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Thread: Instinctive shooting

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    Scout gila_dog's Avatar
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    Default Instinctive shooting

    After years of shooting a bow, with and without sights, I think I've finally figured out how to shoot instinctively.

    - Before the shot, as I'm raising the bow, concentrate on a small spot on the target. Don't just look at the whole target, pick out something on the target to shoot at, and focus my mind on that spot.

    - Bring the bow up, draw and shoot. Don't think about where my anchor is, don't think about aiming the arrow. Don't think about anything but the spot on the target I want to hit. Don't hold the draw very long. My subconscious knows when the sight picture is right so don't over think it. Just let the force be with me. I find that when I hold the draw no more than a couple of seconds, feel my knuckle touch my ear, and just shoot, I do much better than if I'm trying to consciously draw, anchor, and aim. I think that after all these years my brain and my body know how to aim, subconsciously. It's when the conscious part of my brain takes over that I shoot poorly. I think the conscious part of my brain is always wanting to make adjustments, improvements, fiddle with things, and think about things besides the spot on the target I want to hit.

    I have seen guys who use sights who really shoot well. It just doesn't work for me. I guess that's a totally different mental exercise than shooting instinctively.

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    Thanks for the insight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gila_dog View Post
    After years of shooting a bow, with and without sights, I think I've finally figured out how to shoot instinctively.

    - Before the shot, as I'm raising the bow, concentrate on a small spot on the target. Don't just look at the whole target, pick out something on the target to shoot at, and focus my mind on that spot.

    - Bring the bow up, draw and shoot. Don't think about where my anchor is, don't think about aiming the arrow. Don't think about anything but the spot on the target I want to hit. Don't hold the draw very long. My subconscious knows when the sight picture is right so don't over think it. Just let the force be with me. I find that when I hold the draw no more than a couple of seconds, feel my knuckle touch my ear, and just shoot, I do much better than if I'm trying to consciously draw, anchor, and aim. I think that after all these years my brain and my body know how to aim, subconsciously. It's when the conscious part of my brain takes over that I shoot poorly. I think the conscious part of my brain is always wanting to make adjustments, improvements, fiddle with things, and think about things besides the spot on the target I want to hit.

    I have seen guys who use sights who really shoot well. It just doesn't work for me. I guess that's a totally different mental exercise than shooting instinctively.
    The key with instinctive shooting is to practice, practice, practice. When I was a youth I had a sightless compound bow. I'd practice with it a couple afternoons a week. I got to the point where I could hit a thrown one gallon milk jug (with a few rocks in it) at about 10 yards with it consistently. That would be next to impossible with a sight.

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