Practice for Instinctive Shooting

A forum containing shooting/accuracy tutorials and useful information pertaining to shooting primitive bows.

Practice for Instinctive Shooting

Registered User
Joined: 17 Jun 2005, 23:07

24 Aug 2015, 15:09 #1

Instinctive shooting is best practised at unmarked distances since knowing the yardage is of no concern to a real instinctive archer.

For an instinctive there are really only two distances, near enough and too far.
It is simple enough to define these distances, simply put, if you are certain of the mark, it is near enough, if you have any doubt, it is too far.

Since hunting is the main application it is best to rehearse by only ever shooting a single arrow from any one position or distance.

Shooting repeatedly from the same distance should be avoided, unless it is your strict intention to always shoot from a hide or stand at a set distance.

Repetition at a fixed distance does tend to lead to consciously checking the full-draw gap between point and mark, which is for the instinctive something best left to the subconscious mind.

It makes does make sense to do the most work on the situations and distances most likely to occur.

A good basic exercise is to start by shooting from walk up positions on flat ground, but in a random fashion, since it is better to work upon concentration and consistent shot execution than to put yourself in a situation where you might start pacing out the distance or figuring out a gap.

Put a small mark on a blank surface and take shots from varied distances and positions, standing, kneeling, leaning out to one side or another.
I like to use small (24mm) Blic fluorescent stickers that can be got from a stationery store, I use them when teaching and find that they help in developing the habit of looking at a very small mark.
After a while you can see one that isn't even there without trying too hard.

The key is to lock on to the mark and execute a clean shot, then move to another distance or position and do it again.
Don't look at your point of aim or think about the distance, just keep working on concentration and making a clean shot until you can hit the spot or very close to it every time.

Then you can go from practising on flat ground to shooting up or down hill, through tight gaps, under and over obstructions, from a stand, in fact from any kind of situation that you might conceivably run into in the field.

If you have friends with whom you can practice take turns to pick a distance and stance, sometimes just throwing arrows down at random and shooting from where they fall.
Or go stump shooting.

It won't hurt your accuracy to stretch the distance a little from time to time, but in general you should keep the distance to within your comfort zone and practice what you will shoot in the field.

Don't get hung up on a bad shot, recognise what you did wrong, move on and make the next one right.
Learn to honestly recognise the cause of your bad shots when they happen and knowing that you can do it right, put it behind you, move on and take the next shot.

Do not rehearse bad habits. When your form gets bad or your shooting sloppy, which it will, go back the bare boss and work on your physical form, rhythm and mental state.
This is the normal cycle in practice.

When you hunt you don't want to think about missing, but don't think about not missing because this doesn't work. This is because your subconscious mind doesn't recognise the negative qualifier. It will hear you expewcting to miss.

Don't make a big deal out of hitting and missing, it is far better to go along quietly thinking that it is normal to hit what you shoot at.
This is how we should think of it.
It is very important that you come to think of hitting your mark as being the normal state of affairs.
Do not be too upset by your misses, nor too pleased by your hits, since this is just another way of creating un-necessary mental pressure.

Last edited by Rod on 25 Aug 2015, 11:48, edited 5 times in total.
It's meant to be simple, not easy.

Registered User
Joined: 17 Jun 2005, 23:07

24 Aug 2015, 15:13 #2

<br /><br /><br />
It's meant to be simple, not easy.