Buckfever

Discuss deer hunting tactics, Deer behavior. Post your Hunting Stories, Pictures, and Questions/Answers.
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wappkid
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Buckfever

Unread postby wappkid » Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:28 am

How do you guys deal with buckfever? I love getting excited about big bucks.But sometimes it get's ridiculous for me.I have to really calm myself down before the shot. And usually it works. But sometimes it is hard to do. What are some of your methods.


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Re: Buckfever

Unread postby MOBIGBUCKS » Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:43 am

I think experience helps me deal with it. I stay focused on the shot and then get excited when it is all over.
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Re: Buckfever

Unread postby Black Squirrel » Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:58 am

I am lucky, I don't fall apart untill after the shot. Then I can get pretty shook up. But I would suggest shooting more deer. Take a doe when you can if your population allows it. Like MOBIGBUCKS said, experince will probably help.
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Re: Buckfever

Unread postby PLB » Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:09 am

Black Squirrel wrote:I am lucky, I don't fall apart untill after the shot. Then I can get pretty shook up. But I would suggest shooting more deer. Take a doe when you can if your population allows it. Like MOBIGBUCKS said, experince will probably help.

I agree also! I would also suggest shooting 3-D leagues in winter and summer. In winter you learn to deal with pressure, cramped space, noise and other distractions. In summer it is the oppressive heat and bugs or rain. I have learned by shooting in leagues to drown out distractions, calm down under pressure, and now I can just focus on the shot because I know I am prepared. I am much more confident the last few years.
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Re: Buckfever

Unread postby DropTyne » Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:23 am

Alot of deep breaths and picking the spot you want to hit on the buck and focusing your attention away from the bucks rack has really been the ticket for me. This is what I do when I am actually on stand and an animal presents a shot opportunity.

I think one thing alot of people overlook when trying to fight buck fever is mental preperation. Being ready for the shot opportunity before it actually happens is huge. I know this may sound foolish, but I prepare myself for the shot by imagining it happening well before it actually does. You can do this anywhere, in your bedroom at home, driving home from work, wherever....

That image becomes even more vivid when you have a particular animal your targeting. Before I took my target animal this year I had already imagined my shot opportunity presenting itself 100's of times on that particular buck before it actually did. By the time the actual moment of truth happened it was as if I had already been there. Don't get me wrong, I still got excited, but the actual physical shaking and heavy breathing that comes along with buck fever were minimal because of the mental preperation I had done.

I will also utilize targets to help with the preperation. The Glen-Del buck or other targets that resemble deer are great tools. Slow yourself down and visualize that this truly is the only shot you will have at the animal and it will help with the mental stability you need to perform under the high pressure situations of a real hunt.

It might sound strange, but I strongly feel being mentally prepared is more important than just trying to figure out how to rid the shakes, heavy breathing, or increased heart rate.
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Re: Buckfever

Unread postby wappkid » Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:33 am

Black Squirrel wrote:I am lucky, I don't fall apart untill after the shot. Then I can get pretty shook up. But I would suggest shooting more deer. Take a doe when you can if your population allows it. Like MOBIGBUCKS said, experince will probably help.
I have been bowhunting since I was 16yrs old. Since then I have probably took 35-40 deer 20 of them being with a bow. I have tried shooting doe method. I just end up taking more does than I want to shoot.I have no problem with the does.I should have at least 5 150-160 class bucks hanging on my wall that I have missed.It actually depresses me when I think about it. I have horror story after horror story about buckfever.I have the hunting experience.I have hunted bear and in Canada. I have taken a couple of bears. Drawn down on a couple of Moose. Elk hunted. And I dont get shook up on anything besides a whitetail.I practice shooting 3-d targets all year. I am always visualizing the shot.It's something about those big whitetails that get's me fired up.
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Re: Buckfever

Unread postby Stump » Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:07 am

I might be way off base, but here goes...

Buck/doefever I think is a simple case of not shooting enough deer or being around enough deer. I've now bow hunted for 13yrs and have only killed 6 doe and zero bucks. I haven't missed a buck simply because I haven't drawn on one. :roll: Long story to that, but boils down to unrealistic goals for underachieving, pressured land. Anyway... ha, ha I've missed my fair share of doe, but on average I'd pull back on a doe maybe once/twice a year and that includes attempting to shoot every doe I had in range. Last year I was fortunate enough to have a couple buddies with ground that wanted doe shot. So I saw my fair share of deer, shot one in Oct which I'm not really sure how I connected(doe fever) and then shot another in late Nov. After the season of seeing deer and getting comfortable around them....I pulled back and killed that doe in Nov like I was shooting my foam decoy during the summer practice. Why was that? I truly believe that it was because I had been around enough deer through the year to be able to settle the nerves knowing I was going to kill something. Don't get me wrong, I still had the nerves after the shot...but pre-shot, I was solid as a rock!

Now with the gun, that's a different story. I've killed enough(bucks and doe) that pre-shot, I'm very confident(but not cocky though) in myself with my gun in my hands....the deer is dead. It can be a bad thing though. If I commit, I get tunnel vision. LOL So what I think might be a good buck, once I kill it and walk up to it....it might not be. It's happened a time or two. :lol:
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Re: Buckfever

Unread postby Autumn Ninja » Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:17 am

wappkid wrote:How do you guys deal with buckfever?


I don't have a problem with buckfever....He seems like a pretty good guy to me, LOL!!! :D

Seriously....Once I establish him as a shooter...I kinda zone out. I try to focus on getting my bow drawn, pick a lane, pick a spot and make the shot.
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Re: Buckfever

Unread postby Dewey » Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:21 am

Once I am sure it is a buck I want to kill I zoom in and just focus on the kill zone and shut everything else out. If it is a big buck and you keep looking at the rack you will experience buck fever and I have heard of people actually shooting the rack :shock: but that is a little extreme! :lol: Keep repeating in your mind to PICK A SPOT and burn a hole in that spot with your eyes until you can take a shot.
I am fortunate because I don't fall apart until after the shot and have to sit down for awhile because my whole body shakes! That feeling is what keeps me coming back for more!
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Re: Buckfever

Unread postby Black Squirrel » Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:32 am

wappkid wrote:
Black Squirrel wrote:I am lucky, I don't fall apart untill after the shot. Then I can get pretty shook up. But I would suggest shooting more deer. Take a doe when you can if your population allows it. Like MOBIGBUCKS said, experince will probably help.
I have been bowhunting since I was 16yrs old. Since then I have probably took 35-40 deer 20 of them being with a bow. I have tried shooting doe method. I just end up taking more does than I want to shoot.I have no problem with the does.I should have at least 5 150-160 class bucks hanging on my wall that I have missed.It actually depresses me when I think about it. I have horror story after horror story about buckfever.I have the hunting experience.I have hunted bear and in Canada. I have taken a couple of bears. Drawn down on a couple of Moose. Elk hunted. And I dont get shook up on anything besides a whitetail.I practice shooting 3-d targets all year. I am always visualizing the shot.It's something about those big whitetails that get's me fired up.

Not sure what to tell you. You definately have the experince. Those 5 misses at big bucks might have you doubting yourself, when it comes to big deer, and just snowballing into a viscious cylce. One thing that might help, is shooting with a friend, or in tournaments/league. If you you get worked up, it might be a fear of missing, more than actual buck fever. Definately, sounds like something mental, is causing you to come unglued at the site of a big buck. They do have a tendency to cause problems like that! Good luck.
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Re: Buckfever

Unread postby Bucky » Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:49 am

wappkid wrote:
Black Squirrel wrote:I am lucky, I don't fall apart untill after the shot. Then I can get pretty shook up. But I would suggest shooting more deer. Take a doe when you can if your population allows it. Like MOBIGBUCKS said, experince will probably help.
I have been bowhunting since I was 16yrs old. Since then I have probably took 35-40 deer 20 of them being with a bow. I have tried shooting doe method. I just end up taking more does than I want to shoot.I have no problem with the does.I should have at least 5 150-160 class bucks hanging on my wall that I have missed.It actually depresses me when I think about it. I have horror story after horror story about buckfever.I have the hunting experience.I have hunted bear and in Canada. I have taken a couple of bears. Drawn down on a couple of Moose. Elk hunted. And I dont get shook up on anything besides a whitetail.I practice shooting 3-d targets all year. I am always visualizing the shot.It's something about those big whitetails that get's me fired up.


Just like PLB said... I would start shooting in a league. You will learn to shoot under pressure. The extra shooting especially at 3D targets will also boost your confidence.

The only other way I know of is to get around bigger bucks more often. If you only see one shooter a year you're bound to get pretty excited... The only way to do this is get a access to a farm/area that holds higher %s of mature animals
"When a hunter is in a tree stand with high moral values, with the proper hunting ethics and richer for the experience, that hunter is 20 feet closer to God." Fred Bear
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Re: Buckfever

Unread postby Hodag Hunter » Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:52 am

I agree with balck squirrel that you may be more concered about missing the big buck then the animal itself. You've freely admidting to missing 5 good bucks.....now when a shooter walks into range are you concetrating about the shot at hand or "I have to make this one because I missed the last 5"?......even subconsciously?

Seems almost like target panic......but just with actual big deer.

I would draw on every deer you see, non-target animals, with out shooting, settle the pin and then let off the bow. Yea, may risk spooking a few animals but you have to try something.

I had target panic bad years back, don't know why it came on, many years after hunting deer just one year couldn't hold a pin to even a target while practicing. That's how I beat it...just told myself I wasn't going to shoot, held the pin for a few seconds and let off the bow. Did this literly hundreds of times until it "went away". I dunno may work for you.
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Re: Buckfever

Unread postby wappkid » Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:53 am

Black Squirrel wrote:
wappkid wrote:
Black Squirrel wrote:I am lucky, I don't fall apart untill after the shot. Then I can get pretty shook up. But I would suggest shooting more deer. Take a doe when you can if your population allows it. Like MOBIGBUCKS said, experince will probably help.
I have been bowhunting since I was 16yrs old. Since then I have probably took 35-40 deer 20 of them being with a bow. I have tried shooting doe method. I just end up taking more does than I want to shoot.I have no problem with the does.I should have at least 5 150-160 class bucks hanging on my wall that I have missed.It actually depresses me when I think about it. I have horror story after horror story about buckfever.I have the hunting experience.I have hunted bear and in Canada. I have taken a couple of bears. Drawn down on a couple of Moose. Elk hunted. And I dont get shook up on anything besides a whitetail.I practice shooting 3-d targets all year. I am always visualizing the shot.It's something about those big whitetails that get's me fired up.

Not sure what to tell you. You definately have the experince. Those 5 misses at big bucks might have you doubting yourself, when it comes to big deer, and just snowballing into a viscious cylce. One thing that might help, is shooting with a friend, or in tournaments/league. If you you get worked up, it might be a fear of missing, more than actual buck fever. Definately, sounds like something mental, is causing you to come unglued at the site of a big buck. They do have a tendency to cause problems like that! Good luck.
I have been wanting to get into 3-d tournaments. I have shot in one and I was really nervous. It was actually kind of like buck fever. At home on the practice range. I can shoot well. I shoot well with my buddies but when you stick me around a ton of people and I lock up.You might be right.I think it's got to be some kind of mental block. I am going to try to get into some more 3-d tournaments. And put myself out there a little more.
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Re: Buckfever

Unread postby DEERSLAYER » Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:57 am

If I start loosing my composure here is what I tell myself:

"It ain't over till it over dumby !! Just think of all the times you blew it because you thought it was game over. It's not done until I wrap my hands around those antlers so just settle down and focus. This isn't time for fun, that only comes if I can close this deal, it's serious business right now!"

I also try to tell myself that once I'm drawn up and have my pin on him I have to envision him as a 3D target so there is no need to rush the shot. If he moves while I'm settling in then that shot just wasn't meant to be because I definitely don't want a miss or worse yet a wounded animal.
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Re: Buckfever

Unread postby wappkid » Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:08 am

I guess I am going to have to get myself mad. I focus pretty well when I get mad.I really don't want to relate it to hunting but I am going to have to figure something out to get it done.


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