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From The Window Up Above

PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:28 pm
by FireCloud
Since I only had a short 40 minutes for bow practice today, I shot a couple warm up groups from the usual straight out 10 and 15 yard stations. Satisfied with my shots from those positions, I then shot a couple groups from a 15 yard station downhill about 15 degrees below the target and also at a 45 degrees angle from the target. From this point on until deer season opens, I will work mostly on angled shots, or uphill or downhill shots, which are more like typical encounters with deer in the woods. And I will also work on shots with obstructions in the shooting lane that have to be avoided as well as working on longer distance shots.

All shots with angles are very challenging for instinctive shooters, but those which combine two angles, such as being both 45 degrees from the target AND maybe 30 or more degrees above or below the target are even more difficult. Add in some extra distance, and the shots get very tough very quickly. However, it is absolutely necessary to master each of these kinds of shots too because the deer here refuse to stand straight out in front of you on level ground at close distances!

So to finish off my evening's practice, I moved my target to face my house and went upstairs to shoot out the middle window. This elevates me at about the same 15 foot level as my tree stand and creates a downward angle I estimate to be about 35 degrees. I have a similar sized window to shoot out of in my tree stand so the effect is just like how I will be shooting from my stand. Here is the view from my target looking back to the window.

- 497.jpg

I shot a group of eight arrows from a standing position through the window down to the target below. Since it was 8:20 pm and now too dark to shoot any more, I photographed the group, pulled the arrows, and quit for today. For my first elevated shots of this season, I am not too unhappy with this group. Due to the dynamics of the angles, all shots from an elevated position above the target will tend to shoot high so you have to instinctively aim lower. With no sight pins, this is a little harder than it seems to compensate accurately based only upon your instincts but of course it can be done. I did not compensate enough in my aiming for the elevation, and two of the arrows hit the top of the target block. A nice enough group of four more clustered high on the face of the target but not in a good kill zone area. Two of the arrows did make decent hits within the proper kill zone. Here is the photo.

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Re: From The Window Up Above

PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:42 pm
by BigRic
purty good for a rookie :stir: :W: :rotflol: :rotflol: :rotflol: :rotflol: :rotflol:

Seriously .. I pull mine out about a week before and shoot a few to check everything out then put it up.....been doing that for a number of yrs. and still knock'um down...

Re: From The Window Up Above

PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:32 pm
by FireCloud
That works fine if you shoot one of those bows with training wheels on them! :D :W: :stir:

If you can do that with a traditional bow, my hat is off to you. :ylsuper:

Re: From The Window Up Above

PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:49 pm
Firecloud LOOKIN GOOD there!!!!

Re: From The Window Up Above

PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:45 pm
by dustygoodson

Re: From The Window Up Above

PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:14 pm
by Ironwood
FireCloud, have you ever tried three fingers under and gap shooting? Back in the early 70's I was shooting a recurve. Went to a compound in the 80's. Then in the 90's I went back to the recurve. I found I was a lot more accurate shooting a sort of modified gap. Do a Google for Gap Shooting. See how you like it.

Re: From The Window Up Above

PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:18 pm
by FireCloud
Ironwood, by all means if the method you use works for you, then that is what you should use.

Personally, I have just completed my 42nd year shooting this same once piece recurve bow using three fingers under since I started in 1968. While taking an archery class a couple years later in college, I experimented with a variety of shooting styles while using a standard target longbow. The three finger under method simply works best for me.

I did also try the gap method of aiming but it did not work at all for me. I have some vision limitations that make my shooting a lot more challenging than for those who are better sighted so the short version of this story is purely instictive shooting works best for me because of my vision.

What works for me is learning how to shoot and hit where I aim by repeated practice until I can feel and sense when to release at the point where the bow and arrow relative to the target are lined up correctly for whatever distance, angle, etc. I am shooting. I simply draw and begin lining up the bow and arrow while focusing on the smallest possible spot of the target I intend to hit. The old saying that applies here is "Aim small, miss small." What that means is your brain will attempt to achieve your goal all on its own without you having to conciously make any decisions if you simply focus intently on the small spot you want to hit. A basketball shooter firing the ball instinctively with both hands overhead is also not seeing the ball...just the goal...but the process works nevertheless.

Defensive driving experts teach the same a split second disaster situation the technique that works best is to focus your vision on the exact spot you want the vehicle to go and let your brain make the steering decisions automatically. My time in karate taught me the same thing too...focus on the point you want to hit and ignore everything in the slab of wood you have to break in order to hit the spot which is your actual target on the other side!

When you "gap shoot" your point of focus is NOT on a small point on the target but rather on the tip of your arrow while you try to move the point up or down a certain "correct" distance to compensate for the target position. Any technique can work for an archer skilled in using it, but for me, that simply feels wrong and also does not make sense.

When I shoot instinctively, I release when I sense I am "in the groove" and it works pretty well. It does however take practice, practice, and more practice so that your brain will instinctively know when you hit that groove. And it takes excellent consistency in your shooting form...stance, anchor, release, etc. But once your brain gets it all down pat, then you can hit targets you cannot even see clearly. I practice a lot of times well past dark where the target block itself is only faintly visible. Yet I still put all or most of the arrows in approximately the same spots I would hit if it was bright and sunny. People who use bow sights cannot do that as they have to be able to see both the sight mounted on the bow handle and the target itself in order to align the two different points. Same thing with gap shooters...they have to see the point of the arrow and the target. Shooting instinctively, I don't have to see anything on the bow itself...I only have to see the target.

Instinctive shooting is much like how Luke Skywalker had to fight the have to feel the force! It's not magical powers however, but it is merely your brain learning the precise point of correct alignment of your bow and arrow under any possible condition and sending you a signal to release the string at the right instant.

I will close with these two things. One is to check out the thread I posted entitled "Let me see you do this." A 21 year old girl (Lilia Stepanova) shoots a traditional longbow instinctively and bulleyes the target with one arrow in front of a TV camera, a live audience, and three judges in a contest. However, you gotta see exactly HOW she shoots it to comprehend that once your brain and body learn to work together ANYTHING is possible when it comes to archery shots.

The other is a true scene I witnessed while watching a golf tournament one day. Jack Nicklaus had hit just short of the green in a sand trap. He took his time setting his stance, lining up the shot, and chipping out of the sand trap...directly into the cup. The crowd roared and clapped its approval and the TV commentators remarked about the amazing shot. Nicklaus had not yet moved but was just grinning at the crowd as the applause died down. Then you could clearly here someone from the gallery yell out.."bet you can't do that again." Nicklaus still had not moved from his stance so he just reached in his pocket for another golf ball and put it in the exact same spot. A hush fell over the crowd. He lined the shot up again, swung, and produced a carbon copy shot directly back into the cup once again. At which point, he grinned and walked off to a crowd that was simply stunned. That episode pointed out how, once learned, the skill you develop will let you do it over and over again even under nearly impossible conditions. Nicklaus knew and I dare say his body felt the correct amount of swing to apply in the exact same pattern as the swing before.

I have watched about a half dozen other films where the girl I mentioned repeated her performance over and over again in front of all sorts of different audiences. She does it the precise same way every time and rarely does she miss. That is the sheer beauty of instictively learning how to shoot a bow and practicing it enough. You will not just get will become world class in doing it. Not me, mind you...I did not start early enough in life to do I still don't see well enough! But I will say that after 42 years of shooting this same bow, I am getting a little better at it now. However, I still practice day after day.