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Thread: How to Gap Shoot

  1. #1
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    How to Gap Shoot

    Or at least how I do it.........Arrowsong ask on another thread about aiming and shooting at different distances - instead of burying it there I thought a new thread would be in order. Now I am no expert, but I have found a method that is pretty easy to do and works for me - I did not come up with it and do not claim as much and if it works for you great, if not that's fine too.

    To set my gaps I like to take a piece of masking tape about 3' long and place it on the target butt vertically. Then I like to add cross pieces about 6" long at about 8" intervals so I have a vertical line with several cross pieces. I start off at 10 yards, pre-aiming at the top X as described in a prior post - draw back, make note of where the point intersects the vertical tape mark, then focus back on the top X and execute the shot. I'll take several shots until I am confident that the group is representative. Then I write down the measurement and move back 5 yards and repeat until I have marks to 40 yards my point on distance. Beyond that the same concept works but you hold over instead of under.

    I shoot 3 under with a middle finger to corner of mouth anchor. A higher would reduce gaps, lower will increase them.

    Now here's the good part about knowing and having smallish gaps: My gaps are 16"@10yds, 20"@15yds, 24"@20yds, 20"@25yds, 8"@35 and Point on at 40.

    As you can see from 15-25 yards are nearly the same gap - and also the most common distances for hunting and at most 3D's.

    Now here's the good part - most deer/antelope etc 3D targets as well as live critters are approximately 24" from center of the kill zone to their feet. Now if we put all this together any shot at a standing deer etc at 15-25yards, I will pre aim centered on the critter, draw back - check the gap (point at the feet) focus on the spot I want to hit and execute the shot. You will obviously have to adjust for your own gaps and different targets and ranges, but hopefully you get the idea.



    None of it's any good if your form is inconsistent, but if your shooting good groups then this may help with some of the range estimation/shooting issues.


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    Here is an excellent video that Black Wolf found showing what I'm trying to describe. This shooter is pre-aiming, gapping, holding and executing a good shot with good form. A good method to copy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=Tgm-oErUEQM

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    I don't know how to do trick shooting,but I do have a few questions.

    How can you tell the difference between 16" and 20" at 25 yards?( Without the lines)

    If you aim the arrow point at the feet of the average size deer,then how would you compensate for a taller animal like an elk?

    How does it work from an elevated stand?

    What about a rabbit?

    Are you sure that looking at the arrow point does anything? Or is possible that when you look back at the spot you want to hit your brain automatically make adjustments that you are unaware of? Guides your hands to do what is needed based on information gathered by your eyes looking at the spot.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by FORESTGUMP View Post
    How can you tell the difference between 16" and 20" at 25 yards?( Without the lines)
    You would be amazed at what the brain can do. Practice enough and the brain will begin to recognize it. It's obviously not as precise as a sight...but a great archer can get pretty darn close.

    Quote Originally Posted by FORESTGUMP View Post
    If you aim the arrow point at the feet of the average size deer,then how would you compensate for a taller animal like an elk?
    Aim at the knees

    Quote Originally Posted by FORESTGUMP View Post
    How does it work from an elevated stand? What about a rabbit?
    Like I said in the first response...the brain will eventually recognize it. If it couldn't no one would be able to shoot without a sight.

    Quote Originally Posted by FORESTGUMP View Post
    Are you sure that looking at the arrow point does anything?
    Absolutely...for some archers.

    Quote Originally Posted by FORESTGUMP View Post
    Or is possible that when you look back at the spot you want to hit your brain automatically make adjustments that you are unaware of? Guides your hands to do what is needed based on information gathered by your eyes looking at the spot.
    Absolutely...for some archers. Recognize a pattern?

    You really need to understand that not everyone shoots like you, learns like you or thinks like you...which is why there are so many different ways of doing things.

    Ray

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    Quote Originally Posted by FORESTGUMP View Post
    Are you sure that looking at the arrow point does anything? Or is possible that when you look back at the spot you want to hit your brain automatically make adjustments that you are unaware of? Guides your hands to do what is needed based on information gathered by your eyes looking at the spot.
    FG, you are still stuck on the erroneous claim by Ricky W that Instinctive shooting means focusing on the target and that Gap shooting means focusing on the arrow. That simply isn't true. Gap shooting is more systematic and conscious than instinctive shooting but it isn't an either or thing. Systematic gap shooting becomes more and more automatic with practice. However, even Ricky W doesn't claim instinctive shooters don't see the arrow (at least not in the clip you usually post on this topic), he says that instinctive shooters don't *consciously* use the arrow as a reference.
    <evidence><
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    Quote Originally Posted by FORESTGUMP View Post

    How can you tell the difference between 16" and 20" at 25 yards?( Without the lines)


    How does it work from an elevated stand?
    When I shoot IFAA Field it's easy to Gap as not only do you know the distance but the size of target face, once you figure out your Gaps it's really just and exercise in good shooting form and focus. When I shoot unmarked 3D I put more focus into where I want the arrow to go and less on the gap, I have one basic get me on target Gap and let my subconsious do the fine tuning into the pro ring, it's still a form of Gap but a little closer to instinct than the GAP method as the subconscious is doing more work on finding the right Gap than I described for field, the advantage is you dont always need to judge distances exactly or know size of target, it's done more by feel and experience. IFAA 3D shoot to 60y so past 50y I tend to take the time to judge distance as my point on is 55y and it's easier to use pure gap.

    To shoot up down on Field it's just a matter of working the angle related to the distance and making the correct 'cut' for example a 45y shot at 45 degree downward angle would be shot as a 30y shot, again in 3D I tend to do this more by feel and experience. Obviously I'm more consistent\accurate at field but on 3D's I'm always amazed at myself that if I just let it happen and dont get caught second guessing distances\angles I can be very accurate on that as well

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    Centershot I'm still trying to wrap my hands around this gap shooting. In simple terms what I'm reading is you aim "point on target" at short distances and measure the arrow groups where they hit from the point of aim. Working your way back, continuing to aim "point on target" and measuring until you find the specific range where the arrows are actually grouping on the point of aim. Once that is established and you have a visual reference of the gaps at different ranges, you simply adjust your aim point with the arrow tip high or low on the target, depending on forward or behind your point on target range, to compensate for those gaps at different ranges. Correct? As with anything else, once you do this a few hundred times, I would think your mind and muscle memory would take over in large part and the shooting then becomes more instinctive in nature. Not much different that pistol shooting on the range although the gaps are significantly larger with the bow.

    So my starting point with this new bow would be to first tune the bow to itself, then tune it the arrow and finish with tuning the archer to the bow. Of course all three steps require solid and consistent form from the start. Am I on target??

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    BUT,what about the rabbit? I still want to know how far away from the rabbit to point the arrow! Assuming that I can get him to stay put while I move into position at some guestimated distance.

    BLACK WOLF I do absolutely recognize a pattern,that's the only reason I even postsd in this thread.
    That pattern seems to be that most so called gap shooters are using the instinctive method more than they think they are and the look at the arrow step is not needed at all.

    WARBOW I'm not stuck on anything that Ricky W said(whoever that is). Nor have I posted any clip from anyone when this topic comes up.
    However, I am stuck on what "I" believe about instinctive shooting. And that is that there is no need nor any reason to look at the arrow. Only at the spot that the shooter wants the arrow to hit.

    STEVE MORLEY I can certainly see where this method could be very useful at distances close to your point on distance. It's pretty hard to be very accurare at longer distance without some reference.
    The OP used a hunting situation as an example and that will usually mean shorter distances than field shooting. The problem for a hunter is of course getting a perfect shot at a known distance,which would be required to know where to point the arrow. Otherwise a miss would be guaranteed.
    The more I think about this and the more I read on the subject,the more I believe that most of these guys take a look at the arrow point for no good reason. I'm not talking about long range field shooting here.
    So, I still think that when he looks back to the 'spot' that he intends to hit, that his brain actually makes adjustments to compensate for that distraction.



    I still want to know about the rabbit at about 15yds. Where would I point the arrow??? Should I release while looking at the ground or look back at the rabbit. Hahaha,he'll probably be gone by then.
    Wabbits are not stupid ya know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cossack View Post
    Centershot I'm still trying to wrap my hands around this gap shooting. In simple terms what I'm reading is you aim "point on target" at short distances and measure the arrow groups where they hit from the point of aim. Working your way back, continuing to aim "point on target" and measuring until you find the specific range where the arrows are actually grouping on the point of aim. Once that is established and you have a visual reference of the gaps at different ranges, you simply adjust your aim point with the arrow tip high or low on the target, depending on forward or behind your point on target range, to compensate for those gaps at different ranges. Correct? As with anything else, once you do this a few hundred times, I would think your mind and muscle memory would take over in large part and the shooting then becomes more instinctive in nature. Not much different that pistol shooting on the range although the gaps are significantly larger with the bow.

    So my starting point with this new bow would be to first tune the bow to itself, then tune it the arrow and finish with tuning the archer to the bow. Of course all three steps require solid and consistent form from the start. Am I on target??


    Since you specifically addressed centershot on this I'll leave it alone and wait for his response.

    BUT you post does prove just how confusing this idea is to many people. Could really play hell with a new shooter trying to learn how to shoot trad. KISS

  10. #10
    I started out shooting instictive. It's just like throwing a football or baseball. I can't hit the side of a barn with all three. Went to gap shooting and now I hit stuff. Feels pretty good.
    --Tom

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    cossack - that's the idea exactly. I acutally wright down my gaps for reference.

    FG the bunny shot is easy - start with the point on the bunny pre aim, draw back check the gap - focus on the bunny and whack him. It's pretty easy to pick a point in the grass in front of mr. bunny and still use the same idea. Try it - it really is much easier to do than explain.

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    ForestGump when learning Gap it's a visual learning process and doesn't seem a very accurate method, but once mastered it then becomes more about Spatial Awareness than visually peeking at the arrow. like you said it's closer to Instinct than a lot of people believe.

    Me setup is tuned for Field, I could if I so wished adjust anchor and arrow weight to give a point-on somewhere around 40y which would be better for IFAA 3D (max distance 60y) but as 75% of my shooting is Field I leave it with my current setup, I am thinking of setting up another Recurve specifically for 3D as my current bow I dont really want to change tune\arrows every time I shoot 3D. At this moment I'm shooting Longbow for 3D as I intend to shoot Fita 3D worlds in Sept with the Longbow and use the Recurve for Field which I will shoot IFAA European Field champs in Aug.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FORESTGUMP View Post

    WARBOW I'm not stuck on anything that Ricky W said(whoever that is). Nor have I posted any clip from anyone when this topic comes up.
    However, I am stuck on what "I" believe about instinctive shooting. And that is that there is no need nor any reason to look at the arrow. Only at the spot that the shooter wants the arrow to hit.
    Sorry. I actually had you confused with someone else. My apologies.
    <evidence><
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    Quote Originally Posted by centershot View Post
    cossack - that's the idea exactly. I acutally wright down my gaps for reference.

    FG the bunny shot is easy - start with the point on the bunny pre aim, draw back check the gap - focus on the bunny and whack him. It's pretty easy to pick a point in the grass in front of mr. bunny and still use the same idea. Try it - it really is much easier to do than explain.

    I actually have messed around with this idea quite a bit. That's how I arrived at the conclusion that it's unneccesary to bother trying to guess the distance and the proper gap. It always distracts my attention from the real mission and just causes me to miss. If I play around with it too much I then have to spend a lot of time reprogramming the shoulder mounted computer to get back to shooting normally.
    Instinctive shooting is also easier to do than to explain. Many people have tried to put it into words and really don't manage to make it clear. One just has to keep it simple and practice.
    I do understand about different strokes for different folks and the need for target shooters to have some reference to help them to hit targets at known distance. But for the rest of us it just seems to boil down to a simple process. Look at the target and shoot it.

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    The true value of threads such as this is for the new traditional shooter to study many different aspects, try them and figure out what works for them. As long as the end goal is met, the way to get to that point will vary for the individual. Last week I had no real clue where to start in this endeavor and now I have a process a plan and many options to take the first steps. Thank you all.....

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    I think there's going to be a huge difference in results between someone who is accustomed to accurately guessing yardage (like an experienced compound shooter) vs. someone who's never done such. If you are used to it and good at it, it's no big deal. If you don't have a clue, it can really add to the confusion--like having someone start shooting with wood arrows and they don't know anything about wood.

    Chad
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    Quote Originally Posted by cossack View Post
    The true value of threads such as this is for the new traditional shooter to study many different aspects, try them and figure out what works for them. As long as the end goal is met, the way to get to that point will vary for the individual. Last week I had no real clue where to start in this endeavor and now I have a process a plan and many options to take the first steps. Thank you all.....
    100% agree. Good post cossack

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by cossack View Post
    The true value of threads such as this is for the new traditional shooter to study many different aspects, try them and figure out what works for them. As long as the end goal is met, the way to get to that point will vary for the individual. Last week I had no real clue where to start in this endeavor and now I have a process a plan and many options to take the first steps. Thank you all.....
    Exactly...and if an archer understands the advantages and disadvantages with certain techniques under specific situations...it can make the choice in which technique/techniques to try more specific as they apply to the archer's goals.

    Ray

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    Quote Originally Posted by cossack View Post
    The true value of threads such as this is for the new traditional shooter to study many different aspects, try them and figure out what works for them. As long as the end goal is met, the way to get to that point will vary for the individual. Last week I had no real clue where to start in this endeavor and now I have a process a plan and many options to take the first steps. Thank you all.....

    You speak the truth my friend.

    Now,I think you need a thread about tuning. Or just a lot of reading on the subject.

    The bow is what it is. Arrow choice is most important.
    When you get the arrow spine tuned fairly close based on your drawlength and bow weight at that drawlength,then you can make some adjustments to the bow. When those are nailed pretty good,then the rest involves tuning the shooter. That might be a little over simplified but generally a good sequence to follow. As you shoot and learn about tuning it will all come together. Eventually you will learn to read the arrow flight and impact point and make adjustments accordingly.

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    I'm sincerely thinking about wood for arrow choice as I'd really like to just get back to the basic roots of the sport. Although LB's comment has me wondering I've engaged in many hobbies in my life (Taxidermy, custom rod building, tying my own flies for my other passion and the list goes on) Arrow crafting has me very interested so I'll likely be searching out information on that. Since you opened the door, I'll walk through and thow up another thread on the tuning stage I'm at now and seek input before I do something I should not. Thanks.

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    There are lots of 'old dogs' on here and they do not want to learn any new tricks, they have a method that has been worked out over years of shooting and it works for them. I understand and have no problem with that. My intention for this thread was more along the lines of cossack and new shooters looking for a confidence inspiring method to shoot. It gives me great confidence knowing that I'm in the 8 or better from 15-25 yards on any standing 3D target by just checking to see if the arrow tip is at the feet of the animal before I shift focus to the target. It's not "the way" but "a way" and if it helps you shoot a little better great, if not you tried it and know it does not work for you. I am used to it from years of compound shooting as mentioned above. From reading post here on AT there seem to be lots of compound shooter that venture to traditional and this may work for them also.

    cossack as for the wood arrows - I think you would be much better served by aluminium or carbon until your form is solid. There are usually enough things to worry about without arrow inconsistency being an issue.

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    There are lots of 'old dogs' on here and they do not want to learn any new tricks
    We "old dogs" are not into "tricks." We "old dogs" are into things like; time-proven, consistent, solid, reliable, Avatar, and not re-inventing the wheel. If you believe that we "old dogs" are stuck in the past, I suggest you take a tour of some trad gatherings and take a peek at the gear of some of the "old dogs" and watch them shoot. I will wager that you won't see any of the "old dogs" with a wheel bow hanging off their back for a backup bow just in case they don't have the ability and/or confidence to make the shot with their stickbow.

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    centershot

    I guess I am that 'old dog' but I am also hard headed enough to try things over and over even though I don't see how it could possibly work.

    So,yesterday I was standing on my porch and saw a blue jay on the ground at appr 25yds. I am pretty good at judjing yardage since I too was once a compound shooter and practiced yardage estimation constantly, checking myself with the rangefinder. But,since I am 6'5" tall I wondered about the effect of the angle involved to the blue jay and where on the ground that I would have to aim the arrow to hit him. Not that I intended to do so,just thinking about this discussion. I know that with my method I could probably hit him since a spot his size on my target is pretty easy at that distance. But how would I possibly aim at a point on the ground somewhere in front of the bird an still make an accurate shot?????????? Beats me.

    So,being the hard headed old dog that I am,I decided to try on my target. Took the first shot at about 25yds useing the old tried and true method. Poor blue jay would have been no more.
    So now,I decided to try to see what the gap might have been for that shot. Draw the bow to anchor just like normal except this time I held it long enough to look where the arrow was pointing. It was not 16" nor 20" low. More like somewhere on the ground maye 6-8 ft. in front of the target. I let down. Then tried several more times at different distances with similar results.

    So,that is technical enough research for me to realize that I obviously 'just don't get it'.

  24. #24
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    WW, finish reading the post.

    FG, gap works much better with a high anchor - If your aiming that low, then chances are you have a low anchor. Again, this is not 'the way' to shoot, rather 'a way' to shoot. I commend you for giving it a try. If your really feeling adventurous, try shooting 3 under with a high (middle finger corner mouth) anchor and then the arrow will be up there where you can use it.

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    Centershot great thread I have been keeping out just to see what most shooters do. You are right about the compound shooters nonsight. I shoot nonsight compound and recurve the same the only differance is my gaps are bigger with the recurve so the point is farther away from the target with the recurve at the closer targets. Now here comes the big differance. I see the gap in the window of the bow as if I had a pin on how far above the arrow would the pin be if it were there.I know it may sound hard but it's not it's very simple once you see it. I have a 45yd point on with my recurve at 40yds I a 1/4" gap 35yds is 3/8" gap 30yds is 1/2" and so on until 20, 15, and 10yds are about the same around 1" all the time never taking my eyes off the spot not focusing on the gap but seeing it in my secondary vision. kind of like an instinctive shot always looking where I want the arrow to hit. Each persons gaps will be a little differant depending on where their anchor point I sure you understand this. The to learn how to see this system is take a post card cut a 1" wide slot 1/4" tall then cut a 3/8" slot and 1/2",3/4"and 1" slot an bigger if you need it. Now that you have your card hold it at arms lenth on a target will say at 20yds look at the 1" slot put the top of the slot on the spot and see where the bottom of the slot is . this will show you where your arrow is. remember always focus on the spot not the arrow. You do this enough and you will start to see what a gap looks like back at the bow. when I do this my sight picture is the same as yours I just look at a little differant. when you look at it a target and guess how far 20" is you can make a 2 or 3" mistake an miss I see the same target and see a 3/4" gap I mabey making a
    1/16" mistake but still hit the target. Kind of like that aim small miss small thing. Once you learn to see this your hunting and your unmarked will get very DEADLY. If you have Question PM me. Or every one can just beat the crap out of me here on this post. Once you see what I an talking about you will never go back to guessing how many inches down do aim.
    Gary

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