8 Tips For Beating Buck Fever

With bow seasons kicking off in many Midwestern and Northern states, archers are hitting the woods across the country with loads of saved up anticipation. Excitement is what we’re all after. However, it can also cause us to foul up at the moment of truth. Buck fever, though, can be beat! Use these simple steps to turn your shot into an automatic slam dunk!

By Dr. Phillip Bishop

Checklists can take the pressure off by being common, and reducing the need for thinking too much. Here’s a pre-shot checklist for you to modify to fit your own situation:

1. Determine the range to several visual markers. Rehearse the distances so there is no question. Measure them with a range finder or tape measure using line of sight. Match a bow sight pin to each marker. Knowing an accurate range of every shot we might take while bowhunting will increase our confidence and reduce stress.

2. Always set up equipment in the same place, so you can reach your bow or gun without looking. Practice!

3. Decide when to draw. Practice!

4. Decide where the deer needs to be for a clear, confident shot. Draw your bow or shoulder your gun or crossbow to make sure there is nothing in the way.

5. Decide whether, when and how you will stop a moving deer. Practice your “stopping” procedure before you get down each time you hunt.

6. Be thoroughly familiar with your equipment. You need to be so used to your equipment that everything is automatic. Practice on the shooting range using the same situations that you will use in hunting.

7. Bowhunters should carry a field point and rehearse by taking a shot at a leaf or small spot just before getting out of the stand.

8. The goal is to be automatic. Practice your checklist enough that it becomes second nature rather than a list of boxes you have to think about to check.

Dr. Phillip Bishop is a university professor and former NASA scientist from Alabama.

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One thought on “8 Tips For Beating Buck Fever

  1. chilly

    All good points but disagree on point 7. Taking only one shot at the end of the day would not help if your sight pin got bumped while walking or climbing on stand or your peep sight slipped in the string. Additionally, one shot from your stand after having sat all day or for a couple of hours could be taken in poor form and therefore not hit its mark; causing you to think it’s the bow and start to make all kind of corrections. If ‘target’ shooting for entertainment and/or equipment checking from stand is necessary; then take 2 or 3 shots throughout the day to accomodate for possible poor form.

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