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» Trad » Topic Archives » Shooting » 100% Instinctive versus Gap versus What-ever (Page 1)

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Author Topic: 100% Instinctive versus Gap versus What-ever
3 Fingers Under

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Returned to Traditional Archery Dec.'94. I must say sometimes it has been frustrating - the shooting part that is!
Read everything I could get my hands on concerning technique. Bought "Fred's book and video - re-read (and re-watched) them several times. Watched Byron Ferguson - "Become the Arrow", John Shultz's and Gary Sentmen's video -tried them all.
Early on I shot purely instinctive. I never turned in my scores at 3D shoots-too embarrassed! I decided to do it my way like I used to shoot traditional before I read anything (circa 1963). Started using the arrow as a front sight- things got better, collected a few trophies at club shoots. Shot that way until 2001. I guess peer pressure of "purely instinctive" caused me to give the instinctive method another try - better for hunting situations etc.
I've had good days but too inconsistent to suit me. Stayed with it until after a Labor Day 2003 than said "nuts" and I'm aiming again! Now I have more confidence while hunting. So I'm going to stick with aiming even though instinctive has many advantages over gap or aiming and is considered to be more "traditional".
Have any of you all out there had similar experiences? What do you think of aim versus pure instinctive shooting technique?

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Terry Green
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I think each person has to decide what works best for them. We are all different in make up. Some are better at some things, and some at other things.

Shoot the way you like...and don't worry about 'more traditional'.

"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

Black Powder Gang ......... &

Posts: 31300 | From: GAWGIA | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Arthur P
Trad Bowhunter
Member # 1046

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Only time I aim is when I want to actually hit what I'm shooting at. [Wink]
Posts: 268 | From: Denton County, TX | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Charlie Lamb
Charter Member
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Like Terry said, whatever works!! There are many ways to achieve satisfactory accuracy in this sport, but as long as you're holdin the weight and lettin go with your fingers it's all good.

I have a friend who shoots a bow I made for him. He wouldn't put a sight on it cause of me. After he missed and wounded a couple of animals I told him to put a damn sight on the bow and don't worry about it. He did and things changed. Now we're both happier.

Danged if I care how anyone else chooses to shoot a bow.

Hunt Sharp


Posts: 11366 | From: Missouri | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Trad Bowhunter
Member # 78

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Ditto ....experiment ...personally I do a combination of both ...anything over 20yds Im prob aimming...Mark#78

"If you're living your life as if there is no GOD, you had better be right!"

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Trad Bowhunter
Member # 592

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My shooting ranges from instinctive to disgusting. I think there are days when I couldn't hit what I am shooting at if I shot down a pipe. Man if sighting helps, by all means do it. There are probably many that aim without realizing it.

Good shooting to you.



It is the user that makes it dangerous, not the gun, bow, or knife.

Posts: 401 | From: Clinton, Ar | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Trad Bowhunter
Member # 1634

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I shoot instinctively 0-30 yards.Around 30 yards the arrowhead is in my sightpicture anyway so i guess i might as well use it.Aiming works well on greater distances,sometimes i shoot 90yards for fun.


Posts: 143 | From: europe | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Chris Wilson
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Who's to say what is "truely traditional". Shoot the way that works the best for you and be happy. I never bought into the "instinctive is better for hunting" hype. Gap shooting hasn't done me too bad over the last 6 years.

"You're either trained or untrained. When it hits the fan, you will always fall to the level of your training."

Posts: 2289 | From: Middle Tennessee | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 616

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Use whatever works best for you,who cares what other people think.Gene Wensel said it best,"there ain't no shame in aimin".
Curt }----------->

Curt } >>--->

"I love you Daddy".......My son Cade while stump shooting 3/19/06

Posts: 17703 | From: NY | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I've tried it all over the last 45 years. There are pluses and minuses for deliberate aiming techniques for hunting. I'm still trying to figure it out [tunglaff] . For target shooting there is simply no question as to what one has to do to shoot a competitive score - perfect form and a precise aiming system. Both of which I'm sadly lacking [knothead] [bigsmyl] [thumbsup] ....Van

Retired USAF (1966 - 1989)
Retired DoD Civilian (1989 - 2009)
And drawing Social Security!
I love this country ;-)

Posts: 5696 | From: Live Oak, Texas | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mike g
Member # 75

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If you ask 20 people whats Instinctive shootin, You'll get 20 differant answers....
I think the only truly Instinctive shot Is the first one....Your second shot from the same place will not be Instinctive because you mentaly learned somthing from the first shot and then you make corrections on that shot, so it's not Instinctive....
I guess I could say I shoot instinctive up too about 32 yards, After that I use sort of a gap system, Butt on some days I've shot up too 50 yds instinctive and done well....Other times not....
I know I'm not a snap shooter....The longer the shot, the longer I Aim, concentrate or what ever you want to call it....
I think that what ever you do repeadedly over and over, Your brain and muscle memorie takes over....So who's to say, That your aiming or Instinctively shooting....
I do know form has a lot to do with it....
Work on your form and let the rest just happen....
Pick up a Traditional bow....Pull the string and watch the arrows fly....And have fun.... [thumbsup]

"Mike your friend In Traditional archery" (M.A.L.)
Leather Armguards,Quivers,and Accessories, Mike's Archery Leather
"Rinehart 3D Target Dealer"
"TGMM Family of the Bow"

Posts: 4405 | From: Stockton California | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Trad Bowhunter
Member # 179

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I like aiming the arrow. Still instinctively figuring the arc! [Smile]
Posts: 107 | From: Beaver Co., Pa | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Charter Member
Member # 827

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some of my all time favorite bows are metal riser three piece take-down recurves. I shoot them with a good quality flipper rest of some kind or another. I usually know the gaps by heart at most reasonable distances and on the 3D range gap like an unzipped fly.

I have and do hunt with these bows quite a bit. Before going into the tree stand with one of these bows I take it out to a practice tree stand and "set" the gap. Although I have taken several deer with these type bows and the "set" gap I don't recall one time actually shooting the gap when the deer is under the stand. I musta but ya can't prove it by me.


Posts: 5715 | From: fort worth, TX | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 1812

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Funny thing, when I first started to practice I was trying to shoot purely instintive. I would get some good targets and some really good targets. So being of a scientific bent,I tried to isolate what was helping me get the good targets. I found I was instintively shifting my anchor so that the arrow was directly under my master eye. Then I changed my form to three fingers under the arrow. No string walking or sutch stuff. But I do reference the point of the arow unconciously. I found this out by shooting some shorter arrows, of course they went high. I suppose I might be unconciously be gap shooting or what ever, but who cares as long as it works. B.J.H. (AKA) KRITTER
Posts: 1 | From: Northumberland Pa. | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Trad Bowhunter
Member # 1669

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I have only been shooting for a little over a year now and never really knew how i was shooting until i read the differences between instictive and gap. Now i know for sure that out at the haybale range that has the yardage marked i was definately gap shooting.

But the most thrilling shots to me was where i was at a new area or range....didnt know the yardage and such and just let her rip without even thinking about it...and nailed her!!!

I have started stump shooting by being urged by a new friend and can say that it is great, but dang i really need to figure out a way to practice more "instinctive" shooting.

Besides just going out, taking only one shot and always shooting at different distances is there any other tips you all might have?

Thanks, "Okie Lance"

"Whats this? a Ranger caught off his guard???"....Arwen Elf Maiden

Posts: 297 | From: oklahoma | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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