Buck fever

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treeroot
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Buck fever

Unread postby treeroot » Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:57 am

I'm no expert at anything so take this with a grain of salt.

I've seen a bunch of posts where guys are getting buck fever at the shot so I thought I'd post what helped me. I used to do the same thing, get the shakes then over analyze the shot. It took me a bit but I learned to beat it with no magic tricks.

What I stated practicing was 0 thought shooting gun or bow it doesn't matter. I knew how to pull my bow and shoot a target, I knew how to settle my gun sights and shoot a target. Confidence on targets was there. But put a deer out there and all the what ifs hit, is my form good, what if he steps, waiting that extra second to long and he's past my shooting lane, ex. So I started practicing with 0 thoughts other than shoot the target. I quit paying attention to my form and back pressure and all the other self coaching things that I already knew. After awhile I started shooting better than I ever had.

The next deer I shot i had only one thought, he steps into that little hole he's dead. That's exactly what happened. Since then it's how I practice and shoot at deer. Often it's almost a blank out moment of muscle memory and 0 thought. I get the shakes after it's over.

I think most people just over think it and that split second with a lack of confidence throws off their shot. I know it did for me. By all means if your just learning to shoot focus on getting good on a target first.


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Re: Buck fever

Unread postby EllieTheChubb » Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:53 pm

I do a one thought approach. We have so many things in our shot cycle its bound to trip us up if we try to go through everything in the moment. So I just focus on the point of impact and my weakest link which ends up being the most important part of my shot cycle.

Ive missed several deer because of a bad anchor point because of all the different angles actual shots end up being. When I'm practicing I have a sequence that I go through: release anchor, elbow, breath, etc.
When ever I draw back on a deer I'm locked on the point my arrow is going to hit. then I just think about my release anchor and everything else falls into place.

Great post!
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Re: Buck fever

Unread postby EllieTheChubb » Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:55 pm

I should add the best way to get over buck fever is to shoot lots of deer. Fill that freezer with does!
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Re: Buck fever

Unread postby Jmitch » Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:58 pm

I've messed up a few pretty easy shots over the years due to getting too excited. The last was a 3 year old nine i had at 15 yards stopped 1/4 away slightly. Shouldve been perfect. My excitement about finally getting a big buck got the best of me and I didnt take the 1/2 second to place my shot. Ended up hitting him square in the shoulder. 3 inches of penetration. Needless to say I didnt find him. From that point I have made a point to slow down and get it right. Early it took lots of reminders that it's not over until I'm standing over him. Just because hes in the lane its not a sure thing. Keep it together and finish it. After you kill a few it becomes almost second nature and now I'm cool hand Luke until after the shot or it's gone. Then I shake like a leaf. Think it's just one of those things that improves with a few successes and more confidence.
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cspot
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Re: Buck fever

Unread postby cspot » Wed Dec 11, 2019 1:04 pm

My best way to combat buck fever is I focus on the mechanics of my shot as the deer is coming in. I concentrate on when he gets to there, then I will move, then I will shoot here, if he turns here then I will do this, etc. It helps me slow everything down and keep my nerves calm. I even do that when I am on stand and haven't seen anything. I will go thru scenarios of which ways I think a deer will come in.

All this being said I still have been known to screw it up. :D
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Re: Buck fever

Unread postby Boogieman1 » Wed Dec 11, 2019 1:08 pm

Personally don’t think buck fever is something you can 100% cure through practice or anything else. That’s not saying practice isn’t very beneficial. Just saying if u r forced to watch a buck of a lifetime close the distance from a 100 yards off very slowly. I’m willing to bet there’s gonna be some shakey knees. I do my best work when things happen quick and I don’t have time to think. I practice a lot, mainly so even if I’m at my worst I still end up in the goodies. For me, what works best for any buck fever symptoms is talking to myself with supreme confidence. Some might view it as cocky and it really is. But as soon as I see something I care to shoot that I know is gonna come through the chutes. I repeat a line from the movie , The Green Mile over and over. Dead deer walking, got a dead buck walking the mile. Just helps me keep it together and think positive thoughts.
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Re: Buck fever

Unread postby EllieTheChubb » Wed Dec 11, 2019 1:20 pm

Boogieman1 wrote:Personally don’t think buck fever is something you can 100% cure through practice or anything else. That’s not saying practice isn’t very beneficial. Just saying if u r forced to watch a buck of a lifetime close the distance from a 100 yards off very slowly. I’m willing to bet there’s gonna be some shakey knees. I do my best work when things happen quick and I don’t have time to think. I practice a lot, mainly so even if I’m at my worst I still end up in the goodies.For me, what works best for any buck fever symptoms is talking to myself with supreme confidence. Some might view it as cocky and it really is. But as soon as I see something I care to shoot that I know is gonna come through the chutes. I repeat a line from the movie , The Green Mile over and over. Dead deer walking, got a dead buck walking the mile. Just helps me keep it together and think positive thoughts.



Not cocky at all! I've made the mistake of taking shots I think I can make or I think I can force and it rarely worked out the way I wanted. After a couple bad hits I learned its just not worth it if I dont have "supreme confidence"
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Re: Buck fever

Unread postby Bowonly » Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:04 pm

treeroot wrote:I'm no expert at anything so take this with a grain of salt.

I've seen a bunch of posts where guys are getting buck fever at the shot so I thought I'd post what helped me. I used to do the same thing, get the shakes then over analyze the shot. It took me a bit but I learned to beat it with no magic tricks.

What I stated practicing was 0 thought shooting gun or bow it doesn't matter. I knew how to pull my bow and shoot a target, I knew how to settle my gun sights and shoot a target. Confidence on targets was there. But put a deer out there and all the what ifs hit, is my form good, what if he steps, waiting that extra second to long and he's past my shooting lane, ex. So I started practicing with 0 thoughts other than shoot the target. I quit paying attention to my form and back pressure and all the other self coaching things that I already knew. After awhile I started shooting better than I ever had.

The next deer I shot i had only one thought, he steps into that little hole he's dead. That's exactly what happened. Since then it's how I practice and shoot at deer. Often it's almost a blank out moment of muscle memory and 0 thought. I get the shakes after it's over.

I think most people just over think it and that split second with a lack of confidence throws off their shot. I know it did for me. By all means if your just learning to shoot focus on getting good on a target first.




Just my opinion but I'd say more bucks are lost to guys "under" thinking their shot process than over thinking it.

Buck fever for a lot of folks is the anxiety getting to full draw, seeing brown fur behind the pin, blacking out and dumping the trigger. I used to think that I performed best in that autopilot mode. I killed a lot of deer like that but I missed and wounded quite a few too. Trouble was I wasn't in control of my shot.

Now I slow myself down and really focus on hitting a specific spot. I'm not reciting a mantra but I make myself execute a proper shot. My kill percentage is definitely higher with a controlled shot than with the "grip it and rip it" method.
Take someone hunting or fishing.
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treeroot
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Re: Buck fever

Unread postby treeroot » Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:35 pm

I wouldn't call it auto pilot as much as muscle memory. I'm not recommending taking poor shots, or quick draw type shooting. One ounce of second guessing and my mind will screw me up.

Once I'm in a tree, on the ground ex. I play through every scenario of where I can shoot a deer. I do this over and over while I sit there. I don't take low risk shots. I don't get amped up watching one come in. On a deer I choose to shoot, I'm mentally focused on my shooting windows and their body placement. Zero thoughts about wishing them to step, or turn or what if I mess up.

I think the mental side of the shot changes from person to person. Which makes for a good informative discussion.
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Re: Buck fever

Unread postby Antler Assassin » Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:36 pm

I would agree with others its trying to simplify the process as much as possible. Especially with all the things you have to check off in a sequence for bowhunting. Pre range all the shooting lanes and clearings you have, multiple times during a sit. I have found most of the times, I had more time than what I thought. Do everything to mentally slow the process down. I struggled a lot shooting deer for a couple of seasons. I could shoot targets well but of course it totally different. I would get target panic with a buck. When shooting tragets I made myself hold the bow back for 10-15 seconds before shooting so I wouldnt just punch it off the split second my pin hit the exact point on a target I was wanting it too. Seemed to help me out alot.
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Re: Buck fever

Unread postby Jdw » Thu Dec 12, 2019 3:17 am

Bowonly wrote:
treeroot wrote:I'm no expert at anything so take this with a grain of salt.

I've seen a bunch of posts where guys are getting buck fever at the shot so I thought I'd post what helped me. I used to do the same thing, get the shakes then over analyze the shot. It took me a bit but I learned to beat it with no magic tricks.

What I stated practicing was 0 thought shooting gun or bow it doesn't matter. I knew how to pull my bow and shoot a target, I knew how to settle my gun sights and shoot a target. Confidence on targets was there. But put a deer out there and all the what ifs hit, is my form good, what if he steps, waiting that extra second to long and he's past my shooting lane, ex. So I started practicing with 0 thoughts other than shoot the target. I quit paying attention to my form and back pressure and all the other self coaching things that I already knew. After awhile I started shooting better than I ever had.

The next deer I shot i had only one thought, he steps into that little hole he's dead. That's exactly what happened. Since then it's how I practice and shoot at deer. Often it's almost a blank out moment of muscle memory and 0 thought. I get the shakes after it's over.

I think most people just over think it and that split second with a lack of confidence throws off their shot. I know it did for me. By all means if your just learning to shoot focus on getting good on a target first.




Just my opinion but I'd say more bucks are lost to guys "under" thinking their shot process than over thinking it.

Buck fever for a lot of folks is the anxiety getting to full draw, seeing brown fur behind the pin, blacking out and dumping the trigger. I used to think that I performed best in that autopilot mode. I killed a lot of deer like that but I missed and wounded quite a few too. Trouble was I wasn't in control of my shot.

Now I slow myself down and really focus on hitting a specific spot. I'm not reciting a mantra but I make myself execute a proper shot. My kill percentage is definitely higher with a controlled shot than with the "grip it and rip it" method.


If I am understanding correctly, (relying on muscle memory) you are spending a lot of time becoming familiar with your equipment and practicing until shooting is 2nd nature.
I think it is an important point to stress that if you’re not using a good consistent practice routine, the muscle memory won’t be there.
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treeroot
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Re: Buck fever

Unread postby treeroot » Thu Dec 12, 2019 3:34 am

Jdw wrote:
Bowonly wrote:
treeroot wrote:I'm no expert at anything so take this with a grain of salt.

I've seen a bunch of posts where guys are getting buck fever at the shot so I thought I'd post what helped me. I used to do the same thing, get the shakes then over analyze the shot. It took me a bit but I learned to beat it with no magic tricks.

What I stated practicing was 0 thought shooting gun or bow it doesn't matter. I knew how to pull my bow and shoot a target, I knew how to settle my gun sights and shoot a target. Confidence on targets was there. But put a deer out there and all the what ifs hit, is my form good, what if he steps, waiting that extra second to long and he's past my shooting lane, ex. So I started practicing with 0 thoughts other than shoot the target. I quit paying attention to my form and back pressure and all the other self coaching things that I already knew. After awhile I started shooting better than I ever had.

The next deer I shot i had only one thought, he steps into that little hole he's dead. That's exactly what happened. Since then it's how I practice and shoot at deer. Often it's almost a blank out moment of muscle memory and 0 thought. I get the shakes after it's over.

I think most people just over think it and that split second with a lack of confidence throws off their shot. I know it did for me. By all means if your just learning to shoot focus on getting good on a target first.




Just my opinion but I'd say more bucks are lost to guys "under" thinking their shot process than over thinking it.

Buck fever for a lot of folks is the anxiety getting to full draw, seeing brown fur behind the pin, blacking out and dumping the trigger. I used to think that I performed best in that autopilot mode. I killed a lot of deer like that but I missed and wounded quite a few too. Trouble was I wasn't in control of my shot.

Now I slow myself down and really focus on hitting a specific spot. I'm not reciting a mantra but I make myself execute a proper shot. My kill percentage is definitely higher with a controlled shot than with the "grip it and rip it" method.


If I am understanding correctly, (relying on muscle memory) you are spending a lot of time becoming familiar with your equipment and practicing until shooting is 2nd nature.
I think it is an important point to stress that if you’re not using a good consistent practice routine, the muscle memory won’t be there.


Absolutely what I'm meaning. Several hundred arrows/ bullets later. If in practice or in the field something goes wrong I'm practice shooting again until I figure it out.


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