Shooters Forum

Contribute to Trad Gang
Become a Trad Gang Sponsor







Author Topic: Back to split finger?  (Read 825 times)

Offline the rifleman

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 820
Back to split finger?
« on: February 17, 2019, 12:38:32 PM »
I started out shooting split years ago and seemed to plateau---I shot several deer that way but also missed high quite a bit.  When I hit, I couldn;t say why---same for when i missed.  I have been shooting 3 under ever since and even used a fixed crawl with good results this hunting season.  For the past month and a half I have struggled with collapses as I have refined my hard aiming system.  Needless to say even with well tuned arrows my lefts and rights were horrendous.

I've been trying split finger again and found that the shot is much more fluid (less hard aiming based on reference at the bow or arrow and less time at full draw so less time to collapse I'm guessing).  At 15 yards I can hit the mouth of a paper cup and/or get close enough to touch the cup with the arrow on most shots.  When I move back to other distances I struggle as well as when I stump shoot.  I believe I actually would have to hold a bit lower at 20 as my arrow is still rising (my split finger positions the arrow much lower on my face at the point where my hand needs to be to obtain good back tension so I don't want to raise my anchor on my face).  The arrow only appears in my peripheral and my focus is on the spot when I shoot.  If I reference the arrow consciously I mess up the shot.

I guess my question is---what would be the best way to ingrain the correct hold to avoid high or low misses at varying yardages out to 35 yards?  Should I move back a yard at a time or 5 yards (my groups generally start to fall apart at 20 yards and over).  Also for those that shoot split, can I obtain the accuracy close to those that shoot 3 under and use a hard aiming system (like most of the top competitors)?  I am blessed with plenty of time to practice and can shoot on my property as well as stump---I figured that since deer season is out and most 3d shoots are still a month or two away around here, now would be the time to make the change.

Any tips on how to get the arrow to go where I'm looking at different ranges and gain the confidence needed to hunt with an instinctive shot would be appreciated.  The bow feels much smoother and quieter with split as an added benefit.

Offline fnshtr

  • Contributing Member
  • Trad Bowhunter
  • ***
  • Posts: 2611
Re: Back to split finger?
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2019, 02:31:23 PM »
John:
I understand where you're at. As they say, "been there done that". I returned to split for the same reason you are considering it. For me, it is more natural and comfortable. Similar to my canting of the bow rather than shooting vertical. I went to 3 under because it seemed "all the best target shooters shoot that way". I do think there is an advantage shooting 3 under if you choose to gap shoot. The only time I "think about where the point of my arrow is", is when I estimate the yardage (or know) that it is about 40 yards, as that is my "point on". Otherwise, I do not CONCIOUSLY see my arrow... while I'm pretty sure I see it subconsciously in my sight picture and adjust accordingly.

I am extremely happy with my shooting right now. You can shoot split and shoot well... don't get to thinking that you can't. If you are more comfortable and relaxed shooting split, just keep working on form and consistency. The sky is the limit. As someone said, "perfect practice makes perfect".

I'm sure you will get some great advice here from others. Good luck!
56" Kempf Kwyk Styk 50@28
54" Java Man Elkheart 50@28
WVBA Member
1 John 3:1

Offline the rifleman

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 820
Re: Back to split finger?
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2019, 04:07:45 PM »
Thanks Wayne.  Good advice and reassuring.  I had a pretty good aiming system worked out 3 under, but as you indicated split is feeling more comfortable and fluid.  I find if i stop to hold, the shot is less consistent.

Online McDave

  • Contributing Member
  • Trad Bowhunter
  • ***
  • Posts: 4811
Re: Back to split finger?
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2019, 10:12:08 AM »
I've been following your posts, and it wouldn't hurt to check and see if you might have a touch of target panic, like I did.  At one point, I had full-blown target panic, and wasn't able to make it to full draw without shooting, let alone hold.  I worked on it and got it down to where I could draw and hold before shooting, but my residual nervousness prevented me from really aiming, so I didn't shoot very well.  I shot that way for several years, good enough to win my age group in a few tournaments, but not up to my potential.  I'm in the middle of Jim Casto's program, and now am able to draw and hold and comfortably aim, under the very controlled conditions of his program.  Now that I know what it feels like to comfortably draw and hold without feeling nervous about it, I sure never want to return to rushing my shots.  I don't believe I will creep much if at all either anymore, because I feel that my creeping also was also caused, at least in part, by my inability to relax and aim at full draw.

There is a simple test:  if you can draw and hold comfortably without looking at a target and intending to shoot, but get nervous or feel rushed if you're “aiming” and intending to shoot, then you have target panic.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2019, 08:25:18 PM by McDave »
TGMM Family of the Bow

Would someone please make up my mind for me?

Online reddogge

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 4838
Re: Back to split finger?
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2019, 02:41:11 PM »
John, I've seen pictures of some of your deer you've killed so you can't be doing that bad. I had a similar problem years ago when I started to shoot more 3-D, I'd overshoot targets 25 yards out or more, skimming the arrows off the backs and into hellacious swamps. All the while shooting instinctively, or what I thought was instinctive. That's when I decided to gap shoot while still shooting split finger. I'm using a fairly high anchor, middle finger corner of mouth and gapping at the riser. At 20 yards my gap is 1", 25 yards-1/2", 30 yards 1/4" and 35yards-point on. Essentially I'm drawing and establishing my gap with the arrow in the peripheral and then focusing intently on the spot. It only takes a second but the reward is I don't overshoot or undershoot targets anymore. It puts me in the ballpark and anyone can see a 1" or less gap.

I know you like to shoot instinctively and this is not that but it is fairly close and it seems to work.
Traditional Bowhunters of Maryland
Heart of Maryland Bowhunters
NRA
Mayberry Archers

Offline the rifleman

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 820
Re: Back to split finger?
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2019, 04:01:21 PM »
McDave, I would agree that I've got a bit of target panic---I think it started when I was shooting the indoor league elbow to elbow with the compound guys and having to worry about where my bow limb was etc.  I'll give your test a try tomorrow to see if it confirms.  When using Jim's method are you able to shoot arrows outside of his drills during the time you are working through the program or is that off limits?

Reddogge, thanks for the kind words!  One of your posts about gapping at the riser had inspired me to use a taller sideplate as a reference.  It really worked well with 3 under---things were really clicking until I kind of fell apart these last couple of months.  I was shooting split finger today and was shooting well down the vertical line (very few left and right issues) I tried 3 under again and started throwing arrows to the left and right.  If it is target panic maybe the change to split finger was enough to change the dynamic of my shot enough to allow me to perform better.  I was  really suffering from high and low hits today with split (to be expected when changing over) I put a small piece of painters tape on the riser to give me a reference---it is about 1 1/2" above the shelf.  I am hoping that once the hold is ingrained I can just take it off and the shot will happen "instinctively".  If it weren't for our 3D rules I would just put a mark on the riser to reference and be done with it.  How do you figure your height gaps at the riser?  Do you have any reference points?

Thanks for everyone's input.  John

Online McDave

  • Contributing Member
  • Trad Bowhunter
  • ***
  • Posts: 4811
Re: Back to split finger?
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2019, 06:32:21 PM »
The purpose of Jim's course is to ingrain a feeling of relaxed control when you're at full draw, so that if you draw the bow and don't feel relaxed and in control, it doesn't feel right to you and you let the shot down.  Through many repetitions, you have created a new habit of being relaxed and in control to replace your old habit of feeling nervous and rushed.  I don't think I could go from years of feeling nervous and rushed to feeling relaxed and in control in one day.  After drawing and holding many times to build up the feeling of being relaxed and in control, if you shoot the bow while feeling nervous and rushed, it's like sneaking a cigarette after not smoking them for a month.  I've been through that and whenever I did it, it made me wonder if I was hooked on cigarettes again, and I had to work extra hard the next day to be sure I was still off them.

It probably is a really good idea to stay off shooting for the first 21 days, like the program says.  The program allows you to shoot after the first 21 days, under controlled conditions.  I'm on day 35, and I really do need the controlled conditions, because a big part of my target panic had to do with drawing the bow with the intention of shooting it.  So even with the confidence I had gained during the first 21 days, I still had a nervous feeling the first time I drew the bow knowing I was going to shoot it, even at 1 yard.  Interspersing many draws with few shots has helped me to dull this nervous feeling and has enabled me to draw and shoot with confidence, after drawing and not shooting a few times.

I think the answer to your question is to be honest with yourself.  Your goal is to draw and shoot without the nervous urge to release the shot prematurely.  So if you decide to take some fun shots while you're in the middle of the program, honestly notice whether drawing the bow with the intention of shooting it makes you feel nervous.  If it does, let the shot down.  If you do that, you're staying with the program.  If you shoot the shot in a relaxed and controlled manner, then maybe you don't need the program.  If you end up shooting the shot and rushing it, then you've just sneaked a cigarette while trying to quit smoking, and you're going to have to work extra hard the next day to get back on the program (DAMHIK).
« Last Edit: February 18, 2019, 07:03:16 PM by McDave »
TGMM Family of the Bow

Would someone please make up my mind for me?

Online reddogge

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 4838
Re: Back to split finger?
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2019, 06:46:42 PM »
John, I worked them out trial and error using the technique taught by Jimmy Blackmon in his videos on gapping. Basically, stand 20 yards from the target and put the point of the arrow on the spot and shoot 3 arrows. Hold the bow up at full draw and look at the gap on your riser from the point of the arrow on the bow to the small group of arrows above it and for me, it appeared to be about 1" (which incidentally measures about 20" at the target). Do the same all the way back to your point on distance. Of course when you are shooting at that spot the gap will be below the spot. Takes a little brain training to see this gap at the riser.
Traditional Bowhunters of Maryland
Heart of Maryland Bowhunters
NRA
Mayberry Archers

Offline the rifleman

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 820
Re: Back to split finger?
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2019, 07:51:26 PM »
I'll try to assess my feeling through the shot process.  The switch to split has resulted in bettee groups--- i am hitting anchor, movin elbow behind and pulling through to release without the hold time i had w 3 under.
I need to slow down and shoot fewer-- quality arrows--- im guilty of shooting too many and i think this leads to problems.  Good to know Jim's program is there if i need it.
Reddogge, i may have misworded my question--- i wondered if you had any visual points of reference on the riser that you referenced?
Thanks again.

Online reddogge

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 4838
Re: Back to split finger?
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2019, 10:45:33 PM »
No point of reference. Just a rough guess. It really doesn't have to be that precise,  ie; roughly an inch.
Traditional Bowhunters of Maryland
Heart of Maryland Bowhunters
NRA
Mayberry Archers

Users currently browsing this topic:

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
 

Contact Us | Trad Gang.com © | User Agreement

Copyright 2003 thru 2019 ~ Trad Gang.com ©