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I missed a really big 8 point the other night opening night of michigans bow season. the adrenaline of seeing the big buck that i didnt know was around the property was also with 2 other big ones the adrenaline really got to me when it came time to shoot. i sent the arrow right over his back. does anyone have any tips on how to calm yourself down when it comes to shooting at a big buck? and also is there a chance they might come back? they just walked off as though nothing ever happened.
 

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If they just walked off they will most likely come back, they just got spooked a bit. Before I shoot a deer or any animal, gun or bow, I just collect myself and focus on the shot. Not quite sure what else to tell ya but just focus on lining up your pin on the deers vitals and nothing else.
 

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Sorry to hear of your missed shot, however, most of us are in the same boat at some time. keeping one's nerves in tact is something that simply comes with encounters over time. I tend to get really nervous after the shot for 10-15 minutes. Concentrating on your mechanics, picking the shot angle, picking the spot to hit, seeing the arrow's path, maybe a mental check list you go through may help take your mind off the close encounter situation. Big bucks are no different than other ones when its time to take care of business, at least that's what you have to convince yourself. Controlled breathing and just go through everything you practiced for. Hope this helps some. One other thing I never try to make any eye contact with deer and do my best to not look directly at them sorta through them and just wait for the shot I've set up for.
 

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target panic/buck fever

in competitve archery what u expierenced is called target panic @ in hunting buck fever.the surest way to beat this is to learn how to shoot the bow properly thru back tension and develop a preshot routine.the biggest reason to shoot backtension is bcause your mind is totally free to concentrate on aiming.coming unglued,punching the trigger,not remembering shot going off,shooting at whole deer,these are forms of buck fever.thru repetition and the proper shot sequence your bow will go off while your immersed in aiming,and it will surprise you.it may take a thousand shots to ingrain backtension but you will shoot and enjoy archery more forever.AIM SMALL MISS SMALL
 

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We all deal with it as some time or other. I use to just keep telling myself to "make the shot". If I dont make this shot then I am going to being getting ribbed by all my hunting buddies for missing because of "buckfever". That always calmed me down because I could not stand the thought of having to tell everyone I missed because of nerves. I became very determined after this thought process and I guess that helped calm me down.

The nerves will kick in overdrive after the shot for me though.
 

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If I dont make this shot then I am going to being getting ribbed by all my hunting buddies for missing because of "buckfever". That always calmed me down because I could not stand the thought of having to tell everyone I missed because of nerves. I became very determined after this thought process and I guess that helped calm me down.
I think the same thing sometimes, lol.
 

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I would have to agree with everyone who posted... coming up with a pre-shot rountine is the best thing to do. I know it sounds crazy, but when the adrenaline is pumping, I sometimes forget to look through my peep. I have to tell myself, look through your peep. Talk to yourself (silently) and tell yourself what to do.
 

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I know exactly what you mean. And it don't take a buck to get me excited either. does do it just the same.
Changing your mental state may help. dont think of the deer. think of it as a target and the exact point you want the arrow to hit. concenrating on making the shot on a target and waiting for the target to come in to range helps take your mind off of the deer.

And don't count points, till you are counting them on a down deer.
 

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sorry fellas i have to disagree before you can ever get your mental side in check you have to learn a shot sequence and how to shoot the bow properly.in golf you wouldnt say i mentally have a great golf game i just dont no how to swing.once you learn to shoot right you go on autopilot thru your routine,the shot goes off because you have ingrained it thru practice,and then come the nerves.the best way to beat target panic and buck fever is thru back tension and muscle memory.its just like a sniper he is so concentrated on his aim he doesnt no when the gun breaks,same thing with the bow if done right.
 

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If you ever lose that adrenalin rush ya mise well hang it up. That is one of the greatest parts of the hunt. You just have to focus on your shot and take it with confedense
Good luck on the return
 

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sorry fellas i have to disagree before you can ever get your mental side in check you have to learn a shot sequence and how to shoot the bow properly.in golf you wouldnt say i mentally have a great golf game i just dont no how to swing.once you learn to shoot right you go on autopilot thru your routine,the shot goes off because you have ingrained it thru practice,and then come the nerves.the best way to beat target panic and buck fever is thru back tension and muscle memory.its just like a sniper he is so concentrated on his aim he doesnt no when the gun breaks,same thing with the bow if done right.
I have to disagree with you. everything you do and dont do is mental first. what you think, what you do, how you think you did, how you think you did it,remembering what you did, repeating what you did.

it's endless and it is all mental.
 
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During practice sessions, stop and do a few push ups, situps, jog around the yard..get your heart rate up. Then try to shoot. Give it a few days and soon you'll learn to calm your breathing in a few short seconds.

It is mental and your trying to recreate an all out adrenalin rush, that we all know as "buck fever".

I got a buddy who can shoot foam deer all day long...Amazing accuracy. Stick a real live deer in front of him and it's anybodies guess where the arrow is going??

His Mom has a good recipe for foam gravy..lol
 

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if u dont have a good foundation what good is your mental side.if ur mental side is fine but your a trigger slapper what good is your mental side.95% of people shoot the bow wrong(trigger punching)most people pin the pin on target and pull the trigger.that is not the way to shoot a bow and eventually will lead to target panic.learning the proper way to shoot a bow is your foundation(backtension)
 

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I honestly still get buck fever. but the times i dont i realize i collect myself and focus on the shot and shot placement. buck fever for me only wears off at the end of the season when i have had many close encounters. Just a couple of days ago i shot right over a cyotes back because it was the first thing ive got within 20 yards of this year. ive also notice practicing a lot helps to and putting the practice in real life situations too helps me a lot. Good luck.
 

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if u dont have a good foundation what good is your mental side.if ur mental side is fine but your a trigger slapper what good is your mental side.95% of people shoot the bow wrong(trigger punching)most people pin the pin on target and pull the trigger.that is not the way to shoot a bow and eventually will lead to target panic.learning the proper way to shoot a bow is your foundation(backtension)
Your mental side as you put it, allows you to even have a foundation of any kind.
It, or anything for that matter, happens in your head before it does in reality. your foundation is due to your mental ability to do something (correctly) over and over again until it becomes second nature.

when you shoot your bow, is it a mindless task? or do you go over a mental check list as you proceed?
 

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i dont think you understand the concept of the archery shot.if you think you shoot a bow by putting the pin on target then triggering your release your all wrong.without learning a shot sequence ,back tension,and muscle memory you will never achieve predictable accuracy with a bow.look up al henderson,len cardinal,terry wunderle,you can learn what im talking about.again if your technique is wrong your mental is no good,and shooting a bow by watching your pin and then commanding your mind to shoot now is wrong.shoot alot this way i guarrantee you develop target panic.
 

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Well me personally i have a routine I go through, I practice often and hit the bullseye often, and yes I do get buck fever, i think ALL hunters feel the adrenaline rush when raising that bow up and getting ready to pull it back. NO TARGET PANIC FOR ME, more of a adrenaline rush.... this could be one of those things that is being researched to death.... thoughts predator? ;)

spiker, in all respectfulness, your posts are DEEP. good luck!
 

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all im saying is if you dont shoot a bow properly why would you want to mentally ingrain it.the best archers both tournament archers and hunters all shoot learning a shot sequence and back tension.it does not make any sense to ingrain mentally faulty technique.again if my golf swing is terrible should i ingrain that mentally or should i learn the proper swing before i ingrain it mentally and develop my shot sequence.i shoot thousands of shots a year and once you learn a shot sequence target panic or buck fever is a thing of the past.you subconsciously execute while you consciously aim and then the shot breaks.same thing with a sniper he starts his squeeze while consciously focusing on the target and the shot breaks its a surprise.any anticipation of when the shot is going to break is negative and without shooting back tension your mind leaves the aim to tell you to shoot now.
 
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