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Posted by not on the rug (Member # 46945) on :
 
Hey guys. So I'm a very experienced compound shooter and hunter but brand new to the trad game.

I seem to have the bow dialed in now in terms of arrow setup, but I'm trying to figure out an aiming technique. My needs are to be able to fling some arrows in the back yard and to hopefully be hunting with the bow by next fall. I'm probably not going to shoot 3d with it or any form of competitive archery. I'd like to feel comfortable out to 20 or even 25 yards eventually.

That being said, the person I worked with (literally a world class compound archer and guy who has been shooting recurves since the 60s) was having me high anchor and gun barrel in order to aim. Within my first few shots, I was shooting 5-6" groups on the 12yd range in his shop. I had a ton of fun. I have been shooting at my house the last few days at 15 yards and keeping a relatively consistent 8-10" group. Also, I'm comfortable with keeping both eyes open when I shoot

That being said, gun barreling still feels relatively unpredictible to me. I am struggling to find a consistent anchor. I ordered a 3 under tab from 3rivers, but in the meantime I'm shooting an old split tab.

Any reason to not gun barrel?
I don't really like the concept of gap shooting. I've tried it and it just doesn't feel comfortable to me, particularly in a hunting situation.

String walking or a fixed crawl approach is a bit more interesting to me. Especially the way it was explained in "the push."

The bow I'm shooting is a galaxy ember takedown recurve. Not ILF.

Should I just stick with the gun barreling? Any pointers on high anchor points? Ring finger to corner of mouth?

I'm definitely open to criticism and suggestions. Thanks
 
Posted by moebow (Member # 19141) on :
 
Brand new to trad?? Just shoot for a while, couple months. Aiming is something that will come with time!! You need to learn shot execution before you worry about aiming. Aiming is just ONE step in the shot sequence and really not the most important step.

Arne
 
Posted by McDave (Member # 10587) on :
 
Following on what Arne said, it's really not gun barreling that feels unpredictable to you, it's your lack of solid form, a dependable anchor, etc.

Gun barreling means using a high anchor where the arrow nock is right under your eye at full draw. Point on means the distance where you can put the point of the arrow on the spot you want to hit, without having to hold over or under the spot to allow for the trajectory of the arrow. Depending on where you anchor, your point on might be 15-20 yards if you gun barrel.

The main problem with gun barreling is that you're limited to rather close distances, which is not really a problem in your case since all you want to do is hunt at distances of 25 yards or less.

The second problem with gun barreling is that it's difficult to efficiently use your back muscles with such a high anchor, which limits your ability to get more accurate. Other archers have solved this problem by using a fixed crawl, which enables a lower, more efficient draw, while also moving the arrow up under the eye for a short point on. The problem with a fixed crawl is that it requires pretty good form to pull it off, since the arrow nock is separated from the fingers, so any form errors are magnified.

The usual progression for a trad archer would be to shoot instinctively for the first year or so, primarily working on form, which means that reference aiming methods (aiming by reference to the arrow point, for example) would not even be a part of the program at this point. Some people love the instinctive method, and stick with it until they become quite good at it. But usually not good enough to hunt with it during the first year. Most people who don't want to stick with the instinctive method switch to a reference aiming system after they have developed good form.

If this seems like a laborious process, consider that under the Eastern tradition, people are not allowed to shoot the bow until they have drawn the arrow for a year or more.

The bottom line is that people who like traditional archery tend to be process oriented rather than goal oriented people. That means that they enjoy shooting arrows more than they enjoy hitting anything (although they certainly hope that with continued practice they will hit more stuff as time goes on). If you are a goal oriented person, this would make no sense to you. You want to kill a deer and take it home. There are more efficient ways to accomplish this objective than with a traditional bow.
 
Posted by not on the rug (Member # 46945) on :
 
I think you hit it right on. The lack of a solid anchor is frustrating me a bit. I clearly need to get more arrows down range and figure that out. Form feels good so far. The higher anchor point definitely makes it more of a challenge to draw properly from the back muscles. If I draw with a lower anchor in mind (pointer or middle finger to corner of mouth) then its far easier to engage and utilize the back through the entire draw.

I am a tinkerer at heart. I love everything about the process of shooting my bows. I love tweaking and tuning bows. I love setting up arrows. I'm also the type of person who jumps in to a new pursuit head first. All I want to do right now is love and breathe traditional archery. That being said, I am goal oriented as well. I see no point in doing anything unless I'm doing it 100%. I do things until I master them.

So...would your advice be to ditch the gun barreling and just shoot the bow "instinctively" or should I simply use a lower anchor point and learn how to fixed crawl?

I prefer to find a technique that works for me and focus my efforts on perfecting that technique. If I continue the gun barreling, what would be some solid anchor points to focus on? Right now the only consistent point I'm finding is the back of my thumh to my cheekbone
 
Posted by McDave (Member # 10587) on :
 
The best advice I can give you at this point is to get volume 5 of Masters of the Bare Bow and study Jason Wesbrock. In my opinion (he may disagree) he gun barrels. He also may be the best person alive in the world today at that style of shooting. He has 4 or 5 anchors he will explain to you, some of which I have adopted myself (even though I don’t gun barrel).
 
Posted by not on the rug (Member # 46945) on :
 
Thank you
 
Posted by Jock Whisky (Member # 14300) on :
 
All good advice. With respect to aiming I tell the people I teach that aiming before you have your technique down is like shooting a rifle with a crooked barrel, different powder loads and bullet weights. Unless you get the gun in order you can aim all you want and never hit a thing.

Arne is right. Aiming is just one of the steps and there are others that are much more important.
 
Posted by YosemiteSam (Member # 45388) on :
 
I'll differ from McDave a bit. I found it easier to gap first and then develop an instinct while shooting. While my form was developing, it was helpful to know that at least my aim was consistent. It helped to control at least one of the many variables that go into a shot. After a while, I acquired some instinct. But I reflexively gap most of the time.

Gap shooting isn't much different than the single-pin sighting method of some compound shooters or the MPBR of a rifle shooter. Smaller gaps are easier than larger gaps. Long arrows, heavy arrows, high anchors and fixed crawl, string walking and face walking are all ways of making the gap easier to judge. Each have a compromise built in. I've settled in on long, heavy arrows, 3-under and a middle finger index and that works well enough for me. Gaps are only about 9" within hunting ranges so I just imagine my handspan somewhere below my bullseye, hold that gap & execute the shot. If I do that last part right, everything else takes care of itself. And a sharp-bladed 600+gr arrow will do anything I'll ever need it to once it arrives on target.
 
Posted by not on the rug (Member # 46945) on :
 
Update:

So I've been shooting as much as possible and I found several issues with the gun barreling.

1-not finding a consistent and comfortable anchor with it still.
2-it's effective range is about 15-16 yards. After that, arrows are just dropping.
3-I just don't like it

I basically just started drawing with my eyes closed and found that I feel most comfortable with an anchor of my middle finger to the corner of my mouth. From there, I was trying to use the arrow tip as a reference point, but honestly that actually feels weird to me. Like my eyes don't know what to focus on. I feel like I don't know how much of the arrow point to use and was getting some vertical variation in my shots.

So...I decided for the past few days to just shoot without thinking. I have been shooting at 10, 15 and 20 yards. I pick my spot, go through my sequence and let the arrow fly. Miraculously, the arrows seems to be going roughly where I want them to go. I'm noticing more issues with left to right variation than I am with up and down. And I'm noticing those issues as I get more tired.

I also think I need to trim my new tab down a little bit. I got a new Fred Eichler 3 under tab but judging by what others have posted pics of it may be a little too wide and a little too long. Some minor trimming may be helpful

As of now, I'm shooting off the shelf, but I think I may add a rest.

Because this is new to me, it feels foreign and a bit more complex than I thought it would be. It's just as nuanced as shooting a wheelbow
 
Posted by McDave (Member # 10587) on :
 
From your latest post, it sounds like you’re making some changes. Why not just change to something that has evolved into good form over many years? If you would like to do that, I can recommend all of Arne’s videos, Rod Jenkins videos, particularly volume 3 of Masters of the Bare Bow, and Rick Welch’s videos. If your goal is to develop your own style, go for it, but if your goal is to become as accurate as possible in the least amount of time, then I would recommend studying an existing style that has proven to be successful.
 
Posted by JNewton (Member # 46760) on :
 
Hey, not on the rug!

First, I have to point out that I consider myself very much a "re-learning archer". I quit bowhunting (and bow shooting) to rifle hunt with family members. Getting back into it now, and am mostly having struggles with form consistency. Point being, my advice may not be the best you can get here. I still hope I can help a little, and encourage some also......

quote:
So...I decided for the past few days to just shoot without thinking. I have been shooting at 10, 15 and 20 yards. I pick my spot, go through my sequence and let the arrow fly. Miraculously, the arrows seems to be going roughly where I want them to go. I'm noticing more issues with left to right variation than I am with up and down. And I'm noticing those issues as I get more tired.
This really hits home to me. I pretty much have the same thing going on. Now, I love to shoot groups, or at least attempt to. [knothead] On the shot right-to-left variation, I've done 3 things that have helped my shooting, personally.

1. Focus on consistency of ALL PARTS of my shot cycle. Get this fundamental down to the point where you're almost bored with it. I will practice simply swinging my bow arm up with my elbow in my shooting position, without even pulling back on the string. Next, I'll introduce pulling to anchor, but not shooting the arrow. And so on, through the little individual details of my shot cycle.

2. A clicker has helped my draw and release be a bit more consistent. As per the above advice to focus on all parts of the shot cycle, it's helped me focus on pulling straight back with my release, using back tension.

3. Like you, I found with my 59# recurve, my groups went to crap as I got tired. I went down to my 50# longbow, and it was pretty much more of the same. Somewhere here in this forum, I found the advice to just shoot 1 single arrow at a time. It makes me focus on making the most of this one shot. I try to visualize each shot as a shot on a deer, and I HAVE TO make it count! Kinda pretty much like in a hunting situation, which, like you, is my ultimate goal. One arrow at a time gives me way less fatigue, a better "mental outlook", because most of my shots hit closer to where I want them to hit, and I get a bit more exercise with all the walking..... [thumbsup]

At any rate, I hope this advice is good, and that it helps. That's my intent here. If it's not, I hope someone with "better credentials" will correct me.
 
Posted by not on the rug (Member # 46945) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by McDave:
From your latest post, it sounds like you’re making some changes. Why not just change to something that has evolved into good form over many years? If you would like to do that, I can recommend all of Arne’s videos, Rod Jenkins videos, particularly volume 3 of Masters of the Bare Bow, and Rick Welch’s videos. If your goal is to develop your own style, go for it, but if your goal is to become as accurate as possible in the least amount of time, then I would recommend studying an existing style that has proven to be successful.

I was sort of following the advice I was given earlier and just shooting some arrows with actual aiming being the least important part of the shot sequence.

I have actually been watching videos from all of those guys and a handful of others and picking up lots of information from all of them.

I think I'm at the point with the recurve that I just need to be shooting more arrows. Let my brain really learn what it feels like to shoot it. Focus on my form and sequence and just have fun.

Unfortunately, that's when the other half of my brain kicks in and goes twitchy on me for not shooting 2" groups at 20 yards like I do with my compounds. While I am enjoying the processof shooting the recurve, I'm finding the results portion of it frustrating. I think it's the feedback portion of the shot. So, when I shoot my compound, I go through my sequence, my anchor points line up, my peep and sight align and I apply back tension until the arrow releases. There is constant feedback throughout the process letting me know if what I'm doing is correct or incorrect.

With the recurve, its a stick and a string. I go through my sequence, anchor and have no idea if I'm pointing my bow at the bullseye. There is no feedback and my brain hasn't experienced shooting it enough to know what I'm doing right and what I'm doing wrong.

That, in a nutshell, is why I wanted to focus on an aiming system from the beginning. You guys told me otherwise so now I'm trying not to even think about aiming and just going through the shot process and using my instincts to point the bow in the right place
 
Posted by not on the rug (Member # 46945) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by JNewton:
Hey, not on the rug!

First, I have to point out that I consider myself very much a "re-learning archer". I quit bowhunting (and bow shooting) to rifle hunt with family members. Getting back into it now, and am mostly having struggles with form consistency. Point being, my advice may not be the best you can get here. I still hope I can help a little, and encourage some also......

quote:
So...I decided for the past few days to just shoot without thinking. I have been shooting at 10, 15 and 20 yards. I pick my spot, go through my sequence and let the arrow fly. Miraculously, the arrows seems to be going roughly where I want them to go. I'm noticing more issues with left to right variation than I am with up and down. And I'm noticing those issues as I get more tired.
This really hits home to me. I pretty much have the same thing going on. Now, I love to shoot groups, or at least attempt to. [knothead] On the shot right-to-left variation, I've done 3 things that have helped my shooting, personally.

1. Focus on consistency of ALL PARTS of my shot cycle. Get this fundamental down to the point where you're almost bored with it. I will practice simply swinging my bow arm up with my elbow in my shooting position, without even pulling back on the string. Next, I'll introduce pulling to anchor, but not shooting the arrow. And so on, through the little individual details of my shot cycle.

2. A clicker has helped my draw and release be a bit more consistent. As per the above advice to focus on all parts of the shot cycle, it's helped me focus on pulling straight back with my release, using back tension.

3. Like you, I found with my 59# recurve, my groups went to crap as I got tired. I went down to my 50# longbow, and it was pretty much more of the same. Somewhere here in this forum, I found the advice to just shoot 1 single arrow at a time. It makes me focus on making the most of this one shot. I try to visualize each shot as a shot on a deer, and I HAVE TO make it count! Kinda pretty much like in a hunting situation, which, like you, is my ultimate goal. One arrow at a time gives me way less fatigue, a better "mental outlook", because most of my shots hit closer to where I want them to hit, and I get a bit more exercise with all the walking..... [thumbsup]

At any rate, I hope this advice is good, and that it helps. That's my intent here. If it's not, I hope someone with "better credentials" will correct me.

Thanks for the advice. I think it's excellent. Years ago I was doing the "shoot 1 arrow only" when I wanted to take my compound shooting to the next level.

I will focus on all aspects of my shot cycle and just stick to instinctive aiming for now and see where that takes me.

Thanks
 
Posted by JNewton (Member # 46760) on :
 
Personally, I think you're on the right track! [thumbsup] For MY intended purposes of shooting, I don't really want or need an aiming system like Gap Shooting, Gun Barreling, String Walking, or etc.. I like Instinctive shooting, for what I wanna do. If I were to only want to shoot groups, or compete in 3D comps, Field Archery stuff, or things of that nature, then an aiming system of some sort becomes a necessity. No argument; some form of sighting is superior for that. But for my intended purpose with a bow (short range shooting), I see nothing wrong with Instinctive shooting......

Just strive to be consistent in all aspects of your shot cycle, and be patient. Make the elements of your shot cycle "repeatable" ( hand position and grip on the bow, head position, anchor, release, follow through, & etc.). The level of accuracy you want to get won't happen overnight, in a week or possibly months. It does take some time to "get good" at this game. You have to put some arrows downrange. Remember this if some frustration tries to creep in. Keep it fun & upbeat. Again, above all else, Be Consistent! (which is waaay easier said than done, in my case, hee hee.....)

With what I've heard about the weather there on your side of the country, are you able to get out to shoot much? Is it pretty much an indoor deal, for now? We keep hearin' it's cold enuff to freeze the nads off a Eunuch, and such..... [campfire]
 
Posted by not on the rug (Member # 46945) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by JNewton:
Personally, I think you're on the right track! [thumbsup] For MY intended purposes of shooting, I don't really want or need an aiming system like Gap Shooting, Gun Barreling, String Walking, or etc.. I like Instinctive shooting, for what I wanna do. If I were to only want to shoot groups, or compete in 3D comps, Field Archery stuff, or things of that nature, then an aiming system of some sort becomes a necessity. No argument; some form of sighting is superior for that. But for my intended purpose with a bow (short range shooting), I see nothing wrong with Instinctive shooting......

Just strive to be consistent in all aspects of your shot cycle, and be patient. Make the elements of your shot cycle "repeatable" ( hand position and grip on the bow, head position, anchor, release, follow through, & etc.). The level of accuracy you want to get won't happen overnight, in a week or possibly months. It does take some time to "get good" at this game. You have to put some arrows downrange. Remember this if some frustration tries to creep in. Keep it fun & upbeat. Again, above all else, Be Consistent! (which is waaay easier said than done, in my case, hee hee.....)

With what I've heard about the weather there on your side of the country, are you able to get out to shoot much? Is it pretty much an indoor deal, for now? We keep hearin' it's cold enuff to freeze the nads off a Eunuch, and such..... [campfire]

Thanks again. I'm ok with focusing on being consistent. I am a hunter through and through and have nothing but the utmost respect for wildlife. I won't take a stickbow in the woods until I get it right. If that means next season or even the one after, then so be it. I will only hunt when I feel like I'm shooting at my own high standards, and not before that.

It has been in the single digits here, with negative temps overnight. I've been very limited to what I'm shooting. Maybe even only a dozen or two arrows a day, but I'm still practicing my shot sequence indoors and then letting off.

The temperature rose dramatically in the past few days and I was able to come home from work and get out in the yard for an hour or so each night. It's currently 48 degrees out and you'll find me out in the yard this aftenroon flinging as many as I can before the sun goes down
 
Posted by YosemiteSam (Member # 45388) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by not on the rug:
Update:


1-not finding a consistent and comfortable anchor with it still.
2-it's effective range is about 15-16 yards. After that, arrows are just dropping.
3-I just don't like it

I basically just started drawing with my eyes closed and found that I feel most comfortable with an anchor of my middle finger to the corner of my mouth. From there, I was trying to use the arrow tip as a reference point, but honestly that actually feels weird to me. Like my eyes don't know what to focus on. I feel like I don't know how much of the arrow point to use and was getting some vertical variation in my shots.

So...I decided for the past few days to just shoot without thinking. I have been shooting at 10, 15 and 20 yards. I pick my spot, go through my sequence and let the arrow fly. Miraculously, the arrows seems to be going roughly where I want them to go. I'm noticing more issues with left to right variation than I am with up and down. And I'm noticing those issues as I get more tired.

I also think I need to trim my new tab down a little bit. I got a new Fred Eichler 3 under tab but judging by what others have posted pics of it may be a little too wide and a little too long. Some minor trimming may be helpful

As of now, I'm shooting off the shelf, but I think I may add a rest.

Because this is new to me, it feels foreign and a bit more complex than I thought it would be. It's just as nuanced as shooting a wheelbow

I'll echo McDave -- use proven systems first. Then worry about recreating your own wheel once you've mastered that. Archery is diverse enough that there are lots of styles to learn over a lifetime. Mediterranean release vs thumb. Instinctive vs gap. longbow vs shortbow. Stationary vs moving targets. Everything feels weird when you first try it. Then you develop a feel for it. Take this opportunity to let it be awkward, clumsy & such so that you learn it right the first time. Otherwise, you're more likely to develop "training scars" as one martial arts teacher called them (bad habits from other teachers, self-teaching, etc.).

If your arrows are dropping fast after 15 yards, I'm guessing that you're either shooting way too heavy a weight of arrows, the arrows are coming out sideways and robbing you of speed or the arrow is too high on your face. I get my arrows dropping like that when I'm anchored way up on my cheekbone... Unless I'm shooting a homemade bow... But that's a different beast.
 
Posted by not on the rug (Member # 46945) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by YosemiteSam:
quote:
Originally posted by not on the rug:
Update:


1-not finding a consistent and comfortable anchor with it still.
2-it's effective range is about 15-16 yards. After that, arrows are just dropping.
3-I just don't like it

I basically just started drawing with my eyes closed and found that I feel most comfortable with an anchor of my middle finger to the corner of my mouth. From there, I was trying to use the arrow tip as a reference point, but honestly that actually feels weird to me. Like my eyes don't know what to focus on. I feel like I don't know how much of the arrow point to use and was getting some vertical variation in my shots.

So...I decided for the past few days to just shoot without thinking. I have been shooting at 10, 15 and 20 yards. I pick my spot, go through my sequence and let the arrow fly. Miraculously, the arrows seems to be going roughly where I want them to go. I'm noticing more issues with left to right variation than I am with up and down. And I'm noticing those issues as I get more tired.

I also think I need to trim my new tab down a little bit. I got a new Fred Eichler 3 under tab but judging by what others have posted pics of it may be a little too wide and a little too long. Some minor trimming may be helpful

As of now, I'm shooting off the shelf, but I think I may add a rest.

Because this is new to me, it feels foreign and a bit more complex than I thought it would be. It's just as nuanced as shooting a wheelbow

I'll echo McDave -- use proven systems first. Then worry about recreating your own wheel once you've mastered that. Archery is diverse enough that there are lots of styles to learn over a lifetime. Mediterranean release vs thumb. Instinctive vs gap. longbow vs shortbow. Stationary vs moving targets. Everything feels weird when you first try it. Then you develop a feel for it. Take this opportunity to let it be awkward, clumsy & such so that you learn it right the first time. Otherwise, you're more likely to develop "training scars" as one martial arts teacher called them (bad habits from other teachers, self-teaching, etc.).

If your arrows are dropping fast after 15 yards, I'm guessing that you're either shooting way too heavy a weight of arrows, the arrows are coming out sideways and robbing you of speed or the arrow is too high on your face. I get my arrows dropping like that when I'm anchored way up on my cheekbone... Unless I'm shooting a homemade bow... But that's a different beast.

That's the thing. I want to use a proven system, but all the advice I have been given here was to NOT use a proven aiming system and just shoot. So that is what I'm doing.

As for the arrow drop, the arrows are actually on the lighter side of things. I'm sure that the gun barreling (which for me requires a high cheekbone anchor) is the reason. Shooting with a middle finger to corner of my mouth feels the most comfortable with my anatomy and it what I am going to stick with.

I came home from work and shot 36 arrows instinctively today, in groups of 6. I was getting 3-4 of them at a time in a 4-5" group, and tended to have 1 or 2 outliers each time. I was focusing on form and technique and really using back tension to cause the release. All of that feels great actually.

I'm going to put a rest on the bow next week and have the nock height adjusted. I feel like at this point, it may help me be a tad more consistent.
 
Posted by moebow (Member # 19141) on :
 
not...rug!!! We aren't saying that you don't want to aim or use a proven aiming system. We ARE saying that you are NOT READY to aim yet. You MUST get to a consistent and repeatable shot BEFORE you decide on an aiming system!!!!! So IF you want the short route to hitting, shoot at 5/6 feet, without aiming until your shot is absolutely solid.

With that approach, you will be aiming and hitting in 3/4 months.

If you select some "proven" aiming method and ONLY concentrate on that, you MAY be hitting the target in a year or two, but again maybe not. Your choice.

Arne
 
Posted by not on the rug (Member # 46945) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by moebow:
not...rug!!! We aren't saying that you don't want to aim or use a proven aiming system. We ARE saying that you are NOT READY to aim yet. You MUST get to a consistent and repeatable shot BEFORE you decide on an aiming system!!!!! So IF you want the short route to hitting, shoot at 5/6 feet, without aiming until your shot is absolutely solid.

With that approach, you will be aiming and hitting in 3/4 months.

If you select some "proven" aiming method and ONLY concentrate on that, you MAY be hitting the target in a year or two, but again maybe not. Your choice.

Arne

Why do the two have to be mutually exclusive?

Why can't I work on my form AND aim at the same time?

When I first got in to compound shooting I wasn't shooting blank bales for months, I was picking spots and hitting them. Sure it took months and even years to get my form right. Sure I still make sure that all of my practice arrows are shot with perfect form. If I don't feel 100% I let off and pause for a few moments before I do it again. But at least I was actually pointing my bow at something.

Why is shooting a stickbow any different than that? I keep seeing and hearing that I shouldn't worry about aiming and that aiming isn't important, but haven't seen anyone explain why that is the case. And from my experience, aiming a stickbow is 1000x harder than aiming a compound, so it seems odd to ignore that for months

I'm appreciative of all of the advice. I'm a "why" person and without the why being answered, I'm having a hard time understanding the process
 
Posted by moebow (Member # 19141) on :
 
It is because the compound system has to a great degree engineered the PERSON out of the shot execution. Think about this; you have a let off so don't have very much weight at holding, you have a "wall" that sets your draw length, you have a mechanical release that makes the release MUCH easier, you have sights (peep and pins) that give you alignment.

In single string, you have full weight at full draw, no wall so you have to learn what your full draw position is and get it consistent, you release with fingers(BIG change from a mechanical release)which is an art in itself, you may or may not be using sights, and are probably shooting off the shelf rather than a fall away rest.

Compound experience LARGELY does NOT transfer to trad shooting. There is a huge learning curve involved and that is best learned one thing at a time.

"Why can't I work on my form AND aim at the same time? " You can!! But you will greatly reduce (slow) your progress by trying to do too much at once. Free world and you can do whatever you want or whatever feels good to you. Those of us that have spent many years teaching new shooters like to think that we have a good handle on how to get folks progressing and successful.

As I said earlier, your choice. But again Trad archery is not compound archery and shouldn't be compared.

Good luck with what you decide to do.

Arne
 
Posted by not on the rug (Member # 46945) on :
 
Thank you Arne. That's what I'm looking for. I have been and will continue to work on my form. Obviously for all forms of archery, form is paramount.

I'll continue with this for the time being.

Should I be focusing on anything at all in terms of aiming? Or just pointing at the target and letting it fly?

I guess what I'm asking is should I be looking for something in particular to know when it's time to move forward? How will I know that my form is good and consistent if I'm not aiming at anything in particular and not shooting groups?

Thanks again
 
Posted by moebow (Member # 19141) on :
 
Again, start CLOSE and just point bow hand at center of the bale. Learn how the "T" feels with the full weight of the bow at full draw. Learn to hold bow arm still, string hand should come straight back off the string (no flipping of the hand), feel the bow weight in the back not the arm. Just shoot one arrow to start. AND have the bale at shoulder height.

JUST get comfortable with the shot to start. THEN, after a week or so of that move the bale back a little and repeat. Move back again, repeat. As you approach 5 or 6 yards, shot 2 arrows, again just bow hand pointing at center of bale. IF you start banging arrows together move back again. A little at a time!

If you can, post a video so I (we) can see what you are doing that will help a lot!

Don't rush it, this is not a one or two practice thing but several sessions as you move back. Always just pointing the bow hand at the center of the bale.

The tough part of this is IF you want to get good, you do NOT judge your shooting (at this point) by shooting for results. If you are being consistent, you will get groups even if not shooting at a specific point. When you get groups, then will be the time to start "aiming." Not before.

Arne
 
Posted by McDave (Member # 10587) on :
 
Incorporating the discipline of the blank bale into your learning routine is useful because it allows you to focus on a single aspect of your form. For example, you can try six different variations of your grip and focus on how each feels. One of the things that none of us has completely mastered is awareness of what all the parts of our body are doing during the shot process. This awareness is what enables you to know what went wrong with a shot, and how to fix it on the next shot (or better, to not shoot the shot if you catch it in time). Awareness is gained by physically focusing on distinct shot elements as independently as possible, repetitively, and without the interference of cognitive thoughts or value judgements. This is best done with a blank bale. Trying to hit a mark when you’re trying to expand your awareness is a distraction and slows the learning process.

That said, few of us in the Western culture could resist flinging a few arrows at a bullseye or a pinecone, even when we may not be quite “ready” to do that. I don’t see how this hurts anything; just be aware that your real learning is taking place in front of the blank bale.
 
Posted by McDave (Member # 10587) on :
 
I have always been very curious, and have explored as many different shooting styles as I can find. My tendency early on was to treat them like a menu in a Chinese restaurant: take an element of one person’s style from column A and one from another person’s style from column B.

Later, I found that a “style” consists of a group of elements that work well together, but don’t necessarily mix well with elements of someone else’s style. My advice would be to learn one style completely, and if you want to study a different style, learn it completely and separately. There are elements of good form which all styles seem to have in common, but there are other elements which are unique to a particular style, and don’t mix well with other styles.

Maybe after you become an expert you can develop your own style, which contains some of the unique elements of other styles and a few of your own, but it is best not to do this during the learning process.
 
Posted by not on the rug (Member # 46945) on :
 
Thanks for those last few posts guys.

Arne- I'll work on starting a few feet away from the target and do what you recommended.

McDave-Understanding our bodies is something that fascinates me. I'm a health and fitness nut, as well as someone who studies and attempts to live in as "zen" of a manner as possible. I meditate daily and one of those meditations is a simple body scan where I focus on and devote a breath or two to every single inch of my body, becoming aware of it and allowing it to be what it is. I feel like this sort of mentality has allowed me to become a better archer (as well as a better person.) I will try to be mindful of my entire body for each shot that I take.

What you describe is basically a body scan throughout the shot process. That makes a lot of sense to me. In shooting my compounds, it's a far more simplistic process. Sure, everything needs to be done correctly, but there is feedback from the bow throughout the entire process. Multiple anchors, kissers, peeps, sights, levels, etc. With a stick and string, I need to be far more aware of everything because none of those external feedback systems exist.

I will keep things as basic as possible and just allow myself to be a man shooting a bow. Nothing more and nothing less. I'm sure I'll give in to tempation here and there and plink at some bullseyes too.

Thanks again guys
 
Posted by Jackpine Boyz (Member # 45525) on :
 
Please don't bash me off the site, but I see a lot of people get hung up on this transition. It sort of like fishing with a bait caster vs a fly rod. You need to relearn some stuff, and will never "beat" the bow. The journey is part of the process.
Form is key, ALL great archers have great form. Even a casual form like Fred Asabell has a reproducible "T". So always include the form in whatever approach you are taking, and low poundage for practicing.

The other big thing is don't get hung up on filling some stereotype with your bow/style. If you love the bow, but want to be really accurate really fast... put a site on it (gasp!!!) Plenty of people with longbows/recurves have sights and even peeps and stabilizers. Look at all the bear bows from the 60's. People used to pay the factory to paint them and then drill and mount sites, now we are starting the paint off and throwing out the sites. The point isn't to get a site necessarily, but don't let it overwhelm you. I struggled a long time because I felt that a longbow meant instinctive and fast shooting. Now I playing with gap and split vision.

In your case, you could run a sight and even a peep for a few months. This will allow you to get used to establishing a draw at full poundage, a split finger or three under loose (please don't release an arrow, that is active motion and you'll pluck the string), learn to shoot a constant anchor without a back stop, and with a site you'll also develop some understanding on the holds involved with split/gap/instinctive. When you are ready for the next step, loose the peep, then the sight. Or keep em if you like em. If using a peep be sure that the peep fits you, not the other way around which leads to the wheelie bow head nuzzle.

Six years ago when I got heavy into the tradbows, I would have blown this off, but I also worried too much about preconceived ideas of what it meant to shoot a longbow.

Defiantly focus on the mechanics. Arne has been a great mentor to me, and his videos are excellent on explains the olympic style (BEST system) adapted to trad bows. Most compound friends I know were surprised how much there from improved just messing with my longbows for fun in deer camp. A stick and string will show you everything you mess up in your form. For me the big thing was PROPER back tension with shoulder rotation. I used the muscles was took a long time to quite using my bicep when drawing. Form Master is a great and simple device to use for this.

Sorry for the long rant, but remember the journey is yours, don't let it overwhelm you. The advice earlier in this post is all excellent and well intended.

If you like the mechanics side of this, Arne is great with olympic style as is Rod Jenkins.
Archery Anatomy is also great book on mechanics involved.
 


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