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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Three years in and I’ve tried most aiming methods but after my shooting technique was developed I started a kind of split vision kind of thing and it worked well. I put a small strip of fluorescent wrap around the end of the arrow to help see the tip out of my peripheral vision. I tried aiming with the tip but that didn’t work well for me.
A while ago I bought some arrows that were all carbon black and I could hardly see it in low light. What I noticed is without seeing the arrow I shot great. So I started focusing on the target only and was shooting some very tight groups. Then shooting after in very low light but the target lightly illuminated I shot very good.
So now I just focus on the spot on the target but found it’s harder than I thought to concentrate to develop tunnel vision on the target and eliminating any reference to my arrow, but when I can do it I hit amazingly tight groups. Part of the problem is I have been mostly referencing the arrow for a while now so it’s hard to stop.
After doing this a while I’ve noticed I am able to hit at different ranges out to thirty yards. For the first year and a half I only shot 17 yards max but mostly at 15 yards, for the last year 20 yards max.
What I have read when starting out a few years ago about instinctive shooting was mixed but I’m assuming that is what I’m doing now.
I am a hunter with a maximum kill range of 20 yards but with the rainbow trajectory of my low poundage bow and heavy arrows I like to keep my shots at 15 yards or less. If I was a target shooter I would probably stick with some kind of aiming methods but as a hunter this should work best for me.
 

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I wouldn't complicate it if I were you, but If you have a DVD player I can send you a DVD from Bob Wesley. His method of shooting a longbow is Hoard Hill's style. He was a protege of Howard Hill. I went to his house for a 3 day private seminar a long time ago.

If you are just shooting 20 yards I do not think you need it, but if you want to be able to shoot different longer distances it could help you.

PM me to let me know if you want it and if you do give me your address.

Gil
 

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Same here. I tried all sorts of aiming methods too. I really never got comfortable with any of them. I stick to instinctive shooting. No doubt it’s a mental game for sure. Catch myself shooting at the target and not the spot on the target I see poor results instantly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I wouldn't complicate it if I were you, but If you have a DVD player I can send you a DVD from Bob Wesley. His method of shooting a longbow is Hoard Hill's style. He was a protege of Howard Hill. I went to his house for a 3 day private seminar a long time ago.

If you are just shooting 20 yards I do not think you need it, but if you want to be able to shoot different longer distances it could help you.

PM me to let me know if you want it and if you do give me your address.

Gil
Thanks for the offer but for now I’m good. Shooting instinctive has sure simplified things for sure and I’m all about keeping it simple. Shooting has became a whole lot more fun now also.
 

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If you start trying to intentionally create a tunnel vision(as opposed to simply focusing on the target where you want to hit) - be prepared for problems to pop up. It may work then suddenly not work.

To the degree that you actually cant see something in your field of vision that you would normally see you sort of creating a disassociative type thing. Your mind works better when you focus on what matters and let your subconscious do its thing.
 

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Great to read you're getting results shooting 'blind'. Short of shooting from horseback, this is the ultimate test of instinctive shooting IMO. A strangely liberating feeling when you get good groups with bow and body in the dark, peak self-trust.

What I was doing for a while was going out at dusk and shooting at a bright white or hi-viz object trying to maintaining a group as my arrow point shot by shot faded from view. Your post reminds me I need to do that more. Over-reliance on the point means you're much more vulnerable to changing light conditions, a big deal as a hunter.

One of the challenges I find is that my natural 'gapstinctive' brain can often take over again when practicing during the day. Awareness of the point in my split/peripheral vision becomes even more dominant on approaching point-on distances, because the point is simply more present in my shot, right under what I want to hit. On my current goto (I'm solely shooting one bow at the moment) anything up to ~15m, I'm not conscious of my point at all - sort of like shooting blind. As I am now working on my groups out to 40m, it's really 'there'. Very interesting how that all works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What I find is hardest thing is not looking at the arrow, not even from my peripheral, but I should have that together well before hunting season. Also, trusting the shot to instinctive shooting. It’s like letting go of the steering wheel in a car.
 

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What I find is hardest thing is not looking at the arrow, not even from my peripheral, but I should have that together well before hunting season. Also, trusting the shot to instinctive shooting. It’s like letting go of the steering wheel in a car.
Yep, a lot of trust involved! Have to learn to let go or there is no chance of ever developing the confidence needed to group. Just like shotgunning, darts or baseball pitching. Personally I'm happy 'instinctive gapping' / split vision out past 15m or so, I get results I want. And anyway on my setups with 9GPP+ arrows the point is increasingly in the sight picture as I approach PO. I'd have to work to not see it.

Low light is when the game changes.
 

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Think about how you learn to drive stick shift. After a while you can run through the gears while drinking coffee and changing the radio stations. Same deal with my fingers right now typing. If I had to think where the 'e' is I wouldn't be on the internet much. We learn by thinking and doing.

Increase gap for short, decrease for long, makes sense. Our brain can grasp that easily. Instinctive shooting is hard to learn because you're reversing the process. With throwing a ball there is no mechanical advantage in your hand. That might be instinctive, but I can't remember how I learned when I was 5. It doesn't matter the two processes don't equate.

Byron once told me he was instinctive on short shots, but gapped on longer shots. I asked what the difference was. He said, "on the short shots I know the gap so well I'm instinctive". Probably the reason instinctive shooters suck at distance.

Bowmania
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
^^^^ For instinctive is fine. When I started three years ago with a recurve 20 yards was my goal and I have achieved that. As a deer hunter with a limit of 40-45# I will never take a shot on live game farther than 20 yards with a recurve at blimp speeds, for me farther shots are reserved for my compound.
It’s fun to step off 25 or 30 yards every now and then and shoot but I’m happy with 20 yards or less.
 

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Probably the reason instinctive shooters suck at distance.
I'd say some instinctive shooters, or even most. Certainly not all.

It seems that in the US it's more common for 'instinctive' to mean what folk elsewhere and in different languages refer to as 'snap shooters', where there is little or no holding at anchor. I've watched videos of some self-professed US instinctive archers on YT and they're more like gun slingers or some mongolian or turkish horseback thumb shooters. Fluid and impressive what they can achieve in short periods of time at short distances, but unless you are superhuman you simply cannot snap long distances.

LBG on here has picked up his share of 50m+ wins and Europe sure has its share of incredible instinctive shooters. Even the likes of many times champion Hughes (Wales) are 'gapstinctive', holding at anchor for 4-6 seconds or so on all longer shots. He doesn't think in cm or inches for his gaps, but he sure feels where his point is and where it will go. He has some videos on this.

Getting repeatably great results at (esp unknown) long distances without a conscious measured aiming system is the Grail of achievements in traditional archery, IMHO. Whether with a Yumi bow in the ancient method, or modern recurve. To me, this defines a true Master of the art.
 

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I'd say some instinctive shooters, or even most. Certainly not all.

It seems that in the US it's more common for 'instinctive' to mean what folk elsewhere and in different languages refer to as 'snap shooters', where there is little or no holding at anchor. I've watched videos of some self-professed US instinctive archers on YT and they're more like gun slingers or some mongolian or turkish horseback thumb shooters. Fluid and impressive what they can achieve in short periods of time at short distances, but unless you are superhuman you simply cannot snap long distances.

LBG on here has picked up his share of 50m+ wins and Europe sure has its share of incredible instinctive shooters. Even the likes of many times champion Hughes (Wales) are 'gapstinctive', holding at anchor for 4-6 seconds or so on all longer shots. He doesn't think in cm or inches for his gaps, but he sure feels where his point is and where it will go. He has some videos on this.

Getting repeatably great results at (esp unknown) long distances without a conscious measured aiming system is the Grail of achievements in traditional archery, IMHO. Whether with a Yumi bow in the ancient method, or modern recurve. To me, this defines a true Master of the art.
As some evidence to what I'm talking about above, here are some archers at the Howard Hill Classic 2021 in USA from an account called 'Instinctive Addiction'. I sincerely mean no disrespect to any of the archers in that round, but all of these archers are snap shooting, possibly in the grips of some form of target panic. I mean what's the rush? It's archery, not starting chainsaws.


There can be no honest expectation of consistency shooting this way, unless you are some superhuman like Hill or Byron. Fred Bear sort of made it work shooting this way, but even he strongly recommended against it.

So yes @Bowmania 'instinctive' shooting like that will not get great results on long shots. At short hunting distances, sure. It's great for speed. But in that round, and the other rounds in that video, I would go so far as to say that none of them have any real shot control due to this 'instinctive snap' technique.

It should be perfectly normal to settle at aim for 5-10 seconds on a long shot, shooting purely instinctively, with split vision, gapstinctive or whatever. There's no reason to not hold at anchor on shorter shots, either. Alignment check with string blur, feeling that back tension, mentally settling into the aim, and more. Taking time to pull off and enjoy a great shot.

Again, no offense intended. If it's not TP, but intentional, well then it's still not a technique that travels well and should not define what is meant by 'instinctive shooting'. Despite this, many people seem to think it does.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
As some evidence to what I'm talking about above, here are some archers at the Howard Hill Classic 2021 in USA from an account called 'Instinctive Addiction'. I sincerely mean no disrespect to any of the archers in that round, but all of these archers are snap shooting, possibly in the grips of some form of target panic. I mean what's the rush? It's archery, not starting chainsaws.




So yes @Bowmania At short hunting distances, sure. It's great for speed. But in that round, and the other rounds in that video, I would go so far as to say that none of them have any real shot control due to this 'instinctive snap' technique.
When you are not aiming there is no need to hold in the shot cycle. Actually, my experience is that any kind of holding will move you to some referencing of the bow and or arrow which will be some kind of aiming which will move you from instinctive to split vision, not instinctive.
When I was researching instinctive shooting (which seems to be more of a name of a type of shooting than a true definition) there seems to be a rub between those that shoot with some type of aiming and those that shoot ”instinctive”. If you have always aimed it’s hard to understand what instinctive shooting really is.
I do believe instinctive is best for hunting situations where shot distances are shorter.
 

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When you are not aiming there is no need to hold in the shot cycle. Actually, my experience is that any kind of holding will move you to some referencing of the bow and or arrow which will be some kind of aiming which will move you from instinctive to split vision, not instinctive.
When I was researching instinctive shooting (which seems to be more of a name of a type of shooting than a true definition) there seems to be a rub between those that shoot with some type of aiming and those that shoot ”instinctive”. If you have always aimed it’s hard to understand what instinctive shooting really is.
I do believe instinctive is best for hunting situations where shot distances are shorter.
You may be right, that by some definitions holding is not 'instinctive', Twig here said the same, but I personally don't roll with that.

You can focus intensively at anchor on a spot 40m away, without knowing that distance, become very still, and put an arrow on it without being consciously aware of how many metric/imperial units your point gap is in relation to it. It's there in your vision (can't avoid it nearing point-on!), but you are not thinking about the gap. Just where you want the arrow to go. You let your bow arm float to 'there', exactly there, and you know you will hit it or get damn close. That's no less instinctive to me, as there is no calculation nor measured aim.

But in any case, whether conscious gap, string/face/tab walk or instinctive, you simply can't group at long distances without a very consistent anchor and settling into 'aim', finding that focus and becoming still.

If an instinctive snap shooter can put 6 arrows in a 3 inch group at 40m, they have, to me, achieved superhuman status. For the rest of us mere mortals that requires anchoring and plenty of focus regardless of method used.
 

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The amount of time is not right or wrong.

If you are intentionally making your shot cycle fast to prevent you from seeing the arrow - thats not good.
If you are shooting fast because you have TP thats not good either.
But there isnt any reason to specifically hold the arrow if that isnt natural for you.
 

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It is best to pause enough at anchor for the aim to correct and settle. If it will not settle you will likely miss; let down and begin again, - lbg
 

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There is a static and a dynamic style. Target shooters mostly prefer the static style, hunters more often the dynamic style. The dynamic style prevents a lot of bad things to form if you train right.
If you train wrong (like a system or sight shooter), the dynamic style will create problems quickly. The video is not a good example of the more dynamic style aside from the guy owning the channel.
2 guys should have removed their dumb ballcaps while shooting or should have worn a cap that doesn't interfere with their shot alignment.
Unfortunately, the channel owner didn't give them this "tip". There are clearly archers in vastly different stages of training and development in this video.
The gentleman with the red ballcap has clearly just started shooting a bow. Nobody knows how familiar these guys are with their bows they are shooting either.
For example, a lot of shooters myself included would not shoot much better when they try out a new bow with a set of arrows they picked out of their stash which I deem close in what is needed.
I do that a good bit, just crab a new bow and a dozen arrows (with some different points) I assume fit halfway ok and go shoot a round. Tells me if the arrows are ok or need to be tuned with different points or if a new set with different spine is required. Definitely nothing to videotape..... No reason to keep score at one of these rounds as well.
 
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