Bow Hunting Struggles: Help Needed!

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  • SquatchBot's avatar

    That sounds really frustrating! I'm sorry to hear that you're having a tough time. It sounds like you need to work on your shooting technique and practice more in the field. You can start by focusing on your form and making sure you're shooting from a stable position. Also, make sure you're taking the time to practice drawing your bow and aiming before you take the shot. Finally, make sure you're taking the time to practice shooting from different angles and distances. I hope this helps SquatchBot is GoWild’s furry assistant powered by artificial intelligence. He comments on all posts flagged as questions. It’s a good idea to also ask a human.

  • Appalachian's avatar

    I'll never claim to be an expert, I've had my fair share of blunders and I'm probably due for a few more but I always say you gotta practice like you play. Shooting from the ground at known distances ain't good for much but sighting your bow in. I try to keep a lock on stand up in the back yards and have someone move the target around randomly in the woods to help gauge distance on the fly and to practice finding the gaps to shoot through in a moments notice. I like I kisser button on my string to make sure I'm anchoring consistently. I will say with the bow it's so important to get the bow in your hand the split second you can cause the opportunity my just be seconds. I think the biggest thing is to not get too frustrated at yourself and learn from the mistakes.

  • John's avatar

    I’ve had those moments… very important to stay positive first of all. 1. Identify your mistakes. 2. Adjust to avoid them in the future 3. Run through a mental checklist before your shot. Bow vertically strait, anchor point, eye on proper pin, loose on the grip, easy on the trigger, follow through maintaining your form after the arrow leaves the bow. Most of all, be thankful for just having the opportunity to hunt. Be patient and joyful… success will follow.

  • Reed's avatar

    I find myself struggling with much of the same every year no matter how much I practice/scout/think I have it figured out. I find that 1. Shooting a doe early season gets my nerves,rushed shot, bone head move out of my system. 2. After getting busted, not in a position to grab my bow to many times, I refuse to sit down once I’m in my tree and I always hang my bow so it’s right in my face to ensure minimal movement to get it off my hanger. 3. I agree with the above, shooting elevated instead of flat ground definatley aids in confidence if nothing else. Killing white tails with a bow is still my biggest struggle so I feel you. Good luck out there!

  • John's avatar

    A couple of other things I want to mention, study deer anatomy and avoid that freaking scapula (shoulder bone)!! And I recommend a rangefinder that gives you a ‘shoot for’ distance. A hard angled down shot with an actual distance of 30 yards requires a ‘aim for’ shot of a little over 20 yards. If the deer drops (jumps the string) you’ll be over it’s back if aiming for 30. Maybe you already know these things, but new bow hunters sometimes learn these things after the shot.

  • Nicholas's avatar

    If there are outdoor/3D archery ranges near you, check them out. Also, mentally verbalizing your shot process; it’s all about consistency.

  • Brad's avatar

    I don’t use drop rests after a botched experience in 2018. Theyre finicky and only provide marginally better speed (and I mean it’s nearly undetectable). I would consider going with a good old fashioned Whisker Biscuit.

  • @Brad ok, thank you!

  • @Nicholas thanks for the advice!

  • @John ok, thank you for the advice!

  • @Reed these are good, thank you!

  • @John ok, thank you!

  • @Appalachian ok, I’ll definitely need to do that more this coming year. Thank you for the advice!

  • Angelo's avatar

    @Fox Brad is exactly right, definitely changed everything when I switched to a whisker biscuit. Was still new to archery at the time but could not find ANY grouping consistency with a drop rest, but once I switched it was night and day.

  • Jeff's avatar

    @Fox develop a mental checklist for your shot process. I also agree with Brad about the whisker biscuit!

  • Jeff's avatar

    I truly believe every mess up is a great learning experience. I have missed some really nice deer in my past. Keep your head up and always learn from your experiences. Remember what Tom Edison said when asked about how many times he failed. He said “ I didn’t fail. I just learned how not to create a light bulb”. Really embrace that mentality and keep at it. You’ll get it done and it’ll be the best feeling in the world!!

  • Mike's avatar

    Lots of good advice 👆. Here’s what I’ll add. “Cold shots” are a huge difference maker. Shoot one shot ONLY as many times a week as you can. That’ll increase the pressure on yourself to make one shot count. Change up the angles and yardages often. It’ll build confidence and mentally prepare you for the moment of truth.

  • @Mike that’s definitely something I need to practice!! Thank you

  • James's avatar

    What I noticed for me is that even if I don’t think practice does anything for me I e seen results in the long run I used to practice heavy but now it’s basically muscle memory cause if all the practice I only shot maybe three or four times a week to keep it fresh compared to 10 to 20 arrows a day when I first started how hunting .

  • Evan's avatar

    Is it target panic? One thing I was told was to not focus on anything but letting the bow shoot. Trust the fundamentals and just focus on making the bow go off. Some of those things just go along with hunting in general. The stars just don’t align sometimes

  • Drew's avatar

    Aye man I fell yuh Ik very young if u missed a buck no biggie happens to every hunter Ik plus just practice and make sure u always need on a good shot for ur confidence level to abs bumping ur rest wel it happens so much more than u thing try to get a cover on ur rest abs sight until u get in the Stan and make sure u have a range finders that will help a lot for ur shot and what pin and last thing is try to shoot a 3d range for fun it helps with aim and super fun I recommended now go get a buck one !

  • Dillon's avatar

    Iv had the same problem these past couple of years but I found out that shooting in a real scenario at a couple of targets really helped me out

  • Evan's avatar

    Also, if you can, take practice shots from your climber. Take a target into the woods and set it up in a couple positions to prepare yourself for multiple situations

  • @Evan it could be. I don’t have very much experience shooting at deer so I could be having target panic

  • Deeka's avatar

    Happens to everyone, take it in stride try to learn from it, be thankful for the experience

  • Landon's avatar

    Don’t feel bad man. It took me 5 years before I got one with my bow. The biggest difference maker for me was just practicing until shooting was almost second nature. When I’m in a stand I keep my bow on my lap with an arrow ready so I know I’m ready when a deer walks out. If it has antlers I just look at them enough to decide if it’s a shooter and beyond that I pick where I want my arrow to hit and repeat the steps of my draw cycle in my head. I’ve found not watching the antlers really helps me avoid target panic. Once you get a few with your bow it becomes easier. Just keep at it! You got this.

  • @Landon thank you, I’ve taken two does with my bow but I was very unhappy with my shots. I may be overthinking it with worry I’ll make another bad shot

  • Matt's avatar

    Ok first off nothing wrong with drop rests. I use one and have for a long time. I will tell you this archery is the hardest thing in hunting you can do took me 5 years to even shoot my first deer. I wanted to give up. Things that my dad taught me. Move when the deer does. When you draw pick a spot when they are walking behind a tree or bush. Pick a spot focus on your anchor point and when the time is right touch off the release. All of this is of course easier said than done. Just don’t give up and keep hunting hard. You have to pay your dues in the woods. Your time will come. Best of luck to you.

  • Landon's avatar

    @Fox it happens to the best of us. I struggled with it for a long time. Eventually I just learned to calm myself down. Some of the best advice I ever got was if you even let your brain think about making a bad shot you will. Try to keep the mindset of I’m going to smoke it every time. It’s helped me

  • @Matt thank you. I went ahead and switched to my whisker biscuit and my shots were much much better so that helps me a little. I’ll definitely keep trying

  • Chris's avatar

    I feel your pain! I actually took a lot of this season off from my compound bow and hunted with a crossbow because I could not get good consistent shots with my bow. I ended up taking a buck with it and it was still a lot of fun. If you feel that you’re getting nowhere with your bow, don’t feel a bit bad about putting it down for a while and giving another legal weapon a try for a while. Then pick the bow back up later and try again. Also, I was shooting a drop away rest and switched to a whisker biscuit and immediately starter shooting more consistent. Good call on that earlier recommendation IMO. I also tried to break down my draw and shot sequence with my bow and when shooting, tried to pay attention to how long was too long to hold the bow back and focus on the target before sending the arrow, what my grip felt like on the shot, what my release felt like, what I was looking at through the sights, where my breathing was when letting the arrow go, all of it. I took apart everything I was doing when taking a shot and stepping through each thing and tried to find again what I was doing with each thing and then when I found the winning combo, I repeated the steps until I got too tired to shoot that session and then stopped. Shooting when your muscles are fatigued can develop bad habits. I’m still not 100% sure how much longer I want to keep this bow, but doing all that mentioned before really did help me improve the issues I was having.

  • Matt's avatar

    @Fox right on whatever works. Your next opportunity you are gonna 12 ring that dude. Confidence

  • Michael's avatar

    My best advice is to remain ready. Keep your movements to a minimum. If that means being uncomfortable by keeping your bow in hand so it. Whatever you can do to eliminate movement when it counts. My rule of thumb is first thirty minutes and last thirty minutes of the day I stand with my bow in hand. And if you think about it this way, every deer you see, has already seen you twice. That will get you more encounters and at a much closer distance. As far as your shot, it’s easy to just see a deer sometimes. As archers we have to see only the spot we want to shoot. Burn a hole in that spot until the arrow reaches its target. Don’t focus on the pins, see through the pins into the target

  • Kris's avatar

    I’ve missed a couple deer this year, once on a 15 yard shot because a tiny branch deflected my arrow and a 20 yard shot on a doe where I punched the trigger after holding for a long time. Luckily, they were clean misses. I try to mentally tell myself that I’m just shooting one arrow, no shot before it mattered and nothing after it will matter, go through my shot sequence and focus on pulling through. As far as getting setup in the tree, it’s always wonky in the beginning of the season, but I develop a routine the more I go out to hunt. My stand, pack, and everything is packed in a way that the next thing I need is right on top, until it’s something I can do with my eyes closed or in the dark. Stay positive and don’t beat yourself up too bad, even the greats make bad shots and have equipment malfunctions.

  • O2's avatar

    @Fox all the advice above is on point. Here’s my two cents. Don’t stop. You sound very close. You see deer. Your in the right place. You’ve put in the work. You have to trust the process and know that it will all come together. Keep grinding. It will happen!

  • @Chris good advice! I think taking a break is always a good option when I get this aggravated with it

  • Doug's avatar

    Take your time with practice. If it’s 3D or a bag. Work your form, practice your breathing, and keep it consistent. It’ll translate into hunting

  • Sean's avatar

    @Fox Bowhunting is such a rush. It’s that very feeling your describing that makes it such a wonderful pursuit.

  • Bobby's avatar

    You’re going to make mistakes, it happens. Identify what went wrong. Take responsibility of what went wrong is on you and not your gear/ equipment. Make changes or what may be needed to improve. Progress is what should be the real prize. Repeating mistakes is what can be the real heart breaker that keeps you from moving forward on your goals.

  • Connor's avatar

    Do you have any buddies that shoot archery? If so, shoot with them and do some competitions. You would be surprised the similar type of buck fever you get when some one throws $1 on a 23 yard shot on a foam deer. All those rounds will add up lol

  • John's avatar

    @Fox first deer I ever shot at was a small 8 pt buck. (2000) Hit it in the shoulder. Friend found it dead during gun season. Later that year, I shot 3 arrows at a doe. Missed all 3 times. 10 yards!! 🤣. Realized it was because I was sitting down in my tree stand and didn’t realize there was such a difference from standing up! Few years later. Had a Buck come in from my left. 20 yard shot. Missed by three FEET!! It was because I never looked through my peep and was focused with my left eye because he came from my left!!! (I’m right handed) Earlier that year I won first place in a summer archery shooting league. And I won a Turkey at a Turkey shoot by hitting a live Turkey in the head at 40 yards! All this to say, encounters with multiple deer help refine your skills. Put your time in, be positive! You got this!

  • @John oh wow, that makes me feel so much better! I do really well in archery shoots and wonder how I do so badly during hunting season 🤣

  • Sean's avatar

    @Fox Man I feel you! Bowhunting is such a rush. That’s one of the reasons it is so special to those who do it. There really is no better feeling than when you get to full draw, and mentally you can say “I beat you,” to one of the most in tune animals in the world. Im going to get a little scientific on this reply but it will make sense in the end I promise you. That rush you feel is caused by adrenaline that your adrenal system produces when your body is preparing to fight, flee, or freeze. If you want to get technical, archery is a fine skill that our stress response didn’t develop for. This dump of adrenaline is caused by your autonomic nervous system, which unfortunately you cannot control. Try this exercise: I want you to raise your heart rate up to 200 bpm by just thinking about it. I’ll give you a minute… see you can’t. However as your ANS is prepping you to fight, flight, or freeze several things are happening, your heart rate climbs, your fine motor skills deteriorate, your critical thinking diminishes, tunnel vision sets in. While you can’t control the ANS and it’s response you can MANAGE IT! What I’m about to share is not really a secret, but it goes by many names. A meditation coach in California will call it 16 Seconds of Stillness and Silence, Navy Seals call it Box Breathing, and Dave Grossman (a man who spent his entire professional career studying the effects of killing on soldiers) calls it Combat Breathing. Here’s how you do it. Breath in and out of your ol nose while doing it. Ready? Breathe in for a count of four, Hold for a count of four. Breathe out for a count of four. Hold for a count of four. Repeat. Grossman says no less than three cycles. The simple act of breathing will help reduce heart rate, decrease adrenaline, and help keep your head in the game. Ever notice on when first responders is dealing with an excited person at a wreck. The first thing they say is “Take a breath.”

  • Matt's avatar

    Prepare how you hunt. Practice how you would hunt. When you get setup go through a mental check list. Play out a scinero where you expect the deer to come from, go through how you would move to get into position to shoot, draw your bow, and make sure everything is working correctly. Make sure there is good clear lanes to shoot, if not get yourself in a better position weather you have to move up or down a little with your stand or side to side. Set up facing where you expect the deer. It's harder for deer to see you move straight on rather than from the side where they can pick out your movements easier and skyline you. Have your bow setup in a way to minimize movement while grabbing it and standing for a shot. This is one of the many reasons I don't use a climber anymore, but use what you are comfortable with though.
    We all have failures it's about how you come back from them and what you learn in the process . I would have easily triple the amount of bucks on the wall if I had not made mistakes. It happens it's part of life and what makes you a better hunter in the long run.

  • @Connor yes! I shoot 3D tournaments all year except for hunting season

  • Sean's avatar

    @Fox apparently there is a character limit lol! Another thing to do is practice shooting in high pressure situations. Go shoot some local 3-D shoots or indoor matches, the kind where you are competing. I shot in an R100 and did the Iron Buck challenge at the end. When it was just three people left, including me, all eyes were on us, talk about an adrenaline rush! This will help you learn how manage that rush. Finally there are no shortcuts to being successful in bowhunting. While the curve is tilted in your favor today by all the content out there, boots on the ground experience is what makes you better. Start keeping a journal of your hunts, include deer movement, weather, wind direction, moon phase (if you want), available food, and bedding locations. Soon you’ll have a book full of your experiences to look back on and begin to see patterns. Keep grinding, keep practicing, gain experience, and once that first buck or doe is on the ground please tag me! If you ever have any questions feel free to reach out to me!

  • Tim's avatar

    @Fox I feel the same way sometimes

  • Dylan's avatar

    Let me begin by saying I know how you feel and have often thought the same things about myself. Earlier in the season I missed a 15 yard shot on what would have been my first buck with a bow. He was a mature 8 point. I missed because I made a stupid rookie mistake and forgot to roll my sight back to the 20 yard setting after practicing in my backyard at 40 yards. I was so pissed because like you I put in so much time doing all the things one should do to prepare for that moment and I blew it. I did not grow up hunting and never had a mentor. Educating myself, the grind, and failure have been my teachers. I say all that to preface the idea that within each failure is an opportunity to learn. You missed that deer but you were able to put yourself in the position to actually make a shot which means your doing something right. If your seeing deer then all that scouting paid off. It sounds like you may be getting in your head when it’s time to take the shot. All the things everyone mentioned is good advice. I would suggest practicing certain fundamentals associated with marksmanship that can help you improve accuracy and composure under pressure. Sight alignment, sight picture, and controlled breathing are the three that probably make the most difference in archery. Make it a habit to ensure you have concentric circles with your peep and sight ring (sight alignment). The pin should be very clear and the deer and little blurry (sight picture). Take even deep breaths and practice firing at the bottom of your excel (breath control). There is a point at the bottom of your breath known as the natural respiratory pause which often falls between heart beats that is the best time to pull the trigger. Also I would suggest is to practice visualizing that kill and create a mental checklist or phrase that you can tell your self before each shot to ensure your doing everything the same and not getting in your head. Keep up the hard work and try not to get too down on yourself.

  • Jackson's avatar

    I’ve put a climber up in my backyard and practiced at a target. It works better if you have a 3D target but it works either way. It’s a good way to practice and you get a real feel for what could happen in the stand. Practice putting it up and different angles and distances. And if you’re a beginner I’d recommend using poison to make sure you get the job done on that big buck

  • Michael's avatar

    I don’t know if you’ve tried practicing out of your tree rig at all or going to league shooting events trying to recreate pressure. That is super frustrating but you’ve obviously got the determination to get through this. Sounds like you do 90 percent of things right and just really need to find a way to recreate and replicate the last 10 percent until you’re real comfortable with it. Sorry to hear about the bad luck, but think about how sweet that next buck is going to be after all this!

  • Josh's avatar

    Try practicing shooting at objects that are not targets,, I used to squirrel hunt with a bow just to take the edge off you just have to really pick your shots so you don’t lose your arrows

  • @Jackson using poison??

  • @Josh that is actually a really good idea! I’ve never thought aboht that

  • Josh's avatar

    @Fox you can get cheaper arrows and I can’t remember the name of the broadheads now but they make some specifically for shooting small game, targets are great for learning your form but it’s the same ol same ol after a while they don’t grow antlers and walk through the woods lol

  • John's avatar

    Best advice I have ever been given is to stay calm. I know it’s hard when there’s a buck coming your way but stay calm and remember the steps that you take when shooting your bow. And try to draw your bow when you get into the stand to get good angles and know where you can shoot.

  • Ben's avatar

    Lots of practice. Eliminate as many variables as you can. Practice long holds at full draw (I was at full draw for 5 minutes at one point this season, not fun) work on slow movements, upkeep on equipment. And learn from every experience in the woods. Best of luck next season!

  • Craig's avatar

    There are so many positive comments and instruction given as well as sharing the same incidents that have occurred to all of us. My additional advice is to find a good archery professional or a seasoned bow hunter that brings in many kills year after year to be a mento/coach to help you dial in your skills, breathing , and mindset.

  • @Craig that’s much easier said than done. Most people don’t have time to mentor a greenhorn, especially during season, but hopefully I’ve found a couple of people to help me long distance!

  • Craig's avatar

    Your correct. But do it prior to season. You might be surprised there are people out there that would enjoy coaching a greenhorn. Just don’t be afraid to ask. They are out there.

  • Kyle's avatar

    We've all been there - I killed no less than 4 deer a year for the last four years, and this year, I'm completely skunked! Luck comes and goes, but I'll give you two points.
    1. You can't kill them from the couch, so keep after it and
    2. Find ways to induce stress and elevate your heart rate in your shooting training. At least once a week during the summer sprint, do burpees and situps and any exercise you can to elevate your heart rate. You must be breathing really heavy, grab your bow, and fire one shot.

    This can help you determine your real-world max range and teaches you to operate under stress.

  • @Kyle oh that’s a good idea! Thank you

  • Jackson's avatar

    @Fox yeah you can put it in a little pack that unravels off the arrow once it hits the deer and if it hits it that deer’s gonna die

  • Eddie's avatar

    Everyone has pretty much already said what I would of recommend always keep your bow in hand in your lap NOT hanging that’s extra movement and noise with you reaching in excitement of seeing a buck , practice with a decoy from your stand if possible from different angles and distances, take a shot during doe week for practice also that will give you more confidence and help you work the bugs out and of course the whisker brisket is for sure a must to keep your arrow from falling and making noise but don’t get get discouraged we have all crawled before we learned to walk good luck !

  • Appalachian's avatar

    Oh yeah it couldn't hurt to order a cheap dozen arrows and small game tips from Amazon. You can make spiral wrap flu flus so easy with turkey feathers, chasing squirrels with the bow made deer hunting easy! Lots of real world scenario practice!

  • Michael's avatar

    Bowhunting is not an easy endeavor! The timing on drop away rests is very important. I would take it to a trusted bow technician to get that straitened out. In the off season try setting up a target and climbing the tree to shoot a quiver full or two from an elevated position. Burn that routine into your brain. Sometimes the greatest triumphs come after repeated failure! Never give up, never stop learning. Best of luck to you in the future! Reach out to me anytime with questions and I’ll give my best effort to help out!

  • Joel's avatar

    First of all give yourself a break. Bow hunting is hard. A 1000 thing can and do go wrong. You will make a lot of mistakes, learn from each mistake. It will make you a better hunter. Your practice shooting should mimic your hunting. Your photo shows you in a tree stand so practice shooting targets from your stand. Different angles, distances, sitting/standing etc. I hunt spot n stalk mulies in the plains of Colorado, Nebraska Wyoming. I stopped shooting arrows at blocks on onlu

  • @Joel I do hunt out of a climber so I’ll try to use it more this summer. It’s a heck of a workout in the heat!

  • Chris's avatar

    @Fox looked like from your photo that you’re using a Summit Viper? Are you sitting on the front rail when you’re climbing with it? Or you talking about lugging the climber to your tree?

  • @Chris no I don’t sit on the front rail.

  • @Chris no, I don’t sit on the front rail. I usually stand because it’s pretty small and makes it hard for me to move around. It’s a summit viper mini.

  • @Chris yes, I sit on the front rail when I climb! It’s the only way I know how 🤣

  • Joel's avatar

    I accidentally hit send before finishing my sentence. I suggest only shooting 3D targets during practice. I personally think shooting blocks creates bad habits. Deer don’t have circles or squares on the chest that we aim at…. This will make find the leg then you put pin right behind it. You also should expect a deer to drop so you want to aim lower to account for that drop. I also suggest slowing down, don’t rush your shot. All successful bow hunters have failed. Keep you chin. Good luck to you!

  • Barry's avatar

    Hey Fox Squirrel….we’ve all had those moments….every stumble is a learning experience and only makes success that much sweeter. Looks like these folks have offered you plenty of advice…just remember: When you’re going through something hard and perhaps wonder where God is…remember that the teacher is always quiet during the test. I think you’ll eventually get the “A+” you’re looking for. Enjoy every moment….good and bad. Blessed to be provided the opportunity. Don’t let a bump in the road ruin your ride. God Bless.

  • Chris's avatar

    @Fox ok lol. Was gonna say that’s how you’re supposed to do it on that stand. That’s one of the nice things about it!

  • Shawn's avatar

    @Fox First off, PMA (Possitive Mental Attitude). You will make mistakes, like many have said, we all have and will again. Small game is a great way to get used to shooting something that has a heartbeat (unlike a 3d target, which is also a great method of practice, please dont get me wrong). The best advice I ever got was, "The more you shoot at deer, the better you will become at shooting deer." Learn from every mistake you make. Grow with them mistakes. And learn to appreciate the growth. Also, consider "stump shooting." It is a ton of fun. Just get some Judo Points and cheap arrows and have a blast on and off season.

  • Chuck's avatar

    Start shootings at 50 yards and when you’re comfortable and confident then drop down to less yardage

  • Chuck's avatar

    I told you to start shootings at 50 yards I say that cause I guided in the Gila national forest for several years all my bow hunters mainly back east tree stand hunters never shot or practiced at 50yrds I made them practice at that yardage it gave them so much confidence

  • Rick's avatar

    Just keep the can do spirt it will all come together soon soon you will look back at all the mistakes an wonder why it took so long to get it together

  • Wes's avatar

    best suggestion I could give is practice in your stand. put yourself in those hard to shoot situations. my self I'm an instinctive shooter never used sites when I draw back it don't take me long to let my string loose. so speed aiming practice can never hurt. id also have my measurements retaken and make sure that bow is fitting you exactly how it should.

  • Dave's avatar

    Lots of solid advice👍👍👍. My thought is like most, don’t give up and stay positive. Be super glad you are able to be outdoors. Best wishes and Merry Christmas. You got this!!!👍👍👍👏👏

  • Rob's avatar

    All good advice above. I’ll emphasize a couple that helped me the most: 1 - listen for impact before looking to see where you hit and practice shooting with both eyes open. 2 - shoot sitting down in practice and hunting

  • Josh's avatar

    I think these have already been covered and I’m far from an accomplished bow hunter. When I swapped to hunting more mobile I started practicing out of it a lot. I also set it up and broke it down every session, so you get practice with setting up your stand and shooting. Also, when you are developing your bow strategy/skills if you have access to doe tags use them. Good luck!

  • Rob's avatar

    All good advice. Hang in there and it will all eventually come together. It took me several years before I got my first buck with a bow. I just fell to pieces when I saw anything that had antlers. Here are the things that helped me the most. 1 - Practice holding your pin on target until you hear impact. You’ll see where you hit when you walk up to the deer. 2 - think “anchor point; aim small, miss small” before every shot. 3 - Lock your pin on target with both eyes open. This helps with reducing bow drop immediately after shooting because all you have to do is open your closed eye to see your target. 4 - hunt and practice shooting from a seated position. Just about all of my bucks have been taken from a seated position out of open-front climber or hang-on.

  • Dennis's avatar

    You have chosen the path that most hunters don’t follow. Bow hunting is really tough. It offers more pitfalls that hunting with rifle and shotgun. I have only been hunting for 11 years and I fuck things up constantly. I shot my first buck ever this year in archery season.

  • Laney's avatar

    Just hang in there it will happen keep working most all of us went through the same thing bow hunting is about patience

  • Bruce's avatar

    That’s hunting. Keep trying. It’ll happen.

  • Daniel's avatar

    What your missing is practice from your stand if you’ve never shot from your stand its much much different also scent control is key

  • Daniel's avatar

    Also if you wanna get a buck a grunt call is ESSENTIAL!!!

  • Patrick's avatar

    Sounds like part of the problem might be target panic. Google that term and you can read some about what to do to get over it.

  • Forest's avatar

    @Squirrely you and I both suffer. all this year, I've shot one doe with my bow.(Lost her after 5.5 hours of tracking) Can't get close enough to any others, and they always bust me. everything I've killed so far has been rifle, unfortunately.

  • @Forest dang I’m sorry to hear that 😰 I missed a Buck and have only got a doe. I’ve learned a lot this season though so maybe a better year next year

  • Forest's avatar

    @Squirrely you and me both. next season it'll get done.

  • Wade's avatar

    I’ll never claim to be an expert. A few things I’ve done and I think about when I have that big deer in my peep sight. I hunt from a summit climber almost all the time. I have learned higher you can stand to hunt the less likely you are to get busted. I usually hunt around 30 feet and make sure there’s a canopy under me. I like a dogwood tree best. When they do look up it’s harder for them to see through it. When you do get the opportunity you have to capitalize on it. Nerves of steel for 30 seconds. Once you get the shot off then let your nerves kick in. I missed a good buck several years ago in Missouri at 20 yards and made a vow to myself to keep my nerves under control. You’re still gonna miss occasionally. That’s just bow hunting but remember nerves of steel. You can say how big he was all day long but if he isn’t in the truck it doesn’t matter 🤷🏻‍♂️. As far as the rest I went back to the old faithful whisker biscuit because I had the same issue you did but I was hunting in extreme cold in Kansas with the fall away and it froze but the whisker biscuit want do that. Cost me the buck of a lifetime at 30 yards. I hope maybe this will give you new ideas

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Artemis Dear's avatar

Artemis Dear


Outdoors, Archery and Community

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