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Restoring Confidence
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Cornfed 77 14-Nov-17
GF 14-Nov-17
Buffalo1 14-Nov-17
Charlie Rehor 14-Nov-17
IdyllwildArcher 14-Nov-17
Bou'bound 14-Nov-17
Backpack Hunter 14-Nov-17
t-roy 14-Nov-17
Mark Watkins 14-Nov-17
The last savage 14-Nov-17
craig@work 15-Nov-17
elk yinzer 15-Nov-17
Mad Trapper 15-Nov-17
Scoot 15-Nov-17
ground hunter 15-Nov-17
From: Cornfed 77
My season has been testing to say the least. It started out well, I filled a landowner tag with a doe early in the season, which did wonders to refill the freezer. Since then it has been trying to say the least. Encounter 1 was a new spot late in the evening where I rattled in a very nice 8 pt. The buck changed directions while coming to my stand and I ended up shooting him on the opposite side of the tree then I thought I would, the side my bow hanger was on. Well my bow limb hit the hanger on the shot and the arrow went high. Encounter 2 was behind my dad's in a ground blind. Sat for about 5 hours on a misty Saturday, had a solid 30 min of daylight left a a very good buck came in to a scrape at 25 yds. His shoulder blade ended up bending the tip of my broad head. Encounter 3 was tonight. An easy 150-160 ten point, I rattled him in to 60 yds along with a bunch of other deer, he followed them north and i rattled softly again and he came charging back into my food plot. I felt pretty calm after watching him for so long and I took a 40 yd shot at him standing totally broadside. I watched the arrow go low and pass under the vitals.

I shoot quite often and while I'm not in the same league as my brother I can keep them pretty close at 60 yds. I've even been shooting at my target every night before I hunt, 1 arrow at 20, 30, 40 yds to make sure the clothing is not screwing with me. Well I can honestly say that my confidence in my abilities is shaken. I had a nice talk with my brother Luke which did a lot to restore it but most of you don't have such an experienced and level headed brother(caribou77). I'm seriously thinking of leaving the bucks alone the rest of the year and finding me another fat doe for the freezer and coming back fresh next year with a clean slate.

So I was wondering what you do when your confidence has been shaken badly?

Best of luck hunting! James

From: GF
Just hunt for the Gimme shot. When it’s perfect, you’ll know.

It’s what a lot of tradshooters do every time out...

From: Buffalo1
Put yesterday behind you and focus on today.

I also agree with taking only high percentage makeable shot for you.

Yep, take a nice 12 yard broadside and aim hard! Good luck!

I knew a prominent orthopedic knee surgeon who, shortly before he retired, liked to brag that after he'd done 10,000 knee scopes, he thought he was good. But after he'd done 20,000, he knew he was good.

When I've had my confidence shaken, nothing's helped more than killing animals. Kill the first few legal deer that you can and you'll be fine.

That said, two days ago, I passed on what would have been my biggest WT at 55 yards. While elk hunting this past September, I passed a 340 elk (my biggest are 270ish and 255ish) at 70 yards one day and 69 yards another day. I'm a good shot out to 70 yards. Sometimes it's not lack of confidence, but just better intuition to shoot animals closer. When I draw on an animal at 25 yards or under, it's a death sentence. The farther the shot, the better the odds of something bad happening which leads to shaken confidence with bad experiences.

Get closer and kill a couple. You'll feel like a killer again.

From: Bou'bound
I remember it’s just hunting not something really important in the grand scheme of things

Practice hard....besides there are a lot of people who won't get a shot at that size deer this year.

From: t-roy
Stay at it. You’ll close the deal!

From: Mark Watkins
X2 Bou.

“Perfect practice builds confidence.”

I always believe that I? will kill and therefore don’t pass many opportunities as not many are “perfect!”


Get back out there and redeem yourself.. It will eat you alive in the off season,,

From: craig@work
I agree with the above. There's no substitute for shooting live animals so if it was me I would shoot the next animal I had a tag for that gave me a great shot. And for me, closer is always better! Good luck and chin up!

From: elk yinzer
I'm pretty good at killing foam out to 60 yards but I've learned my absolute limit on a whitetail is 40. It probably should be 30 but I'm still a little young and dumb. They are shifty critters and I hunt them where they live, in the thick stuff. I was kind of in a similar boat this season. I missed a doe at 35 yards and my confidence wasn't great. Killed a buck and doe both 15 yard shots and under 30 yard recoveries. 15 yard shots are very nice confiencdence boosters. Confidence is back to all time high. Confidence is a funny thing in the human brain. It's like pitching in baseball, when it's there you are flying high but when you can't find your stuff you feel like you'll never get it back.

From: Mad Trapper
A lot of good advice above. Keep on shooting. Confidence is built by taking reps - it doesn't matter what sport you are talking about.

From: Scoot
Cornfed, I'm like you- I can bust foam pretty darn well out to 60 yards. Also like you, I can't hang with my brother when it comes to shooting. ...and, like you, I missed the biggest buck I've ever shot at this past Saturday and my confidence is shaken too. My last several shots before that have all been fatal, but not particularly well place. I'm frustrated with myself! However, I do feel I'm going to make good on my next opportunity! I'll keep on busting foam and I'll be confident in my ability to make good on a good opportunity. I hope I get another one! I also hope I don't shoot for 40 yards when the deer is at 47 again! Turns out, that doesn't work too well.

Good luck! I hope you get a chip shot and make good on it. That'll help a ton!

Yeah I heard of all the hero hunters with their 70 yard elk shots,,,,, the results most time, (not all) are not good,,,,,,, seen enough of that,,,,,, when your huffing and puffing and the wind is swirling around and the animals, are not stationary who new world,,,,,

I am not a great hunter, but do have a lot of patience, and no pressure ever to fill a tag,,,,, I think the money I put down does not guarantee me anything, just the passport, to enter my world,,,,,, So can I make long shots, you bet,,,,, I have a heavy arrow with a good bh, I know when I touch off, its going in,,,,, With that said, my south Dakota mule deer limit is 50, and than everything must come together,,,,, I am not the distance police, but too many animals are shot in the ass, that do not need to be......

My last bull was shot at 9 steps,,,,, a hour wait, for him to get in close, from 60 yards out, and of course all luck......

each hunter has to have confidence, some are better archers than others, so know what you can really do in your heart......

I shoot all the time, and I have missed plenty,,,,,, but I thank the good Lord, for the opportunity,,,,,,,, once that opportunity, gets challenged, and your without it, and you get it back, you will know what I mean

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