need to tary...all the fiddling in the world won't make any difference if the shooter is on target already.
I totally agree with that, that's how I shoot. I'm aiming and letting my brain calibrate and calculate before I even start my draw, I continue to do so as I begin the draw and keep doing it through the draw, by the time I get to my anchor, I stop just long enough to make sure everything is in order and then let go. Just looking at me, however, it doesn't even look like I aim, I literally just draw and shoot but that is what works for me. Coming to anchor and staying there for a long time tends to give me a bad result due to the fact that I think too much. I look at the target and think, am I high, am I low, am I this or that, I let my mind wander from the spot I've picked, I'll let myself try to gap shoot...basically I totally lose focus by staying at anchor for too long and then my shot goes to crap. By aiming as I draw and then shooting I find I get the best and most consistent results. Just my two cents.
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JC
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First, I didn't see any post where anyone was worked up.

quote:
Originally posted by doctorbrady:
My point, however, is this...ANY shooter with the proper weight equipment will shoot BETTER if they hold at anchor a second or two. Given a chance to do its job, your brain and muscles will fine tune your shot for you if you don't fall apart during the delay. I know that most of you have a solid anchor which helps immensely, but I believe that giving yourself a brief period to settle in serves to improve your shooting.

I tried to shoot that way, with results far less than what I can accomplish shooting the way I currently shoot. It's simply just not the best way to shoot for everyone. I don't think there is one best way...or everyone would be shooting it. My point is, don't discourage folks from shooting a particular way simply because you don't agree with it. There are far too many good shooters who hold, and good shooters who don't to make the assumption that either way is superior for everyone.

I do think there are some constants for greater accuracy: properly tuned equipment, consistent anchor (wherever that may be), drawing elbow in line with the arrow, solid bow shoulder, consistent grip, and a practiced aiming system (whether gap or instinctive or somewhere in between).

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"Being there was good enough..." Charlie Lamb reflecting on a hunt
TGMM Brotherhood of the Bow

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30coupe
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I never know when the arrow is going to leave. Sometimes it takes off as soon as I touch anchor and sometimes it waits a few seconds. I think my brain just lets it go when the arrow is pointed at the target (usually). I find that I shoot best with a double anchor: middle finger at the corner of my mouth and nock or string (I can't see it so I can't tell which) just touching my cheek below my eye. I shoot 3 under and this puts the arrow directly under my eye. I stare at the target until I see an arrow appear on it. My string hand goes straight back (when I do it right) as I pull through.

I guess I shoot instinctively. I am looking right down the arrow at the target much like when I shoot a shotgun. I haven't quite figured out the gap shooting thing. I read about it and looked at pictures, but don't see how it works on deer.

Since we are all built differently, have different reflexes, hand-eye coordination, vision, etc., we just have to find what works and practice until it becomes natural I guess.

Interesting thread!

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longbowguy
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What's up doc?

Well, there you go stirring up the pot and trying to apply reason where reason does not rule. Your error is in using absolutes, like EVERYBODY, and implying at least 'always', and in every situation. The phrase "stands to reason" is always weak, and in my experience often wrong.

Now a shooter who starts out a snap shooter and has a psychological disorder that prevents him from shooting any other way will not likely ever amount to much in the shooting sports. But one who has developed good form then developed the capability to do it increasingly quickly is another matter. The first is bad snap shooting and the second is good snap shooting.

My club has the standard field archery course out to 80 yards and I shoot it often with the traditional longbow. I shoot fairly slowly. Sometimes the block and tackle boys with thier compounds have to wait for me. But I also often take a quick shot, in the manner of Howard Hill and many other fine hunting style archers, at close hunting range. This is often the most accurate shot of the day.

Another example, the same tv show that shows trick shooter Bob Munson also shows Rob Leathem shooting his Government Model semi-auto pistols. He is incredibly fast but also incredibly accurate. I have shot in that kind of competition and can say that really good shots can be made quickly fairly often.

Now, to shoot 100 good arrows in a day, the deliberate highly repetitive method is best. I do that a lot, and that is my normal practice. But if you do not think a really accurate shot cannot be made quickly, now and then, especially when it really counts, your reasoning needs some wider experience to stand upon.

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sar
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Heh.
This argument reminds me of something the guy who's helped me with my shooting told me:
"Steve, there's lots of great snap shooters. They can snap of a quick shot and hit whatever they want.
YOU'RE not one of them!"

To some extent, I wonder if snap shooting requires starting younger or having a lot of experience with shooting in general. I picked up a bow at age 38, with no real shooting background(for any weapon). The snap shooting didn't work well for me and my shooting didn't progress until I learned to hold in my anchor for a bit.

I'm kinda bummed that I won't be snap shooting aspirin out of the air anytime soon though!

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