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1.) Triton Rich - 09/12/2013
[B]Some of you may remember from the old forum that a while back, I suffered with a bout of target panic. This led to some almost comical misses resulting in holes in the interior and exterior walls of my garage and an arrow stuck in a tree about 5 feet off course. I realized pretty quickly that the more I tried to concentrate, the worse it got. I believe the conventional cure was to shoot at a large target from very close with your eyes closed, concentrating only on your form. Not being very conventional myself, I decided to try and struggle through it. Instead of aiming carefully, I would let the pin just get near the bullseye and squeeze off the shot. Of course, I had to concentrate on not getting frustrated of the results weren't great as this just makes the problem worse. I have now gone several years without a wild, target panic, miss the whole target type of occurrence. My body has learned, without my consent or knowledge, to recognize the onset of target panic and quickly remove my finger from the trigger. Instead of releasing a blind, random arrow destined for who knows where, I end up just having a little spasm that seems to affect my whole upper body. There have been times recently, where I have had up to 4 of these "spasms" while holding to release a single shot. While not nearly as bad as before, this phenomenon is starting to get quite irritating. Starting this eve, I will once again practice shooting without concentrating too hard on the bullseye. Maybe after a week or two, I can send this demon back to his cave again![/B]
2.) billy b - 09/12/2013
I feel your pain Rich, I have fought the same problem for my whole archery career, I don't have the problem when hunting, just target shooting, sometimes it's worse than others but it's always in the back of my head. At my age I'm not gonna worry about it anymore, it won.
3.) Ohbuckhunter - 09/12/2013
I feel your pain. I've got it real bad when it comes to targets. It started with a round target gave me fits. Now it's anything besides a animal. I've lost allot of confidence in my shooting ability.
4.) Ventilator - 09/12/2013
Now Dave, that 10 ring shot on the buck under the 8 inch gap from the wood frame target was pretty impressive!
5.) Swamp Fox - 09/12/2013
Just a few random thoughts:

I have seen a few things over the last few years on shot sequence that are interesting. Randy Ulmer has a column in the Sept issue of [I]Bowhunting[/I] which talks about releasing the arrow after the same amount of hold time each shot, releasing at your peak of concentration, strength and acute vision, and a few other things.

I don't know if it's online, but I could grab the hard copy and summarize it for you if you want. The take-away would be that you might shoot best if your hold time (full draw to release) is between 5 and seven seconds, and it's consistent from shot to shot.

Other things I can think of that might help are switching to a single pin, breathing to increase oxygen and calm yourself, and "seeing the bull and feeling the pin", for lack of a better way of putting it. There's a reason they call it "the Zen of archery." :wink

Be the arrow, grasshopper!

6.) Ohbuckhunter - 09/12/2013
Yeah swampy. Post that up.
7.) Ohbuckhunter - 09/12/2013
[QUOTE=Ventilator;10629]Now Dave, that 10 ring shot on the buck under the 8 inch gap from the wood frame target was pretty impressive![/QUOTE]

Every blind squirrel finds a nut.
8.) Triton Rich - 09/12/2013
[B]So Billy and Dave, you are both more accomplished archers than I am and suffer similarly. That is both comforting and disturbing. Thanks for making me feel better and worse at the same time! :-)[/B]
9.) Deerminator - 09/12/2013
Just a thought;

Try a " I don't care ", approach. No cares, no worries, no problems.

Just nock and arrow and send it. Ya know ya shoot good enough to put it in the bulls eye.
Do everything correctly like ya know ya do and send the arrow. The more ya think about it the more of a chance to flub the shot.

You guys shoot way more and way better than I do. I really just don't have the target mentality to shoot bulls eye after bulls eye. Never did. But I can sure as heck put a few arrows in the bulls eye with out hesitation. Then I want to shoot something else. Well I could be for the cancer hit me. I'll be on the come back here real soon. Might even buy a whole new set up.

Any way all the best and good luck:tu:
10.) Ohbuckhunter - 09/12/2013
[QUOTE=Triton Rich;10634][B]So Billy and Dave, you are both more accomplished archers than I am and suffer similarly. That is both comforting and disturbing. Thanks for making me feel better and worse at the same time! :-)[/B][/QUOTE]

One thing I do know is there is no cure for it. You can bandaid it every so often but you will always have it now. It's just the way the mind works.
11.) Swamp Fox - 09/12/2013
Well, [I]P's Bowhunting [/I]has a piss-poor search function on their site plus no archive section I could discover, so I came up snake-eyes there, but I did find this:


I grabbed the magazine and looked up Ulmer's column ("Part 1 of 3: Holding Time"). His main points were what I said above, plus these interesting background items:

A back-tension release actually made him hold longer and he felt that it was so long sometimes that he was no longer in the strong part of his shot when it finally went off. After eight or nine seconds his "hold would deteriorate and [his] vision would fade."

He recommends making your draw more quick and efficient by learning to pull the string to your face rather than repositioning your face to meet the string. He briefly mentions that his optimum hold time recommendation (5-7 seconds) is designed to take advantage of the period when blood oxygen levels are at their peak (see my comment about breathing above) and the old idea that your mind can only focus on one thing very intently for a maximum of seven seconds.

He doesn't elaborate on the "vision fading" thing, but I know from my own experience with firearms and bows that it does happen. Again, it seems to be related to a limited and quite short concentration window, which in my opinion is either a brain thing or an oxygen thing, or both. Probably not something that you can defeat.
12.) Triton Rich - 09/12/2013
[B]D, I believe you Sir have captured the essence of the whole thing! I plan on approaching it with basically the attitude that you are talking about. I do tend to be high strung and I get all worked up about it if I'm not shooting well which just leads to more problems. I think Dave is right too but I don't really need to cure it I just want to knock it back a bit.[/B]
13.) Ohbuckhunter - 09/12/2013
Blank bail, come in from different angles on target, Change sight, different releases, different bow. These are the things that bandaid it for me.
14.) Ventilator - 09/12/2013
you can also try a pull-thru type release for training. Carter attraction is the one i use for targets. It also helped me immensely when it came to executing a back muscle release while hunting. I do basically the same thing with both now. The difference is i just hold my index finger on the trigger and concentrate on touching my elbow to my waist. (an impossibility but im sure you get the idea) The carter works by drawing back, then anchor , put your thumb on the trigger and pull until it shoots. Doesnt take long at all and its a surprise every time.
15.) Pa bowhunter - 09/12/2013
Just a thought, I also suffer from it, and something I find that helps is I pick up my recurve and shoot for a couple of days with it and just have fun, it seems to put my mind back on track, I don't know if anybody else has tried this but I stumbled over it about 15 years ago when I was playing around with my fathers old bear recurve during a frustrating bought with target panic that almost made me give up archery all together...
16.) billy b - 09/12/2013
I simply stopped shooting targets, some of the reason is my shoulder is screwed up & like I said, it does not affect my live animal shots, plus I'm just too old & crippled to hunt much anyway:groan:
17.) DParker - 09/13/2013
[QUOTE=billy b;10670]I simply stopped shooting targets[/QUOTE]

Well that's certainly guaranteed to work.

18.) luv2bowhunt - 09/13/2013
Rich, I also relate to your struggle.

I would explain mine this way. Part of my brain is saying 'wait, wait, come on get that pin on' and the other part of my braining is screaming 'now, shoot now'.

So there is this constant tension within my own brain on trying to hold more steady vs. pulling the trigger when the pin is on. The more I practice the worse this tension gets. Once I get a flyer, the more dramatic the tension gets.

I've tried everything over the years that everyone has said here. What worked the LEAST for me was the surprise release idea. That made me less accurate, at least the way I tried it did.

So....I practice much, much less and try to make each session fun. I know what billy and ohbie said are true, when a buck comes in, I've got no problem holding rock steady and getting that arrow through the ribcage.

And that's what I always say, all I care about is an arrow through the ribcage. How it gets there, or how well I practice, don't mean nearly as much at the moment of truth.

And....you're on my team so don't screw things up for us.:wink:tu:
19.) Triton Rich - 09/13/2013
[B]Well, like the rest of you, it hasn't affected me while shooting at critters. I have missed a couple squirrels lately though! :bang:[/B]
20.) Ventilator - 09/13/2013
Ive missed a couple squirrel with my truck lately . Hate to missem!!
21.) billy b - 09/13/2013
OMG, Luv2 & I have something in common:shh::bang: