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Posted by Lee Lobbestael (Member # 18775) on :
So I am attempting to switch from instinctive to gap and I have a couple questions. First do you keep the arrow tip in focus and the target blurry or vise versa? Also do you look at the spot where you are placing your arrow tip or on the spot you want to hit?
Posted by McDave (Member # 10587) on :
The usual way to gap shoot is to focus on the target, with the arrow tip out of focus in your peripheral vision. You focus on the spot you want to hit, not the spot where you place your arrow tip, unless you happen to be shooting at your point on distance. I would recommend you start off this way, as it has worked for many people.

Note that all the other ways you suggest have worked for other people at different times. The critical thing is to be consistent. If you have trained yourself to aim the usual way, and you forget and focus on your arrow tip, you will miss, miss high in my case.

If you were trained to shoot the rifle in the military, you were probably trained to focus on the front sight blade, with the target blurry. They even had a term for those who focused on the target instead: chasing the bull, which meant a circle of shots around the bulls eye with none or not many in the bulls eye. Don’t ask me why it works that way with rifles, and a different way with bows. Just one of life’s little mysteries, I guess.
Posted by Lee Lobbestael (Member # 18775) on :
Great thanks for the response!
Posted by reddogge (Member # 17294) on :
BTW there are two ways of gap shooting. Gap at the target or at the riser, ie: 20" under the target = 20 yards or 1" under the target in the sight window = 20 yards also. These will vary for everyone too.
Posted by McDave (Member # 10587) on :
I've never gapped at the riser, although I understand the theory. Is there any problem maintaining your focus on the target while you are setting your gap at the riser?
Posted by reddogge (Member # 17294) on :
No Dave, you kind of look right through the gap at the target. For me it's easier to visualize 1" at the riser than 20" at the target.

One of the guys on ArcheryTalk showed how he made a cardboard with cut outs of an 1", 3/4", 1/2" , 1/4" and you taped that to the riser to get an idea of what the gap looked like at a particular distance.
Posted by McDave (Member # 10587) on :
One situation where I would imagine it would be easier to gap at the riser is where the gap at the target is under the ground. For example, if you have a bunny rabbit or grouse on the ground, and the gap is 30”, it is hard for me to visualize where to put the arrow tip that would correspond to a spot 24” under the ground (assuming the spot I want to hit the animal is 6” above the ground). If the corresponding gap at the riser is 1”, it probably looks about the same whether it is above the ground or under the ground.
Posted by reddogge (Member # 17294) on :
Yes you are correct. It just takes a while to retrain the old brain to see the gap at the riser or the end of the arrow.
Posted by kat (Member # 8939) on :
Actually, I do it differently. Once I determine the yardage to the target, I determine the gap needed, and put the tip of the arrow at that point. For instance; if my gap is 6" below my intended impact point, that is the spot that I look at. The tip of the arrow becomes blurry, while I concentrate on the target. I believe this may be called 'point of aim'. What ever works for you.
Posted by reddogge (Member # 17294) on :
For those who are still confused about gapping at the riser vs gapping at the target here is a professional drawing of it.

Posted by the rifleman (Member # 31319) on :
I don't mean to hijack this thread, but Reddoge do you shoot gap at riser? If so do you shoot 3 under or split? Any tips for starting out w this method? Id be interested in learning more about it--- big gaps downrange mess with me and high anchors mess with my form. Right now im shooting fixed crawl which is taboo at the 3d shoots.
Posted by JNewton (Member # 46760) on :
I have to go on record as being a HUGE FAN of Reddoge's professional drawing!!!

[clapper] [thumbsup]

It actually does really help me. Since all I can draw is stick people, I totally get it.......

So, are the folks I see with lines/stripes on the "belly" side of the riser (corresponding with different yardages, like my sights on my old compound bow had) gap shooters, essentially?

Posted by reddogge (Member # 17294) on :
Jimmie, I'm glad you liked the drawing. I worked hard on it.

Depending on the bow I gap at the riser but used to gap at the target for both bows. My target bow, a Gillo G1 I shoot 3 under and point on is 20 yards with long arrows. My 3-D bow is a Titan III and I shoot it split with a 35 yard point on and long arrows which is manageable with some of the long targets our courses seem to have around here. I have a fairly high anchor, middle finger.

My only suggestion is to learn to SEE the gap at the riser. It takes some retraining of the brain. First figure your gap at the target and then try to see it at the riser. HTH.
Posted by YosemiteSam (Member # 45388) on :
I usually focus on the target. But I've played around with focusing on the point of the arrow with good results, too. Both work. But I've also learned that it's better to have a rough aim and perfect form than perfect aim and rough form.

I still struggle with the idea but in just about all shooting I do (archery, rifle, handgun), aiming is the least important factor. Form is king.
Posted by the rifleman (Member # 31319) on :
Thanks Reddoge!
Posted by LongbowArchitect (Member # 34644) on :
Quote by McDave "The usual way to gap shoot is to focus on the target, with the arrow tip out of focus in your peripheral vision. You focus on the spot you want to hit, not the spot where you place your arrow tip, unless you happen to be shooting at your point on distance."

This is the form that Jimmy Blackmon uses and recommended to me when I switched to shooting gap. This works well for me except for when the lighting is not great and I struggle to "see" my arrow tip in my peripheral vision. I find, at those times, that if I BRIEFLY close my left eye (I'm right handed) that it helps me to see my arrow point in my peripheral vision better.
Posted by McDave (Member # 10587) on :
That's why I think it is good to be trained in instinctive shooting. I wouldn't shoot at an animal under these conditions, but in a 3D shoot where the lighting is not great, or where the arrow tip gets lost in the undergrowth and it's difficult to gap, it's nice to be able to just focus on the target, forget about the arrow tip, and know that the arrow is going to end up pretty close to where you're looking.
Posted by the rifleman (Member # 31319) on :
Seeing the tip of the arrow shaft was more important for me when I first started out. I relied on it to confirm my gaps at different distances. The more I shot the more my focus went from being on the arrow to being on the target. I still know where the arrow is but it is now only in my peripheral vision. As McDave said, the "instinctive" shooting is something that may help you make shots under less than ideal circumstances and comes about after many shots. When I shot rifle competitively the sights were important at first, after years of shooting I looked through the sights at the target. The brain is capable of much more than we access it to do...

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