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Author Topic: Shootings gone to pot  (Read 369 times)

Offline MCNSC

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Shootings gone to pot
« on: November 23, 2019, 02:37:57 PM »
Hello all , Here is my story and although I think I know what my problem is , I don’t know how to fix it. I’ve been shooting a stickbow for more years than I can remember teaching myself, and kinda used the Ashbel method. More of a pick a spot, swing draw , touch anchor and shoot style. I made lots of great shots on deer with this method and had confidence in my shooting ability. I remember most shots seeing my shot , starting the draw and then an arrow appearing in the deer.  Problem was at target shooting I was inconsistent day to day. Some days I couldn’t miss others it looked like I had never shot a bow before ( really wasn’t that bad )
So, I took a class, really worked on the blank bale form and all elements of the shot sequence. It improved my shooting or I should say consistency. I don’t know that I shoot any better now but I don’t have those off days.
Now my problem is with hunting accuracy, I have killed a few deer since those lessons probably 5 or six years ago but I have missed many more than I have killed and thank goodness the couple I did hit and not recover looked to be only minor wounds. I miss high and low. Seems that when a shot presents itself I go back to the blank bale, form shooting. That is I’m so concerned with the stance, grip,form etc that I fail to pick a spot and basicly shooting at the whole deer. 
 I’m almost to the point of hanging it up. Maybe I should revisit my old style of shooting.

 Any insights or suggestions would be appreciated
"What was big was not the trout, but the chance. What was full was not my creel, but my memory"
 Aldo Leopold

"It hasn't worked right since I fixed it" My friend Ken talking about his lawn mower

Online McDave

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Re: Shootings gone to pot
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2019, 05:26:48 PM »
Some people shoot better instinctively, as taught by Fred Asbell, which includes the founder of TradGang, Terry Green.  Some people shoot better using a conscious aiming method, like Rod Jenkins.  It is possible to both shoot targets and also hunt well, like Rick Welch, although the great Howard Hill recommending choosing one or the other.  Howard himself could shoot well in just about any venue he chose, but he realized that the environment and demands of hunting were different from target shooting, and the average person would do better if he focused on one or the other.  Not that hunters should swear off shooting targets, but that they shouldn’t worry too much about the score, and would be better off shooting targets one shot at a time with their hunting equipment.

Another big difference between target shooting and hunting, which I think may be helpful for you to understand, are the different mental processes required in each. 

Target shooting is a mechanical process where the shot can be timed to suit the archer.  It is well suited to a calculated approach, like gap shooting.  There is a small period of time, starting when the archer has attained the sight picture he wants until the conclusion of the shot, when it is better if the target archer stops thinking and focuses all of his attention on the spot he wants to hit. Up to this point, the target archer’s mind is actively thinking about gaps and many other things.  If anything goes wrong, he lets down the shot and starts all over again.

Hunting requires constant awareness of an ever changing situation, and when the shot process starts, it should continue to conclusion without much mental input from the shooter.  The shooter’s attention should be focused outwardly toward the game animal and the environment, and not inwardly on the mechanics of his shot process.  He’s more like a player in a baseball game, where he has to respond to events around him and can’t stop the action whenever he wants to.  Both target shooting and hunting require suspension of cognitive thoughts at the appropriate moment, but that moment is longer in hunting than in target archery.  This article on thinking in baseball expresses it better than I can: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/31/opinion/how-to-throw-a-baseball.html?_r=0

It seems to me that your problem with hunting is that you’re overthinking things.  You might be able to get back your old hunting accuracy without throwing the new skills you’ve learned out the window if you learn to stop cognitively thinking at the appropriate time in your shot process, and switch your mind over to the same situational awareness that you probably used to have when you were more successful.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2019, 05:49:12 PM by McDave »
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Offline MCNSC

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Re: Shootings gone to pot
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2019, 06:17:37 PM »
McDave, That’s kinda what I’m thinking. My form is better now , therefore the better day to day consistency. Probably, try to go back to more of a snap shooting method and hopefully still have the better form. Hate to start changing during deer season , but I’ve missed 2 easy shots this year already. Actually, I did shoot some yesterday with my old swing draw, snap shooting style results were good and feels more natural.
"What was big was not the trout, but the chance. What was full was not my creel, but my memory"
 Aldo Leopold

"It hasn't worked right since I fixed it" My friend Ken talking about his lawn mower

Offline mgf

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Re: Shootings gone to pot
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2019, 09:53:04 AM »
Shotguns have beads on the end of the barrel and rifles/handguns are usually equipped with some sort of sight. These weapons kill all sorts of game in conditions similar to those in which we bow hunt.

Live game is just a target. It might all happen with some time pressure and less than ideal conditions but it's just a target.

If you shoot targets one shot at a time and can hit what you shoot at, your score will be awesome.

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