Target Panic

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RE: Target Panic

Postby Patriot » Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:22 am

I can't say I've ever corrected it.  This will be my 21st hunting season and I still get nervous everytime I see a deer. 
My thought is simply to pick a single, small spot on the deer and think about nothing else.  Do your best to block out everything except that single hair.
Paul K. "aim small, miss small"

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RE: Target Panic

Postby msbadger » Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:59 am

Get your blood pressure checked....Seriously...I got such a bad case of buck fever once that I nearly passed out....I had noticed something off for a while and let it be...Well after that episode...I went to the Dr. and said I have high blood pressure..."What makes you say that ?" she asked and I told her....well we'll see...180+/130+...she went and got a pill right then and there...she was surprised I hadn't stroked out....Reason for that story...I haven't had a problem since....had huge deer around me ...shot a few eights...even had a blk bear standing on the other side of my truck a 4am one morning...some times your body has funny ways of warning you [;)]

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RE: Target Panic

Postby JPH » Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:18 am

Carlos Hathcock, famed godfather of the Marine Corps Snipers, was once asked how to reproduce the stress of combat for his sniper students. His answer was to run them to the point of collapse, then make them shoot.

Few things will simlate the physical and psycological effects of an adrenaline dump like physical exercise. Try using brief but intense bursts of exercise immediately before you pick up your bow to shoot at the target range. If you can train yourself to overcome this in pratice, you will build mental toughness and develop the ability to hit the target in spite of adrenaline.

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RE: Target Panic

Postby Goose » Thu Sep 17, 2009 7:26 am

Are you talking target panic or buck fever.
For target panic I would recommend getting a routine, and saying it to yourself as you draw and aim. Even saying your favorite verse from the bible or something similar will help your body relax and go through the natural motions.
I personally start the Lord's prayer as I draw, bring my pin up to the aiming point and let my pin float as I apply back pressure, snap the arrow is off.
Don't try to hold steady on the target, let your pin float and just let the release fire on its own.
Getting in to a routine will also help with buck fever.
For combating buck fever I recommend confidence, and again a set routine that your mind has to go through.
Good luck and let us know what worked for ya.

Genesis 27:3 Take your bow and quiver full of arrows out into the open country, and hunt some wild game.....

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RE: Target Panic

Postby DeanoZ » Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:47 am

Don't try to hold steady on the target, let your pin float and just let the release fire on its own.

great advice...I would go so far as to say once you get the pin on the target just focus on sight alignment...keeping the front sight perfectly aligned with your peep, almost to the point where the target is a bit blurry.  Same principle Hatchcock and all us Marines learned in boot camp.

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RE: Target Panic

Postby fatbob240 » Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:56 am

Oh, it's target panic. If I ever get to the point where I don't have buck fever, then it's time to stop hunting. [:D] I've been trying the "Draw. Anchor. Aim. Release" thing, but by the time I think "aim" I'm hitting the trigger. It's just frustrating as heck this year because there was a time when I would not only hit the bullseye on the target at 20 yards, but I could pick out an existing hole and put my arrow there. I'm dead serious. Now, if the pin is within four inches of the bullseye, the arrow is flyin' !

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RE: Target Panic

Postby shaman » Thu Sep 17, 2009 1:25 pm

My advice is to start talking to yourself.  Honest.  Try it .  It may do the trick.

Tell yourself to calm down and relax.  Talk to yourself like your grandfather would.  Give yourself the encouragement you expect you need.

I've only been gripped by it once, and I was frankly not expecting it. I got frozen to the tree when a big buck grunted back at me in the gloom.  I talked to myself and told myself that if I didn't get my head back on straight and get my kit  back in one sock I was really going to screw up. I then told myself quietly to unhook myself from the tree, get my rifle down off the rifle and get it ready.

It's something strange about your head-- or at least mine.  Sometimes it gets fooled by you talking to yourself.  It hears nice soothing words, it forgets that you were the one saying them. 

Anyhow, give it a try.  It might be a cheap fix.
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RE: Target Panic

Postby Bowtechian » Thu Sep 17, 2009 1:56 pm

I feel your pain. I was there about six years ago. I was shooting a finger release, & when the pin hit the target, the release was punched. It was sort of like a drive by shooting. I went to an archery shop & bought a pure back tension release.(best $50 I ever spent) I hooked it on,drew back, tried to hammer it, but there was nothing to punch. After drawing & trying to hurry my shot two times, I could start to relax & pull through the shot. Since then I've shot only thumb releases, which I can shoot like a back tension release. It wasn't cured that quickly, but I was shooting 85-90% better in the first week.
There's a book by Bernie Pellerite called "Idiot Proof Archery" that I highly recommend. It covers all phases of archery, & explains the different forms of target panic & how to cure it.
One thing to try is to keep your finger/thumb away from the trigger & just draw,aim, & let down for a while. If a bullseye still bothers you, try aiming at a blank target until you start to relax.
Dave M.

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RE: Target Panic

Postby 2tonyb » Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:07 pm

Don't shoot for too long of a time period.  I developed a bit of this when I went to a 3-D shoot in the middle of the afternoon when I had not eaten all day.  It took a while to shake the target panic and erase the poor poor performance of that day from my memory.  I shoot for short time periods and make every shot count.

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RE: Target Panic

Postby fatbob240 » Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:56 am

Thanks so much for all fo the help. I'll have to look for that book and do some reading, that's for sure. I do realize that archery is 90% mental, I've been able to shrink my groups at 20 yards and I guess it will be a matter of time before my groups improve at 30 and beyond. I just have to stop 'thinking' so much and let it happen.


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