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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started down the traditional path last year after bowhunting for 30 years (I got my start with the early compounds) now. I practiced quite a bit (a few times a week after work through late spring thru early fall) and do well enough after a warmup, but that first "cold" shot or two is never what I want and shakes my confidence. Any wisdom out there to get more in the groove on that critical first shot?

P.S. I imagine more than a few of you would like the movie "The New World". I saw it yesterday, and for those of you who haven't, there is some very nice cinematography and overall a very well done historical period piece.
 

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I would suggest that you take an arrow along hunting that is just for taking practice shots and take a few on your way out to the stand. If it is a morning hunt then have a small foam target that you can take out of your vehicle and take a few shots at in the headlights of your vehicle.;)
 

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Bearblade ... Congrats on your switch.

2-Big gave you some great advice there. I'll pick a place and spot where I least expect a deer to wander through (LOL - which is generally a 50 yard radius, 360 degrees around my stand) and shoot a judo when I first get settled in my stand.

Until you gain a ton of confidence, keep shooting at close ranges ... especially that first one.

It all depends upon your style of shooting but keep that anchor under your right eye (or left if you're left-handed), keep focused on the spot while keeping the arrow in your peripheral vision (don't look at your arrow directly - keep focused on the spot), and probably most important for that first shot is make sure you get to full draw. If you don't get to full draw, it can impact both your up and down and left to right. And lastly, make sure you follow through - don't drop your bow arm.

Hope this helps a little.

I'll have to check out the reviews to that movie - sounds interesting.

Chuck
 

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I like to practice shooting 1 arrow at a session. While this spreads out the shooting sessions, it only takes a minute or two. You can still shoot more arrows for form and enjoyment, but I find my "one arrow" practice session most beneficial for me. You have to be strict with yourself, and only shoot one arrow regardless of outcome. This will train your mind and body to harness all of your efforts for that one shot, knowing that you will not get another (just like hunting, most of the time).

Good luck, and welcome aboard.

Dan
 

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Keep practice session short. Down to one arrow maybe every hour or so on a Saturday or something like that. Alot of times when you set out to practice you are not concentating as hard as you should because your subconscious knows there are alot more shots to redeem yourself. I used to have the same problem with the compound. Now with my recurve my first few shots are the good ones until I start to "wear out" mentally.

Brian
 

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GRUNDY said:
...until I start to "wear out" mentally.
Good point Brian ... that is a good thing to aviod. I wear out mentally long before I do physically and when I do, frustration sets in fast.

LOL, come to think of it, that will probably come as no surprise to a lot of people who know me. :p
 

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Yup sometimes after a draining day at work the only thing I can hit consistent is my garage behind the target!
 

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I know what you mean by worrying about that first shot. It helps me to stretch the muscles some by doing several full practice draws. Shooting a stickbow is simliar to compounds in this regard- consistant form is important. Draw-solid anchor and clean release.
One thing-do not place too much stock in blowing a shot now & then. we're all human. Golfers-tennis players and others all blow a shot once in while. I used to battle a problem where if I missed then I pressed on the next one and ended up getting worse. Being relaxed is very important.
Don't practice too much either without the let-off from compounds you can tire and then end up developing a lot of bad habits.
Have fun.
EDW
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the above replies! I'll be glad to get some spring weather in a few months and start working on gaining more confidence shooting "cold". I particularly like keeping practice sessions short. If I get a few shots in the "zone", that's it, I put the bow away happy! If I sum the replies up correctly - is it fair to say in time and with good form things will become instinctual and my worry over that cold shot will lessen? Thanks again for the help.
 

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I think you've made the proper assumption. I'm to the point where my first shot is my most confident one. It's a funny transition and is different for eveyone. I think if you boil it all down. The real origin of keeping practice sessions short is that long practice sessions cause fatigue, and fatigue ruins form, which ruins confidence, which ruins accuracy. Sometimes it can take alot of will power to stop shooting before you get too tired because it is so fun to shoot!

Brian
 

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If you primarily hunt from tree stands and you can keep one up safely in your yard (no children, and not liable to be stolen), do so. Then following some of the great advice above, walk out, climb into the stand, nock an arrow, and just sit as you would on stand.

For example: I place my 3-D targets at angles and distances, and in scenarios that closely resemble most of my hunting scenarios. I have a buck or doe target behind some bushes with just the vitals open to arrow flight, etc. Then I sit for maybe five minutes holding my bow as I would when hunting. When I 'spy' that a deer has moved into shooting range, I begin to position myself on the stand, move my bow, and pull and shoot one arrow at the target. I sit for a while, then get down.

After a while it's amazing how your concentration picks up for that one arrow.

Make everything as 'real' as you can.

Best of luck, Arch
 

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Arch, I didn't think you needed to practice anymore :lol: Just kidding!

I too am looking at a new 3D target. Shooting at my bag targets is alright, but I find it makes it harder to pick a spot on an animal as the ole' computer seems to have a problem picking a spot on an animal if I am not practicing on life-like targets.

Dan
 

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I always used to choke at the moment of truth until I started practicing on a 3D deer.
 

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Pick a spot draw and aim and visualize your arrow going right to the spot then let down. Do this few times before you start shooting. I do this when hunting alot. I like to visualize the deer walking into my shooting lanes and then I draw and aim at a spot on the imaginary deer and I visualize my arrow going right to the spot and I let down. I will do a few of these each time I set up during hunting season.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
bwhntr,
:lol:
Small world! I live in the same small 'burg you do! Does anyone know where Mulliken is besides us;)?
 

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I doubt it. I ususaly tell people 1st blinker light town west of Grand Ledge. Where about are you located in Mulliken. Send me an e-mail.
 
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