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I have a confession to make...

formerbowhunter1023

Now Posts as Jesse..
0
2
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SE Ohio
#1
When I made the decision to hunt as little as possible from October 3rd through this past weekend, I did so based on the “burn out” I had experienced in the past. I had hunted so hard during October in the past, I not only burnt myself out prior to the best hunting of the year, I also burnt out some of my best stands. I have faith that this approach is working the way I an anticipated, but I had no idea it would prove to be beneficial to my confidence. Then again, I had no way of knowing that my confidence would take such a staggering blow so early in the year…

I’ve long been a proponent of confidence whether it is in your equipment, your stand sets, or your own ability to shoot, judge yardage, or find deer. Confidence can get you out of bed in the morning, or it can walk you through the moment of truth when your nerves are at their worst. For the past three seasons, I have had the most confidence in my shooting in comparison to other aspects of my “game”. I’m not a professional, nor do I have any business competing in tournaments, but I can hold my own on a backyard range. I have been on autopilot for nearly 20 deer since there has been an issue and it has generated a ton of confidence in my ability to put an arrow through a deer at the moment of truth. From 13 to 51 yards and from 2004 through 2009, I’d experienced virtually flawless execution at the moment of truth. Then came the snafu with Crazy Rack on Day 4 of the 2010-2011 season…

While I don’t consider that snafu a “miss” since I was not shooting at the deer when the snafu occurred, it certainly was a miscue that rattled me to the core. The first step to recovery is admitting it right? Well, I’m here to tell you that miscue fucked me up. It seriously affected me like no other miscue in the woods has ever affected me. I passed up shots at does at 30 yards because I was actually scared to attempt a shot. I started to experience what I termed as “target acquisition panic” when I would practice. It got to the point it was so bad that I took all my pins out of my sight, stripped all my arrows, refletched them, batched them by weight, tuned a bow that was already tuned, and reset all my pins. Why? I have no idea. But after all that work, I was still having issues when it came time to settle the pin. I was watching my level bubble like a hawk at the same time I was nervously over analyzing my peep/sight housing alignment. I was shooting well in terms of arrow placement, but I was a mess during the entire process. By screwing up something I have done thousands of times, drawing and anchoring, I created a monster inside me that I feared would limit my ability to perform this year.

This weekend, I spent several hours shooting in the backyard. Part of my training was jogging from the target up a 15% grade (according to the rangefinder) to my bow, then shooting three arrows under 60 seconds. This forced me to concentrate on shot execution and less on the draw/achor/aiming process. I did this for almost two hours Sunday afternoon forcing myself to squeeze and follow through on each shot. After almost 100 arrows and some serious mental coaching, I achieved what I set out to do: I banished the demon inside me. In turn, I restored my confidence. What I was calling target acquisition panic, was merely me over thinking something that should be natural and require little to no thought. I was able to restore my confidence, but I’ll be honest when I say I’m not 100% positive that my snafu on Crazy Rack will not come back to haunt me at a later date. Once you open that door, it is a constant battle to keep it shut IMO.

I’ve been battling with this since the 28th of September and I’m finally ready to return to the woods with the confidence I feel is vital to having success as a bowhunter. Instead of visualizing that snafu when I go to anchor, I am now visualizing the last grouping of arrows from 50 yards on Sunday. I’m ready to redeem myself. Being scared, intimidated, fearful, nervous, afraid, etc. when you are shooting is not something I ever want to experience again! No more moments of weakness for this bowhunter!!!
 

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rgecko23

*Supporting Member*
7,466
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0
Massillon, Ohio
#2
Us as bowhunters definately tend to overthink things and cause ourselves un-needed stress that we definately dont need....

But in the end it makes us better hunters and more confindent shooters. So in a way, I see how you could drive yourself over the edge like that.

NOW GO OUT THERE AND SMOKE THAT BUCK!!......pussy

hahahahaha
 

RedCloud

Super Moderator
Super Mod
16,671
1,707
142
Somewhere OHIO
#5
Mental blocks suck. I think the time spent on that target was the right thing to do. Now that you know your equipment is fine and that you can pull back the bow without any problems and misfires go on back out and have some fun in the woods.
 

"J"

Bass fishing aficionado....
Supporting Member
40,742
13,488
205
Davie County, NC
#6
Us as bowhunters definately tend to overthink things and cause ourselves un-needed stress that we definately dont need....

But in the end it makes us better hunters and more confindent shooters. So in a way, I see how you could drive yourself over the edge like that.

NOW GO OUT THERE AND SMOKE THAT BUCK!!......pussy

hahahahaha
Couldn't of put it any better lol.
 

rrr

Senior Member
5,065
0
0
#7
Whew, I thought it was going to say that he was thinking about shooting a crossbow...

I'm rootin for ya Jesse! They might be right, maybe it would do you good to whack and stack an ole lady or TOO if given the chance. I think that you taking time off will just make your fire for bowhunting explode when you get your vaca time and rut.
 

hickslawns

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
34,424
7,427
191
NW Ohio
#10
Jesse- One word: Instinct.

You have so much more experience than I do it is a joke. YOU are one of the last people I would think should have any confidence issues. On the same not, bow hunting is a mental game of strategy. Lots of time to think in hunting in general. Quit thinking, go with your instincts when a deer comes in and put some meat in the freezer. I am not an expert. This is my second season of archery. I know when i arrowed my first archery deer last year, the confidence increase was amazing. I agree with what someone mentioned of putting an arrow through some ribs and move on. Your equipment is probably more ready than anyone else's at this point. Do what you do buddy! Kill something. Groundhogs are good targets. wink wink. Squirrels. Does. Just loose an arrow and get the confidence back. A coyote wouldn't be a bad target either. Good luck!
 

jagermeister

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
16,059
5,871
166
Ohio
#12
I'm glad to hear you were able to work through this issue through practice, however like the others said, it's not going to completely vanish until you spill some blood. My advice would be to sling an arrow at the very first antlerless deer that comes into range. I guarantee you'll forget all about this target acquisition crap when you're newly-fletched arrow disappears through the side of a deer. It's no different than anything else, bud... the more you think about it, the worse off you will be. I've had many many many mental blocks throughout my baseball career. Hell, there was a time that I couldn't throw the damn ball to someone if I wasn't going through a windup... but it was all in my head! Zip one through the first deer you see and you'll remember how easy it really is.
 
#13
Shit, I thought he was finally come out of the closet. Well I guess you can save that one for later.......


Dude if you are getting freaked its not going to be much fun. I have dealt with it but I have never on my best day shot like I have seen you do. Relax man and let things happen, your never gonna "will it", "force it" or "make it" happen. You got nothing to prove.
 
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formerbowhunter1023

Now Posts as Jesse..
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2
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SE Ohio
#15
I'm going to be hitting it pretty hard from Friday until Thanksgiving, so hopefully I'll have a chance or two to test my nerves! If I get a chance at a big doe this weekend, I plan to take full advantage of it. This is the latest I have went without a kill in four years and I wonder if that is not part of it. Something about spilling blood gives you a boost!