Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall

Bullseye's bad for hunters?

Messages posted to thread:
ny yankee 23-Apr-18
RymanCat 23-Apr-18
Jim 23-Apr-18
bfisherman11 23-Apr-18
Pdiddly 23-Apr-18
JusPassin 23-Apr-18
tradmt 23-Apr-18
2 bears 23-Apr-18
Mountain Man 23-Apr-18
longbowguy 23-Apr-18
limbwalker 23-Apr-18
deerhunt51 23-Apr-18
Rick Barbee 23-Apr-18
Woods Walker 24-Apr-18
SteveBNY 24-Apr-18
Silverstreak Archer 24-Apr-18
D31 24-Apr-18
Wapiti - - M. S. 24-Apr-18
Draven 24-Apr-18
Mountain Man 24-Apr-18
Viper 24-Apr-18
lv2bohunt 24-Apr-18
Styksnstryngs 24-Apr-18
JRW 24-Apr-18
zetabow 16-May-18
Ollie 16-May-18
George D. Stout 16-May-18
Birdy 16-May-18
Babysaph 16-May-18
Draven 16-May-18
Mike E 16-May-18
DanaC 17-May-18
deerhunt51 17-May-18
Ollie 17-May-18
Bill Rickvalsky 17-May-18
tradmt 17-May-18
bluesman 17-May-18
tradmt 17-May-18
fdp 17-May-18
George Tsoukalas 17-May-18
ModernLongbow 17-May-18
zetabow 18-May-18
David A. 18-May-18
Wild Bill 18-May-18
Mint 18-May-18
Ihunts2much 18-May-18
RonG 18-May-18
bluesman 18-May-18
tradmt 19-May-18
DanaC 19-May-18
K Cummings 19-May-18
fdp 19-May-18
BOX CALL 19-May-18
tradmt 19-May-18
fdp 19-May-18
hawkeye in PA 19-May-18
ahunter55 19-May-18
From: ny yankee
Date: 23-Apr-18

I have always believed that if you are practicing for hunting, any target with a bullseye or bright colored aiming point is detrimental. I mean, hopefully one would already have their form down well and are just keeping in shape for accuracy. Constantly seeing a yellow bullseye or an orange spot or even a black spot is training you to look for that spot when you go to take a shot at game and animals don't have bulls eyes on the kill zone. I think all practice targets should be plain. The only caveat would be just a very small dot somewhere so you can "pick a spot" and focus. I like to just poke a small stick in the target to shoot at. I wish more block type targets had plain faces on them for this reason.

From: RymanCat
Date: 23-Apr-18

If I can't decipher the difference in target faces and animals then something isn't right. Or is it?

Animals anatomy I measure up their legs and chest not in blocks or circles like in targets with aiming spots . I can't see it when I look at an animal or bird or fish to shoot.

From: Jim Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 23-Apr-18

I think in either scenario, I should be focussed on the smallest spot on my target that I can see.

From: bfisherman11 Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 23-Apr-18

I feel shooting targets makes me a better archer which in turn makes me a more accurate bowhunter. Targets include Spots and 3d.


From: Pdiddly
Date: 23-Apr-18

Pick a tiny spot on a target an edge...or a previous hole. Can't see how what you aim at matters, as long as it is minuscule.

From: JusPassin Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 23-Apr-18

The center of the bullseye, and the center of the hair on the deer I'm shooting at are the same size so it doesn't matter.

From: tradmt
Date: 23-Apr-18

Bad? No, but practicing on targets without dots is beneficial for anyone.

From: 2 bears
Date: 23-Apr-18

I have never envisioned any kind of circles colors or targets in the excitement of looking at wild game. You get your form and mussel on targets. I do like to shoot my 3D deer starting a few weeks before season and all during the season.>>>---> Ken

From: Mountain Man
Date: 23-Apr-18

Mountain Man's embedded Photo

I have 3 targets in line side by side A 4'x4' bag with nothing but a bottle cap and a Morell discharge bag 8"x14" and a 3D 3/4 size deer target I like to shoot at big bag small green bulls eye then small bag smaller red dot and the deer Mix it no routine Keeps me thinkn Best of all worlds

From: longbowguy
Date: 23-Apr-18

Bullseye shooting is best for refining your form. 20 yards indoors during the winter. Shoot the 300 round for score and keep records. An indoor league or organized shoots will keep you keen and focussed.

Field archery is perhaps the best practice if you have access to a course, or marked 3D, to help you learn the distances and trajectories.

As hunting season approaches I would go to forest and field with blunt and judo points.

My most frequent practice is walkbacks on a range, which I learnt about from 4 time world longbow champ Steve Morley. On a backstop pin up a paper plate, a scrap of cardboard or a maple leaf. Step back a few paces and shoot it. If you hit it stroll back eight paces while nocking another arrow. Take your time setting up and shoot again. If you miss, shoot again until you make a hit. When you do, walk back again.

My idea is to see how far I can walk back until I have shot up all the arrows in my quiver, about 10 to 12. On a good day I can get back to around 40 yards. It gets very intense.

The key is to not know the distances and do not estimate them or try to calculate a gap. Just gaze at target center and make a firm intention to hit it. The subconscious mind has a great capacity to achieve goals. The idea is to be able to hit anything anywhere, at any moderate distance, as in hunting. - lbg

From: limbwalker
Date: 23-Apr-18

Wait. I'm going for popcorn...


From: deerhunt51
Date: 23-Apr-18

Makes no difference for instinctual shooter.

From: Rick Barbee
Date: 23-Apr-18

A target is a target.

I see what I want to hit (pick my spot), and shoot at it.

The better I got at shooting spots (or whatever), the better I got at shooting animals.


From: Woods Walker
Date: 24-Apr-18

^^^^ What he said.

From: SteveBNY
Date: 24-Apr-18


From: Silverstreak Archer
Date: 24-Apr-18

Not that it matters (see opinions are like buttholes ...), but I'll throw a couple things into the fray. Instinct is a misnomer. Instinct means something one is born with. An example would be a bird that begins migrating before its parents. The migration route was built in (instinct) when the bird was born. There are numerous examples of this in nature. If the trajectory of a launched object was in us instinctually, then within minutes of handing a child their first ball they would be throwing strikes because that information was already preprogrammed into their brain. Trajectory is learned; I don't care if it is a ball, a fishing lure, or an arrow. With enough repetition, the patterns do become so ingrained that we don't think about it, hence the idea it is "instinctive", but it is not. Ok, that rant out of the way.

I think the key in this argument has to do with focus. Can you, or can you not focus. If you are shooting at a rather monotone target, can you pick something out on which to focus and execute a shot? A high contrast "spot" of some kind is probably much easier for most people to focus on. So, is target shooting bad for a hunter, no. The repetition, builds that subconscious form so that at the moment of truth you run on auto-pilot essentially. I would agree that prior to hunting season it is a good idea to switch away from the standard bullseye and stump shoot and shoot at 3d style targets. Essentially now that you have your form and trajectories worked out, now work on getting the focus where it needs to be for the woods.

My two cents on the matter, take it for what it's worth.

From: D31
Date: 24-Apr-18

I was shooting last night in my front yard at 18/20 yards on a 4x4 foot bulls eye target and a small 3d pig target.It was 11:15 pm and the only light was coming from my TV through the window in the living room.

The bulls eye target is under a maple tree and the pig under a 60ft blue spruce blocking most starlight.

I shot 18 arrows at the bulls eye first, I could not see the rings but I could make out the outline of the 4x4 target in the dark. I could not see my arrows in flight or in the target but could hear them hit.

I had a 4 inch group when I approached the target. It was centered left to right but about 2 1/2 inches high.

I pulled my arrows and turned to the pig, it was much harder to make out the outline but I did identify the rump and part of the back. Knowing how big the pig is I launched my arrows using those two references.

Same result as the bulls eye. A four inch group behind front leg centered about 2 1/2 inches higher than where I wanted to be.

I think there is a huge advantage to being able to shoot center mass on a target without actually seeing where it is your shooting.

Picking spots in the daylight or shooting bulls eye targets or felt tip marker spots on a white backstop. They all give feedback and build confidence in ourselves.

Many times are targets appear in the shadows, in poor light or partially obscured from view. If you get a opportunity to shoot in poor lighting safely I suggest giving it a try. Good Day

From: Wapiti - - M. S. Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 24-Apr-18

Ditto of Rick !

From: Draven
Date: 24-Apr-18

I use the "target with spot" as reference point between "where I want to hit" and "where I actually hit". Too much BS happens due to this unsupported confidence "I hit where I look" to really consider shooting this kind of targets a bad thing. It's a training tool, nothing more, nothing less.

From: Mountain Man
Date: 24-Apr-18

Im with Rick

I do switch it up and lik my 3D's for broadheads round the season

But i agree with the man from Texas that will use anything,,,,,hell,,,,,,i bet he looses sleep at night thinking of things to use for a bulls eye!

Thru the years hes been mighty imaginative on target choices and i dont see him miss much And I personally never blamed a miss,,bulls eye or animal on my choice of practise target I think every archers different every set of eyes are different so theres to many variables to just single out a chosen bulls eye IMHO

From: Viper
Date: 24-Apr-18

You guys are really over thinking this ...

Viper out.

From: lv2bohunt
Date: 24-Apr-18

I just try to hit what I’m aiming at.

From: Styksnstryngs
Date: 24-Apr-18

Pope put it well when he said target shooting improves hunting but hunting ruins an archer's scores. Doesn't hold as true nowadays, but still holds some truth.

From: JRW
Date: 24-Apr-18

What if I glue some hair on the bulls eye?

From: zetabow
Date: 16-May-18

I'm not aiming at the spot, I'm aiming at the X inside the spot.

From: Ollie Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 16-May-18

Are we over-thinking things more than we need to here?

From: George D. Stout Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 16-May-18

Good lord where does this crap come from. A target is a target, and if you can hit one effectively you can hit another. I became a much better hunting shot when I became a field archer....and target archer too. If you can't translate that accuracy into the hunting woods, then you likely have a synapse issue that needs attended to. Overthinking? That's an understatement. I still have to learn why people think target archers are somehow ill-fit for the hunting woods. History shows otherwise.

From: Birdy
Date: 16-May-18

George pretty much said what I was thinking.

Don't play head games with yourself. You either hit what you were aiming at or you didnt.

From: Babysaph Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 16-May-18

I can't hit targets but I'm great on the real thing

From: Draven
Date: 16-May-18

Against the trend I will say that Bullseye might create a habit you don’t want to have while hunting: the easiness of picking a point that is facilitate by the X marked on the target. There is a reason in tough competitions they have new 3D targets or with very few arrow shots on them. On the other hand, where arrow is landing requires the same process and archer abilities, X or not X marked. Pick your excuses.

From: Mike E
Date: 16-May-18

Aim small miss small no matter what the target.

From: DanaC
Date: 17-May-18

"I can't hit targets but I'm great on the real thing."

Yeah, we've all seen downright lousy shots who claim that. Good shooting comes from disciplined practice, and translates from target to field. Yes, it does.

From: deerhunt51
Date: 17-May-18

Could not disagree more. Accuracy is just that, if you can hit a target you can place an arrow where it needs to be on game.

From: Ollie Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 17-May-18

"I can't hit targets but I'm great on the real thing."

Show me a guy that can't shoot decent on a 3-D course and I'll show you a guy that wounds more game than he cleanly kills!

From: Bill Rickvalsky
Date: 17-May-18

Aaaah. The Leatherwall can always be depended upon for consistency. Same old arguments, same points made, same semantic disagreements. Way too much being made of a simple concept. Can you focus on as small a spot as possible and can you hit it? Whatever helps you get better at that is a good thing.

From: tradmt
Date: 17-May-18

Lots of assumptions.

From: bluesman
Date: 17-May-18

there is no such thing as practicing for hunting..its unique to itself. Practicing for accuracy is target archery and 3d and roaming . Stumping etc.

First step is to become accurate . (field archery, 3d etc ) Once you have confidence in your accuracy then learn about the critter you are hunting and go out and get one. You will learn AS YOU ARE HUNTING, The deer , etc will be your teacher . Because if you make a mistake , he will let you know before you ever loose an arrow guaranteed .

I agree over thinking .

now if we are hunting and each critter had a red dot on his side where you need to concentrate..would we kill more bet less thing to think about at the moment of truth...

usually there is a shadow or a hair tuft you can concentrate on , if not I go up the leg and over to pick my intended spot for my arrow .

to get good at any one discipline, be it field archery, 3d or hunting will aid you in all other disciplines..

From: tradmt
Date: 17-May-18

Hmmmm, no practice for hunting?

Roving and shooting at vague and varying targets at unknown distances sure seems like great hunting practice to me.

I sure hope you guys get this figured out before September so I can have some success.

From: fdp
Date: 17-May-18

Actually stumping and roving aren't practice for hunting. They are practice for shooting at unknown distances over varied terrain. Which is beneficial to any type of shooting, under any conditions.

Hunting has nothing to do with shooting anything. It's simply the practice and art of putting one's self in a position to either observe, capture, or kill a taget without being detected.

Shooting is shooting. And you either can, or not. Doesn't matter what the target is.

From: George Tsoukalas
Date: 17-May-18

Doesn't matter. Aim small. Miss small ... for anything. Jawge

From: ModernLongbow
Date: 17-May-18

Bullseyes will make u a better hunter. IMO. But you have to be willing to work at fixing the flaws they expose.

From: zetabow
Date: 18-May-18

Longbowguy the walkback has a number of uses in helping the Archer extended their effective range without stepping too far outside their comfort zone, the main reason people's form falls apart and reluctance to shoot longer distances.

It's also a way to identify distances I struggle with and can work towards making it my strong distance.

You also get great insight into how your bow shoots, in effect building a map in your mind of the bows trajectory. Used with other training techniques it can turn the average archer into a good archer that's confident at any distance.

From: David A.
Date: 18-May-18

"I wish more block type targets had plain faces on them for this reason." -- Just use a can of spray paint.

From: Wild Bill
Date: 18-May-18

"I have always believed " - OP

And that does have an effect on your performance, whether it is 3D or hunting.

BUT, I believe, many people are not comfortable with the reality that there are other 3D shooters/hunters better than themselves, too proud to put their name on the 3D score list, but not at top. IMHO,conjured prestige is a delusion.

From: Mint Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 18-May-18

Much easier for me to focus on the bullseye than on a deer 3d target or black hog target. But shooting at a bullseye target is as boring to me as can be so after a few shots I end up losing concentration. It's fine for me for warming up but get me on the 3D range and I enjoy it so much more. Probably the same with most people since the NFAA shoots at my club get the same 10 guys each week while 3D shoots we get over 60.

From: Ihunts2much
Date: 18-May-18

The only practice that is detrimental is practicing and reinforcing mediocrity. The target does not matter.

From: RonG
Date: 18-May-18

Sounds like you have been reading the posts on the leatherwall.

A target ia a target doesn't matter what color, shape or if it has hair or you take it for a headache.

From: bluesman
Date: 18-May-18

fdp nailed it !!!!

From: tradmt
Date: 19-May-18

Well no, it's not practice for the act of hunting, shit. It's great practice for what is exactly the premise of THIS thread though,.. shooting in hunting situations.

From: DanaC
Date: 19-May-18

Exactly. If and when the hunt comes to an opportunity to shoot, you need to be able to take advantage of it.

From: K Cummings
Date: 19-May-18

“I like to just poke a small stick in the target to shoot at.”

How many deer do you see walking around with small sticks stuck in the middle of their rib cage?


Point being, whether you shoot at a real dot or an imaginary spot, it’s all the same.


From: fdp
Date: 19-May-18 you have a little bit of an emotional attachment to this subject?

David A. any release (including a thumb ring) decreases the bending of the arrow in ONE plane. Simply because the string doesn't roll off the fingers of the string hand. Not a unique attribute of you releases.

From: BOX CALL Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 19-May-18

Well,there ya go,now I have to scout out a deer with a bullseye on its side,lol

From: tradmt
Date: 19-May-18

Emotionally attached? I don't believe so but maybe you experts could tell me for sure. :) Would I be more attached to target dots or, would I be more attached to game? If I put fur on the dot,..would that help my attachment or is that just impossible?

Seriously though fdp, I just found your interpretation of my post and your response idiotic, this thread is not about hunting prowess, it's about practice for hunting shots and the overwhelming majority of bowhunters are going to agree that roving is great practice for it.

From: fdp
Date: 19-May-18

I get it. And understand that my response, while maybe viewed by you as idiotic, wasn't aimed at you in particular. It was aimed at the inference and undertone of these threads that people who are good target shooter's can't kill game. Which is just plain stupid. In fact, there isn't anything that you can practice that comes as close to the anxiety that you can feel in the game field as coming down to the last arrow in a tournament to win or lose.. There just isn't. BUT, here's the deal. The majority of bow hunters on here SAY that they keep their shots within 20 yards. IF that's the case, then what difference does it make if they can, or can't judge distance beyond that range? Why not concentrate on judging distance from their feet to say 25 yards? The estimation of distance beyond that point effectively does them no good. And in fact could cause unnecessary confusion. Also in concentrating on what the torso of various game animals looks like at those distances would make them experts. Within those ranges.

I know one bow hunter who actually does that. And if the critter got within that range, unless something completely unforeseen happened, it was as good as in the truck. He had the self discipline to actually stay within his boundaries.

And lastly, I'm not, nor have I ever claimed to be an expert in archery. However, I've been doing it for a long, long time. So I've picked up a little just due to having been exposed to it.

From: hawkeye in PA
Date: 19-May-18

"Bullseye's bad for hunters?" only if its from a tick bite.

From: ahunter55
Date: 19-May-18

ahunter55's embedded Photo


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