Home Forums Hunting Deer Hunting How to cure target lock

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  • AvatarHighstepper76
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    I have a problem when shooting at a animal, I never see my arrow or where it hits. When shooting at a target I can see the arrow all the way to the target, but when shooting at a deer something happens where I never see where the arrow goes. I posted a thread earlier about hitting a buck high, until this event I have either missed completely or made good shots and recovered the deer (Just for the record this would have been my 3rd deer to take with a bow). I would have never know that is where I hit him except for the meat and fat on the arrow and later seeing the buck and seeing the wound on his back. This has me worried because if I would not have found the arrow and seen the deer I would have had no idea where I hit it. Any advice??

    Thanks
    Steven

    Avatarbandhunter
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    Are you using lighted nocks?

    AvatarHighstepper76
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    I use true glow illuminated knocks, but they are not light up

    Avatarwebenic
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    Best way…..good old practice. The best thing I did for my shooting was getting into 3D. You learn a lot about your abilities and weak spots, and it’s incredibly fun.

    You are likely pulling or lifting your head on the shot attempting to see where the arrow goes. This changes your anchor at the last moment and causes the inaccurate shot. The other possible reason for the shot missing is not bending at the waist when shooting uphill/downhill.

    I keep my eyes on the target through the sight after the shot, and 99% of the time I will see the arrow at impact. Lighted nocks help a lot too.

    Avatariceking25
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    Pick a spot when your aiming and when you release hold your arm up till you hear it hit.
    Your vision will stay with with the spot you were aiming or close and you should catch a glimpse of it hitting. Holding that arm up is key. I have seen every shot on both deer. Lighted knocks will help as well.

    AvatarIAJack
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    Quote by: iceking25

    Pick a spot when your aiming and when you release hold your arm up till you hear it hit.
    Your vision will stay with with the spot you were aiming or close and you should catch a glimpse of it hitting. Holding that arm up is key. I have seen every shot on both deer. Lighted knocks will help as well.

    This is right on

    Follow through and keep the same point of aim through the shot and after. This is the same concept for about any type of shooting be it rifle, handgun or bow. I have seen a lot of people that shoot handgun and they start looking for their shot on the target before the shot process is complete.

    There is also the concept of delayed memory or the Israeli peep or other names. It is the phenomenon that our brain can see things that won’t register until a few seconds later. You can practice this and see it by doing a simple test. Have someone place a object on a table or in a room without looking at it or knowing what it is. Stand around the corner and just peep around the corner put pull your head back instantly. Even when you pull your head back you should be able to have a general mental picture of what the object was.

    AvatarHighstepper76
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    I shoot a lot, and it is not a issue with shooting at targets as I can see the arrow all the way to my targets. It is almost like my brain shuts off for that split second after I touch the trigger when shooting at a deer doe or buck. I just find it curious it only happens when I am shooting at a deer. I feel it has something to do with being in a supper focused, supper adrenaline filled state, and something is happening in that transition moment right after I release the arrow while my brain is refocusing. I will try the arm trick as well as the lighted knocks and see if they help.

    Thanks
    Steven

    bowfisherbowfisher
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    Not sure this is the answer either, but I use white wraps on my arrows along with two white vanes and a one blaze orange c*ck vane. I do not like not being able to see my arrow as it flies.

    The buck I shot this past weekend I saw the arrow throughout flight and impact.

    Like I said I am not sure that would be the answer, of course a lighted knock would possibly help also.

    IaCraigIaCraig
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    I don’t know how to tell you to see your arrow, but I agree with the previous poster to who guessed that if you are shooting high you might be lifting your head a little. Do you have a kisser button on your string? To me a kisser button is even more important than the peep sight. If I don’t feel that button in the corner of my mouth, I know I am not good to release. I have been using a kisser button ever since the old recurve days.

    AvatarSirOliver
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    Its about focus i practice by taking small circle in the center of the target go tru your motion of shot release the arrow keep the focus on the circle.Keep the bow in shooting position.

    Don’t look at the target load another arrow repeat

    In the field i pick hair patch in the center of the deer Don’t look at the antlers u will have to fight the urge to look at antlers if u practice u will repeat and focus on the spot the whole time.

    ihuntducksalot72ihuntducksalot72
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    Quote by: bowfisher

    Not sure this is the answer either, but I use white wraps on my arrows along with two white vanes and a one blaze orange c*ck vane. I do not like not being able to see my arrow as it flies.

    The buck I shot this past weekend I saw the arrow throughout flight and impact.

    Like I said I am not sure that would be the answer, of course a lighted knock would possibly help also.

    I find bowfishers helps. I use a white wrap and all three feathers are white. It really makes it easy to spot the arrow hitting the deer. I’ve also found it helpful diagnosing hits as all the white makes a nice backdrop to read the color of the blood on a hit.

    Also read SirOlivers advice about focusing on a small spot. I do plenty of long range shooting, out to 70 yards during the summer into my bag and 3D targer. During the winter and later fall most of my shooting is done in my basement. We shoot those quarter sized orange target dots. It really makes you focus on form and follow through to hit them. I have one stuck on the upper riser of my bow all the time. In the field it will catch my attention and reminds me to pick a small spot.

    AvatarHighstepper76
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    Thanks for all the suggestions, and I am defiantly going to try a few different thing. When I practice at home I do all the things like focus on a small spot and make sure sure I am properly anchored. I do all of these things when I am shooting at a deer, it just seems like I blank out right after the shot or don’t remember seeing what happens right after the shot. I am sure it has something to do with the adrenalin dump that occurs right after the shot, or I would be having the same problem while shooting targets.

    Thanks again for all the advice

    AvatarKeokukCoboy
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    Everything on this thread is good solid advise. Just to add one thing. In your mind ,you have already placed a target on the deer now pick out a hair in the middle of the target… follow through…. You may be suprised…..

    AvatarParker
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    I used to get buck fever even when a nice doe came in. After a few years of bow hunting I’ve developed a mental check list and also got a kisser button which really helped me for anchoring in the same spot. My routine goes something like this: Buck shooter?, If yes don’t stare or even look at the antlers, Start breathing pick my shooting location. BREATH some more. Decide if I need to stand or not. If standing I always look down and double check my feet for safety. It also gives me time to look away from the deer.

    Stand draw, deep breath. As I exhale I settle the pin and release. All the time I’m mentally telling myself, it’s a shooter but it’s nothing if you don’t make the shot so breath and relax. Some of my best shots on bucks I could barely see the arrow because it passed through so clean and nice. I almost draw and shoot anymore like I’m pheasant hunting if it’s under 25 yards. This little mental check list can be rapidly sped up due to a buck coming running or slowed down due to a buck a ways out working his way towards me.

    I still admit I get a little shakey on the first deer of the year. I usually take a doe early season so that gets the kinks worked out. Another thing I used to do before I purchased a range finder was take the block target to the woods and shoot in every lane. Helped build confidence.

    My biggest issue when I first started was definitely breathing and staring at the rack. After I corrected those two things I got a lot better on smooth and accurate releases. My first guess was what was already stated. That your pulling your head to soon concerned with seeing where the arrow is going. Just release smooth and it should stay right in line with your eye to the target. Almost like in golf gotta keep your eye on the ball and follow all the way through before you look.

    Also, we all have bad shots even guys after 20+ years of bow hunting can blow one so don’t let it work your mind to much.

    AvatarTAXIDERMYPRO
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    You should use the same anchor spot every shot whether it is a kisser button, nuckle behind ear, finger beside eye, what ever it is it has to be the same every time!!! I was never able to see my arrows either when i started shooting bows so i trained my self to shoot with both eyes open…..No problem seeing the action now works great.

    AvatarHighstepper76
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    I am not even sure if target lock is the correct term for what I am experiencing. When I shoot my bow I go through the progression of proper grip, draw bow, check level on site, knuckle behind ear, nose on string, settle pin, move finger forward, release arrow, and it works. The other two deer I have shot were perfect shots and the last one I grazed was more to do with numb fingers and touching the release before I was completely settled. With every deer I have shot at I have went through my progression, but the last thing I hear is the shot, then I see the deer running off, I can not ever remember that millisecond right after the arrow is released. Like I said before when target shooting it is never an issue as I see the arrow the whole way. I am going to try lighted knocks, and a couple of other techniques suggested on this forum and see what happens. I have practiced with both eyes open and can never get completely comfortable with it, but I may give it some more practice.

    Thanks Again for all the input
    Steven

    bowfisherbowfisher
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    I probably can relate a little bit with what you are experiencing. It can be hard to focus on everything that needs to be done at the moment of truth as it happens so fast. Back in the mid 90’s when I shot my first deer with a bow, I didnt remember drawing the bow, aiming or releasing the arrow. I didnt see the arrow hit the deer either, I think it was the adrenelin kicking in to HIGH gear.

    As I have gotten older and shot dozens of deer, I still have a little bit of that “rush” going on, but not nearly as overwhelming as the first time. Face it, if we didnt get a little bit of the rush what fun would it be to hunt deer with archery equipment!!!!

    My thoughts are keep on hunting, I bet things will get easier for you.

    AvatarTeamAsgrow
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    I have a buddy who literally blacks out when he shoots a deer with his bow. When I come to help him track, he can’t tell where the deer was or where he hit it. It makes tracking much more difficult.

    AvatarHighstepper76
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    Quote by: TeamAsgrow

    I have a buddy who literally blacks out when he shoots a deer with his bow. When I come to help him track, he can’t tell where the deer was or where he hit it. It makes tracking much more difficult.

    I am not that bad, it is just from the time the arrow is released. The funny thing is I can remember hearing the string fire and hearing the arrow hit the deer, just cant remember seeing it.

    Avatartim ballard
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    I also black out to a certain point. I do know the general spot he is standing but rarely know for sure where I hit. I had better luck with lighted nocks but got sick of using them and not working. Going to have to try the white wraps.

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