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Scott M

Staying cool, calm, collected

13 posts in this topic

So I've had lots of experiences where I've needed a steady hand. Free throws for basketball, darts with friends, holding an 8 pound shotgun without moving an inch for 45 minutes as a turkey approaches looking right at you.

But this will be my first bowhunt and I'm a little worried. I've prepared, shot plenty of arrows, tried to simulate hunting scenarios (like holding a draw for a few minutes, slowing moving around to a target, taking time between shots) but its nothing like the real deal. I never got buck fever with a rifle but maybe that was because the deer I spot are usually far away at first.

I've tried to practice breathing...My question is, what else do people do to keep the shakes away? I try to keep mentally clear and think like a machine...I've gotta keep holding the draw, its just like I've practiced, think of it as a different bullseye to hit, etc.

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This might sound simple and basic, but when I find myself shaking I tell myself, "I can be excited later, after the shot. Focus now." It works for me.

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Are you kidding me... thats why I hunt... that feeling like its the first time I have ever done it.. When I stop shaking like a leaf when I see a deer... I'll quit~

I think you will be fine... I dont think a deers eyes are half what a turkey is!

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Ditto, I think the hardest part is drawing back. My arm gets weaker when a deer shows up. grin.gif Just practice drawing slooooowwwllly. And when you are drawn back, pick a spot on the vital area and focus on it and not the whole deer before you release. Good luck!!!

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IT IS ALWAYS EXCITING, YOU SEE THAT DEER COMING IN AND MY HEART STARTING BEATING SO HARD IT FEELS LIKE ITS COMING OUT OF YOUR CHEST, IT DEFINATELY ALOT MORE INTIMATE WITH A BOW. YOU JUST GOT TO SAY TO YOURSELF STAY CALM.

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I LOVE the shakes and pounding heart too, but I want to make a good shot!

So to answer his question, that's what I do to calm myself.

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I try and do the same thing for every shot. Before I shoot at an animal I run this routine:

Anchor - make sure I get the right anchor point

Peep - make sure I'm looking through the peep.

Pin - find the pin inside the peep

Deer - now pick a spot behind the shoulder.

It may sound stupid but in most of my misses in previous years I could trace it back to something I did (i.e. I put the pin on the deer but wasn't looking through the peep).

I think the trick is to stay focused on the shot

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One of the first times that I had an opportunity to shoot a deer with my bow, I couldn't pull my string back!! He walked right by me at 12 feet without me getting a shot off!!! I had spent a lot of time the day before hanging a deer stand, my arms were sore and tired from hanging in a tree, I always wondered if that was my problem - or was it buck fever??! smile.gif

I always tell beginning bow hunters to shoot a few does and small bucks, get the experience, get the practice so when Mr. Big comes walking down the trail, you're ready. That adrenelin rush and the shakes is why we bow hunt!!! That and being able to see the animals up close and personal.

To answer your question, I just focus on the spot behind the shoulder where I want my arrow to hit, forget the head gear. Think BEFORE you see any deer about where the deer will be when you pull your bow back.

Good luck.

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breath, breath, and breath some more. Breath through your nose and make sure not to hold your breath that will make your heart sky rocket even more. So breath!!!!

Unfortunetly that didn't work for me last year and I about had heart attack, learning by mistakes.

mr grin.gif

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Lot's of slow, deep breathes! I'm with Deitz, if I stop shaking I will hang up the bow for good! I still shake when I draw on a doe and I've killed a lot of does over the years. Breathe,focus, use your anchor points and let 'er rip! Good luck gentleman (and any ladies reading)!

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I shot my first deer with a bow last year at the age of 34 and I agree there is nothing like the thrill (shakes) when the deer walks up on you. I will say that if you have hunted before or been in any other pressure situation, when the time comes there is something inside you that takes over and allows you to be calm for the few minutes that you need to be!! If you are confident in your bow and you have practiced you will be just fine!! Remember, just have fun--after I shot my first deer, I felt a little foolish but I was celebrating and found that I had to high five myself because there was no one else around! blush.gif

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Concentrate on, okay there's a deer, do I want to shoot it? If it's yes, okay where's my shot going to be & how soon? When can I draw? Do the things as your instincts tell you you should & when the time comes to shoot take your time. Don't take forever, but when the shot's there you'll know it & you don't need to rush it.

Most of the bow deer I've shot there's been a point when I said to myself, I'm going to get a shot & then you just do what you know you need to do. The shakes come afterwards for me. Don't be in a hurry to get down even if it's laying dead right there in front of you. You'll probably be a wreck for a minute or two, but you'll sure be smiling.

Good luck to everybody this weekend.

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What a great thread... I can't wait to get the shakes wink.gif

Most helpful thing I can say is you just have to wait for your moment. I don't raise my bow, stand, or anything until that shot opportunity presents.. otherwise I find it really hard to control my motion. Its worst when the deer are aimlessly meandering around your stand and you can never tell when its 'right' to draw. Just something you will have to practice at and even fail at before you get right.

You'll feel a lot better once your dragging that first one back to the truck - all downhill from there smile.gif

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