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I shoot a sort of hybrid style of instinctive shooting where I stare down my target but still see my sight picture and tip of arrow. I feel so very confident when shooting at leaves and small targets but once I get on a 3D Target or a Block style target my groups fall apart. Mentally I am seeing the entire target which messes with me. Any advice on zoning in on a larger target? Any help? I know the age old saying "pick a spot" but it's easier said than done!
The thing that helps me is to really look at the target.
There is always something on the target that is "different", a spot of sunlight, a body contour, a small piece of pulled out foam, etc. Shoot at that.
Hope that helps.
edited to correct grammar mistake
-------------------- A hunt based only on trophies taken falls far short of what the ultimate goal should be . . . time to commune with your inner soul as you share the outdoors with the birds, animals, and fish that live there.
quote:Originally posted by woodchucker: Stop trying to shoot groups
Woodchucker is correct. Unless you're going to shoot in some kind of competition where shooting groups is required, it makes no sense to shoot groups. Shoot one arrow and go and get it, and then shoot another arrow from a different place. It puts you in a better frame of mind and helps you to concentrate when you know you're only going to get one shot, just as is usually the case in hunting. As far as different types of targets are concerned, you just have to get used to them, just like you have to get used to shooting at different distances. It would be nice if we could just learn good form shooting 5’ away from a blank bale, and then shoot the same shot at all targets at all distances, but (fortunately or unfortunately) that's not how it works.
Edit: I don't mean you SHOULDN'T shoot the same form you learn at 5' in front of a blank bale at all targets and distances; you should. It's just that you have to learn to do it.
-------------------- TGMM Family of the Bow
I'm a man, and I can change, if I have to, I guess. Posts: 4374 | From: Sacramento, CA | Registered: Oct 2006
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Yes. Shooting groups it’s easy to lose concentration and develop bad habits. Always shoot that one arrow like it’s at a booner. Vary range and angle. Pay attention to your exit rather than entrance. Quality is much better than quantity.
I agree with the other guys. Don't shoot groups. When I do, I tend to worry about group size instead of concentrating on each individual arrow. Also, it seems that since you are doing well with very small targets, you are actually still looking at the whole target, but it is small enough that the shot goes well. However on the 3D targets, that won't work. Like Sixgun said, if you pick a small point on the 3D animal, that spot of sunlight or small blemish that you fixate on becomes the whole target, and your small miss still has a good result. You are right, though - it is easier said than done, but with practice and concentration results will improve.
I've also seen it suggested (and I plan on trying it out for myself) that you take a smaller target (like a brightly colored 1"-2" round sticker or bottle cap, etc.) and put it over the spot that you want to hit on your 3D target. The claim is, that after serious, prolonged repitition, you get used to seeing & shooting at the "Magic Button," you will be more easily able to imagine that "Button" on objects without a small, distinguishable spot on it (like a deer's ribs?). The biggest reason that I want to test this theory is that at times, my vision at a distance isn't very good. That makes it hard to find a "hair" (or arrow hole in the center of the 12 ring) to pick out in the first place.
I have the same issue sometimes (whether I'm shooting groups or a single arrow at a time). It's hard for me to pick a spot, so I'm going to try some little stickers or something & see if that helps.... I'll be shouting it from the rooftops if it works. Lol.
Good luck. I hope that you get it figured out soon.
Posts: 1343 | From: Muskogee, OK | Registered: Dec 2012
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Pressure and setting changes affect your brain in ways that can screw with instinctive shooting. The greater the pressure or the more dissimilar the setting, the less reliable instincts can be (unless you're training under pressure).
It's sort of like how we say things we normally wouldn't when in a heated argument. Our instinctive brains have to be trained to respond under pressure in order for those responses to be reliable. Otherwise, your "cone of error" widens anytime there is a change in the setting or our mental state.
Personally, I can do instinctive just fine from 0-20 yards in the back yard but will always fall back on gaps when there's a change in setting. I don't always trust my instincts. But I know that my gap at 20 yards is about 9" and if I execute my form correctly, the arrow WILL hit the mark.
-------------------- "A good hunter...that's somebody the animals COME to." "Every animal knows way more than you do." -- by a Koyukon hunter, as quoted by R. Nelson. Posts: 766 | From: CA | Registered: Sep 2016
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Look at the information on ironmind hunting.com, Joel Turners website. A lot of people think it is about target panic. Its really about training to make every shot the same, whether shooting a clump or grass in the backyard, a large buck, or a target with a crowd watching. Once you follow the same process on every shot, you will be able to shoot consistently no matter the target.
-------------------- “The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted.” James Madison
"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities" Voltaire
Michigan Traditional Bowhunters TGMM "Family of the Bow" Posts: 952 | From: West Olive, Michigan | Registered: Nov 2005
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I use fluorescent green or bright yellow nocks. When I do stump shooting or unmarked U-Stuff it 3D targets I imagine that one bright dot where I am concentrating.
So, the next time I shoot I visualize that one, bright point of color where I want it to appear.
But you don't want to get in the bad habit of lifting your head to look. Just follow through and that dot will be where you are focusing and imagining it . . . hopefully.
Truly - I cant look at a deer or "hero shot" without visualizing that little dot where I would aim. It's an all day, every day thing.
I do shoot every day - some days several different times a day. Indoors and out. My 3D bag target is the best (as is stump shooting - but that can be hard on arrows). Shooting groups can also get you in the habit of shooting at your own knock - so you have a "cheater" aiming dot. That's another good reason to shoot one arrow and retrieve.
-------------------- Charlie P. }}===]> A.B.C.C.
Bear Kodiak & K. Hunter, D. Palmer Hunter, Ben Pearson Hunter, Wing Presentation II & 4 Red Wing Hunters (LH & 3 RH), Browning Explorer, Cobra II & Wasp, Martin/Howatt Dream Catcher, Root Warrior, Shakespeare Necedah. Posts: 4095 | From: Upstate NY | Registered: May 2003
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