Tactical Breathing?

How can you become a better hunter? Find out here — and share your advice!
User avatar
JPH
 
Posts: 3419
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:28 am

Tactical Breathing?

Postby JPH » Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:28 am

I'm about to go on vacation and kick my bow season into high gear. Naturally I hope to be combating a serious case of buck fever soon. The only thing is, I'd like to handle it better this year. I am shooting very well right now and have already landed two perfect shots on does. I want to keep the streak going.

I've always tried to talk myself down when I am in close quarters with a nice buck. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. To this end, I've done some looking into something snipers and professional shooters call "tactical breathing". Simply put, it is breathing exercises that lower a shooters heart rate and physiological response to stress, thus improving decision making and accuracy. There are several methods that I have found but this one seems to be the simplest:
[ol][*]Slowly inhale a deep breath over 4 seconds.[*]Hold the breath in for 4 seconds.[*]Slowly exhale the breath out over 4 seconds.[*]Hold the empty breath for 4 seconds.[*]Repeat.[/ol]I'm on the way to the gym to raise my HR and play with this technique. While I am at it, has anyone used this or another tactical breathing technique?
 

User avatar
Jslotter
 
Posts: 793
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 8:01 am
Location: Wisconsin

RE: Tactical Breathing?

Postby Jslotter » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:38 am

Its all mental. Some people see the target, get nervous and excited, and fail to execute. I dont think its all adrenaline, I think alot of its the shooter having a panic attack before the trigger pull. Adrenaline enhances your senses. Anyways, I play scenarios in my head when hunting. For example, I will play a scene in my head of a huge buck coming down the logging road and I play motions in my head on what I will do to prepare for a shot, and how I will execute a clean shot. This in the long term or short term helps you when the moment of truth comes. Believe me. I dont get to crazy when I shoot at a deer. I figured out that if I breath slowly thru my nose my heartbeat slows down alot quicker than breathing thru the mouth. Its hard to do at times because your heart is beating so fast and your body needs more oxygen to keep up, causing heavier breathing. When Im about to pull the trigger I will hold my breath to steady my aim, for bow and rifle. It works well.
I only hunt on days that end in ' Y '.

User avatar
Jslotter
 
Posts: 793
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 8:01 am
Location: Wisconsin

RE: Tactical Breathing?

Postby Jslotter » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:46 am

ORIGINAL: JPH

I'm on the way to the gym to raise my HR and play with this technique. While I am at it, has anyone used this or another tactical breathing technique?



That is good practice JPH. Alot of people dont know of this type of practice. When I was at Ft. Benning, GA back in 2000 we did a six minute a mile six mile run to a firing range and had to engage targets between 150 to 250 meters with an M16 A2. Its what they called a Stress fire. Get your heart beating and fatigue your body enough and try to shoot. it is extremely difficult. I tried this last summer with my bow, but not the extreme. I simply ran up a the hill behind my house and came running back down , picked up my bow and tried to make clean kill shots on my target. That is how I found my breathing technique.
I only hunt on days that end in ' Y '.

User avatar
EatDeer
 
Posts: 726
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:02 pm

RE: Tactical Breathing?

Postby EatDeer » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:50 am

I just try to control buck fever by mentally slowing down my breathing, NOT looking at the antlers, and only focus on the shot.

When the deer come in fast and move around half spooky, its tough not to get excited for the shot, thats hunting.

Sometimes you get them, sometimes you dont, everyone learns that sooner or later. and that makes you a better hunter.
"Let a young buck go, so he can grow."

User avatar
JPH
 
Posts: 3419
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:28 am

RE: Tactical Breathing?

Postby JPH » Tue Oct 26, 2010 5:32 am

I had a little fun experimenting with this at the gym. I would go balls out for 30 sec on a high intensity exercise (heavy bag, light deadlift, jump rope, and sledge strikes), then I would take about 20 seconds trying to breath my HR back down using the above technique. Easier said than done when you are in an anaerobic state!

I could usually get through one breathing cycle but then I would burst out of it and suck down air again. Somewhere along the way I realized that I was not exhaling enough air on my way out. This brought me back to a technique that I've used for years at work. I never thought it would apply to buck fever but it might.

It is called "skip breathing" and firefighters use it to conserve the remaining air in their breathing apparatus. It goes like this:

-Inhale normally
-Exhale normally
-Hold your breath for the amount of time it would take to inhale
-Exhale normally
-Repeat

It seems like you are breathing out too much but it helps you to use the "dead airspace" in your lungs that would otherwise be wasted. Again, it is more of an air conservation technique than a relaxation technique but it seemed to work better then the 4 second method above. At least for me.

More thoughts?  

Relentless
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 7:12 am

RE: Tactical Breathing?

Postby Relentless » Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:03 am

I honestly think my body goes into auto pilot as far as breathing.  The one thing I do focus on is my shot opportunity.  Once I deem a buck a shooter and I know he is committed to coming into range I then immediately start scanning to find where the shot should take place.  Which opening do I feel he will walk through?  Also, I am constantly monitoring his body language....is he ready to fight, just cruising, suspicious?  I TRY to think one step ahead of the bruiser.  I also practice this with younger bucks.
Bucks and does alike, if I ever lose the rush leading up to and after a kill, I will hang it up. Knowing me, that will never happen.

User avatar
Woods Walker
 
Posts: 4952
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:21 am
Location: Northern Illinois

RE: Tactical Breathing?

Postby Woods Walker » Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:16 am

I honestly think my body goes into auto pilot as far as breathing.


Ya think? [;)]

You know what, my body does this with mitosis also!

Seriously, I don't have an answer for J'per, but I do applaud him for being probably the most intense, focused, and dare I say fanatical deer hunter I know! Even I look like a casual adherent in comparison!!!
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

>>>--------------------------------->
NRA Endowment Life Member

jdbell91
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:01 pm

RE: Tactical Breathing?

Postby jdbell91 » Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:42 am

In the Marine Corps we were taught to let part of our breath out and hold the rest as you sight in for a shot. The challenge is you can only do this for a short period of time before it starts to affect your muscles. It seemed like you could be still for up to eight (8) seconds before your body would start to react / twitch. The eye muscles always seemed to be the first to start twitching. This is the method that I use when shooting.

I do agree that if you can prepare yourself mentally to follow a process it will lower the effect / on set of adrenaline. Basically your routine gives you confidence and decreases the level of excitement. Its the old "Train like you fight, fight like you train."

Good luck!
Semper Fi,

Joe

User avatar
JPH
 
Posts: 3419
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:28 am

RE: Tactical Breathing?

Postby JPH » Tue Oct 26, 2010 8:13 am

ORIGINAL: Woods Walker

Seriously, I don't have an answer for J'per, but I do applaud him for being probably the most intense, focused, and dare I say fanatical deer hunter I know! Even I look like a casual adherent in comparison!!!


I got a kick out of that one! You should talk to my wife, she would offer her full agreement.

I did not feel like much of a deer hunting fanatic this morning. I rolled out to 30 mph winds and stinging rain. Back in bed for this tough guy!

Back on the topic at hand. I'm coaching a workout session at the gym tonight. I think I'll gas the boys out and have them use different breathing techniques and see which works the best. Human guinea pigs.

DeerMan
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 1:59 pm

RE: Tactical Breathing?

Postby DeerMan » Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:49 am

    I take a somewhat different approach: I place my stand (if possible, this is a minor concern for me) so that when the monster I'm after approaches, he is nearly in my shooting lane.   Obviously, I must be on high alert at all times for this strategy to pay off, but that is how I prefer to hunt anyway.
   I used this strategy this season to take a huge (215 lb dressed, 170 class), mature (4.5+) non typical on pressured land in my home state of PA.   I've been watching this buck since May, and as soon as I climbed into my stand on the first afternoon, I literally shook with excitement.   However, because of my strategic stand angle, when the brute (I call him "Goliath") did show up on the second evening, he left me no time for stress to take over.   Within eight seconds of first seeing him, I had sent the arrow on its way.
 

Next

Return to Best Practices

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests