Making the Shot: 3 Keys to Success

Posted by: Steve Flores on Oct 1, 2012
Page 2 of 3

Pick a Spot
It sounds so easy.  Yet, in the clutches of your “shot of a lifetime”, it can literally be one of the hardest things to do; sometimes impossible.  A lot of archers, and I was once one of them, tend to aim “at the deer” while under the pressure of a live shot.  However, nothing will undermine your chances of success like shooting at the entire animal.  That may sound weird, but if your aim is directed at the “whole” deer, then you’re really not focused on where you want your arrow to impact.  And if you really don’t know exactly where your arrow is going to land, how can you logically expect to hit anything with it?

Case in point:  When that buck came trotting into my shooting lane, I wasn’t looking at the single hair or spot I wanted to hit.  I was more concerned with his headgear; “lusting” over it actually.  Sure, I placed the sight pin “somewhere” on him, but I couldn’t tell you where.  Obviously, my aim was nowhere near where it should have been, otherwise, I would be writing about something else and he would be staring down at me from my living room wall.  Picking a spot takes the focus off of the antlers and puts it back where it belongs….aiming.  It essentially forces your mind to work when it otherwise wands to shut down.  If I would have simply concentrated on a single tuft of hair or discoloration on his chest my mind would not have turned to gravy so easily, and I likely would have made a killing shot.  Sometimes the hardest lessons are also the most educational.


Failure to pick a spot is typically the result of rushing through the moment in an attempt to get out of an uncomfortable drawing back on the buck of your dreams. While we all live for this moment, the ill-prepared bowhunter will try to get out of the situation as quickly as possible....releasing the arrow is the easiest way to do that.

Understanding how important it is to pick a small aiming point on your next trophy, you may be tempted to believe that you can wait until the moment of truth arrives before actually testing that theory.  Don’t.  In the heat of the moment, when your mind disengages, you likely won’t even remember to do it.  The solution?  Picking a spot must be part of your everyday shooting routine.  It should be something that is performed on every shot you take from this day forward; in practice or in the field.  Simply reminding yourself to do it, verbally or perhaps by strategically attaching stickers to your bow limbs, can’t always be relied on to pull you through the throat tightening process of a live animal shot. 

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9 Comments on "Making the Shot: 3 Keys to Success"

Re: Making the Shot: 3 Keys to Success #
Great article. I shot my first doe a weekago today. I can tell you everything that happened right up to the point I decided to shoot. I can't tell you were I was aiming, were my shot hit her, wether she jumped or just run off. Next thing I see is her running in the bean field. All I know was my arrow made a complete pass through. There was alot of blood. But when the blood trail stoped. There was no deer. It sucked big time. I now have a few things to work on. Thanks again.
Posted by Dan Tyler on 10/2/2012 1:06:32 AM
Re: Making the Shot: 3 Keys to Success #
This is a great article! One thing that i have found helps while treestand shooting/hunting is if you touch your bowstring to the tip of your nose as part of your anchoring point/points. This ensures that if you drop your bow arm to position for the shot, the string will leave your nose alerting you to your break in form. As you compensate for this you will naturally bend at the waist to touch your nose back to the string, thus correcting the error in form.
Posted by VERMONSTER_0341 on 10/3/2012 10:41:47 AM
Re: Making the Shot: 3 Keys to Success #
Guys, Glad you liked the article. Best of luck this year and look for a piece on "Blood Trailing" soon.
Posted by Steve Flores on 10/3/2012 3:12:10 PM
Re: Making the Shot: 3 Keys to Success #
aim small..miss small
Posted by holymaverick on 10/3/2012 9:54:49 PM
Re: Making the Shot: 3 Keys to Success #
Find a shooting lane and have the spot picked out with the spot of impact where you plan on the arrow hitting and always check for limbs in or sticks in the way for the arrow at last the arrow flys and the blood trail starts .
Posted by Chase Coleman on 10/9/2012 1:53:55 PM
Re: Making the Shot: 3 Keys to Success #
Great article!
Posted by taharrison on 10/13/2012 2:10:33 AM
Re: Making the Shot: 3 Keys to Success #
Hi,Your blog " Comments on "Making the Shot: 3 Keys to Success" is very nice. just I like it, Thank you so much for posting it!
Posted by umesh on 10/17/2012 1:11:23 AM
Re: Making the Shot: 3 Keys to Success #
Great article! I just started to get into bow hunting so I am still really new to it all. I appreciate your advice and will definitely try to use it when I'm out practicing and hunting. I'm excited to learn all these new things, so thanks for the help!
Posted by bowhunting baby on 11/8/2012 9:30:05 AM
Re: Making the Shot: 3 Keys to Success #
i dont see why it is "so hard" to make a shot less than 60yards with a modern compund bow. i used to hunt with compound befor i started makeing and hunting with my own "selfbows". mabey its just me but "bowhunting" from a tree with a piece of machinery takes the adrenalin and fun out of bowhunting.
Posted by compound bows on 11/22/2012 12:23:54 AM

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