Failing at the moment of truth

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Hookslinger
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Re: Failing at the moment of truth

Unread postby Hookslinger » Wed Nov 22, 2023 11:29 am

I'm in the same boat as you guys when it comes to doe. I haven't shot a doe in the last few seasons, and it's not because I'm not trying . Some of my spots it's nice buck or nothing, but I have plenty of sits where I'd be willing to shoot a doe but for some reason it just hasn't happened lately. It's like the doe either don't present a good shot, or they figure out how to bust me. This year I passed up a bunch of small bucks that gave me great shot opportunities, and I killed two bucks, but you know what's still in my wallet? A doe tag! :lol:


Groundhunter@1
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Re: Failing at the moment of truth

Unread postby Groundhunter@1 » Thu Nov 23, 2023 1:01 pm

We have all been there, keep.on charging
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Brad
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Re: Failing at the moment of truth

Unread postby Brad » Sat Dec 09, 2023 5:56 am

If you hunt long enough it will happen at some point. In my 5th season currently, and my first two I was lights out, hitting the exact spot I was aiming... then everything changed and I started having struggles. There were a few reasons why that I was able to figure out.

I hunt from a saddle, which has been mostly a huge blessing, but also I discovered one issue. I can shoot 360 degrees around almost every tree I can get in, and that's great! but...shooting to the 2 oclock to 4 o'clock area made me make a decision to try to go around the tree, spin around to get my back to the tree, or bring my bow over my tether. I took a few shots by bringing my bow over the tether, and missed on 2 or 3 occasions. I realized when I did so I ended up leaning my trunk in an awkward position, which resulted in very poor alignment and therefore a poor shot, thankfully ending in a clean miss each time. It would have been much worse to wound an animal because of my mistake.

This last September I shot a buck right at last light, and thought it felt like a great shot. When I checked the arrow it had a little very light blood and mostly fat. We (the tracker & I) thought there was hope it was a kill shot due to being quartered away and at a good angle. The track was unsuccessful and he believed he bumped my buck still alive the next day. I went to the range a day or two later and was consistently hitting 6" low... I had previously zeroed before my first elk hunting trip a couple weeks earlier. I can't recall if I checked zero when I got back, but either way it was clearly off when I shot this buck. Always test and re-test your zero. In fact I went out yesterday to test and it was spot on. Knowing that gives me more confidence, and confidence is extremely important when taking a shot at a deer.

The moral of the story is have your equipment dialed in & test it often throughout the season, then practice every possible shot angle from every possible situation you could possibly encounter. Spend extra time focusing on those shots that could prove difficult in the field.
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<DK>
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Re: Failing at the moment of truth

Unread postby <DK> » Fri Dec 22, 2023 4:55 am

I have been meaning to comment on this, it's been a rough go for me too. I agree w alot of what's been said. Especially Huntress and PK. Try different things bc it shows up quickly but it's a process to conquer.

Whatever can go wrong - will go wrong chasing the bigger ones..

First off, it's a solo issue. No one can really help w it mentally... it's all about experience and getting over the hump. Some people are just cold blooded and don't have that issue. Also, probably has a lot to do w the way each person views the animal or the actual situation how things unfold. Take pride in the fact that you have those opportunities on good deer and doing everything right. I am sure a couple died but w/o a dog you wouldnt find them. Dont beat yourself up too much!! They are tough and neither of those shots are lethal. They will come back and you might get another chance. We all experience the high hits or string jumps - so you have to roll w those punches.

1 - Target Panic. It happens! You're about to take a life, it's a lot of time hard work just for a couple seconds w the animal. It comes and goes for me now but it's gotten a lot better! I still struggle sometimes. I have high anxiety (let's blame the processed foods) and that's absolutely a contributing factor. A tip Mainebowhunter gave me. When you're drawn back, things are wild and you can't focus - you have to stop yourself and say "I cannot shoot this deer like this". It's hard to do but its our jobs to shoot the best arrows we can! If you're thinking back to the shot and can't remember everything about it then it's a blur and panic.

2 - Confidence. You need confidence in your equipment. It's hardly ever the equipments fault but it's worth a change if you gain confidence. Changing Broadheads is always fun I think but I have stuck w the ones I really like. Another thing is getting your bow/arrows perfectly tuned and properly. That really upped my confidence and putting them down. If youre using a horizontal pin sight - try a vertical or vise versa. Theres a fine line between practicing the right amount or too much. That seems odd to say but ill tell ya it stings when you practice all year and still screw it up. Find what works for you to be confident. Idk if this is confidence related but if youre not shooting at a deer target - get one! That is definitely important.

3 - Back Tension Release. YouTube Target Panic Andy May and apply what he says to do. He's one of the best hunters in the country and has struggled w it. 100% has helped me move forward on the problem. You need to find the right release that works for you and the trigger sensitivity can be adjusted. Blind bale shoot! Stand point blank. When you step back - Dont worry about hitting the dot, just train yourself. It takes time. Anytime I pick up the bow after not shooting for a week, I punch the trigger at first. I would highly suggest making yourself a practice string! Use it before shooting and before you leave the truck. It has absolutely helped me get into gear and put good shots on deer.

4 - Focus. One issue I struggled w on Pin Sights is focusing and truly seeing the deer's body. You gotta look past those pins and pick that spot! Idk if im saying it correctly but if I have target panic I am not looking past the sights correctly. So I switched to the EZV site and love it. No more pin floating. Its been fantastic and I posted a review of learning to shoot it. I have more target panic trying to hold a pin/crosshairs on a deer vs putting the target in a circle or between notches. Another thing I learned to do is - once I see the deer, I close my eyes, take a deep breath, exhale slowly and count to 5. Definitely helped and closing my eyes is the most important part for me.

5 - Experience. Thats what it boils down to. You need to shoot small game and harvest more animals. The best season I have had shooting deer is bc I small game hunted a bit before. All I care about is deer. I dont want to kill something I dont want to eat but I found some people that want the meat. So ill be doing this more. (I am a hypocrite saying this) Also - dont pass up early season Does! Iv had so many Does in range opening day and let them walk. I am not doing that anymore bc its a great warm up for the next Buck I see. I dont shoot Does w small fawns w them though, I dont mind waiting a month to try to get her.

I do not really talk to my friends about shooting issues or text anyone anymore until I know the deers down. Not even my wife. That sucks... So you are always welcome to message me if you just need a chat about it.
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Re: Failing at the moment of truth

Unread postby HuntingHamrick » Fri Dec 22, 2023 12:45 pm

I had a similar issue a few years back. I think the first step is looking back and thinking why. Did you rush the shot, punch the trigger, brain went blank? Figuring out the issue is the first step in fixing it. For me it was switching my thought process to talk myself through buck fever, along with going to a handheld vs an index finger release. Lots of good guys on YouTube explain target panic and ways to get past it. John Dudley, Joel turner, and Andy May to name a few. Not sure how long your season is, but if you do decide to change things (bow, release,etc.) you have plenty of time to start fresh and be ready for next season.
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Twenty Up
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Re: Failing at the moment of truth

Unread postby Twenty Up » Sun Feb 04, 2024 9:28 am

Yup.

I hate to say it especially for bow hunters, it’s a right of passage. We’re going to miss, wound and even lose deer.

What has helped me the most, was killing deer. Start shooting a bunch of does and build that confidence back up. Heck, shoot a younger legal buck if he trips your trigger.

For years, I was hung up on killing a P&Y caliber buck on a Georgia WMA. I saw, missed and lost several that well surpassed that caliber. I also burned myself out and passed a lot of great bucks that I should’ve used as “stepping stones” in my deer hunting career. You must walk before you run. Enjoy the Journey, don’t sprint to the finish line.

I hope this helps
Trust the Process~~ Lost Boys Outdoors ~~

YoutTube: https://youtube.com/channel/UC7TXknGut5WfZQ6CbddgqYg
ihookem
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Re: Failing at the moment of truth

Unread postby ihookem » Tue Feb 06, 2024 12:50 am

I have failed at the moment of truth more than that beginner has tried... Now days I use a rifle more often..
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Re: Failing at the moment of truth

Unread postby Rich M » Tue Feb 13, 2024 1:09 am

The more experience you have the better you do. Same for just about anything.

I found my hunting improved when i stopped getting all excited when I see a deer. Hard enough to get em to hold still to get shot...
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greenhorndave
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Re: Failing at the moment of truth

Unread postby greenhorndave » Tue Feb 13, 2024 2:37 am

<DK> wrote:I have been meaning to comment on this, it's been a rough go for me too. I agree w alot of what's been said. Especially Huntress and PK. Try different things bc it shows up quickly but it's a process to conquer.

Whatever can go wrong - will go wrong chasing the bigger ones..

First off, it's a solo issue. No one can really help w it mentally... it's all about experience and getting over the hump. Some people are just cold blooded and don't have that issue. Also, probably has a lot to do w the way each person views the animal or the actual situation how things unfold. Take pride in the fact that you have those opportunities on good deer and doing everything right. I am sure a couple died but w/o a dog you wouldnt find them. Dont beat yourself up too much!! They are tough and neither of those shots are lethal. They will come back and you might get another chance. We all experience the high hits or string jumps - so you have to roll w those punches.

1 - Target Panic. It happens! You're about to take a life, it's a lot of time hard work just for a couple seconds w the animal. It comes and goes for me now but it's gotten a lot better! I still struggle sometimes. I have high anxiety (let's blame the processed foods) and that's absolutely a contributing factor. A tip Mainebowhunter gave me. When you're drawn back, things are wild and you can't focus - you have to stop yourself and say "I cannot shoot this deer like this". It's hard to do but its our jobs to shoot the best arrows we can! If you're thinking back to the shot and can't remember everything about it then it's a blur and panic.

2 - Confidence. You need confidence in your equipment. It's hardly ever the equipments fault but it's worth a change if you gain confidence. Changing Broadheads is always fun I think but I have stuck w the ones I really like. Another thing is getting your bow/arrows perfectly tuned and properly. That really upped my confidence and putting them down. If youre using a horizontal pin sight - try a vertical or vise versa. Theres a fine line between practicing the right amount or too much. That seems odd to say but ill tell ya it stings when you practice all year and still screw it up. Find what works for you to be confident. Idk if this is confidence related but if youre not shooting at a deer target - get one! That is definitely important.

3 - Back Tension Release. YouTube Target Panic Andy May and apply what he says to do. He's one of the best hunters in the country and has struggled w it. 100% has helped me move forward on the problem. You need to find the right release that works for you and the trigger sensitivity can be adjusted. Blind bale shoot! Stand point blank. When you step back - Dont worry about hitting the dot, just train yourself. It takes time. Anytime I pick up the bow after not shooting for a week, I punch the trigger at first. I would highly suggest making yourself a practice string! Use it before shooting and before you leave the truck. It has absolutely helped me get into gear and put good shots on deer.

4 - Focus. One issue I struggled w on Pin Sights is focusing and truly seeing the deer's body. You gotta look past those pins and pick that spot! Idk if im saying it correctly but if I have target panic I am not looking past the sights correctly. So I switched to the EZV site and love it. No more pin floating. Its been fantastic and I posted a review of learning to shoot it. I have more target panic trying to hold a pin/crosshairs on a deer vs putting the target in a circle or between notches. Another thing I learned to do is - once I see the deer, I close my eyes, take a deep breath, exhale slowly and count to 5. Definitely helped and closing my eyes is the most important part for me.

5 - Experience. Thats what it boils down to. You need to shoot small game and harvest more animals. The best season I have had shooting deer is bc I small game hunted a bit before. All I care about is deer. I dont want to kill something I dont want to eat but I found some people that want the meat. So ill be doing this more. (I am a hypocrite saying this) Also - dont pass up early season Does! Iv had so many Does in range opening day and let them walk. I am not doing that anymore bc its a great warm up for the next Buck I see. I dont shoot Does w small fawns w them though, I dont mind waiting a month to try to get her.

I do not really talk to my friends about shooting issues or text anyone anymore until I know the deers down. Not even my wife. That sucks... So you are always welcome to message me if you just need a chat about it.

This is a great post. :clap:

For me, my lesson was expecting the literal last-second unexpected. The buck did not read the script and did not take the trails I expected and all the other deer took. He came straight at the tree, I had some junk in front of me that made that near-vertical shot difficult and it cost me due to a deflection. I could have possibly shot earlier of later but I didn’t prepare for that possibility and probably rushed it as everything changed in the last 5 seconds.
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Sometimes when things get tough, weird or both, you just need to remember this...
https://youtu.be/d4tSE2w53ts


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