Instinctive shooting
General Topic
Contributors to this thread:
wyliecoyote 28-Nov-19
GF 28-Nov-19
Bou'bound 28-Nov-19
GF 28-Nov-19
GF 28-Nov-19
RK 28-Nov-19
timex 28-Nov-19
SixLomaz 28-Nov-19
GF 28-Nov-19
RK 28-Nov-19
GF 28-Nov-19
cnelk 28-Nov-19
Glunt@work 28-Nov-19
RK 28-Nov-19
drycreek 28-Nov-19
altitude sick 29-Nov-19
timex 29-Nov-19
Jack Whitmrie jr 29-Nov-19
timex 29-Nov-19
Will tell 29-Nov-19
midwest 29-Nov-19
HDE 29-Nov-19
Shawn 29-Nov-19
Missouribreaks 29-Nov-19
M.Pauls 29-Nov-19
ground hunter 29-Nov-19
wyliecoyote 29-Nov-19
Missouribreaks 29-Nov-19
Thisismyhandle 29-Nov-19
Glunt@work 29-Nov-19
GF 29-Nov-19
GF 29-Nov-19
Kodiak 29-Nov-19
Wayne Helmick 29-Nov-19
GF 29-Nov-19
GF 29-Nov-19
GF 29-Nov-19
GF 29-Nov-19
Mint 29-Nov-19
timex 29-Nov-19
elkmtngear 29-Nov-19
wyliecoyote 29-Nov-19
GF 29-Nov-19
Thornton 29-Nov-19
The last savage 29-Nov-19
Trophyhill 29-Nov-19
Glunker 29-Nov-19
GF 29-Nov-19
Bloodtrail 29-Nov-19
Treeline 29-Nov-19
GF 29-Nov-19
RK 29-Nov-19
GF 29-Nov-19
ryanrc 29-Nov-19
SixLomaz 29-Nov-19
elkmtngear 30-Nov-19
altitude sick 30-Nov-19
Bloodtrail 30-Nov-19
Kevin Dill 30-Nov-19
GF 30-Nov-19
Bou'bound 30-Nov-19
Trophyhill 30-Nov-19
Jaquomo 30-Nov-19
SixLomaz 30-Nov-19
Kodiak 30-Nov-19
Ron Niziolek 30-Nov-19
GF 30-Nov-19
GF 30-Nov-19
Z Barebow 30-Nov-19
GF 30-Nov-19
wyliecoyote 01-Dec-19
Missouribreaks 01-Dec-19
beemann 01-Dec-19
bentstick54 01-Dec-19
Trax 01-Dec-19
PECO 01-Dec-19
PECO 01-Dec-19
Missouribreaks 01-Dec-19
JB 01-Dec-19
Missouribreaks 01-Dec-19
lawdy 01-Dec-19
Ambush 01-Dec-19
lawdy 01-Dec-19
WV Mountaineer 01-Dec-19
Ambush 01-Dec-19
Ambush 01-Dec-19
midwest 01-Dec-19
bentstick54 01-Dec-19
lawdy 01-Dec-19
Kevin Dill 01-Dec-19
PECO 01-Dec-19
PECO 01-Dec-19
Stryker 01-Dec-19
Outdoordan 01-Dec-19
WV Mountaineer 01-Dec-19
PECO 01-Dec-19
PECO 01-Dec-19
timex 02-Dec-19
timex 02-Dec-19
antlerman 02-Dec-19
Supernaut 02-Dec-19
elkmtngear 02-Dec-19
Shawn 02-Dec-19
The last savage 02-Dec-19
timex 02-Dec-19
Treeline 02-Dec-19
Jaquomo 02-Dec-19
Danbow 03-Dec-19
elkstabber 05-Dec-19
South Farm 05-Dec-19
Bloodtrail 05-Dec-19
elkmtngear 05-Dec-19
GF 05-Dec-19
Supernaut 05-Dec-19
Missouribreaks 05-Dec-19
MichaelArnette 05-Dec-19
Supernaut 05-Dec-19
drycreek 05-Dec-19
Jaquomo 05-Dec-19
GF 05-Dec-19
Missouribreaks 05-Dec-19
GF 05-Dec-19
Missouribreaks 05-Dec-19
From: wyliecoyote
28-Nov-19
I get into this friendly arguement from time to time...and really I am still not sure who is right. I feel that instinctive shooting means that you shoot a bow with no sight or anything else for distance including knowing where the arrow tip is in relation to the intended target. If an archer shoots 3 fingers under and estimates the shot distance and uses the arrow tip (or any other mark) for reference...that is not instinctive (It is just another type of sight) If the archer just looks at the intended target (focus) and then executes the shot to the best of his/her ability...that is instinctive shooting. Am I right or wrong...or being narrow minded....too picky...or maybe just "who cares." ??

From: GF
28-Nov-19
You broke down here:

“including knowing where the arrow tip is in relation to the intended target. ”

Barring a complete lack of light, it’s physically IMPOSSIBLE to not see your arrow. “Instinctive” is either A) what happens when your form is so solid and repeatable that you needn’t make conscious note of where the point of your arrow is, or B) a fashionable excuse for not being able to hit your own ass with either hand.

If you want to HIT anything, you HAVE TO KNOW where your arrow is in relationship to your target; you can check visually or you can Just Know, because you’ve done it correctly so many times that you needn’t check (though your brain will do it for you on auto-pilot). It’s not that it doesn’t happen, it’s that you don’t have to remember to think about doing it.

But if you don’t KNOW where that arrow is pointed, you don’t know where it’s going. Good luck hitting anything that way, because that’s what it’ll take.

From: Bou'bound
28-Nov-19
Based on the options you provided I am in the “who cares” column. If you consistently hit what you want to you are a good shot. If you don’t you ain’t. Nothing else matters.

From: GF
28-Nov-19
I check my anchor and point alignment with my target on EVERY shot... when I can. Some times, you can’t.

From: GF
28-Nov-19

GF's embedded Photo
GF's embedded Photo
This was one of those times when you can’t!

From: RK
28-Nov-19
Yea Gf if you are checking anchor point alignment etc etc every shot you are not an instinctive shooter

Whether it is with a sling shot, bow, handgun,shotgun or rifle an instinctive shooter is a very rare commodity. They just shoot and are very accurate They just seem to know how it all works and they execute. I've known a couple of them and it looks like magic when they shoot and often they cannot even explain what they are doing. Truly an amazing talent

From: timex
28-Nov-19
this is my take on it. there are 3 basic styles 1= instinctive 2= split vision 3= gap I would consider myself a split vision shooter because I'm conchesly aware of the rough distance & although I don't conchesly aim with the arrow tip I know where it roughly needs to be in relation to the target for the given distance I'm shooting. pure instinctive shooters claim absolutely zero yardage estimation or conchense or subconscious reference of the arrow. pick your spot concentrate draw anchor concentrate release relying on mussel memory & form to keep things going straight. gap is the least appealing to me simply cause if I'm gonna estimate yards then draw hold & aim I'm just gonna put pins on it. I can understand useing this method to be competitive shooting in a certain class. but not for hunting or at least not for me

From: SixLomaz
28-Nov-19
My instinct tells me to shoot but my brain checks visual references before shooting. Best way to prove 100% instinctive is to first look at target, then close both eyes and bring bow and arrow in alignment before releasing the shot. Start close to target.

From: GF
28-Nov-19
“Yea Gf if you are checking anchor point alignment etc etc every shot you are not an instinctive shooter”

I don’t claim to be, because there ain’t no such thing. I don’t HAVE TO check off on everything on every shot, but I usually DO so that when I CAN’T, I don’t have to.

The pic I posted above was 30-35 yards (which is farther than “Instinctive” is supposed to even work, according to tbe guy who “invented” it) taken 30 minutes after sunset under heavy cloud cover and literally a minute or two before it started to rain. I dropped low of the 12-ring by about 3/4”, but dead center. Couldn’t see my arrow for trying, but I didn’t have to.... because I already knew where it was pointed.

That’s not “Instinct”, that’s trained proprioception.

From: RK
28-Nov-19
Gf We are not even talking about the same thing. NOBODY can be taught true instinctive shooting

Carry on with whatever you were alluding to

From: GF
28-Nov-19
So you’re buying into the “you’re either Born With It or you’re not” BS?

Archery is an acquired skill, just like walking, running, jumping or writing your name in the snow. You can learn well and quickly or slowly and poorly if ever. Somehow it became fashionable to learn slowly and poorly, but at least you get extra points for wearing a Fedora....

From: cnelk
28-Nov-19
Hmmm. There sure should be more professional athletes if everything is an acquired skill.

From: Glunt@work
28-Nov-19
I shoot gapstinctive like most of the other trad archers I know.

From: RK
28-Nov-19
Gf. Yep. There are special people that are truly instinctive shooters

Not a learned behavior or talent

A God given talent

Like I said we are talking about two different animals.

So once again carry on with your instinctive bow shooting lore

From: drycreek
28-Nov-19
I must be one of those “born” instinctive shooters, ‘cause with a stickbow I can’t hit my ass with both hands.....

29-Nov-19
Take a guy who says it’s instinct, and put him out past his normal practice yardage.

Ask him to shoot say 80 yards if he only practices out to 30.

See how it pans out. If he doesn’t practice and his brain doesn’t know how high his bow hand should be. He will not hit accurately.

That doesn’t mean that a guy like Ted Williams (a natural at everything he did) couldn’t do it after a dozen shots. But even Ted wouldn’t do it from “instinct”.

From: timex
29-Nov-19
I knew a guy that was a phenomenal shot with a gun he could shoot asperins out the air with a .22 as good with a shotgun as if seen & be got cought up in an easy money thing & was convicted & lost his gun rights. he had never shot a bow & within a few weeks of acquiring a bow he was shooting 300s indoors. I agree that for the majority it's learned over time including my self but for a gifted few it just comes naturally

29-Nov-19
Here is how I PROVED I shot instinctive, not going to debate it because I have many times. Shoot a candle flame in total darkness, could not see the arrow, my hand or anything but the flame. Doesn't matter what anchor you use you can still shoot instinctive., did it for 31 years with a recurve . About 25 yards was my maximum accurate distance.

From: timex
29-Nov-19
glunt@work nailed it gapstintive I believe others call it split vision

From: Will tell
29-Nov-19
It only takes about 100,000 shots to become a instinctive archer. The trouble with most folks is they want to become a good shot overnight. It'll work with sights or a aiming system but not when your shooting instinctive.

From: midwest
29-Nov-19
When I was shooting stick, I think I was using what glunt said. I didn't set the tip of my arrow at a measured distance below the target based on shot distance but I was always aware of where it was in my peripheral vision.

This aligned my arrow in the "X" direction and the "Y" direction was pretty much instinctive. It was a feeling of "too high" or "too low" or "right there".

It helped me to start my aiming with my bow arm fully extended toward the target before starting my draw.

From: HDE
29-Nov-19
There is always some mechanism at play, some sort of frame of reference. Even when using "the force" to shoot archery tackle. You may not notice or can't pinpoint what that reference of aim is, but it's there...

From: Shawn
29-Nov-19

Shawn's embedded Photo
Shawn's embedded Photo
I shoot split vision and shoot pretty good. I have several friends who shoot instinctive. They burn a hole in a spot and pull back and shoot. Most are touch and go guys, meaning they hit their anchor and no holding just let it fly. They do not use the arrow in anyway to aim but there is no doubt they see the arrow. It's physically impossible not too. Pic of one of the pure shooters I know!! Shawn

29-Nov-19
Campared to yesteryear, very few these days are capable of instinctive shooting when hunting, it takes practice. Therefore, some believe others are not capable of it. When hunting meant getting close, it was a great method of shooting and killing game. I still hunt and shoot that way, but it is dying out, just like bow and arrow hunting and the supporting culture.

From: M.Pauls
29-Nov-19
I think this topic gets thrown off by the definition of instinct. I wasn’t born able to shoot my stick accurately so in that sense, it’s not ‘instinct’.

However when I shoot, regardless of what my peripheral is picking up the ONLY think I FOCUS on is where my arrow will end up. I have shot in the dark In my yard as an experiment and accuracy was less because obviously my brain has less of an image to recreate familiarity with that shot angle/distance, but was still plenty accurate.

Do you believe a 6 year old buck’s instincts are more acute than a buck fawn? Then you believe that instincts can be a learned thing based on past experience and current surroundings.

29-Nov-19
Timex good explanation

From: wyliecoyote
29-Nov-19
OK...thanks for all the well thought out input...good stuff !! Next question, is there any reason to shoot 3 fingers under other than to be able to look down the arrow shaft and also see the point in relation to the target (gap) ? In my experience, 3 under makes the tiller off, makes good arrow flight difficult and makes the bow shoot louder!! Agree or not? I am certainly no expert !!

Joe

29-Nov-19
I have no experience with three under.

29-Nov-19
My best grouping at 40 yards was 2" with 8 arrows. I shot at twilight with my block target in a area so dark I could barely see it. To me it was instinctive shooting even though I had a compound and sights.

From: Glunt@work
29-Nov-19
3 under tiller issues are specific to each bow. I have some that do well both ways with the same nock point. Some that require a different nock point and some that just dont like 3 under.

I have shot both ways over the years. When I shoot three under I drop my anchor point down one finger so the arrow is about the same spot on my face. None of my bows were tillered for 3 under by the bowyer.

Currently shooting split.

From: GF
29-Nov-19
All you guys who think you can shoot in the dark need to try this....

Use a laser pointer to project a dot onto a target INDOORS with no light source other than the laser pointer, and let someone else move that target to random distances down-range. Let us know how you do.

Candles don’t count, because they give away too much extra information.

And NO CHEATING by shining up your arrows.

Usually, I check my alignment on each shot; but not Always.

Moving targets and other quick shots don’t allow it. That’s when the ingrained alignment takes over.

That and peripheral vision.

The trouble is, most people have No Freaking Clue how this stuff works, so they relax into to self-congratulatory myth that it’s just some God-given gift because they’re SPECIAL.

Horseschitt.

Yes, some people have superior hand-eye coordination and some have that AND superior eyesight... but just because it comes easily to them doesn’t mean that it works any differently than for anyone else.

And the reason that shooting in dim light proves exactly NOTHING is that our peripheral vision is vastly more light-sensitive than our central vision. The guys who say they’re “boring a hole” in the target with their laser-sharp focus are full of CRAP because central vision is all COLOR and is dependent on a goodly amount of light.

The ONLY things you can see in dim light are those things in your peripheral vision. So in reality, shooting in low light only proves the importance of the peripheral vision that most “Instinctive” proclaimers always insist doesn’t even exist. That and the importance of having a rock-solid, perfectly repeatable anchor so that the limited info from your peripheral vision can be kept on its normal context.

And if there’s anybody here who doubts how important that is, let’s see what happens when you plug up your peep sight with mud and strip off your kisser button.

From: GF
29-Nov-19
@Wyle E....

3 under offers a very favorable point-on trajectory for typical Whitetail ranges; the smaller the gap, the easier it is to align the arrow with your mark... which is why a friend of mine says I’m better from 25-40 than from 25 and in.

If you want to find out how much you like shooting 3U, just go for it. If you love the accuracy but not the noise or whatever, then maybe get your next bow tillered for 3U or (better bet, IMO) get an ILF rig and experiment with the tiller ‘til you’re happy with it. Because then you can always re-tiller for 3U if you go getting all fickle....

Most important thing, though (IMO) is to avoid taking your shots from the same distance over and over and over, because that grooves a single sight picture, which narrows your effective range to a narrow window...

From: Kodiak
29-Nov-19
GF, clueless as usual.

29-Nov-19
GF, I'm actually against you on this but was going to use your exact scenario as an example. All of my best shots have been right at dark. I'n the jungles in Guam at black pigs. Last second, just do it. Nothing else to look at but where you want the arrow to land. But you are right. Take a lazer pointer out on a dark night and shoot at the dot. If you ain't close then you aren't instinctive. if you are truly instinctive you just shoot where you are looking. Which is why I usually sail it over their backs because I'm looking at the horns.

From: GF
29-Nov-19

GF's embedded Photo
GF's embedded Photo
GF's embedded Photo
GF's embedded Photo
GF's embedded Photo
GF's embedded Photo
GF's embedded Photo
GF's embedded Photo

From: GF
29-Nov-19
“All of my best shots have been right at dark. I'n the jungles in Guam at black pigs. Last second, just do it.”

Exactly. In extremely low light, your peripheral vision is many times more sensitive than your central vision. If you have that peripheral sight picture deeply ingrained in your brain and well connected to your hand-eye coordination, you can make that shot. If you were actually dependent on that “spot” that some guys claim that they can “burn into the target”, you would see exactly nothing. And that’s what you would hit.

And if you have a very consistent anchor point, every time you draw an arrow your string in hand is going to be coming straight back toward that same anchor point. It’s as if you had the rear sight of your rifle mounted on a rail such that you could slide a Ghost Ring fore and aft at will with zero lateral wobble; you likely won’t get benchrest accuracy, but you’re not going to miss wildly, either… Especially not at close range.

From: GF
29-Nov-19
OK, Kodiak, I give up...

If there’s not a scientific explanation based in neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and brain science writ large, why don’t you impress us all with your explanation as to how it REALLY works??

Cuz not only can I EXPLAIN it, I can actually DO IT, as those pics of my shooting 30+ minutes after sunset will attest.

I also have a pretty good history on moving targets.

So put up or shut up.

From: GF
29-Nov-19
By the way, Wayne - I’m totally with you on shooting where you’re looking and eyeball discipline. One time a doe mulie picked up a hind foot as I was releasing and I came within a smidge of splitting her hoof. Screwed up my confidence so bad that a few days later I passed up a 12-yarder on a cow Elk that had no clue I was anywhere within miles, just because I couldn’t figure out how I could’ve missed a broadside shot on that doe by over a foot.

Above all else, shooting using hand-eye coordination is a confidence game...

From: Mint
29-Nov-19
I don't look at anything but the spot I want to hit but I'm sure my subconscious mind is picking up everything. Just like throwing a baseball. I tried gap shooting and I couldn't do it very well.

From: timex
29-Nov-19
when I first started shooting It was a compound with a plunger & flipper rest I shot with fingers & i was having trouble keeping the arrow on the rest. I tried 3 under & it solved my problem. iv tried split several times & just prefer the 3 under sight picture better. another interesting tidbit for over 25 years I shot compounds with fingers 3 under & it put my sights so low I was limited on pins & couldn't use a pin guard cause broadheads would hit it looking back I'd guess my point on was around 50yds cause that pin was only about 1" over my arrow

From: elkmtngear
29-Nov-19

elkmtngear's embedded Photo
elkmtngear's embedded Photo
I've already been through this with GF once. I shoot a compound, fingers, with a Whisker Biscuit...so I cant ever see the tip of my arrow at full draw. Doesn't matter, because all I do, is focus on the spot where I want the arrow to hit, regardless of yardage. If I maintain focus through and after the shot, most of the time, the arrow will go where I want it to. This was a 62 yard group at a 3D shoot this Summer. I've shot quite a few Robin Hoods at 30 yards and under in the last couple years. So, take that info, and put me in any category you like.

From: wyliecoyote
29-Nov-19
Jeff, That is the ugliest and scariest target i have ever seen....it even makes you look handsome !! Hope you have been well, my friend.

Joe

From: GF
29-Nov-19
Hey, EMG..... How much you wanna bet that the rest of your arrow is in line with the point, whether you can see it or not? ;)

I’ve said for years that you can learn fast and (relatively) easy by paying attention to the external cues - the arrow, shelf, anchor alignment, etc. - or you can learn slowly and painfully by pretending to ignore a whole bunch of information that’s RIGHT UNDER YOUR DAMN NOSE. You literally CANNOT NOT see all that stuff.

Point being, EVERYBODY MUST LEARN before they’re going to hit a damn thing. NOBODY gets it right the first time and is perfect from that day forward.

What I don’t understand is why some people are so committed to the delusion that it happens by Magic that they would rather be lousy shots than learn via any method other than one described 30 years ago by a guy who had zero qualifications as an archery instructor until after he wrote a book about how he shoots.... and didn’t have the sense to realize that he didn’t begin where he ended up.

But hey... Fedora. Only a devil-worshipping closet compound shooter would ever dare argue with a guy in a Fedora.

From: Thornton
29-Nov-19
Instinctive you do not look down the arrow with three fingers under.

29-Nov-19
This thread is far more complicated than instinctive shooting is....

From: Trophyhill
29-Nov-19
Fascinating thread. Earlier today, I just happened across a podcast featuring Joel Turner and his trials prior to finally killing his first bull 13 years later. There's alot that goes into being a great shooter with concentration under stress ranking atop his list. Good stuff.

From: Glunker
29-Nov-19
For a while I shot compound and a shorter time recurve with 3 fingers under. If I was gap shooting by guessing the distance then adjusting the arrow tip accordingly then no it would not be instinctive. But if you are pulling and letting go when it feels right, that's instinctive in my world. I shot many more years split finger recurve by letting my brain figure out what I needed to do. I found it tricky to pick a spot with a quick release but that can be an art form for a few.

From: GF
29-Nov-19
It’s all about repetitions... Some will need more than others, but you get there.. and in the process you figure out how far is too far.

Some guys get real good at estimating range and can gap or string-walk or crawl or whatever... I can’t do the estimation thing to save myself. As soon as I put a number on it, I’m toast.

Sometimes I have to bob my bowhand up and down and just let the release happen when my brain is out of the way for a moment...

From: Bloodtrail
29-Nov-19
GF, I grew up shooting a slingshot and .58 cal lead balls. I could shoot damn good once I knew my trajectory. Never looked at an arrow, just where I wanted the ball to hit. When I bought a recurve at age 11, I used the same concept to shoot my arrows. Would a sling shot qualify as “instinctive”? Man I’d love to shoot a recurve again....

From: Treeline
29-Nov-19
Guess I’ve been shooting a while.

Can’t really explain the process, but it works. I call it instinctive but I’m sure there is more going on than just pulling back and letting go.

Been killin stuff with traditional bows for a lot of years and shooting trad bows since I could pull back a string tied off to a cedar limb. A compound is infinitely more complex and feel it would be a severe hindrance to me with all that can go wrong with one.

I really need to spend some time with Tom Clum to figure out what the heck I’m doing and how to get better...

From: GF
29-Nov-19
Treeline - simple:

All you need is a vertical line down the middle of your target, and when you get to full draw, make sure that your entire arrow is lined up with that line. It can be ink, it can be a strand of yarn, it can be a strip of painters tape, or it can be a bamboo garden steak (or a junky old arrow) stuck in the ground in front of your backstop. Doesn’t matter as long as it’s a vertical line. The skinnier the better.

If you make it a habit to check off nock end, front end, & target before you loose and arrow, your groups will probably be cut in half.

Give it about three weeks, since everybody says that’s how long it takes to form a new habit, and once you start hitting that line on a regular basis, you will find that you can hit just about whatever you want without making a big to-do out of checking off on all of your marks, because you will have grooved a new circuit in your brain and you’ll do it right on autopilot.

And @Bloodtrail....

You didn’t by any chance used to shoot a wrist rocket with the latex tubes and maybe about a 45° cant did you?

I did. With the right anchor, that put the upper tube right under my eyeball, pointed straight at the target.... Every… Single… Time.

Juuuuuuuuuuuust sayin’ .......

From: RK
29-Nov-19
GF. LMAO!

From: GF
29-Nov-19
Pretty funny what a 10-year-old kid can figure out when there’s nobody there to tell him that there’s a rule against using whatever is right there under his nose…

From: ryanrc
29-Nov-19
Whether you are aware that you see the tip of your arrow or not, you do. I once missed a slam dunk shot at 5 yards ish and maybe 10 feet up a tree. Super low light, legal light, but on the border in the a.m. When i anchored and shot, something was off and i completely missed. I then realized that my broadhead was dark green, and in the low light, i couldn't see the tip of my arrow. My brain had no reference and therefore couldn't "instinctively " aim. IMO, just because people aren't intentionally looking, doesn't mean their mind isn't noticing.

From: SixLomaz
29-Nov-19
Forget about laser pointer. String moving bell attached to target heart area. lights out. Go for the sound. You cannot see arrow or target. Let's see it filmed in night vision mode.

From: elkmtngear
30-Nov-19
ryanarc,

So, you're telling me I can somehow see my broadhead, through my Whisker biscuit??

30-Nov-19
No but you can see where your bow hand is. And it’s all locked into the brain for “instinctive” shooting.

From: Bloodtrail
30-Nov-19
GF, like some people have said, some people have an innate ability to just shoot. I never lined up the pouch of the slingshot under my eye. Anchored it to my mouth like a bowstring.....still do. Looked at my target between the yolks of the wristrocket. I was also a professional baseball player.....so I’d like to think I had/have something other don’t. Cnelk might be correct with his statement...... ;)

From: Kevin Dill
30-Nov-19
I can 'instinctively' point a finger, gun or arrow at an object. I can 'instinctively' throw a rock or ball in the general direction of that object, too. I've seen some pretty accurate 'instinctive' spitters. On the other hand, I really don't know if any of it falls under the definition of truly instinctive behaviors. Maybe the term is not accurate. I don't let terms worry me much. I believe what often passes for instinctive shooting is really nothing more than eye-hand-brain coordination (or lack of!) combined with enough practice to make it look magically instinctive. Maybe the best examples of it are the cowboy action shooters and the rapid-fire trick shotgunners shooting from the hip. To me those guys function on a much higher level of autopilot than those of us shooting a bow with the benefit of that nice long straight arrow beneath our eye(s) whether we consciously reference it or not.

From: GF
30-Nov-19
“I never lined up the pouch of the slingshot under my eye. Anchored it to my mouth like a bowstring.”

So you’re saying that your mouth is not located below your eyeballs???

LOL....

Dude - If you were getting paid to play baseball? You obviously have a level of hand eye coordination that 99 and 44/100% of the population does not. But I’ll bet you knew that!

On the other hand… I will bet that you didn’t start picking off small, distant targets with your slingshot on day one, now, did you?

And for that matter, I’ll bet that you’ve caught, thrown and swung at more baseballs that 99.9944% of the population.

Because as has been proven time and again, Champions are MADE, not Born.

Basically, the “Instinctive” camp is still preaching Old Testament; their world is still Flat, and they BELIEVE that it they just focus hard enough on that One Spot that they want to hit and ignore everything else, then everything else about proper, consistent form will figure itself out on its own.

The New Testament, Brain Science Edition, holds that if you work diligently at developing precisely repeatable form that works for YOUR body, you can build out a neuromotor circuit that precisely aligns your entire shooting form the same way every time, and all you have to do is settle the crosshairs one that One Spot that you are now programmed to hit.

You do it the Old Testament way, and maybe you’ll eventually start to get it right on a regular basis, but you never really know if you’ve got it right until the arrow is in the target (or not!)

Do it the New Testament way, and your body literally does not know HOW to do it wrong.

From: Bou'bound
30-Nov-19
Hit it cheer

Miss it jeer

Who cares how

From: Trophyhill
30-Nov-19
Treeline. Interesting your take. One thing Joel mentioned, and I'll paraphrase here, if you ask a great shooter how he/she does it, they will tell you they don't know, they just do it.

From: Jaquomo
30-Nov-19
I'm pretty much there with Treeline. I sort of see the arrow in my peripheral vision (split finger, anchor in the mouth corner) and stare at a spot I want to hit. With something like dandelion heads or other small spot for focus, I'm deadly. On animals, I "project" a spot, but not sure exactly how. The arrow just ends up where I'm looking unless I misjudge the distance and shoot low under the armpit.

I do know that since I've switched to a compound with single pin, when on an animal I start the draw, the pin quickly settles, and the arrow is somehow on its way. I don't follow a "process" or conscious release. Probably somewhat due to shooting a million arrows with an automatic "draw, settle, release" rhythm for over 50 years with trad bows.

From: SixLomaz
30-Nov-19
Just do it ... you can do it ... or not

From: Kodiak
30-Nov-19
Explore decaf.

From: Ron Niziolek
30-Nov-19
GF, I rarely post and make an effort to keep it positive when I do, however your incessant need to argue and berate people gets pretty damned old. It'd be nice if you took a break. I'm pretty sure your ego won't let that happen.

From: GF
30-Nov-19
Sooo.... you want me to concede the point that science is useless and agree that “instinctive” shooting is a gift that you either have... or you’re screwed and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it....

OR, I can keep on demystifying it and explaining how just about anybody can learn how to do it and challenging other Barebow shooters to get their act together and stop accepting the idea that they should be happy with 9” groups at 17.4 yards....

High-spirited, good-natured debate is enjoyable in its own right. If you don’t enjoy it, you can use the back button. There are PLENTY of threads here that I stay out of entirely.

From: GF
30-Nov-19
Still waiting for Kodiak to stop hiding behind the snide remarks and explain all that I’m overlooking....

But I’m not holding my breath.....

From: Z Barebow
30-Nov-19
Do not attempt to argue with an idiot. They will lower you to their level and overwhelm you with experience.

From: GF
30-Nov-19
Nice to know he has some company under that rock.... You guys are pathetic.

From: wyliecoyote
01-Dec-19
Yes!! I am sorry i ever started this....if this was in the "classifieds"...I would "CLOSE" the thread. I spend a lot of time here in California with a large group of stakeholders in the hunt/fish world.....just about every major group you can imagine and we all support each other's causes.....in- fighting and personality differences are just not tolerated for the good of the overall effort..Hollywood, a super liberal legislature, and home to every anti group there is here in the Golden State demands we stick together...(off of soapbox)...sorry, Joe

01-Dec-19
A few practice and hunt very successfully by getting close and shooting instinctively, the rest should use sights and scopes and leave the few alone.

From: beemann
01-Dec-19
Gf you need to tone it down. You come across like some kind of zealot or extremest. You cant seem to tolerate anyone that doesn't agree with you. Your views are your opinions nothing more. And you know what they say about opinions.

01-Dec-19
Instinctive is just a word used to describe a particular style. I don’t understand why people get their panties in a bind over it. Call it anything you want, point and shoot, split vision, snap shooting, repetition, learned muscle memory, WHO CARES!

I shoot any and all of the above, can hit my butt with both hands, at the same time even, in just about any lighting condition, out to 20 or 25 yds, which is all I care about, fairly well. Being a hunter 1st, I have no desire to hone my skills past that range. I suck at yardage estimation, with my bifocals I can only get 1 focus point, (target) clearly, and the only thought going through my brain when I shoot is whether I’m locked into my dbl anchor point. Everything else is automatic.

NAME it whatever you want, I really don’t care.

From: Trax
01-Dec-19
Fred Asbell wrote a couple of books on the subject. The best ever written in my opinion. Along with the likes of Howard Hill they spell it out very clearly. Asbell certainly made me a much better shooter at an early age. Their word as good today and tomorrow as it was then. Asbell’s first book the best. Read it.

From: PECO
01-Dec-19
Who cares? Apparently a few people are passionate about this topic. I instinctively know better than to open a thread on this topic. I find it entertaining, even after all the threads that have beat this topic to death over on Leatherwall. I thought maybe there would be some new, or different info from the compound shooters. It's the same old dribble. I'm in the don't care what you call it club.

From: PECO
01-Dec-19
x2 Trax. Fred's video on instinctive shooting is also very good.

01-Dec-19
GFred's instructions are excellent. His videos and books are some of the best on the topic. Forget much of what you hear here from the internet experts, and course shooters. Do your own thing to match your body and desires, then practice and practice.

From: JB
01-Dec-19
If it’s instinctive, why do you need to practice?

01-Dec-19
Because " instinctive " has always been a misnomer, I learned that 55 years ago. It is used to mean no fixed sighting reference, which only a select few who practice and are calm at the center can do with any sense of reliability.

From: lawdy
01-Dec-19
Us traditional shooters tend to be very individualistic. We develop a style that works for our biomechanics and the way we hunt. Also the areas we hunt factor in. Compound shooters tend to center around a fairly common style due to the type of bow they use. My son uses a compound with its sights and bubble levels. My longbow is shot canted every which way depending on brush, etc. Arguing about shooting styles is fruitless and unnecessary among guys and gals who are all fiercely independent. You shoot with perfect, politically accepted form up here, good luck getting a deer, especially if you groundhunting like I do in these timberlands and brushy cutoffs.

From: Ambush
01-Dec-19
Actually, I think eastern, whitetail only hunters are a breed unto themselves.

From: lawdy
01-Dec-19
Ambush, you have a point there. We have to move around a lot due to deer that are roamers and are very scarce up here on the border. I just went for a mile long walk on the ridge behind my house and never cut a track. I have tracked bucks up here all day, came out 6 or 7 miles from my pickup and never cut another deer track except the one I was tracking. I tracked a big boy in 1976 for two days, shot him, and swore that I had killed the last deer in the North. This area isn’t for those accustomed to seeing deer every day or week, for that matter. Ya gotta love it. Like growing old, it ain’t for sissies. That is why those few of us that shoot trad up here shoot instinctively. You only get a split second single shot per season if you are a ground pounder. It has to be fast, real fast. The deer I shot this season was in full alert when it saw me draw. I don’t remember the shot, it just happened. Gun season ends today, we have 2 feet of snow on the high ground, the deer are migrating towards their winter yards, I have a buck tag, and it’s my turn to howl. My wife knows where to sit while I hit the hills, probably on snowshoes after this storm coming.

01-Dec-19
3 under shooters are mandated by traditional archery rules to wear pink panties.

From: Ambush
01-Dec-19
^^^. Holy! Then fixed crawl must be G-strings!!

The technical term is "Anal Floss” , but we’re amongst friends here.

From: Ambush
01-Dec-19
When the STAR Method is released we will all be equal and we'll all get along.

From: midwest
01-Dec-19
Does someone have a spare Xanax for GF?

01-Dec-19
Since the word Instinctive is such a false name for the way many of us choose to shoot, maybe in respect to our fellow archers that cannot stand the word, we should take a vote to change the word to keep the peace. Maybe “ SINGLE FOCUS SHOOTING” , or “Thoughtless” Shooting, Blurred Vision, or maybe “ 2nd degree aiming” since it’s not premeditated and we all suck at it. Any other ideas? After all, to me the MOST IMPORTANT thing is that we all get along and promote our sport whether it be target, 3D, hunting, or any other facet of archery. ????????

From: lawdy
01-Dec-19
I shoot the way I do because it works for me. I assume others do what works for them. Matters nothing to me. If the bow is a longbow or recurve, that’s traditional to me, though I prefer a longbow, the perfect hunting weapon in my opinion.

From: Kevin Dill
01-Dec-19
Arguments about 'instinctive' shooting (or not) and 'traditional' archery (or not) are a social media thing. Anyone who gets knotted up over a forum opinion...contrary to their own...is way too heavily invested in worthless stock. Just shoot and smile.

From: PECO
01-Dec-19
Again with the "do it like me or wear panties" nonsense. Don't be such a Tradhole.

From: PECO
01-Dec-19
X2 on the STAR method.

From: Stryker
01-Dec-19
Lawdy I agree 100 percent with you. We all have our own style that works for us. As long as I’m filling my freezer with elk deer and antelope what does it matter how I shoot my recurve bow. I’m not going to say how I shoot on this post because I think each person that decides the equipment he shoots and style he chooses that works for him is good enough for me. Let’s not separate ourselves on equipment and style and just enjoy spending time in the woods with what we love to hunt with.

From: Outdoordan
01-Dec-19
+2 on Lawdy's comment. I pick a spot, draw while staring at the spot, and shoot. Not sure what it's called, don't care if I am wrong or right. I just know I have fun doing it that way and it works for me.

01-Dec-19
PECO, I’m no trad hole. Just a guy that likes having laughs. Been doing the pink panty routine for years on the LW. Thought I’d liven up some on Bowsite too. Shoot what you like. Take Kevin’s Advice. Just know if you shoot three under, it’s the law you must wear pink panty’s.

From: PECO
01-Dec-19
WV, yeah I shoot 3 under, but prefer classic black lace. Yes I recognize you and your pink panty gig from the LW, I'm just having fun too with the "tradhole" thing, which is not mine but really like it.

From: PECO
01-Dec-19
double

From: timex
02-Dec-19
yall are gonna whip this dead horse into oblivion. from the mid 90s to 2010 I did not gun hunt for deer at all & in 2000 I got really serious & committed to trad bows only I bought a used habu 60" 62@62 & started shooting & shooting & shooting & the only thing I knew was I needed a consistent anchor & I got damn good the only thing I though about was drawing the bow the same each shot & hitting my anchor. was I instinctive I'd say so had never even heard of gap or anything else I did have an old Ken beck video that I got bow setup & arrow tuning info from then a few years later I got a g ashbel book

From: timex
02-Dec-19
my point is back then all I thought about was where I wanted to hit & getting to full draw and the rest was just AUTOMATIC. now thanks to the wall & bowsite I have a wealth of trad bow shooting how-to & think entirely to much about my shooting & don't shoot nearly as well as when I just shot !!!

From: antlerman
02-Dec-19
Reading through all the post I never read the word Subconscious.

I grew up in the era of sling shots and the best rocks you could find. My dad made sling shots for every kid in the country and gave them away. I had a group of 4 buddies that I ran with and we all shot sling shots. Over the years of growing up each one of us became traditional shooters. Simply because we were raised that way and that's what we knew. The thing was we all shot a different style but everyone was a hell of a shot with their bows and sling shots.

The point I wanna make is simply training your subconscious by repetitive actions. That means finding the bow that just feels good when you pick it up in your hand and has a smooth draw. A draw that you can shoot 50 times and you don't feel like a dog shitting a peach seed on the 20th arrow. Do not let draw weight or low poundage keep you from shooting a 52-47# bow. They are very deadly weapons at that weight. Read about the old timers and the bows they shot. 115# to 35# and killed 100s of critters. You have to shoot all the time and get good with "your bow". I've got a buddy who has a new one every year. He's not consistent at all and wanders why. I've had 5 bows in 47 years and each bow I had I mastered where it shot. Each bow was a completely different shooter even though they were all recurves 63-52#. I shot them thousands of times and mastered them all. Shoot short distances until you've developed your style. Shoot the same way everytime and your subconscious will automatically get you shooting accurate. Get it out of your head that will shoot deer 25-35 yards all the time because you won't. I am extremely comfortable to 30 yards and consider my self one hell of a shot from 20 on in, but have missed some freaking giants at 8-12-15-18 yards. Oh well I keep right on chugging and hunting big deer.

Moral of the my post is train your "subconscious" by shooting daily. People call it what they want. Remember your the only one you have to please besides the maker. Forget the science parts of because it's not science contrary to what some argue.

Hell the scientist can't even figure out how the Egyptians built the pyramid's or hot Stonehenge was made. Just a bunch of dang rocks that has them puzzled. So I damn sure wouldn't put any faith in a Liberal Scientist telling me how to shoot a bow. Keep it simple man and enjoy the journey it's a blast.

Shane

From: Supernaut
02-Dec-19
Great post Shane!!!

From: elkmtngear
02-Dec-19
Shane for the Win!

From: Shawn
02-Dec-19
Above and any to correct my post above

02-Dec-19
I grew up with antlerman,, you wouldnt believe the instinctive archer,,a slingshot will make you,, i knew as soon as he said slingshot,he knew...Dont think , find your groove and youll just be pulling it up and hitting your intended target... just the way it is...

From: timex
02-Dec-19
perhaps times have changed or at least they have for me 20 years ago & beyond I shot all summer these days I have an offshore fishing boat & all summer if I'm not fishing I'm working on my boat & gear & next thing ya know it's Oct & I haven't practiced enough to hunt with trad gear but a few afternoons with the compound & I'm good enough now I could spend that few evenings shooting a trad bow useing gap similar to aiming the compound iv even considered pins on my ilf but that just seams wrong. I know exactly where my arrow tip needs to be on a 20yd blue face but I just don't want to hunt with a trad bow useing that method if I'm gonna conchesly aim I'm gonna use my compound. perhaps our buisyer world has led to so many variances in what is-was such a simple & effective way of shooting

From: Treeline
02-Dec-19
I grew up with a slingshot (we called them another name in those days but politically incorrect now) and bows made of cedar limbs, hickory and then fiberglass. Pretty amazing when it all came together and you actually started hitting whatever you wanted. Didn’t call it instinctive. It was just shootin’. Had a lot of fun at the expense of the cottontails, jack rabbits, squirrels, snakes, and occasional turkey... Good times:-)

From: Jaquomo
02-Dec-19
Fred Asbell's method may have worked for Fred, but many, many archers trying to emulate it have become really crappy trad shooters and developed bad habits through that technique. I tried to retrain myself to do it back when the first book came out and it totally screwed me up. None of the best trad shooters (competitive) shoot that way. Plus, in a hunting situation it generates way too much movement in most cases, vs. being on target and simply drawing straight back.

From: Danbow
03-Dec-19
For the life of me I can't hit flying pheasants with gap, fixed crawl or string walking but I can with something that isn't because some can't do it. I'll just call it arrow flight path visualization to a target. Static or moving.

From: elkstabber
05-Dec-19
It is amazing to me that there are people who don't think instinctive shooting is real.

From: South Farm
05-Dec-19
Politics, Religion, Abortion, Baiting..

Now we can add instinctive shooting to the hot button list!

From: Bloodtrail
05-Dec-19
Really good stuff. Like shooting a slingshot.... I really like some of you guys!!

From: elkmtngear
05-Dec-19

elkmtngear's embedded Photo
elkmtngear's embedded Photo
30 yards, downhill shot. Bare Bow, compound/ Fingers/ Whisker biscuit. Same as Bowbender, 2 fingers split, middle finger on corner of mouth. Draw, focus on spot, release!

K. I. S. S. ;^)

From: GF
05-Dec-19
EMG - I’ll see your biscuit and raise you a fist. Literally. LOL

A couple weeks back I put 8 out of 9 arrows into a group the size of the gold of a 65cm NFAA target from 70 yards. 9th shot was good for width but in the dirt. Beyond my point-on, so I had to look “through” my bowhand.

We shoot the same way; we just have different explanations for how we got there.

From: Supernaut
05-Dec-19
Uh huh.

05-Dec-19
I agree, it will work for some, not for most. Leave it to the minority who can do it, all others should use some sort of sight aid.

05-Dec-19
I would agree with the original poster. I shoot instincive but also am aware of my gaps at say 20 and 30 and 40. If I wanted to always have to guess the yardage I’d probably put a sight on my bow and shoot a compound.

I shoot with good shooters who use all methods so whatever floats your boat I say

From: Supernaut
05-Dec-19
I just can't understand why anyone would care so much how anyone else shoots or what they call it. Maybe just go shoot your bow and get up from the keyboard awhile.

From: drycreek
05-Dec-19
I just wish I could see a turkey as big as the one EMG shot........

From: Jaquomo
05-Dec-19
Back when I was a basketball player I was a very good long distance shot. Could drain 3s from anywhere on the court, though a little streaky (normal, even in the NBA). I never thought about how I did it nor could I teach someone how. Then the JV coach at C.S.U. decided he needed to change my shooting mechanics because, well.., just because he thought it might make me more consistent. I never shot the same after that.

Same thing almost happened when I tried to relearn to shoot with the Asbell method because, well.., because he was Fred Asbell. Fortunately, archery mechanics are easier to replicate than jump shooting and I was able to go back to what worked. But whenever I see new trad shooters trying to do that raise-draw thing, which almost inevitably leads to snap shooting and short-drawing, I know where they got it and offer some gentle pointers on how to improve.

But bottom line is that no matter what technique people use, including clickers, string walking, fixed crawl, gap, peripheral gap, true instinctive, even subtle marks on the riser for aiming, a few will do it very well, some will do it serviceably, and most should go back to the compound or at least stay on the target range and not try to hunt.

From: GF
05-Dec-19
Yeah, but would you be brave enough to try to kill one with an arrow? Make him mad, and that sucker will come kick your....

Soupy - I really don’t give a rip what other people call their shooting style, or how they think they shoot. What chaps my ass is all the BS about how “Some Can“ and “Others Can’t“.

That’s a load o’ CRAP.

But if you try to have a conversation about how these skills are actually acquired all of the Fred wannabes come out of the woodwork to tell you that science is a lie and they have mystical powers to which the rest of us mere mortals can only aspire.

ANYBODY can learn how to shoot barebow well, but not if they subscribe to the fake it ‘til you make it school. And I think it’s pretty stupid for people to struggle with this and shoot poorly and end up wounding animals because they think that they have to do it just like somebody who wrote a book which arguably has done a lot more harm than good.

05-Dec-19
I think G Fred would agree, he is only portraying his method to those who care to try it. There are other methods and each individual is free to choose what fits their body, style, and mind. I personally think history has proven most prefer a sighting aid of some type, what is wrong with that?

From: GF
05-Dec-19
Maybe it’s the not-at-all-subtle attitude that anyone who admits to consciously referencing his arrow is somehow a lesser form of archer?

05-Dec-19
IMO, they are not a lesser form of an archer. In fact, they are the majority, and the norm. What others think, I have no idea or care.

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