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Out of confidence...

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Old 04-21-2013, 07:30 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 458
Out of confidence...

As we all know shooting, especially hunting at long range can take a mental toll on us at times. We all have been on our game and we have struggled to find some game. I went out to my Texas leases for a little spring hog hunting. I found some pigs early in the day and fired a very simple 100 yard shot. Expecting the pig to fall over, he ran past me, (I think he was laughing too) and had no signs of being hit. After some investigation, not blood, no pig. Right on que, that voice in my head started tearing me up over the miss. So I enter back to the lodge for a little target practice. My 338 rum put a group of three together like she always does .2 at 100. The voice said told ya!!

The rest of the week was the same, miss after miss. So now my nerves are at a all time high and I couldn't hit the broadside of a barn at 25 yards. Have been here before and will have to work through everything to get me back in the game. I would love to hear what you guys and gals do when things aren't going your way. What tricks, knowledge, etc do you use to work through it?
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:57 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Hot Springs, South Dakota
Posts: 504
Re: Out of confidence...

I've had the same problem as you. I couldn't hit the broadside of a barn from 25 yards. I found my problem was easy to solve. I moved to inside the barn.

No, I really wish I had a solution for you. Just couldn't help myself.
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:45 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 458
Re: Out of confidence...

I love it! Thanks man...!
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:07 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Central Montana
Posts: 105
Re: Out of confidence...

Same thing happens to me sometimes, I just have to step back and let things cool off. It really is scary how bad a miss or poor shot can make you just eat yourself up, begin to doubt your firearms setup or technique.
I am going through the same thing learning to shoot my new carry gun, it takes some work and the last thing i want to do is be carrying a gun i doubt i can hit things with, so i finish off my practice session with a mag at 7-10 yards into my steel swinger because i know i can hit it and end things on a good note.
I'd pound some steel at midrange until you gain your confidence back that you CAN make hunting accuracy shots in field positions and your rifle is spot on. The grey matter between our ears usually makes us far less accurate than the rifles we shoot are capable of.
We all hit the wall sometimes, good luck, you'll pull through it!
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:34 PM
JST JST is offline
Bronze Member
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 53
Re: Out of confidence...

Welcome to the horrible world of target panic my friend. Fortunately you control the fix. There are several methods. The most productive I believe is to put up the big boomers. Get out your favorite 22 and couple boxes of ammo. Get at the 10 yard line and shoot some cans, focus on the principles of marksmanship. When your hitting the can everytime move back, in increments until your at max range. You can even go so far as to at the 10 yard line. Line your sights up close your eyes, and focus on hold and trigger squeeze. Good luck.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:42 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: West Central Idaho
Posts: 1,100
Re: Out of confidence...

If the rifle is a tack driver with you shooting it on paper and you have trouble hitting or can't hit game we used to refer to it as "buck" fever. It's real like flinching but different and usually caused by excitement. Had a good friend who was a excellent shot on paper but when it came to bucks could not hit. He finally overcame it with age and after he got a few heads under his belt.

Not saying that is what it is but its food for thought.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. Sir Winston Churchill.

Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom. Einstein
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:49 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Near Napoleon,MI
Posts: 997
Re: Out of confidence...

I find that I need trigger time, from the field position. Otherwise I am inclined to make a bad shot. It doesn't help that I go out 20 times to get 1 shot at a coyote either... Unfortunately, one has too few opportunities at the target species to stay sharp. We have no varmints here like ground hogs or similar either and it is not safe shooting at squirrels in trees with a centerfire rifle...

My local range only allows shooting from the bench and of course one never hunts from the bench. I have found that the eye relief is all wrong when set up for the bench too. So I have had to set up some target stands on the farm where I hunt for coyotes and occasionally go and practice from field shooting positions. I just got some suitable steel plate, so I am in the process of making supports for them, then I will have something other than a paper target in future.
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