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    • paleoman
      Member
      Post count: 918

      This ? is probably as old as the first bow. After a few warm up shots I’m more or less happy. First few sometimes make me wanna cry! It messes with my mind when I think of an actual hunting shot. Is this a matter of practice? I seem to have to regain my point of aim. I basically ” gun barrel” the arrow for sighting. Is this all wrong?

    • mgerard
      Post count: 19

      I’m almost the opposite. Hunting and shooting the Block in the backyard, dead on first few shots then I wander. But…put me on a 3D range and it takes awhile for me get on track and on target.

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2361

      You are right to be worried about how your first arrow flies. In fact, I consider my practice session a success if the fist shot is where it needs to be, no matter what happens after that.

      I allow myself one draw on the target and a let down. Then I take my first shot. If I don’t hit where I should, I spend the rest of the session trying to figure out why.

      Cold stiff muscles are usually the problem. That’s why I draw and let down before I shoot. I do this in the woods too. Every 30 minutes to an hour, I discretely draw the bow and hold a few seconds.

      I have found that it also helps to get into the mindset you need to be in when hunting. So I walk slowly to the target. Draw the bow slowly, and hold it for 5 or 10 seconds and then let down. Then I take a another pause and really focus on the target. Then I draw and shoot it like it’s a deer.

      This really helps me make a good first shot. Sometimes, on my initial draw, after 5 seconds or so, I feel like I can hit the target, and so I go ahead and shoot. This works out about 75 percent of the time. But I should really go ahead and let down. Then go through the process of refocusing on the target and then shoot.

      If I am really having trouble, I’ll make a day of first shots. I’ll go through the process just described and take a shot. Then leave and come back in an hour, and take another shot, and so on. This sometimes helps me identify a problem I may be having.

      I hope this helps. I know how you feel about that first shot.

    • paleoman
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 918

      Steve – your advice makes a lot of sense. I’ m going to try that tonight and see how it goes. Thank you!

    • Charles EkCharles Ek
      Moderator
      Post count: 563

      I’m the polar opposite on most of this. My best shooting usually comes when I subconsciously rely on lessons learned from past practice sessions and let one (and only one) fly. It reminds me a lot of making good tennis shots. The more I thought about my forehand once I started having a problem, the worse it got. Ditto for my bow shooting.

      Of course, it’s essential to be in the right frame of mind for all this. In my case, it seems necessary to be alone, just as I am 99.99% of the time I’m in the woods. I shoot a fair bit better on 3D courses by myself. (Yes, you’ll have to take my word on that. 😉 )

    • grumpygrumpy
      Member
      Post count: 962

      Science is on the side of NOT THINKING. When athletes clutch is when they actually think about what they are doing. You can’t think about what all of the muscles are doing, when you try, it all goes amis. You need what my father called “The army way of teaching.” Drill, drill, drill Watch any experienced tradesman, they don’t think about the steps. they think “Nail there.” and the rest just happens. When you practice enough the mind puts it all down where the instincts are kept, so the conscious mind can focus on other things.

    • paleoman
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 918

      Steve Graf wrote: You are right to be worried about how your first arrow flies. In fact, I consider my practice session a success if the fist shot is where it needs to be, no matter what happens after that.

      I allow myself one draw on the target and a let down. Then I take my first shot. If I don’t hit where I should, I spend the rest of the session trying to figure out why.

      Cold stiff muscles are usually the problem. That’s why I draw and let down before I shoot. I do this in the woods too. Every 30 minutes to an hour, I discretely draw the bow and hold a few seconds.

      I have found that it also helps to get into the mindset you need to be in when hunting. So I walk slowly to the target. Draw the bow slowly, and hold it for 5 or 10 seconds and then let down. Then I take a another pause and really focus on the target. Then I draw and shoot it like it’s a deer.

      This really helps me make a good first shot. Sometimes, on my initial draw, after 5 seconds or so, I feel like I can hit the target, and so I go ahead and shoot. This works out about 75 percent of the time. But I should really go ahead and let down. Then go through the process of refocusing on the target and then shoot.

      If I am really having trouble, I’ll make a day of first shots. I’ll go through the process just described and take a shot. Then leave and come back in an hour, and take another shot, and so on. This sometimes helps me identify a problem I may be having.

      I hope this helps. I know how you feel about that first shot.

      Steve – am happy to report on sample of 1 session after a few draws = much better! I can feel it. I was always fortunate to be athletic enough to skip “warm up” in my younger days. Now that I am ” good once as I ever was”, your advice hits home. Thanks again.

    • archer38
      Post count: 242

      Rick Welch taught me to practice with only one arrow. It really improves your focus and each shot is like a cold shot. I’ll pull it from the target and, as I walk back, throw it and shoot again from wherever it lands. The walk back gives me a moment to think about my form and release and it instills a routine so when I’m hunting or stumping, It becomes second nature. I do shoot groups sometimes too but this sort of “cold shot” practice routine has really helped !!

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2361

      Your welcome!

    • Etter1
      Post count: 831

      I shoot best on my first shot (most of the time).

      I also shoot better on game than I do stump shooting or target shooting. I guess it’s a matter of complete focus. I also shoot better when I only practice once a week or so.

      If I take a long hiatus from target practice, (2-3 weeks), I usually come back shooting better than ever. Can’t explain it except that I’m crazy and the more I shoot, the worse my target panic gets.

    • David CoulterDavid Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2261

      I find that I can make some of my best shots while stumping, when I have to try to shoot through a hole in the brush and trees. I really have to concentrate on the path the arrow has to take and then on the spot. I don’t always have that well tuned concentration when shooting the bag out in the open. dwc

    • Alexandre Bugnon
      Member
      Post count: 681

      I always start my practice, or my hunting, by shooting 3-5 arrows into the ground, eyes closed, to really get my anchor and release perfect. If and when I do this, my first arrow is usually dead-on, and my practice good in general. I also finish practicing the same way, 3-5 arrows in the ground eyes closed.

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Alex — My practice sessions also usually start with several arrows in the ground — only my eyes are open and I’m shooting at the target! 😆

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      David Petersen wrote: Alex — My practice sessions also usually start with several arrows in the ground — only my eyes are open and I’m shooting at the target! 😆

      Been there too many times…

    • Bunyan Morris
      Member
      Post count: 135

      Good tips guys. My accuracy has fallen off a bit lately. Not sure why. But, I am going to put some of the suggestions to practice and see if it improves. I like the idea of practicing with one arrow. It slows you down and randomly tossing the arrow for a shooting positions stirs things up as well. That is a good suggestion.

    • tailfeather
      Post count: 417

      That first shot is the most important to me. I only practice with one arrow. I usually just walk around the house shooting at pine cones, etc from various ranges. Sometimes shoot at my old 3d target that’s minus a head. When my first shot is off it tells me I need to work on a few things to get back in the zone.

      I also do like Steve, and periodically draw my bow while hunting….especially if in colder weather.

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