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    • Rocks
      Post count: 104

      Well I’ve been shooting for a couple weeks now, and starting to get some decent groups. I’m shooting at various distances between 12 and 40 yards. I shoot pretty good out to 15 yards, ok at 20 yards, and definately need work between 20 and 40 yards, but it’s getting better.

      Is there a standard to try for while shooting groups at 15 or 20 or 30 yards? Something akin to shooting under an inch at 100 yards with the rifle?

    • Chris Shelton
      Post count: 679

      I have always been told that you should not hunt with a bow unless you can effectively place your groups in the size of a pie plate. I like mine a bit tighter, I would say probably a 6 inch group is good! I can only do this from 10-20 yards, so I dont shoot any further than that, unless it is small game, then any clear shot is a shot, lol. I like to challenge myself. But everyones preferences are different, very similar to eveyones rifle shot preferences, some will not shoot over 100 yards, like my father, and others are comforatable out to 1000 yards, but it is really based off the same things, how often you practice. Any weapon can be effective, but practice is the key!

    • Bert
      Post count: 164

      Rocks- nice looking mount on the wall- rifle or bow? They must grow ’em big in Alberta! As more of a rifle shooter than bow most of my life- but mostly bow now- I agree with GTA about practice, but intelligent practice applied dilligently. With an iron-sighted 30-30 you might be confident from 0 to 150yds, with a scoped McMillan 50 cal. you might equal the 2,430 meter recorded kill in Afghanistan by a Canadian sniper. With a compound shooting over 300fps with all the accoutremants perhaps 60-70 yds- after the half an hour it takes to get set-up.
      But most of us shoot non-sighted recurves and/or longbows in the field without laser measuring devices and have but ONE shot-one arrow- at a much closer, alert animal, using our fingers and backs to pull, aim and loose , in whatever condition and stance we find ourselves, and in adverse weather with no warm-up and that’s why it’s such a challenge
      and why we love it so- even though we might go home empty-handed but never empty in our hearts and memories of nature and the hunt.
      So, once you have your form sorted out( check out Hiram’s posts) the old saw is “aim small, miss small”- that is PICK A SPOT- not the whole animal but a hair, anything distinctive so practice shooting at a 1 inch square on that pie plate or better yet spray paint a deer’s kill area on a piece of foam and practice arrowing that from all stances, in all weather and different distances.
      Good hunting- Bert

    • William WarrenWilliam Warren
      Member
      Post count: 1384

      I’ve never been a really good bowshot, so there is no danger that I will go professional anytime soon. As with anything, the more we do something the more we learn and the better we get at it. I definitely shoot better when I practice often. You should get to point where hitting where you are looking is like walking or breathing. I can only get there with lots of practice. So keep slingin’ ’em.

    • Rocks
      Post count: 104

      Thanks guys.

      Greatree, I’m usually getting pie plate size groups out to 15 yards, I’d be really happy to get a 6″ group! It’ll come, I’m sure.

      Halfahun, that buck was taken with the rifle, and yes Alberta has some big deer! Some good comments, I work on form first every day to try and get it ingrained, then I just shoot, picking a spot, usually try to pick something very small on my target and for sure that works. I like the “aim small miss small” saying.

      Snuff – I hope I get to the point of hitting where I’m looking, I’ll be working on it every day – I’m at work on a drilling rig in the bush for the next few weeks and my bow practice is my mental break every day. Gotta get ready for spring bear!

    • Chris Shelton
      Post count: 679

      HalfaHun wrote: with a scoped McMillan 50 cal. you might equal the 2,430 meter recorded kill in Afghanistan by a Canadian sniper.

      DANG:shock:

    • nv archer
      Post count: 4

      1st shot is the one that counts.practice that one,the rest come in time.

    • SteveMcD
      Member
      Post count: 870

      Rocks… I was taught many years ago. Look at the deer as a running back carrying a football (in the boiler room), focus on that only.. your job is to knock out the football by hitting that spot. Yes, pick the spot and focus. I have one of those giant 4 ft by 4ft block targets that I use at our club. My target is always a two inch piece of masking tape at all yardages. It reinforces Aim Small, Hit Small. I didn;t say MISS.. because MIISS should not even be in your mind.

    • Rocks
      Post count: 104

      SteveMcD wrote: Rocks… I was taught many years ago. Look at the deer as a running back carrying a football (in the boiler room), focus on that only.. your job is to knock out the football by hitting that spot. Yes, pick the spot and focus. I have one of those giant 4 ft by 4ft block targets that I use at our club. My target is always a two inch piece of masking tape at all yardages. It reinforces Aim Small, Hit Small. I didn;t say MISS.. because MIISS should not even be in your mind.

      Ah, I like that… I’ve heard the football thing before. I find when I just pick a spot I shoot pretty good. If I get thinking about form during the shot though, that’s when the flyers happen. So I work on form first standing right in front of the target, then just go have fun and shoot, picking a spot. Aim small, HIT small, right on!

      Here’s a couple groups from today, one at 13 and one at 15 yards, and the Martin I’ve been shooting…


    • William WarrenWilliam Warren
      Member
      Post count: 1384

      Hey Rocks,
      My groups look about like that most of the time out to 25 yards if I only get to shoot about once or twice a week. The more I can shoot the tighter they get. You’ll know when you are tightening up, you’ll be bustin’ knocks and arrows!
      Duncan

    • Bert
      Post count: 164

      SteveMcD wrote: Rocks… I was taught many years ago. Look at the deer as a running back carrying a football (in the boiler room), focus on that only.. your job is to knock out the football by hitting that spot. Yes, pick the spot and focus. I have one of those giant 4 ft by 4ft block targets that I use at our club. My target is always a two inch piece of masking tape at all yardages. It reinforces Aim Small, Hit Small. I didn;t say MISS.. because MIISS should not even be in your mind.

      I stand corrected, Steve, concerning our mantra- it should be AIM SMALL, HIT SMALL. I must have been pessimistically pondering our perilous political situation at the time I wrote Miss.
      I do hereby resolve to not only not miss, but HIT with alacrity, HIT with accuracy, HIT with regularity the Obama
      campaign sign that I sometimes use as a target when feeling peevish- the empty circle or zero or donut is indicative of
      the philosophical underpinnings of the current administration IMNSHO- and besides it makes a great aiming point! Shall return anon as the Secret Service…………!

    • Chris Shelton
      Post count: 679

      Here you go this is perfect for the football reference!

      Always good to shoot some 3ds to help you pick a spot!

      Chris

    • SteveMcD
      Member
      Post count: 870

      Rocks, Greentree… that’s good shootin. As long as you stay within your range of competency, that’s what matters.

      Here’s 3 arrows at 20 yards ( I must have had an epiphany or something that day…..

      Here’s a bunch at 20 yards, on another day…

    • Patrick
      Member
      Post count: 1148

      Rocks, you’re doing awesome! Of course, the tighter the group, the better. However, just as long as you’re groups are consistently within the margins of the quarries vitals you’re good to go. Keep your shots within that distance.

      I use “Aim small, miss small” too. I took it from “The Patriot”. I agree though, “hit small” is right way to think of it.

    • Chris Shelton
      Post count: 679

      Hey steve are those MFX classics?

    • Rocks
      Post count: 104

      Awesome pics guys, thanks. There’s some good looking groups there, and some very nice looking arrows! Greatree, is that a frisbee? Lose many arrows shootin at it?

      Might not shoot today, it -40 something, brrrr….

    • rayborbon
      Post count: 298

      I practice out to 30 yards. My effectiveness is really good at 20 yards. That’s me. I have seen other guys really just knock the targets down. Then there’s the element of the field which is not really what you want to concern yourself with until you are in the field.

      So I would say that my goal is to pie plate 19 out of 20 shots at 20 yards. I practice a lot of 3-d shooting at the range which has various distances as well as ups ,downs, angles and obstacles. That by far is one of the best things to do for my shooting habits. My suggestion is to go out and practice in the forest… Especially when you do not know the distances to the targets, may not always have solid and level footing, where you may have to shoot between trees , over or under branches and things which just do not exist on a flat range. Build some skills in the environment where you will be trying to make it all happen.

    • Daniel
      Post count: 247

      I’m with Ray on that one !!

      SB

    • Chris Shelton
      Post count: 679

      Rocks wrote: Greatree, is that a frisbee? Lose many arrows shootin at it?

      No it is a foam disk, from 3rivers. I have never loosed an arrow shooting at it:shock: because I used flu flu’s, they dont go that far!!!

    • SteveMcD
      Member
      Post count: 870

      Greatreearcher wrote: Hey steve are those MFX classics?

      Nope. They are arrows I made using Chundoo shafting.

    • Chris Shelton
      Post count: 679

      well the look really good either way? They look super thin?

    • SteveMcD
      Member
      Post count: 870

      Hey, GT.. no they were 11/32′. and I loved them. Chundoo is a good hearty wood, my mistake turning them into target arrows. Chundoo would make a fine hunting arrow. Which I am thinking for 2010.

    • Stick n String
      Member
      Post count: 16

      You get only one shot in hunting situations, generally speaking. I have also heard the pie plate grouping “rule of thumb” but am certainly not comfortable with that loose of a group. I shoot one arrow at a time, moving to different unknown yardage locations and from different shooting positions. I shoot, then pull and shoot again, etc. Traditional archery and instinctive shooting requires far more concentration that shooting a compound with an aiming device attached in order to achieve maximum accuracy. By shooting one arrow at a time, I can give my entire focus to a single shot – and I expect that it is touching or very nearly touching the spot I have chosen to hit. Within my comfortable hunting range of 25 yards, I can consistently hit withing several inches of the object every time. If I were to shoot a half dozen arrows before going to pull, I can almost assure you my group would be larger!

      I don’t know any deer that will stand politely while you launch a half-dozen arrows in their direction, though.

    • SteveMcD
      Member
      Post count: 870

      S n S…. I agree with your philosophy and approach to shooting. Too much hang up on “groups” when only one arrow matters. I too think the PIE PLATE rule leaves an awful lot to be desired. That 8″ PIE leaves an awful lot of room to miss a vital area.

      Having said all that. That is why I state every bowhunter needs to stay within there range of competency. If it’s 15 yards than so be it. Case in point, a PIE Plate is roughly the same diameter as the 4 Ring on an NFAA Target. Given a NFAA 300 round of 60 arrows, that would assume that at 20 yards every archer is at least inside the 4 Ring and scoring a minimum consistently of AT LEAST 240. Sorry, I don’t see many traditional archers that are capable of doing that.

    • Chris Shelton
      Post count: 679

      Hmm, never shot NFAA, I cant say I have ever even seen one of there targets! But I can probably compare it to IBO, and on the 3d’s it is hard to see where the rings are, which is the point, and there is not any hair on the darn things. The only saving grace is that some of the targets are worn on the 10 ring from the sissy compound guys with scopes that can see the rings. So it gives us something to focus on. I can say that I am terrible at IBO, with my best score being something like 160/300, and my buddy, who is a great shot, has a best of around 226/300, which I think is better than Rick shot at worlds. But my point is, that I hunt with him often, and my totals, of animals harvested trump him. He is a good hunter. And when the shot comes he can shoot to kill, but not nearly as good as he can on the IBO range!

    • kstout
      Post count: 11

      I started an NFAA league 3 weeks ago, 1st week shot a 250, 2nd week was 260, and last Tuesday was 266, shooting 66″ BW longbow 55# @28. 2018 XX75’s cut to 28 1/2 BOP. Usually average 12-15 points lower with wood arrows.

    • SteveMcD
      Member
      Post count: 870

      kstout wrote: I started an NFAA league 3 weeks ago, 1st week shot a 250, 2nd week was 260, and last Tuesday was 266, shooting 66″ BW longbow 55# @28. 2018 XX75’s cut to 28 1/2 BOP. Usually average 12-15 points lower with wood arrows.

      You are among the blessed FEW. Congratulations.

    • Chris Shelton
      Post count: 679

      what yardage do you shoot from in NFAA

    • Jason Wesbrock
      Member
      Post count: 762

      Chris,

      An NFAA indoor round is shot at 20 yards.

    • Chris Shelton
      Post count: 679

      O okay, that sounds interesting, might have to try it sometime!

    • Buckhorn73
      Post count: 77

      I put a red dot or button ( in my mind ) on every target I shoot at and do a lot of real close range shooting. Then everything from 0-15 yards and sometimes twenty is ” bang on” if the setup is correct and the mind clearly focused on that red button.

    • Hiram
      Post count: 484

      ‘Good Luck” is really where preparation and oppertunity meets. You can increase these “Successfull Encounters” by practice up close, and at varied ranges by committed practice sessions done correctly. Bale work/close to target concentrating on form and release/follow through, is neccessary pre-requisite to successfull practice. Only when the foundation is built and maintained regularly can a person be “At his Best” in Hunting situations. Bale work enforces and adds continuel updates to your computer (Brain) for the correct sequence, which will run itself under pressure. Really good expectations of Accuracy is relative to the Goal! Groups show consistancy, while the shooting one arrow shows abilty. I am against any such regulation to shoot groups unless one is tuning his equipment for consistancy. Test your ability by just taking a walk in the woods and do not shoot but one arrow from a challenging position (hunting scenario) after you have found the proper challenge relative to your goal. Retrieve it and wait till the next time, (not counting practice) and prove to yourself that you can operate under the one arrow policy everytime, in every weather and clothing format, from varied situations. When you have done this, you must pressure yourself to the next level! Never be satisfied. You can improve upon excellence by increasing the demand within your own Objectives. Your Goal should be to “Always improve upon your success. Rember in accomplishing this that:Archery much like any other “Perishable Skill” must always be maintained by repitition.

    • SteveMcD
      Member
      Post count: 870

      Very well said, Sam! I couldn’t agree more!

    • MOUNTAINSLICKER
      Post count: 45

      Archery is the sport of seeing how well and far away you can hit a target. You get as many shots as you want. Bowhunting is the sport of getting as close to an unalarmed animal as possible then using a bow to make the harvest. Group shooting is for bow tuning and form fixing. I say when you can put all your arrows in a pie plate, then take 5 steps forward and shoot one really good arrow at a different spot. From then on one shot one target and move to a different position. When you feel you or bow is off go back to archery practice shooting groups until you are ready to try one shot one kill again. Vary terrain, shooting positions, weather and clothing. Find out what you can do. That is your only guide needed. Finding Trad shooters is like deer hunting. They are closer than you think but they hide too as we are a bunch of loner curmudgeons. That’s to cover the heart of gold I have found in every stick bow shooter I have ever meet. Good luck and HUNT SAFE

    • SteveMcD
      Member
      Post count: 870

      Hi, Mountainslicker.. nice post and good advise.

      Sometimes though…. just this past weekend I have a Northern Mist Baraga which is heavily Reflexed-Deflexed Longbow. Characteristically, it is not as “forgiving” as my traditional “hill-style” bows, which is why I shoot it in the off season, because if my form is off, I know it right away. Anyway, I’m shooting this bow for several days and nothing is consistent, I looked at this bow, and was about to resign myself to selling it, which I really didn’t want to do, but was feeling bad. Then I thought, try lowering the brace height a little bit… and wall-la I’m throwing 4 inch groups right off the bat at 20 yards. Sometimes (especially for me) it pays to step back and analyze what’s going on.

    • Ed Zachary
      Post count: 58

      Group sizes? The old “pie plate” rule of thumb is what I grew up with, but as of late, I’m also tracking what my first shot typically does. Take one shot at 3-D target only, then move to the next target. If shooting multiple shots at the same target, first shot = “instinctive”, all the rest are “aiming”:roll:

    • Jason Wesbrock
      Member
      Post count: 762

      This has been a great thread thus far, with a lot of excellent points of view.

      Personally, I find tremendous value in shooting groups, especially on indoor paper targets. Shooting groups is all about one thing: consistency. If I can hit the spot over and over again, time after time (i.e. skill versus luck), I feel a lot more confident with my shooting abilities in the hunting woods. Obviously, target proficiency and effective range on animals is not a 1-to-1 equation. Just because I can stack arrows into a group the size of a kill zone on a deer at x-number of yards, doesn’t mean I’ll shoot a deer at that distance.

      Groups also allow me to diagnose certain shooting issues that I may not otherwise notice. If my groups are taller than they are wide, that tells me one thing. If they’re wider than tall, that tells me something else. Simply shooting one arrow at a time from different distances at different targets doesn’t give me the amount of data I need to fine-tune my shooting.

      Chris touched on 3D targets and the lack of an aiming spot, which brings up another interesting point. What is the one main piece of advice often given about shooting animals? “Pick a spot.” Shooting paper is highly valuable, but it doesn’t teach archers to pick a spot (the spot—which is highly visible—is already picked for you). Even stump-shooting can fall short in this regard, since it’s all too easy to pick targets that stand out, such as a pinecone, the center of a flower, or a light spot on a dark stump.

      3D archery forces you to get into the habit of picking a spot where one may not be apparent, and isn’t that one of the most important parts of being successful on game? Years ago I used to struggle with picking a spot on animals. After shooting a lot of 3D, picking a spot isn’t even something I have to think about anymore; it’s automatic. I can’t remember the last time I had to tell myself to pick a spot, and I also can’t remember the last time I failed to do so.

    • MOUNTAINSLICKER
      Post count: 45

      J. You said what I was saying much better. I feel 3d shooting is not only excellent practice but teaches you what you can’t do on real animals. I stopped shooting for trophies and money(had enough and never made enough) and stalk the 3d range to my comfort level. Almost all courses offer practice rounds that allow you to pick where you want to shoot from as long as in safety line. Pick a spot oh yea. If my friends and family knew how many times I looked at their critters with a hunters eye!!!(no bow though)

      J.Wesbrock wrote: This has been a great thread thus far, with a lot of excellent points of view.

      Personally, I find tremendous value in shooting groups, especially on indoor paper targets. Shooting groups is all about one thing: consistency. If I can hit the spot over and over again, time after time (i.e. skill versus luck), I feel a lot more confident with my shooting abilities in the hunting woods. Obviously, target proficiency and effective range on animals is not a 1-to-1 equation. Just because I can stack arrows into a group the size of a kill zone on a deer at x-number of yards, doesn’t mean I’ll shoot a deer at that distance.

      Groups also allow me to diagnose certain shooting issues that I may not otherwise notice. If my groups are taller than they are wide, that tells me one thing. If they’re wider than tall, that tells me something else. Simply shooting one arrow at a time from different distances at different targets doesn’t give me the amount of data I need to fine-tune my shooting.

      Chris touched on 3D targets and the lack of an aiming spot, which brings up another interesting point. What is the one main piece of advice often given about shooting animals? “Pick a spot.” Shooting paper is highly valuable, but it doesn’t teach archers to pick a spot (the spot—which is highly visible—is already picked for you). Even stump-shooting can fall short in this regard, since it’s all too easy to pick targets that stand out, such as a pinecone, the center of a flower, or a light spot on a dark stump.

      3D archery forces you to get into the habit of picking a spot where one may not be apparent, and isn’t that one of the most important parts of being successful on game? Years ago I used to struggle with picking a spot on animals. After shooting a lot of 3D, picking a spot isn’t even something I have to think about anymore; it’s automatic. I can’t remember the last time I had to tell myself to pick a spot, and I also can’t remember the last time I failed to do so.

    • MOUNTAINSLICKER
      Post count: 45

      Steve, That’s what I was trying to say. I do practice to lock form and check equipment, then off to the woods again. Would say 30% target 70% hunter mode is my norm. We all are at different places in our pursuits. What works for you is what is best for you.3D shooting is a great complement to my goals.

      SteveMcD wrote: Hi, Mountainslicker.. nice post and good advise.

      Sometimes though…. just this past weekend I have a Northern Mist Baraga which is heavily Reflexed-Deflexed Longbow. Characteristically, it is not as “forgiving” as my traditional “hill-style” bows, which is why I shoot it in the off season, because if my form is off, I know it right away. Anyway, I’m shooting this bow for several days and nothing is consistent, I looked at this bow, and was about to resign myself to selling it, which I really didn’t want to do, but was feeling bad. Then I thought, try lowering the brace height a little bit… and wall-la I’m throwing 4 inch groups right off the bat at 20 yards. Sometimes (especially for me) it pays to step back and analyze what’s going on.

    • SteveMcD
      Member
      Post count: 870

      Mountainsticker…. yes, agree completely. Great Thread! Excellent input from everyone. Taking it in.. all very good sound advice.

    • Patrick
      Member
      Post count: 1148

      Buckhorn73 wrote: I put a red dot or button ( in my mind ) on every target I shoot at and do a lot of real close range shooting. Then everything from 0-15 yards and sometimes twenty is ” bang on” if the setup is correct and the mind clearly focused on that red button.

      That’s EXACTLY what Jay Kidwell recommends doing in the book I speak of so often, “Instinctive Archery Insights”.

    • Rocks
      Post count: 104

      Great advice, and a great thread, thanks everyone for their insights. I will be moving on to the next step soon – bear hunting season opens in 9 days! Time to put the practice to the test!

    • Mark Turton
      Post count: 759

      Rocks, Good luck, I look forward to hearing how you get on with the bears.

      Mark.

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