Pre-Shot Checklist?
General Topic
Contributors to this thread:
GF 16-Nov-17
Ucsdryder 16-Nov-17
Ambush 16-Nov-17
stick n string 16-Nov-17
drycreek 16-Nov-17
Stekewood 16-Nov-17
Z Barebow 16-Nov-17
jdee 16-Nov-17
cnelk 16-Nov-17
elk yinzer 16-Nov-17
PECO 16-Nov-17
skipmaster1 16-Nov-17
tobinsghost 16-Nov-17
Nick Muche 17-Nov-17
TEmbry 17-Nov-17
Bowriter 17-Nov-17
Nick Muche 17-Nov-17
Owl 17-Nov-17
Woods Walker 17-Nov-17
Bloodtrail 17-Nov-17
SixLomaz 17-Nov-17
Jethro 17-Nov-17
rooster 17-Nov-17
Butternut40 17-Nov-17
Franzen 17-Nov-17
Brotsky 17-Nov-17
Ermine 17-Nov-17
Kodiak 17-Nov-17
GF 17-Nov-17
Missouribreaks 17-Nov-17
Beendare 17-Nov-17
Bowriter 17-Nov-17
Missouribreaks 17-Nov-17
Nick Muche 17-Nov-17
Bowriter 17-Nov-17
Pigsticker 17-Nov-17
Buffalo1 17-Nov-17
wyobullshooter 17-Nov-17
KsRancher 17-Nov-17
RJ Hunt 17-Nov-17
Yellowjacket 18-Nov-17
GF 18-Nov-17
LC Archer 18-Nov-17
Bou'bound 18-Nov-17
GF 18-Nov-17
Ambush 18-Nov-17
From: GF
16-Nov-17
I actually have two.... one that I go through on every shot, and one that only pertains to hunting.

No sense trying to teach anybody how to shoot, or even how I go about it, but the hunting checklist....

1 - ID: Species, Sex, Age, “Shooter” status, if you think in those terms.

2 - Range: Close enough, likely to come closer, or most likely will catch wind of me at any moment?

3 - Lane: Clear or not?

4 - Angle: What level of accuracy is required and what are the tolerances to get a solid double-lung? Do I know for certain where I need to hold on this one?

5 - Attitude: Is the animal calm, cautious, alert, or spooked? Standing, moving, or likely to move?

6 - Tracking/Trailing conditions: Could I track this animal without any blood trail whatsoever? Would I need a few drops of blood here and there, or am I screwed with anything short of a gusher?

7 - Daylight: How much have I got to work with? How long could I let one wait and be able to pick up the trail within legal hours? How do I feel about a nighttime recovery effort?

8 - Weather: Is it too hot out? Likely to rain or snow or get so windy that it would be a bad idea to be out there at all?

9 - Recoverability - is this one liable to run off a cliff? Onto posted land? Into a lake or swamp? Into a valley so steep that I simply won’t be able to haul it out, given the size of the party I’m with? If I did have to leave it overnight, what are my chances of finding it eaten by coyotes, lions, tigers, bears?

Believe it or not, I have learned not to take a shot without having thought all of it through; most of it, you have all day to think about it and you can adjust your Shoot/Don’t Shoot parameters as you go so that if something comes up you only need to think about the first 5....

So tell me - what’s your checklist, and what did I miss?

From: Ucsdryder
16-Nov-17
Lol

From: Ambush
16-Nov-17
Shooter!! Shooter!!!!!

It goes downhill from there.

16-Nov-17
Lol ambush

From: drycreek
16-Nov-17
Ready, set, shake, rattle, and roll ! :-)

From: Stekewood
16-Nov-17
That’s a lot to remember. Do you keep a 3x5 card in your pocket so you don’t forget a step or mix up the order?

From: Z Barebow
16-Nov-17
Um. I didn’t know I had to review homework before I shot. I am out.

From: jdee
16-Nov-17
That's a good check list . I have lost some big shooter bucks because I didn't think things through in my younger days and just raised the bow, pulled the string and let it go . Now days when I see a shooter I think through a lot of the same things you do. Believe me when you hunt BIG deer all month and have maybe just one shot all season you better be on your game or be prepared to wish you had done things different. I have been in Kansas for the last 2 weeks and have passed many 130 to 140 bucks waiting on a big shooter....I want to kill him when I let the arrow go not spend 2 days looking for him and thinking about what I should have done different. !!

From: cnelk
16-Nov-17
More like.... ELK!!!..... £€<#%}#%##{{>^^^^^€^^

From: elk yinzer
16-Nov-17
It's kind of preposterous to suggest we should conciously be going through all these steps. Most shots materialize so fast in real world hunting. I guess all this processing happens in my brain but it's second nature at this point. I was not a born killer... I wounded and missed more deer in my teens than I care to admit. Rather suddenly I developed a sort of autopilot and now I see the target and I shoot the target, with experience it really has become that simple.

From: PECO
16-Nov-17
Most of your list should be figured out before the shooter arrives. If it is too dark, too hot, cliffs and swamps and thick valleys a few yards away for the deer to get lost in, etc. maybe you shouldn't be set up there.

From: skipmaster1
16-Nov-17
I determine if it's something I want to kill. I take the first clear shot I know I can make. That's it. I never worry about tracking conditions or night recovery. I recover a lot of deer at night and if I don't think I'm going to watch it tip over, I'm not shooting anyway. If something goes wrong, I have a tracking dog so rain doesn't matter much.

From: tobinsghost
16-Nov-17
Focus, float, follow thru

From: Nick Muche
17-Nov-17
See animal, range if needed, draw, bubble, settle, squeeze.. pretty basic, usually works if I do all of them.

From: TEmbry
17-Nov-17
Bubble up... that is the only thing I have to consciously remind myself. Everything else is on auto pilot. Half that list should be figured out LOOOONG before you end up in bow range coming to full draw.

From: Bowriter
17-Nov-17
LMAO. For me it is quite simple. Do I want to kill him/her? In range/clear shot?

After that, it is a long check list. (1) Fresh dip in mouth (2) Scratch left testicle, the one that itches when the excitement goes away. (3) How long is the drag going to be. (4) Do I want to sit here and try for number 2/3/4? (5) Who can I con into helping me drag? (6) Scratch testicle again. (7) Should I pee again before or after I get down And on and on.

I always get tickled at how complicated hunters can make such simple things and then wonder why they screwed up. That was one of the major reasons I always used only one sight pin, no peep, no release, no kisser button and no stablizer-looking thingie. I'm just not smart enough to sort through all that crap. Unless I am hunting all day, (never again), or out west, I don't even carry a pack. If I can't get it in my pockets, I don't need it. l save that for fishing. LOL- I have a minimum of six and usually eight rods in the boat and 90% of the time, still don;t have the lure I want, tied on. If I had a check list like GF, I would probably have to quit hunting cause odds are, I would forget either my bow or my quiver.

From: Nick Muche
17-Nov-17
"I always get tickled at how complicated hunters can make such simple things and then wonder why they screwed up. "

John, your pre shot checklist is the most outlandish I've seen posted on here, yet you are saying others complicate theirs? I just don't understand it...

From: Owl
17-Nov-17
GF,

The truth is, we process much more than that in the moment. However, if you imply a deliberate, conscious checklist, nothing that elaborate. Most of what you have listed is not "pre-shot" per se but predetermined. With the exception of item 5. An animal's pre-shot bearing has a significant effect on successfully killing it, imo.

From: Woods Walker
17-Nov-17
I do most all of what's on that list. A lot of it I've already considered before the animal comes into view. The rest is automatic and encompassed into my simply blotting everything else out and picking a spot......or more accurately a molecule!

I learned a long time ago that the less I "think" at that moment the better.

From: Bloodtrail
17-Nov-17
Haha. That's a funny checklist. Here's mine:

Pick A Spot.

From: SixLomaz
17-Nov-17
See the brown, shoot the brown, pick a spot later.

From: Jethro
17-Nov-17
I try to remember to actually anchor and look through the peep. Most times I do.

From: rooster
17-Nov-17
If I decide a critter is a shooter, then it's calm down, pick a spot, shoot. I've only ever ranged a couple of animals as most were in top pin range. I actually missed an opportunity at a real nice buck a couple of years back while fiddling with my range finder.

From: Butternut40
17-Nov-17
Bowriter lol. You are ok as long as you only scratch twice. Three or more and you are doing something else. ;)

From: Franzen
17-Nov-17
1-5 are good and I go through them for all shot scenarios. 6-8 are things I have on my mind during a hunt, but not in the moment of the shot. They are more like pre-shot determinations. If I considered 9 very much, I'd probably never shoot anything.

From: Brotsky
17-Nov-17
Don't fall out of the tree and don't miss.......I don't remember anything else:)

From: Ermine
17-Nov-17
Anker ..touch nose to string...pick pin...pick spot...pull thru

From: Kodiak
17-Nov-17
I'm always thinking about my body position in relation to where the deer will most likely come from...or surprise appearances. It's just smart not to be caught too flat footed.

From: GF
17-Nov-17
You guys may think I’m overcomplicating this, but YOU are the knuckleheads who have to worry about peeps and pins and bubbles and figuring out where your feet go and knowing the range down to a whisker!

I’m glad that at least a few here understand the point of the post.

17-Nov-17
I always do what GF suggested, great checklist. These are variables that change throughout the day, always keep them in mind.

From: Beendare
17-Nov-17
Yeah, I'm a firm believer in a shot sequence...but the one in the OP gives you too much to think about. The idea on a hunting shot is to account for the variables sure...but its critical to have 100% focus on the shot.

I doubt my last 100 animals would have stood there long enough to get the shot off with that shot sequence- grin

From: Bowriter
17-Nov-17
Nick Muche- you misread. The checklist was after the shot. prior to the shot- Do I want to kill it? Is it in range,clear shot. That is all. The rest was I shot. Guess I didn't make that clear. But my nuts, especially the left one, does itch a lot.

17-Nov-17
Some of this can be answered when you decide where and when to go hunting, long before an animal is actually located. What is the expected terrain, time of day and available time, weather conditions, property line locations, parcel size, still hunting or stand hunting, etc. Pretty basic checklist really, simply modify as the day and situation develops. Much like operating a business in real time, nothing ever goes exactly as planned, but still better to have a plan.

From: Nick Muche
17-Nov-17
No John, you misread! You'd rather scratch your balls and belittle others with a pre-shot routine than take ownership of your incredibly LONG and DRAWN out shot routine. It's uncanny and uncalled for. I am beside myself envisioning an old man like yourself scratchin his balls before he pulls the trigger on that crossgun.

Have some restraint son...

From: Bowriter
17-Nov-17
See, you still cannot read and comprehend. Let me try one more time.

Pre-shot check list: Do I want to kill it? Is it in range and is it a clear shot? That's it. Nothing more. That is all I consider, pre-shot. Thatis all of my long and drawn out, pre-shot routine. Two things.

The rest is after the shot. A time when for most of us, no list is required.

Now do you understand? (I have my doubts.)

From: Pigsticker
17-Nov-17
I started to comment on this and just said wow. Ermine has it about right for me. That said, I think a lot of the other stuff filters through the subconscious but have to agree with Nick in keeping it simple.

From: Buffalo1
17-Nov-17
In golf, a pro has no more than 3 swing thoughts for a round and he/she has adequate time to think through his/her list because neither the ball nor the target (fairway, green, hole) is moving.

In bowhunting, I would not say normally a bowhunter does not have the luxury of time to go down a checklist as the target could move at any second. The checklist may work great at a 3-D shoot when time is available and the target isn't moving.

17-Nov-17
Another in the "keep it simple" camp. For me, it boils down to two completely separate actions. As Buffalo points out, actual hunting situations are dynamic, not static. Once I decide to shoot an animal, I rely on my experience to quickly process the situation as it unfolds and act accordingly...picking out potential shooting lanes, determining when to draw undetected, stopping the animal for the shot, etc. I simply react to the animal's actions.

As far as taking the actual shot, I focus on the exact spot I want to hit and everything else goes on autopilot. I trust my shot sequence to kick in the same way it's kicked in during the 10's of thousands of arrows I've shot through the years.

From: KsRancher
17-Nov-17
IF I think I am actually going to be able to shoot at an animal 1) look where I think I will be able to get a shot if he goes where I think he will 2)where will I be able to get my bow drawn along his path 3)get a range on where I think my shot will occur 4) tell myself to keep the sight ring centered in peep, AND DON'T PUCNCH THE TRIGGER ( I have a bad habit of doing it). That my routine

From: RJ Hunt
17-Nov-17
1- stay calm 2- pick a spot

From: Yellowjacket
18-Nov-17
Aside from assessing the situation with the animal, the check list as far as the actual shooting of the bow is something you ingrain in practice so it happens on auto pilot under stress.

“We don't rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.” Archilochos

From: GF
18-Nov-17
“We don't rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.”

That one belongs on the wall of every sports team locker room!

MOBreaks gets it.

If you wait ‘til you have an animal in your shooting lane to think about this stuff, you will definitely miss a lot of opportunities... which is probably just as well, because if you DON’T think a lot of it through ahead of seeing the animal, you will likely be back here looking for follow-up advice a lot more often than you would have been if you had been evaluating the overall situation throughout the day.

True, some of this stuff may never come up if you sit in a tree all day.... but if you are constantly moving through country, keeping tabs on all of the recovery considerations will increase your situational awareness, which will help you adjust your tactics to the terrain, cover, etc.. which will help you figure out the wind, thermals, game trails, escape routes and ambush points...

Which just might get you onto a few more animals in the first place...

O

From: LC Archer
18-Nov-17
If one followed all the restrictions on GF's list regarding shooting in evening, thick cover, needing a gusher, near a swamp or thicket, too warm out.. etc you wouldn't be able to hunt at all here in South Carolina and many other parts of the southeast. Those are the obstacles that bowhunters face here. There's no going home and reviewing the footage and waiting hours or leaving them lay overnight. That will leave you with a lost or rotten deer. So we have to take GREAT care with shot placement ideally that we see or hear the deer go down.

From: Bou'bound
18-Nov-17
The best part about your checklist is the thing will be two years older then when you first spotted it by the time you get around to shooting

From: GF
18-Nov-17
Well, I suppose if my brain worked at the speed that yours does, that might be true. Hell, maybe 3....

From: Ambush
18-Nov-17
To be fair GF, you should have said this was a serious question for real bowhunters.

I wouldn’t haven’t bothered then.

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