Video: Keep Target Panic at Bay

Professional archer John Dudley provides a simple tip — really simple! — to combat target panic.

Video: Keep Target Panic at Bay

No two words send shudders down the spine of archers like “target panic.” Visit YouTube and search “target panic archery” and you could keep yourself busy consuming content indefinitely.

Nearly 20 years ago I was talking about the topic with legendary bowhunter Chuck Adams, and he explained to me that whenever possible, he likes to shoot at white circles (homemade paper bull’s-eyes) that vary in size depending on his shot distance. Click here to read that article. He said that this simple process allowed him to free up his mind, and he believed it would help many archers avoid the stress (read target panic) that can occur at full draw.

The idea is Adams wants the relationship of bowsight pin to bull’s-eye to remain constant (i.e. look the same) regardless of shooting distance. In other words, at full draw, he wants his bowsight pin to look the same when floating on the bull’s-eye at 10 yards as it does at 20 yards, 40 yards, 60 yards, etc. He does this by changing bull’s-eye size for different ranges.

Adams cuts paper bull’s-eyes with diameters of 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 inches. At 10 yards, he uses the 2-inch bull’s-eye. When he doubles the distance ( 20 yards), he doubles the bull’s-eye size (4 inches). For 30 yards, he uses a 6-inch circle; from 40, an 8-incher; from 50, a 10-incher, and from 60, a 12-inch circle.

Regardless of shot distance, when Adams reaches full draw and floats the appropriate pin on the bull’s-eye, it looks the same. “Believe it or not,” Adams said, “your brain and body will work together to group arrows in the middle of the larger circles.”

Adams isn’t the only archer who believes in the “aim big, miss small” philosophy. John Dudley is an elite archer and coach, and he’s just as deadly on the range on targets as he is in the field on animals. In the 4-minute YouTube video below, Dudley explains how aiming at larger bull’s-eyes can keep target panic at bay


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