This is a spin off of my Back Tension release thread. I see a number of you who practice with a resistance or hinge to help with TP but switch to a thumb button or index for hunting…..obviously it works for you or you wouldn’t do it. My TP is only when shooting at an animal; I’m perfectly fine on a target. I see no real choice for me to hunt with anything other than a resistance type release where I cant anticipate the shot. I’ve turned into the poster child for what Joel Turner describes as “bracing for impact” when I shoot at an animal. Crazy that I could pick a spot and shoot critters just fine for years and suddenly it’s almost like I black out at the moment of truth now as I can’t really recall what happens other than me snatching the trigger and missing, sometimes by feet instead of inches. For those who hunt with a hinge or resistance release do you ever have a problem getting the shot off on an animal that is not perfectly still? As I said I don’t have a choice at this point but I am a little concerned about hunting situations. Thanks!
I battled the same exact thing many years ago. When fur started entering my sight window I went haywire. I missed a very nice MD in Kaibab at 20 yards because of this. I agree with x-man, you need to get mentally reset. I would suggest finding a level 4 coach in your area to help you get your shot sequence back on track.
IMO these are two different issues. One is target panic, which if it isn't any issue when target shooting I don't think it really is. Other is good old fashioned buck fever, same thing happens to lots of folks and doesn't matter what weapon they are holding. And it can go from never having it your whole life to now you do, or from always having it to learning how to control it.
My mental trick, or it works well for me to try and hold it together is to get a big old grin as the animal is near range or my shooting lane. A smile resets my body, much less tension. And reminds me that this is all about that thrill, the fun, the switch that gets flipped. Same thing happens when you are angry and flying off the handle. A smile relaxes the body, calms the situation, at least to some degree. MAKE yourself smile, grin like you're Davy Crockett grinnin' down a bear. (or was it Dan'l Boone?) It's literally a physical reset or reaction, the way the mind and body are wired and connected. When you like something you see or hear, do you have to tell yourself to smile or laugh? But maybe just me. I enjoy laughing and smiling..... I know some who actually hate it. And others who think they have a sense of humor but in reality, don't. I know.... I'm married to one of those......
Next thought is just plain practice a lot. A lot. Muscle memory so you don't even realize what you're doing, draw, anchor, etc. Auto pilot. Honestly don't recall even drawing much less shooting on many that happened quickly. Hardest are the ones you see coming a mile away and have lots of time to think about it.
Lastly...... if you aren't getting so exited you're near the edge of losing it..... why bowhunt at all? That's why I quit rifle hunting, all the heart pounding excitement of tipping over tomato cans.....
To me, an occasional lost opportunity because I couldn't get a shot off fast enough is a small price to pay for being able to consistently work through my shot process and making a controlled shot.
I've only killed a couple animals since switching to a hinge for hunting but it's amazing how it forced me to slow down and think about every step of the shot. Having the shot break clean and hit right where you planted the pin is a fantastic feeling. I may go back to a trigger when I learn to get a consistent surprise release but that remains to be seen.
I was so committed to the hinge I took it on my first ever Alaskan hunt for Sitka Blacktails. I was absolutely terrified I would fall apart at the moment of truth but when the opportunity presented itself, it was just like I'd practiced thousands of shots prior.
I’ve never had tp but I’ve always used a hinge to hunt with. It’s never cost me an animal in 30 years of bowhunting. Usually doesn’t turn out well if you have to rush a shot. I actually use a Stan Element resistance also.
I agree with others, you are dealing with 2 different things and I would call it good old fashioned buck fever as well. I think most hunters have dealt with it to some extent. I read through your other thread, but I really don't see any release helping out much, this is more of a mental self control issue. I will be trying TD's smile trick myself. Good luck!
I fall in line more with Midwest’s line of thinking. And good ole buck fever and TP are definitely related, it’s the anxiety to get your shot to go off. The process is what gets us through these things. Another useful tool alongside your established process, is breathing. Box breathing is extremely useful in battling excitement and anxiety. Breathe In for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, out for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, repeat! When u start thinking about conscious things such as process and breathing, it allows you to perform better under times of pressure and “stress”
I would question if you are really all that controlled on targets. Can you hold just fine and shoot really precise? Do you shoot in front of others, preferably strangers, and shoot really well? Many guys can shoot fine in the backyard, but fall apart with pressure. Try a couple of different pressure situations and see how you do.
Ironbow, yes and no. I shoot just fine out to 60 all the time in the yard, completely under control. Other than shooting with my sons, however, there isn’t much pressure. I don’t shoot tournaments any longer but used to all the time and won many of them. I messaged Joel Turner and had a nice conversation with him. He assured me that my “buck fever” and target panic are one in the same as far as the answer being appropriately executing proper controlled process shooting and mantras. I’m switching releases and working on it. Thanks everyone!