Recurve rookie question

SDHNTR

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I'd like to finally commit to practicing enough with my recurve to hunt with it.  I feel pretty confident at 15 yards and in, but fall apart after that.  I'd like to be more consistent but I feel like I'm not getting much better,even with more practice lately.  So if this were a compound, I'd go shoot a ton at 80 yards to make those 40 yarders seem like chip shots.  Does the same principle apply with recurves?  Should I go shoot a lot at longer range to make normal ranges seem a lot easier?  Any other suggestions to make the slightly longer (20-25yd) shots more consistent?  I'm shooting instinctive if that matters.
 

BOWUNTR

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I'm no expert but here's what I've been doing...1) High anchor so your point on is close to your max range. 2) Basic fundamentals are amplified... you must practice, practice, practice... fundamentals. 3) Pick a spot like you never have before... burn a hole through the spot. 4) Practice at your effective range and not one inch farther until you master it. If that's 10 yards... it's 10 yards. 5) Practice, practice, practice... everyday. Shooting a trad bow is a perishable skill.... highly perishable...

I'll tell you that I really don't know sh!t about shooting a trad bow... but I'm learning and I will kill a hog and a coyote with it. My point on is 25 yards and that's what I'm sticking to.... Ed F
 

BOWUNTR

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There's some great instructional videos on youtube and stalkerstickbows.com. I learned a lot of basic fundamental stuff.... Ed F
 

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Yes, same principal applies, I wouldn't recommend any archer to practice further distances if they can't group at close range, something is wrong and longer distances, as you know, will amplify it and frustrate you. 
 
In the beginning its definitely frustrating, but its so rewarding in the end. I experimented with a lot of different techniques, i.e. gap, instance, two finger vs three finger under. I currently practice out to 60 yards, but worked myself up in small increments. 
 
This is what worked for me. I found three finger under is way more accurate, less plucking the string, more solid anchor and easier release. 
 
As for shooting style, I was instinctive at first and groups where all over the place. The problem I see with starting out instinctive is your brain has no idea of what your arrow trajectory is and what your site picture should look like at a certain distance. A great fix for me was switching to gap shooting. It helped me to "memorize" my arrow drop at certain distance and how much gap I need (sight picture). I practiced this way for a while and shooting was great.
 
After a while there was no more need to gap and the instinctive part takes over. And definietly no need to range distance, just point and shoot, its so sweet. Some people call this "gap-instinctive," start out gapping and end up instinctive. Was a great way for me to transition. 
 
Of course all of this won't matter if your form and release is not consistent. I would recommend either practice with someone with more experience or take picture/videos in order to see your form and release. Where are your arrows hitting? high/low, right/left? 
 

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BOWUNTR said:
There's some great instructional videos on youtube and stalkerstickbows.com. I learned a lot of basic fundamental stuff.... Ed F
 
yeah, great place to start, in addition you can order the Master of the Bare bow videos, great info and all types of shooting styles. 
 

SDHNTR

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I've got the video series.  It's good stuff, but still hard to see what I am doing wrong from a video.  I like to shoot split finger, 2 under.  Just seems more natural to me, but I'm not bound to anything at this point.  I anchor my middle finger in the corner of my mouth before I release.  I don't even look down my arrow.  I just focus on the spot.  So point on really means little to me at this time.  I have had no formal coaching, just what I have read and watched.  I dont know anyone local who is really a trad guru.  I'm open to anything and "gap-instinctinve" seems logical. 
 
I can pound a 2-3" spot at 10 yards.  That might open up to 4-5" at 15 yards, but things are pretty much predictable and consistent.  When I get a flyer I can usually tell why.  Rough release, lost focus on the spot, didn't hit anchor, etc.  But then at 20 yards+ things totally go to shiz and I'm just happy to hit the target.  I'm all over the place with no consistency.  That is what makes it hard to figure out.  I don't know, maybe it is harder to focus in on a spot at longer range?  That is what is frustrating to me.  I get normal, predictable groups at close range, then things go to hell at longer range.  It would make sense if my groups just opened up a little like one would think at longer ranges, but that is not what happens.  Everything falls apart.  It's like something totally goes haywire as soon as I get to 20 yards or more.  How can 5-10 yards make the difference between a decent group and just being lucky to hit a 24" square target? 
 
I should also say that the first arrow, or maybe 2-3, are always my best arrows when practicing.  What does that tell me?  After a few flyers, I start thinking and trying to figure out what is wrong and then things get worse.  Then my neighbor 3 doors down has a Bear Super Kodiak land in his back yard. 
 
For me, the difference between 15 and 20 yards with a recurve is like the difference between 20 and 100+ yards with a compound.  That's frustrating!
 

Shot

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That big of a difference is most likely form issues. since arrows are not consistent seems like multiple issues. Hard to tell with pictures or videos.

Are you close to oranco? Will be shooting there next Sunday
 

BOWUNTR

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Can't compare the two....

What Arbi said about knowing the cast of your arrow makes sense.... just like throwing a baseball. I know that I do not know the cast of my arrow yet... so instinctive is out the window... that's why I gap shoot with the point of my arrow. I shoot 3 under and high anchor so my gap is small and I know my point on is my max range right now. Make sense?

Instinctive shooting is not God given... its knowing your equipment so well that its like throwing a baseball like you did in little league. You threw it so many times you knew the cast of the ball...

You most likely don't know the cast of your arrow (instinct)... and if you are shooting split finger anchoring in the corner of your mouth... your point on is 50+ yards. So your aim is basically Kentucky windage at closer ranges... make sense? You may think you ate shooting instinctive at 10 yards but you're not.

All this is considering you have the fundamental down.... that's a whole different lesson grasshopper... Ed F
 

SDHNTR

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yeah, all that makes total sense.  I'll try some of those changes and see if things improve.  In general, do you think that gap shooting with the point as the aiming reference is easier to learn? 
 
I definitely do not know the cast of my arrow, which is why for now, I would never shoot at an animal past 15 yds.  But I can grip it and rip it pretty well inside of that range.
 
No Arbi, I'm 100 miles south of Oranco.
 

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Yes, gap is way easier to learn. Once you have that down, instinctive will come naturally.
 

BOWUNTR

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Of course ...the tip has to be your sight... there's nothing else there. I know I put my tip on that hog at 25 yards I'm gonna hit it. Anything closer I adjust the gap accordingly.

I used to love watching an arrow fly 300fps... there's nothing like watching the cast of an arrow leaving a trad bow...

One last thing.... I might be just pissin in the wind... because I'm just learning too.... Ed F
 

hatchet1

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Talk it out sdhntr..it will eventually come to you...kinda like a 2 ton...heavy thing...keep us posted on your progression....
 

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Few things most rookies, including myself, are prone to doing. 
 
1) will try to look at arrow flight right after the shot, which will lead to #2
2) Collapse before the shot: hold at full draw for few seconds and let things settle down and only focus on forum before the shot, forget about the target for now
3) if arrows hitting left, bow arm moved, 
4) if arrows hitting right, release issues, most likely plucked the string (#3 &#4 apply to right handed shooters, opposite for lefties)
5) the more anchor points, the better: I use the thumb back of jaw, middle finger corner of mouth, feather at tip of nose)
6) alignment of arrow right under the eye
7) bow hand, arrow, and string hand all in one line (see picture), also, shoulders in-line 
 

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Shot

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BOWUNTR said:
I used to love watching an arrow fly 300fps... there's nothing like watching the cast of an arrow leaving a trad bow...
 
 
yup, nothing like it.....
 

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bearclaw

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For me the key was starting insanely close.  Hit a quarter at 5 feet consistently then move to 7, then so on.  Obvioulsy hitting a quarter is not something you will do for very far, but up close you should be able to hit small targets.  Start every session super close and then when you are capable go longer.
 
Also blank bale shooting is huge for shooting split finger.  It should not be a release, but the string should just go away.
 
Until you are months into shooting all the time, 10 yards is plenty.  Now I have never given 3 under or Gap much time at all, so that is a ball of wax I have never played with.  I shot split from 5 years to 20 years and trying to hook the string 3 under is not something I was comfortable with. 
 

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Your form must duplicate every shot every time.  Then and only then can your sub-conscience take over and help you learn the cast of an arrow.  Your (consistant) draw length is very, very important.  Can't stress this enough.  
 
For me, my biggest problem is plucking the string or moving my bow arm.  Got to stay focused and talk to myself on that all the time.  I generally shoot out to 40 yds (my point on) daily but most practice is done 25 yds or less.  On average I shoot 30 arrows a day.
 
Might want to get Rick Welch's dvd.  Helped me with my shooting a lot.
 
Looking forward to seeing what you and BOWUNTR bring home with a recurve.  Make it fun.
 

hatchet1

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Like sands thru the hour glass...these are"the bows of are lives....."
 

hatchet1

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I'm definetly working on it...I shoot 1 over 2 under and no sights also....and I'm extremly thirsty[as you know]. Think I'll fit in?I'm a bit apprehensive...
 
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