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Target Panic

kad1429

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Mar 13, 2015
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Billings MT
I'm shooting a Mathews Z7 and love it 70lbs 29' draw length with a 7 pin black gold but I need some advice and help from all you other elk and mountain hunters. I live in Montana born and raised and I'm getting ready for spring bear season and target panic has hit! 20 yards is killing me but 40-80 yards I'm shooting as good as ever but it's killing me and really killing my confidence. Any advice?
 

cur dog

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Feb 20, 2011
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428
Go to your local archery shop and talk with them about a back tension release. It's helped me tremendously. I switch between my caliper and the back tension periodically. I don't hunt with the back tension release. I only use it for target. It helps build good muscle memory and confidence. Good luck.
 

TimeOnTarget

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Feb 13, 2015
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SD
I've got the same issue. I've started just holding on the target for maybe 20 seconds longer than I normally would. Then when I shoot all I think about is my finger on that trigger and try and relax everything else. I also try and pull into the wall of the bow a little more..

The 1st few times I did this I sent a couple arrows into the dirt. Then I began to get better.

I think its helping to calm me body at the shot.
 

Colberjs

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Sep 3, 2013
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Eastern, OK
You can also set your target up at bow level and stand 3-4 feet away from it. Draw your bow and then close your eyes and go through your shot sequence concentration on each step and picturing in your mind what your target window should look like.
 

JLS

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Mar 26, 2012
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Where the Wild Things Are
You can also set your target up at bow level and stand 3-4 feet away from it. Draw your bow and then close your eyes and go through your shot sequence concentration on each step and picturing in your mind what your target window should look like.

This is a good start, along with that:

1) Decrease the draw weight of your bow
2) Increase the spring tension of your trigger release
3) Read up on how to use back tension with a trigger release
4) Begin using back tension with your trigger release
5) Stop trying to time your shot, if you are ( you may not realize you are)
6) Stop trying to see your pin. You should come up on target, see your correct pin and let it fade away as you completely focus into the hair you want to hit.
7) Breathe while you are shooting
8) Pull through your shot, it should be a surprise arrow


If it were me, I'd shoot 10-20 blind arrows a day. Then, do as suggested and come to full draw and put your pin on the bullseye. Hold it, then let down. Repeat a few times. Start at 3 yards and work out slowly.

There is no quick fix for target panic, but it can be remedied.
 

Festus

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Apr 13, 2012
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Virginia
I agree with Colberjs. This can be done inside in garage or basement. Every evening spend 30 mins or so releasing with eyes closed.
Anchor, lay finger on trigger and consciously pull with elbow (entire arm) to release. Repeat.
This process needs to be muscle memory so in the field or at the range when your thinking about that cow to your left, the swirling wind, or your score on the last target it still happens the same every time - automatically.
Wish I could say I have it mastered....
 

JLS

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Mar 26, 2012
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Where the Wild Things Are
I've got the same issue. I've started just holding on the target for maybe 20 seconds longer than I normally would. Then when I shoot all I think about is my finger on that trigger and try and relax everything else. I also try and pull into the wall of the bow a little more..

The 1st few times I did this I sent a couple arrows into the dirt. Then I began to get better.

I think its helping to calm me body at the shot.

Try readjusting your release so that the trigger is farther up on the meat of your finger instead of the tip. This will reduce the tactile sense of touch, making you less likely to punch the trigger and less aware of the fact that the shot didn't go off yet. Concentrate on pulling through the shot, not feeling the trigger.
 

kad1429

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Mar 13, 2015
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Location
Billings MT
I just can't seem to keep my pin on the bulls eye it floats all around it and my reales is shortened up to the second knuckle from the top I know in not punching it I just can't keep my bow stedy
 

JLS

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Simple question, but does your bow really fit you? If your draw length is too long it can make it very difficult to pull through the shot.

Take a target that is completely blank and try holding your pin on a certain spot. Keep in mind that your pin WILL move. It's natural. It will never be completely motionless, so don't fight that.
 

TRS_Montana

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Nov 19, 2014
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Helena
I've found that it helps to have a set routine for each shot. Obviously this isn't always possible when hunting, but it just distracts your mind so that the "NOW" impulses aren't as loud.

Also, like JLS, I am wondering if your draw length isn't too long. A lot of people make do with bows that don't properly fit them and they sacrifice accuracy and overall enjoyment. Go into a proshop and have them look at your draw length.
 

JLS

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At risk of beating a dead horse here, I'll echo what TRS just said.

When you are practicing, you should focus on perfect practice. You are not just flinging arrows. If a shot doesn't feel right, don't send that arrow. Let down and start over.

When I practice, I have a very set mental checklist that I go through:

1) Release clipped on, finger BEHIND trigger
2) Proper grip
3) Eyes on target, draw as the bow comes up onto target (using back muscles)
4) Check grip
5) Check level
6) Check anchor
7) Find pin
8) Allow pin to blur, focusing on target
9) Pull through shot
10) Watch arrow through sight housing

If you do this consistently when you are practicing, you'll go on absolute auto pilot when it's game time.
 
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