By: Ted Nugent
AIM SMALL MISS SMALL
Breathing is good, especially if you want to execute a finely tuned, timed, properly controlled accurate arrow shot on a critter.
I don’t know about you, but when on stand and a desirable deer arrives, and I have committed to killing it with my bow, to this day, after a long, long lifetime of bowhunting and killing, my entire being still kicks into hyper Gonzo predator mode and it takes everything I have to remain in control of my breathing and nerves.
Ain’t it beautiful! Pity the poor souls that never go there.
I turn into a quivering, tense, nerve rattled raging rapids of adrenalin, endorphins and kill-craving psycho pulsations that are one of life’s most exhilarating and exciting experiences. And I love every heart pounding minute of it everytime!
Breathe baby breathe! That includes exhaling!
All that is good on so many levels, but if allowed to run rampant and out of control, it will be extremely counterproductive to bringing home the backstraps and smiles.
So what I figured out not so long ago after all these incredible bowhunting years is that crescendos are what makes music and life so thrilling, but the lead up, and shall we say, arrowgasm moment of it all will be most celebrated and appreciated only if all that built up pressure and energy can be managed at the moment of truth.
Quality and consistent archery time on the range is essential, as long as each and every shot is painstakingly executed with a rock solid, repetitious muscle memory shot sequence.
I have written and promoted extensively about my own turning point of target panic management via the magical orange tape discipline system.
My orange tape archery discipline consists of adhering a 2” square of florescent orange tape on the ultimate pumpstation shot placement position on every one of my 3D targets as well as on the face of my Mathews bow.
I literally talk myself into an orange tape mantra each and every shot as I draw my bow, glaring at the orange tape square on my bow, then shifting my gaze onto the orange square on the target, thereby managing what is universally known to be the 95% mental control that is the ultimate mystical flight of the Samurai arrow.
Along with perfecting my bowgrip, anchor point, form and triggerfinger harmony, that little patch of orange tape now forces my entire being into an out of body lazerbeam all in to the orange square.
I have got it down to the point where I actually talk myself into aiming at a specific corner of the 2” square to force my mental tractorbeam away from the animal form and into being one with the path to that tape.
I rarely actually hit that tiny little spot, but getting close still gets the job done.
I have helped many a bowhunter take back control from their dreaded target panic hell with this simple re-focus at the range, and I swear to God, when consistently trained thusly, I actually see that lovely orange square on the animals that I kill.
Even if I miss the 2” square, my arrows still zap vitals, hence the mythical aim small miss small discipline.
There is no doubt that the best bowhunters that ever lived are cool, calm and collected individuals. Fred Bear, Roy Case, Howard Hill, Ben Pearson, Chuck Adams, Randy Ulmer, Claude Pollington, and every Olympic archery champion all have one thing in common; they are easy going, slow talking, relaxed people who can control their nerves, especially when under pressure.
That ain’t me, but I have learned to improvise, adapt and overcome, and I have the never-ending flow of backstraps and smiles to prove it.
There are few things in life more heartbreaking and torturing that unleashing a bad arrow. With genuine focus and dedicated practice, our goal should be killer arrows every shot!
Discover your own aim small miss small solutions and have the most enjoyable and productive hunting season of your lives.
Breathe, baby breathe!