Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall


Pick a spot, or not?

Messages posted to thread:
Jim McCann 11-Jan-19
The Whittler 11-Jan-19
Babbling Bob 11-Jan-19
fdp 11-Jan-19
David McLendon 11-Jan-19
M60gunner 11-Jan-19
John Ryan 11-Jan-19
John Ryan 11-Jan-19
George D. Stout 11-Jan-19
Jim McCann 11-Jan-19
George D. Stout 11-Jan-19
SB 11-Jan-19
MnM 11-Jan-19
GF 11-Jan-19
Jim McCann 11-Jan-19
Elderly OCR 11-Jan-19
Jon Stewart 11-Jan-19
lawdy 11-Jan-19
vthunter 11-Jan-19
Orion 11-Jan-19
Stumpkiller 11-Jan-19
RymanCat 11-Jan-19
SB 12-Jan-19
bluesman 12-Jan-19
pdk25 12-Jan-19
DanaC 12-Jan-19
timex 12-Jan-19
Bowmania 12-Jan-19
fdp 12-Jan-19
Paul 12-Jan-19
RymanCat 12-Jan-19
deerfly 12-Jan-19
fdp 12-Jan-19
Viper 12-Jan-19
GF 12-Jan-19
Missouribreaks 12-Jan-19
twostrings 12-Jan-19
NY Yankee 12-Jan-19
Jim McCann 12-Jan-19
George D. Stout 12-Jan-19
deerfly 12-Jan-19
redquebec 12-Jan-19
thehun 12-Jan-19
thehun 12-Jan-19
George D. Stout 12-Jan-19
Tlhbow 12-Jan-19
redquebec 12-Jan-19
dean 12-Jan-19
Babysaph 12-Jan-19
K Cummings 13-Jan-19
From: Jim McCann
Date: 11-Jan-19




Just had a conversation with an old friend of mine who is really living the life so many of us just dream about. He and his wife simply bowhunt all of the time, all over the country and even beyond. I've been to his home just up the hill from mine and their trophy rooms will take your breath away. I say all that just to give some credence to his comments to me.

I got to talking about how well I've been shooting at the local indoor range. It's minus 40 outside today! And how I take a quarter size piece of duct tape and stick it on a huge bare Morel target, the white ones that indoor ranges use. I've been putting my arrows either in that spot, or darned close to it at 20-yards.

My pal told me I might be doing myself a disservice because when next faced with the large broadside of a moose this fall I won't have any such spot. He suggested I either use a regular target to provide me some distraction, or else just use the blank white target and shoot for a crease, or a shadow, or something more like the side of a moose or caribou.

During summer shooting at a similar target at a outdoor range I actually do this shadow/crease kind of shooting, but I still feel as though I'm picking a spot.

Waddaya think?

From: The Whittler
Date: 11-Jan-19




As long as your shooing it's all practice. I like to shoot 3D, blue face, and stumps. As long as your shooting at something your practicing just mix it up.

From: Babbling Bob Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 11-Jan-19




Dunno nothing about nothing about this, but tell you what. Always pick a spot, even if it's paper, foam, wood, or walking!

Might pick a spot within a spot, or a small micro mini size spot within that spot. Practicing with a spot you can see well, like your piece of tape, makes sense to me.

One of my instructors many years ago used to shoot into the hole of 45RPM records for public archery demonstrations. Guess she picked a real small spot inside that spot. Don't try that with your wife's Elvis records, or you'll get in trouble. Her and her husband always preached about picking spots...on everything.

Spots are good.

From: fdp
Date: 11-Jan-19




I think that lots of really good target shooters that shoot at spots are also really good bowhunters that shoot at critters.

From: David McLendon
Date: 11-Jan-19




Do what works for you, what anybody else thinks doesn't matter.

From: M60gunner
Date: 11-Jan-19




I remember one in one book I read the author imaged a spot on the critter. Maybe that would work for you as you’re shooting spots. Image that piece of duct tape.

From: John Ryan
Date: 11-Jan-19




Call it what you wish, in either case, you are picking a spot. The tape on the bag is an obvious spot. Now on animal, stump, leaf, whatever you shoot at in the woods will not be completely smooth, flat, and devoid of a spot or aiming point. A crease, shadow, spot of mud, different colored hair, fur or feather. You are always shooting at a spot either way.

From: John Ryan
Date: 11-Jan-19




Call it what you wish, in either case, you are picking a spot. The tape on the bag is an obvious spot. Now on animal, stump, leaf, whatever you shoot at in the woods will not be completely smooth, flat, and devoid of a spot or aiming point. A crease, shadow, spot of mud, different colored hair, fur or feather. You are always shooting at a spot either way.

From: George D. Stout Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 11-Jan-19




If all you did was hunt all the time, and had the money for the 'trophies', you would likely have a pretty big haul yourself. I really don't need anyone telling me how to, or not to shoot, I've been doing it a long time. That said, you do what works for you, and a target is a target. I got to be a better hunter when I became a better field archer, and a lot of my pals did the same.

So as they say, opinions are like .... well you should know the rest.

From: Jim McCann
Date: 11-Jan-19




Sometimes I just shoot at another arrow hole. But you know, I really don't do well on targets. I think the bull is too large or something.

If I'm focused on a small spot like I should be, the rest of the target and the rest of the world for that matter doesn't exist until after the shot is taken. I do pretty well on the rare occasion I get to shoot at a 3D target.

I really don't think my shooting at the tiny piece of tape, or an arrow hole is going to ruin my shots at game. I focus on a tiny spot on every animal I see, like the moose that occasionally come into my yard.

In the past, while shooting a compound bow, the problems I've encountered while hunting is when I focus on a whole animal, and not find that small spot, whatever that spot might be.

From: George D. Stout Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 11-Jan-19




And what John Ryan said.

From: SB
Date: 11-Jan-19




I've always had a heck of a time shooting at spot targets. No such issue on game animals. A spot on a bare target I can do....otherwise I get distracted!

From: MnM
Date: 11-Jan-19




Missed a few animals myself cause I didn't pick a spot, usually just over the top of them.

From: GF
Date: 11-Jan-19




You only have to pick one if you want to hit it.

From: Jim McCann
Date: 11-Jan-19




I used to carry my recurve with me when I was out in the summer just letting my bird dogs get some exercise in the woods and out in the grassy fields. I shot at my share of stumps and cutbanks, but I thought I was a pretty good shot once I started shooting at dandelions and smacking their heads off at different ranges. I plan on doing a lot of this type of roving this summer.

I think I'll just continue what I've already been doing by switching it up all of the time. I really don't like shooting indoors. Besides, indoors I shoot too many arrows too quickly and that causes some eventual short drawing.

Once the temperature warms up and some more sun comes back to my part of the world I'll be out after all-white snowshoe hare, and I'll be focused on that single black eye, not much different than my tiny piece of tape.

Thanks, everyone.

From: Elderly OCR
Date: 11-Jan-19




He's just telling you to pick a more realistic looking spot.

From: Jon Stewart
Date: 11-Jan-19




I guess don't pick a spot and see what happens.

And you can certainly pick a spot on any target, large, small, dead or alive.

From: lawdy
Date: 11-Jan-19




If I don’t pick a spot, my arrow finds a different one to hit, usually outside the animal.

From: vthunter
Date: 11-Jan-19




Pick a SPOT !!

From: Orion Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 11-Jan-19




They're not mutually exclusive, of course. Can practice both. I agree with OCR, he's just suggesting you "pick a more realistic looking spot".

From: Stumpkiller
Date: 11-Jan-19

Stumpkiller's embedded Photo



Imagine a spot. For some reason I have luck imagining a nice shiny dime where I want the arrow to go.

Probably from years of scanning my paper-route change for Mercury Dimes.

Still have a couple hundred. ;-

I practice on sack targets and stumps before season. You have to find a place to focus.

From: RymanCat
Date: 11-Jan-19




In reality he is picking a spot it's just a little different than a dime size spot or to laser to the spot.

When I shoot an animal I know the anatomy and I shoot for that part of the animal that is going to kill him or stop him!

Over front the leg a tad middle of animal per say not exact. Down the back a little to left inside leg if standing to my left? You get the idea? I wait to see the animal or bird how they stand then see if I can get a shot on them.

We all can keep shooting at our arrows or knocks already in a target.Gives you a lot to look at don't ya think.

You don't have that opportunity in the wild so I know what that guys buddy is saying.

Now as far as his trophies go for the people that get meserimissed by this.

All this means is the guy has had the opportunities to go shoot those animals and whatever he has is the labors of his love.

I am sure if he's really an archer he has some things he would rather not talk about.

The good the bad and the ugly.

Shooting animals and targets are totally different. You don't have an animal you can pincushion like a target. All this does is to cause others to think your a good shot.LOL

Just saying build the wall and force dems to pay for it!!!!!!!!!!!

If you know how to line up on the animal I don't call it pick a spot. I lined up to make the shot.

Some can't make the shots others can that still don't make them a great archer either.

It makes them a killer when they can command a shot on an animal or bird or fish or whatever you shoot at.

Its an Eye of the predator. It starts in your mind when you draw down on something to take its life!

You know where to put the arrow and have the mindset to follow through and be steady at the shot if you lined up on him properly.

There's no in between with these things if you want to be a killer.

From: SB
Date: 12-Jan-19




Kind of my line of thought Ryman.

From: bluesman
Date: 12-Jan-19




In a perfect world , all game would have a target on their side . But they don’t . I try and find a “spot to shoot at Be it a tuft of hair or a shadow created by the sun. Sometimes the side of the animal is “uniform” and no real spot to pick , I then follow up the front leg where it meets the belly and shoot for 6 inches above , it has worked for me. But I am of the same camp if you can pick a small spot , you will miss small. I remember once I had a shot at a walking mule deer buck at 7 yards and I had a window of a deer length , I hurried my shot and shot at the whole deer and missed high ! Then a week later I took a shot at a deer at 33 yards walking in the open but saw a dark patch about the size of a grapefruit on the side of the deer and made the shot . I think it really helped I could see a discoloured area .

From: pdk25
Date: 12-Jan-19




Never been good at picking out a 'spot' in crunch time. I decide where I want to be, left and right, then divide the animal for where I want to hit it. Broadside ground shots tend to be a little over 1/3 up from the bottom. Adjust accordingly for the game chased and the elevation. Whatever works for you all.

From: DanaC
Date: 12-Jan-19




Sometimes you don't *have* a spot and you have to *imagine* one.

That's a skill in it's own right, and can be developed. Practice on black bear targets. Or a brown paper bag. Straw bales. Something monotone. Push yourself to 'see' a spot and shoot at it.

It will come in handy hunting or even shadows/low-light 3D shots.

From: timex
Date: 12-Jan-19




iv killed plenty with trad - compound & gun and I'm sorry but I can't comprehend when folks talk especially about beying able to shoot blue face targets with a compound with sights but can't shoot critters with the same bow. someone recently said in another related thread that the deer took a step & there concentration got drawn to the deers hoof & they shot it in the leg. (REALLY) no matter what the weapon when I'm getting ready to kill an animal I'm 110% predator mode & zeroed in on exactly where I plan to hit & at that point nothing else matters I'd say over the last 10 year's & I'm 57 my biggest problem is my eyes lack of ability to focus simultaneously at different distances such as when shooting an iron sighted rifle or bow with sights or even gap shooting. but no matter the weapon your mind has to be zeroed in on the spot

From: Bowmania Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 12-Jan-19




All the animals I shoot have an orange dot about the size of a quarter where I want to hit them. OP's should have a piece of tape.

Bowmania

From: fdp
Date: 12-Jan-19




"Just saying build the wall and force dems to pay for it!!!!!!!!!!!" have -0-idea what that has to do with anything. You realize you are going to pay for it right Ryman?

Every anilmal, every stump, Prickly Pear, etc. that I ever shot had a "spot" on it. It may have neen a shadow, a fold of skin, and odd colored patch of fur/hair, etc. but there is always a spot.

From: Paul
Date: 12-Jan-19




Well, I don't do so well trying to hit a spot on a live animal. What works better for me is to try to imagine where I want my arrow to exit the animal. It is kind of like follow through. Works best for me...

From: RymanCat
Date: 12-Jan-19




Yup I know but we need to get her built.LOL

You know as you get older some don't see as well as when young also so that's why I say to line up on the animal. This way a little higher or lower your still in kill zone if your off a tad.

There may reasons why a miss occurs at times as well as a wound its just part of archery sometimes. It all has to work together for it to end well.

Now there are variables as well so be aware of those kinda like Murphy's law who ever is that darn guy?

He seems to hide in some of the bushs.LOL

So FDP did you hit the spot where you were looking everytime?

If you say yes then I know thats fake news.LOL I sure don't.

From: deerfly
Date: 12-Jan-19




if you can't find a small natural spot on the animal to focus on then you need to imagine one. Without that kind of intense focus you're not likely to make a good shot.

From: fdp
Date: 12-Jan-19




Ryman...nobody regularly hits the spot they are looking at every time nor is it even an intelligent question to ask. Nor do you need to to kill game. Particularly when you consider that the kill zone on a typical deer is nearly as big as a abasketball. If you pick a spot in the center, and miss it by 2" you are still golden.

The closest thing to hitting the spot every time is when somebody shoot s a perfect 300 round, and I've never done that nor have most on here.

From: Viper
Date: 12-Jan-19




Guys -

It's these kind of threads that do most readers the greatest disservice. First, you're getting opinions from people you've never seen shoot - so "opinions" have to be taken with a grain of salt. Next, most people who claim to do anything a certain way may not be doing what they think or claim they are doing. What the brain does and we think it's doing ain't always the same thing.

When I shot "trad" it wasn't called trad, and never having great eyesight, I never really "picked a spot". I shot center of mass. For me, it worked - even when shooting paper targets. Let's be real, the bulls eye is usually in the middle of the paper. However, the odds are there was more of a gap involved than I realized.

After shooting with sights for the last 15 years or so, when I pick up a "trad" bow, I "instinctively" look for a point of aim - and it ain't on the target. After a while that usually goes back into auto-pilot.

Anyway, picking a spot is fine, and so is any other way you think you're doing it, but I'll guarantee you this, anyone consistently hitting what they want is doing something more than relying on the force.

Viper out.

From: GF
Date: 12-Jan-19




“someone recently said in another related thread that the deer took a step & there concentration got drawn to the deers hoof & they shot it in the leg. (REALLY) no matter what the weapon when I'm getting ready to kill an animal I'm 110% predator mode & zeroed in on exactly where I plan to hit & at that point nothing else matters”

That was probably me, except she stopped moving that hoof just in time and I missed clean. But not by much. Rookie mistake from 20-odd years ago with one bow-kill under my belt. Lesson learned. Your arrow goes where your attention is . FOCUS.

Another time I was swinging on a trotting doe Mulie; I checked the backline, telling myself not to shoot over, and hit her across the back-line just enough to have seen the arrow sail over the deer, but then I found one tiny scrap of pale, pink meat on one blade of the head. FOCUS.

Subsequently, I got so focused on the spot I was going to hit (a low spot between two ribs) that I didn’t notice a 2” lodgepole as I was swinging on a fork bull and skimmed one blade across it, causing a redirection and another clean miss (just FYI, a walking Elk is a fast-moving target).

I dodged a bullet on the last one, but I wouldn’t do it any differently if I had it to do over, other than I’d love to think that had I noticed the lodgepole I might have waited a beat longer. Well, that and I just would make sure I had reviewed the regs booklet, because I’m pretty sure that was the first year that we had a 4-point minimum in that unit.

From: Missouribreaks
Date: 12-Jan-19




Not many are "calm enough at the center" to shoot by picking a spot, but some do it very well.

Most do better with a sight reference of some type, gap or manufactured sight aid. Do whatever works best for you.

From: twostrings
Date: 12-Jan-19




Don't train to hit Duct Tape. It's almost impossible to stick a peice of Duct Tape on a deer. Don't ask me how I know.

From: NY Yankee
Date: 12-Jan-19




I don't like "making a spot" to shoot at, like tape or paint, for a hunting bow. Yes, you want to hit a "spot" but I always try for a naturally occurring spot like a leaf, blade of grass, hair, clump of dirt etc. I do think bowhunters are not practicing correctly by shooting at big yellow bullseyes on a plastic matt. I throw a sheet of burlap over the target face and shoot at a string or spec on the cloth. Only you know if you hit it or not and how close you came. You must shoot at a spot. Aim small, miss small.

From: Jim McCann
Date: 12-Jan-19




Some interesting opinions offered. Thanks for all the responses.

But I'm going to continue doing what I've been doing because it works pretty good for me. I'll work on my form by shooting at my tiny piece of tape on a relatively shot up large white surface. My tiny piece of tape doesn't show up all that well among the myriad of other arrow holes.

I'll only shoot at bullseye targets of any type on rare occasion, or not at all.

I'll try hard not to shoot groups of arrows because after you shoot the first one at the perceived spot, the other arrows to follow will be aimed at the bright nocks and fletching of that first arrow, replicating my tiny piece of duct tape.

I'll continue summer stump shooting.

As a fanatical wingshooter I also realize much about narrowing the focus from a wide angle perspective down to critical hard focus on a small part of the rapidly departing feathered target.

As a professional wildlife photographer, I also get plenty of opportunities to not only observe the quarry I will hunt with a bow, but I usually find myself "picking a spot" where I would focus if I were hunting and preparing to launch an arrow.

Hard focus on a spot, whether that spot is on a game animal, or on some inanimate object, is something everyone needs to practice in order to be successful when it comes time to release that arrow at an animal.

From: George D. Stout Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 12-Jan-19




There is nearly always a spot to look for, whether it's the crese of the elbow or slightly above and behind. Most hunters who have been doing it even a little while knows where the kill area is on big game..or even small game. As Yogi Berra may say, it's not rocket surgery.

From: deerfly
Date: 12-Jan-19




I think the point is there has to be some focus and concentration on a small part of the kill zone to avoid shooting at the whole animal. The aim small miss small thing.

Discussing how one manages to do that without a sight or aiming method we know of course takes us to an abyss or in forum dialect, a closed thread...

From: redquebec
Date: 12-Jan-19




It shouldn't be rocket surgery, but...nothing prepares you for a hunting shot like a hunting shot.

3D, field, roving, backyard practice are usually controlled mindset, controlled conditions and comfortable body positions at known distances. Hunting shots are estimated distances with weather conditions, hunting clothes, awkward positions, element of surprise, quick decision making challenges, all happening with buck fever.

I think you need a lot of experience in those types of realities to effectively pick a spot. Small game hunting is reality practice. If you're consistently whacking squirrels with a longbow...you're ready.

But who am I to speak, I missed three bucks this year because I failed to pick a spot. My arrows were right over the heart/lung area and about 1 to 2 inches over the deer's back. I was confused and frustrated because I practiced all year on a huge blank bail with a golf ball sized dot make of orange surveyors tape. I began this season shooting better than I ever have. After every miss I contemplated my mistake and it was obvious... "didn't pick a spot".

From: thehun
Date: 12-Jan-19




…"it's not rocket surgery." I love this George!

From: thehun
Date: 12-Jan-19




…"it's not rocket surgery." I love this George!

From: George D. Stout Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 12-Jan-19




Controlling your emotion when a deer is working into shooting distance can be a problem for some people, but buck fever isn't a shooting prowess anomaly, or a pick a spot issue. It's like target panic, it's all between the ears and you need to learn to handle it. The kill area on a deer is pretty ample and the object is to put an arrow in the center as best you can.

I would think anyone who has done it a few times should be past the extreme pucker factor and be able to shift focus to the shot process. Yeah, I know....it's like trying not to get a chill on the back of your neck when you hear a noise in the pre-dawn woods, but that's a mental block period.

From: Tlhbow
Date: 12-Jan-19




X2 Rymancat for the most part.

From: redquebec
Date: 12-Jan-19




George is right...buck fever is all in the hunter's psyche. I have killed whitetails, moose, turkey and small game with a longbow, an ASL is all I ever hunt with. Not too much buck fever with most animals, but whitetail deer wreak havoc on my cool. I don't know why.

Last year I had a huge doe come in slowly and stop at 15 yards quartering away. I had buck fever so bad, I was absolutely sure I was going to wound her and not kill her. I kept looking at her heart/lung area and thought "I can't hit that". Target panic set in without a shot. I decided if my psychology is that poor, don't shoot. So I never even tried. Here's the kicker, I shot a big 10 pointer the week before and hardly flinched.

I called my Dad and joked I need my man card revoked. When told him the story he noticed the buck came in quickly, surprised me and I shot him walking quickly at 20 yards, instinctively. Whereas the doe came in slowly and gave me the perfect shot. He said to me "She stopped being a deer and became a target" He was right, target panic had set in without a shot.

From: dean
Date: 12-Jan-19




The problem that i have shooting at a blank target is that it gets holes in it and I am aiming at the holes. I also have a problem with my annual new factory reject deer target, I set it up, back out to 30 yards and shoot the first arrow right over its back. Then second arrow, I stick one just right at the top of the back, from that arrow on I have a nasty scurf that I can see at that top edge that I don't want to hit and cannot keep from looking at when I don't want to.

From: Babysaph
Date: 12-Jan-19




I can't shoot targets but I'm real good on live animals

From: K Cummings
Date: 13-Jan-19

K Cummings's embedded Photo



"I can't shoot targets but I'm real good on live animals."

I was really surprised how many people (including me) suffer from this terrible affliction.

It got so bad for me a number of years ago I developed and patented the Kan't - Miss 300 Round Target Face.

It was developed for those who simply cannot hit anything that isn't covered with fur.

Once I started using the Kan't - Miss target face, my 300 round scores went from the 240-250 range to perfect 300's every time.

The target face on the right has taken over 6000 shots and other than the X-ring being shot out, it's as good as new.

Kan't - Miss targets can be purchased for 29.95 for a package of 3. PM me for details.

KPC





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