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Handling excitement when hunting, can we train for it?

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Unread 07-08-2006, 12:52 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 457
Re: Handling excitement when hunting, can we train for it?

I don't get as excited with guns as I do with a bow but I think that is due to the close proximity of the critter.
I do have a big problem with coyotes when they are close and don't think I could take my pulse unless I bought one of the machines that take pulse and bp. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img] It sure is fun doing some howling and watching them come to the call.
It'a amazing how much pressure you can put on yourself during a competition. At our IHMSA Internationals in 2004 in Ohio at the Tusco rifle range my goal was to shoot a perfect 80 and I messed up my first couple of chances and was in my last catagory in which I had a chance. I was down to the last 5 shots with 75 down and thought I made it and relaxed and lost concentration and shot the second target first, thereby loosing both targets getting a 78 [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]
I did get a few tips from some MN shooters that were spotting for me and I hope they will get me to my goal in two weeks when I try it again.
I think I will get that book, I always like more tips/help [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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Unread 07-08-2006, 09:29 PM
Writers Guild
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,459
Re: Handling excitement when hunting, can we train for it?

Dave, if your pulse ever stops climbing when you see a game animal, you may as well stop this and take up golf or lawn bowling.

That's the whole point, getting a little excited!!!!

Now the key is channeling that new found energy to do some good. Here sports psychology will be of great help.

The goal is getting your body pumped up so that it is alert and energised to complete the task, however, training allows the mind to think 'slowly and calmly' during the body excitement.

Exposure to game animals will always help but give a mental tune up a try. Also watch stimulants like Caffiene and sugar, smoking, alcohol. Breathing and directed relaxation are also great skills to learn. Keep yourself well hydrated too.

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Unread 07-08-2006, 09:39 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sask. Canada
Posts: 2,410
Re: Handling excitement when hunting, can we train for it?

I have this scenario unfolding in my mind...
Guide says, "There he is, that's the biggest buck I have ever seen!!!"
Ian, "Uhh, hang on a second, I have to get a reading and make notes..."
Guide whispers, "Don't turn that damn little machine on again, no, dont' push that button!!! He's a Booner, he's coming closer..."
Ian, "I have to get a reading for my buddy Dave. Only takes a second!"
Guide, "You idiot, thats the second Booner this week you spooked with that damn (*&)^% machine!!!"
Ian, "Now you've gone and done it, your yelling is making my heart-rate speed up like crazy... Can't you keep better control of yourself! Dave isn't going to like these numbers."
Guide, "One more buck, that's all. Just one more buck. If you do that damn machine thing I'm going to wrap those wires around your *#&$%^ neck!" And you won't be sitting down because that freeking machine will be so far up your...."
Ian, "Calm down, calm down. Here, how about I hook you up for a while and we can get Dave some numbers from the trusty guide perspective..."
Guide, "Just tell me one thing - how in hell can I get my hands on this Dave guy. Hooking yourself up with all these wires is the dumbest thing I have seen in all my years of guiding!!!"
Ian, "Look, that big buck is coming back over the ridge. He's trotting straight at us following that doe. Get down before they see us. OK, now I'll just get one quick reading for Dave..."
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Unread 07-08-2006, 10:28 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 2,788
Re: Handling excitement when hunting, can we train for it?

If you want to see what your heart rate is doing just get yourself a cheap heart monitor that cyclist and runners use. It goes around your lower chest, just above your sternum and It will come with a watch (no wires [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]) and will give you constant readings of your heart rate.
I have no thought about wearing it when jogging in place or doing some kind of exercise then practing shooting, but it is a good idea.
Mentally, the further away it is (to a point) the calmer I get.
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Unread 07-09-2006, 06:01 AM
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Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 2,369
Re: Handling excitement when hunting, can we train for it?


Guides are like that, they get all excited over such minor things. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

I have to slap mine around all the time in an effort to remind them that I'm the one that is the source of their income. They insist on getting me up at ungodly hours and dragging me through muskeg up to my eyeballs in search of the illusive hair pig, swamp donkey or whitetail deer. I'd much rather wander around camp eating donuts doing surveys and checking vital signs...(this does upset some of the other hunters a bit).

What do you figure your heart rate got up to with the Brownie charging camp??

Jerry Teo

Getting a handle on too much excitemement is sort of what I was after when I started this thread. My hope was that there were a few folks out these that had done a similar "test" and could relate some numbers or indicators. Granted, it take a whole lot for me to get fairly excited and I was surprised my pulse went up at all as shooting deer is a very common event for me (in years past I killed many hundreds per year).

I've had guys alone with me on hunts that went berserk at the sight of a deer (any deer)... I'm certain some of them had a heart rate near 1,000 or so. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

I'm not making this up: I had a fella with me one time that managed to launch an arrow backward out of a bow. We were in a tree stand and he got SO flustered that when he drew the bow the broadhead hit the riser with such force that the arrow bounced completely out of the bow and fell from the tree stand after twirling over the guys shoulder. He then knocked another arrow (a bit of fumbling) and shot using the wrong yardage pin (as best I can figure). This same fella missed a standing deer at about 15 yards, he was using a scoped shotgun that time around. He couldn't remember anything about the shot(s), where the deer was standing, where is ran to or what his sight picture was... all he knew was that there was a deer and he needed to shoot at it to kill it and other than that everything was a blur for him. I hunted with him for about 2 full seasons before he would calm down enough to make sense of the entire shooting event (spot, select, examine, aim, shoot, follow through, exit route, assess the shot and events, etc)
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Unread 07-09-2006, 09:34 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Southern Illinois
Posts: 397
Re: Handling excitement when hunting, can we train for it?

There are several ways to handle the situation, and sports psychology techniques are some. Mental imagery (I like Basham's books too), breathing techniques (IN,2,3,4; HOLD,2,3,4; OUT,2,3,4; HOLD,2,3,4), etc. Try the breathing techniques - they'll work as you sit in front of the screen.

Some of the best stuff there is gets used by biathlon competitors. Ski/run over hill & valley, then physically/mentally dropping pulse, BP, & breathing rates to take shots is what it's about. The nature of the sport in fact. Dave, I'm sure you've shot courses of fire too that require you to run for a certain time/distance to elevate pulse, BP, breathing before taking the shot. Pain in the @$$ to force yourself to do at the range, but it has some merit. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]
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Unread 07-09-2006, 11:28 AM
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Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 2,369
Re: Handling excitement when hunting, can we train for it?


Yeah, I've run some and shot some at competitions, its sort of automatic for me now but there are times when I find myself "willing" my heart to slow down a little.

An Federal Agency short sniper course offered to State and Local LEO and ocassional guests had a competion each day "the shirt shoot" that's a run and shoot offering. The run got a little faster each day and the distance seemed a little longer too! The group I was with won (4 of us) the "shirt shoot" each day, I was lucky enough to win two days in a row and was allowed to keep the shirt (ala Tour De France style). We were there as guests and really had a great time but we were the geezers too, there was one fella older than us and he also shot quite well. The young fellas sure could run but they choked pretty badly too on ocassion.

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