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I have always suffered through target panic. Get locked off target and punch trigger. I have went through Joel Turner’s Clinic and just can’t seem to get a surprise release with a caliber trigger release. It’s finally time to try a back tension release. I’ve never used one, all the Carter ones recommended are $200 plus dollars and I don’t even know if it will work for me. I am a hunter first and foremost, so I have no interest in target shooting with a back tension release if I can’t utilize it in the woods. Please help, what should I get? Is there a huge difference in back tension releases? I am a college student, don’t really want to buy a release that costs more than I paid for my bow, lol. (2009 Mathews Switchback LD).


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Shootin and Cussin
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A mechanical device will NEVER cure target panic. The panic will go away somewhat but will come back with a vengeance.

Find yourself a good, certified coach.
 

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Isaiah 6:8
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yeah like SHPoet said, that TP is all mental. You need to find a way to let your mind be okay with your pin in the middle of the target without feeling the urge to get the shot off asap. you can fire any release with back tension. i hunt with an index release and everything else is with my thumb button. with my index release i come to anchor and wrap my finger around the trigger and trying to get the trigger at my first knuckle, so shorten the head of the barrel about as far as it will go. Keep that finger "hooked" around the trigger and simply just pull your elbow at an object behind you. i would literally turn around and look for something to pull my elbow towards, it helped me. with my thumb button i come to anchor and wrap my thumb around the barrel of the trigger, i let my other fingers relax while keeping my thumb stationary, then i just pull my elbow straight back till the release breaks.

a buddy of mine had bad TP and tried to cure it with a hinge, it did nothing for him as he would still flinch through out the shot process. just let the shot break when it wants to, don't try to time it or anticipate it.

i will add that my index release is a cheap one and lacks adjustability for the sensitivity of the trigger and trigger travel, i would definitely buy something with adjustability. my thumb button is a scott pursuit and i love it!
 

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I agree with what @SHPoet says. A new release WILL NOT CURE target panic.

However, I do believe that some types of releases are more conducive to working through the problem than others.

I like to recommend people work with a resistance activated release (Carter Évolution, Stan Element, etc). The reason is that these releases are harder to "cheat". As you have probably seem with your index trigger, even when you are trying to keep pulling keep pulling keep pulling through the shot, all it takes is a twitch of the finger and your subconscious can set off the shot for you.

Thumb buttons are almost as easy to cheat as index triggers. Hinges are a little harder. And resistance releases are the hardest to cheat. It is definitely possible to command shoot one. But you'll know you're doing it because you have to give it a pretty good jerk.

With a resistance release it is easier to concentrate on the slow, steady, deliberate pull.

So no, a release will not cure your target panic. But a resistance release will be a more efficient tool to help You do the necessary work to get through it.

And if you have the possibility of working with a coach. That's even better. When you are shooting you only know what you Think you are doing. A coach will be able to tell you what you are Actually doing.

If you keep an eye on the classifieds, you can regularly get resistance releases for under $150
 

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Tiny...
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When I shot with a wrist release, I found I had a twitchy index finger and resulted in bad shots and TP. What I wound up doing was switching to using my middle finger and it smoothed out the shot. I just laid my index finger on top of the release and let the middle finger do the work.

I now shoot a thumb release for hunting and 3D, and a hinge for compound target. But, if I have to shoot a wrist release, still use my middle finger.

Also, I'd suggest getting some twine or D-Loop material and making a dry fire practice device. Just hold the string in your bow hand, and work on consistency with your release to help get over target panic as if you were holding your bow.
 

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the release you use will make absolutely no difference. you might experience a short period of time where after changing releases, your TP subsides, but it will return as soon as you get used to the different release. that different release is just a distraction to the TP while your shot process learns a new program to operate the new release. this is because the release is not where the TP exists,....it exists in your head,...in the program that is the shot process you have formulated and allowed to get corrupted. there is all sorts of advice here on the site to remedy TP, and none of them that actually work, have anything to do with blind bailing, because the process of operating the release (what blind baling is for) is not where the TP originates. it originates in the process of seeing your pin on or in the center of, the bullseye and you shot execution knowing it has to perform perfectly to make a good shot. in simple terms,...the pin in the bullseye is freaking out your shotprocess abnd it then fails to run the shot the way it should. the problem is entirely on you head and nowhere else. now, there are remedies,but none of them are quick and short term.you must dedicate your shooting time to doing a few simple drills for a fairly long time ,if you want to rid your shot of TP permanently. there's plenty of info in the archives about these drills, all you have to do is dedicate your time to learning what to do.
 

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I tried to go this route by purchasing a Stan SX3 thumb release. I shot like an Olympian archer for three straight days with the thumb release but the fourth day my mind knew I tried to trick it by using my thumb to release the string. Bad things started to happen. I think what worked for me the best is a Stan Perfix or the TruFire Thrufire retention release. It made me pull through the shot and did not include a trigger. I went back to my index finger Trufire Hardcore Max and will resume my search for the cure after archery season. For some reason my target panic does not show up while bowhunting animals but I tend to keep my shots to under 25 yards while hunting.

Ron
 

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the reason it doesn't show up on hunting targets, is because on a bullseye, there is a clearly defined specific pin point spot that you know your arrow must hit. with an animal,...that pin point spot doesn't exist. again,...a different release is just a distraction. you need to re-program your shot process(the mental program that is your shot control) to not get freaked out when it sees the pin or spot on the bullseye. it's a matter of trust between the sub-conscious and conscious element of your shot process. simply put,...your conscious element refuses to turn the shot over to your sub-conscious element of running the release.....it doesn't trust that the sub-conscious program is right or will run correctly,...so it interrupts the shot's progress. that said, you can see how the kind of release itself has nothing to do with the making the interruption, or eliminating the interruption. the whole problem is in how your shot is run by your brain.
 

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the reason it doesn't show up on hunting targets, is because on a bullseye, there is a clearly defined specific pin point spot that you know your arrow must hit. with an animal,...that pin point spot doesn't exist. again,...a different release is just a distraction. you need to re-program your shot process(the mental program that is your shot control) to not get freaked out when it sees the pin or spot on the bullseye. it's a matter of trust between the sub-conscious and conscious element of your shot process. simply put,...your conscious element refuses to turn the shot over to your sub-conscious element of running the release.....it doesn't trust that the sub-conscious program is right or will run correctly,...so it interrupts the shot's progress. that said, you can see how the kind of release itself has nothing to do with the making the interruption, or eliminating the interruption. the whole problem is in how your shot is run by your brain.


Absolutely agree!!!!!!
My target panic started after several years of hunting.
Care diddilly about focusing on the pin.
You should be looking at the animal.
Sure your subconscious sees the pin. If it didn't, you wouldn't hit anything.

So don't sweat the small stuff.
Hunting is not target shooting.

Put the pin on the animal and make the shot.
EASY PEASEY!:)
 

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Lots of people saying a new release won't help...I'm not so sure. TP is not one thing for everyone, it's different things that get lumped into TP. If your specific problem is shot anticipation, a hinge release can absolutely help/solve that. If it's mental, I agree with the above, it won't help.

I had shot anticipation issues when I was shooting indoor Vegas leagues a lot. I would see my pin where I wanted it to go and punch the trigger. Knowing when the shot would happen(shot anticipation) created poor results.

I got a Scott Backspin release on the classifieds here for a good price. I had no more shot anticipation issues almost immediately. It took me quite a while to get it adjusted and be confident enough with it to shoot good scores. But once I was confident in it, I would focus on the x, let the float happen, and execute my shot process. It was amazing how my groups shrunk week after week.

The lack of being able to punch the trigger helped my shot process to the point where I can shoot my wrist release now on demand and not have shot anticipation issues anymore. I still hunt with my wrist release and shoot targets with my hinge.
 

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Target panic comes from between your ears you can buy every release made and try every gimmick to fix it but until you fix your mind it's never gonna leave.back tension is a process of making a release fire the process is the same regardless of the type used
Blank bailing and aiming drills are about the best fix for it
 

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Hangin and Bangin
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I just posted a Whalen Hooker release in the classified section it will cure your TP.
 

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Cato
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I agree with what @SHPoet says. A new release WILL NOT CURE target panic.

However, I do believe that some types of releases are more conducive to working through the problem than others.

I like to recommend people work with a resistance activated release (Carter Évolution, Stan Element, etc). The reason is that these releases are harder to "cheat". As you have probably seem with your index trigger, even when you are trying to keep pulling keep pulling keep pulling through the shot, all it takes is a twitch of the finger and your subconscious can set off the shot for you.

Thumb buttons are almost as easy to cheat as index triggers. Hinges are a little harder. And resistance releases are the hardest to cheat. It is definitely possible to command shoot one. But you'll know you're doing it because you have to give it a pretty good jerk.

With a resistance release it is easier to concentrate on the slow, steady, deliberate pull.

So no, a release will not cure your target panic. But a resistance release will be a more efficient tool to help You do the necessary work to get through it.

And if you have the possibility of working with a coach. That's even better. When you are shooting you only know what you Think you are doing. A coach will be able to tell you what you are Actually doing.

If you keep an eye on the classifieds, you can regularly get resistance releases for under $150
This is it for sure. I have been and am still in your boat to some extent. It hurts me to read people say a new release is not the answer. While they are correct in that you must re-train your brain, switching to a tension activated release can facilitate that retrain. Unfortunately, for some of us, it takes a while.
 

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Cato
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If you want to try to at least do better with your wrist strap, this process is a good place to start. It is a video that teaches the basics of how to shoot the wrist strap with back tension. I found it very helpful.

 

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I agree with EClark. Whatever it takes to change your mental game will help you get past target panic. For me it was mostly a hinge. I hunted with it for years with no problem back in the days when I shot daily. If I return to hunting I'll shoot a thumb release, but I honestly can't say if the thumb release would have gotten me past TP if I shot it before using a hinge.
 

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I have always suffered through target panic. Get locked off target and punch trigger. I have went through Joel Turner’s Clinic and just can’t seem to get a surprise release with a caliber trigger release. It’s finally time to try a back tension release. I’ve never used one, all the Carter ones recommended are $200 plus dollars and I don’t even know if it will work for me. I am a hunter first and foremost, so I have no interest in target shooting with a back tension release if I can’t utilize it in the woods. Please help, what should I get? Is there a huge difference in back tension releases? I am a college student, don’t really want to buy a release that costs more than I paid for my bow, lol. (2009 Mathews Switchback LD).


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Having been through Joel's course, you 'hopefully] realize you are still using an open loop process for your shot, still allowing the pin position dictate when your shot execution begins. Have you tried contacting Turner and discussing the matter? I've found him very receptive to questions and offering assistance.

GRIV [coach Ryals] also has some techniques on working through holding off and shot anticipation; one YouTube called 'Bulletproof Your Shot' and another 'You're Working on the Wrong Thing' among several sources [haven't checked them out personally, but Dudley and Morgan both have content other archers have found useful.

Didn't see it mentioned in your post, but you may be able to set up your index to reduce the sensetivity to "place the pin and punch," like moving the trigger deeper on your finger or switching fingers.

Really hasn't been addressed above, but my approach/mantra is that it's time to stop practicing and start training; Practice is shooting to see what your scores are or where you are hitting/grouping- putting all the pieces together- practice is fun... Training is working on specific tasks within your shot execution- it's all the teadious stuff- training sucks! Things like [as mentioned above] setting up a paracord release trainer and going through your release execution... not once in a while or a couple times, but a thousand ties... And after that, another thousand times, then again. Every one deliberately focusing on your action word [from Turner]. Rarely ever see this mentioned [if ever], but on your paracord trainer rig a leashe; if done correctly and in a true closed loop process the paracord should launch out of your bow hand [if you're catching it, you're still anticipating your shot].

You said you're not a target shooter, but another training tool [from GRIV] is to shoot Vegas rounds [30 shots of 10X scoring], starting at about 7yds [the average distance where your 20yd pin aims true again]; not once or twice, but 25-50 games... Move back a yard or two, wash rinse repeat. Essentially developing a good execution habit, then finding a trigger for that process that isn't reliant on pin placement.

You can, and many people do, "practice" their way out of target panic... many [MANY] of them have it return down the road; many shooters get through it with equipment changes, but many [MANY] have it come back again... Gotta put in the time, effort, and dedication to develop a process that stops you from wanting to hold off and drive by the X, a quick fix is rarely the answer.
 
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Its not the kind of release. Its you. To cure the issue will take a year probably and don't rule out target shooting because it applies stress and puts you under pressure because that's whats going on. A back tension will allow you to learn to aim again. Thats all. After that go to a thumb release and take another year of back and forth between back tension and thumb release. If I'm getting sloppy with the thumb, back to back tension until I settle down.
 

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Back Yard Champion
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If you want to try to at least do better with your wrist strap, this process is a good place to start. It is a video that teaches the basics of how to shoot the wrist strap with back tension. I found it very helpful.

Video picture, nice hand position and even better trigger finger postion.............
 

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Lots of people saying a new release won't help...I'm not so sure. TP is not one thing for everyone, it's different things that get lumped into TP. If your specific problem is shot anticipation, a hinge release can absolutely help/solve that. If it's mental, I agree with the above, it won't help.

I had shot anticipation issues when I was shooting indoor Vegas leagues a lot. I would see my pin where I wanted it to go and punch the trigger. Knowing when the shot would happen(shot anticipation) created poor results.

I got a Scott Backspin release on the classifieds here for a good price. I had no more shot anticipation issues almost immediately. It took me quite a while to get it adjusted and be confident enough with it to shoot good scores. But once I was confident in it, I would focus on the x, let the float happen, and execute my shot process. It was amazing how my groups shrunk week after week.

The lack of being able to punch the trigger helped my shot process to the point where I can shoot my wrist release now on demand and not have shot anticipation issues anymore. I still hunt with my wrist release and shoot targets with my hinge.
yes a hinge will help with shot anticipation,if that's your problem. there are certainly many kinds of Target Panic,...."get locked off target" is what the OP posted. that,...is not a release problem,...it is a mental problem within your shot execution's process,.....which a different release will not and/or can not help get rid of permanently. a different release may distract it for a short while,.... but it will return as soon as your shot process gets used to the different release. what is happening with classic "freeze type target panic,...is that the shot execution process doesn't trust the release process to run well enough to produce a good shot. so,....it does something,...anything,...to keep the shot from getting to the point that the release process has to run to make the shot. what ir chooses to do in classic Target panic, is freeze anywhere other than the center of the bullseye, as long as that pin doesn't settle on the center of the bullseye, it knows that it doesn't have to trust the release process, so that is what it does. it is the main reason we try to assign the release process to the subconscious level of process. the sub-conscious can run all by itself, right along side the conscious and not interfere with the program that running in the conscious process. when the release process is not sub-conscious, it cannot run by itself along side the conscious process of sight alignment because our brains are not capable of processing two conscious thoughts at exactly the same time and sight,is a conscious process ( you cannot sub-consciously see something), so the release process get the ticket to be run subconsciously. when we don't do the work required to program the sub-conscious process to run the release, ....we most usually end up punching, freezing,or anticipating the shot.
 

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Like others said don’t buy a new release. This may ruffle a few feathers. IMO anyone with TP has to slow down...R.E.L.A.X. Stole that from A Rodgers. Seriously though think about your shot process then make steps. In my career I have had to make seriously stressful shots count when it matters most and from what I’ve seen, learned and executed in my 20 years of mil experience I can tell you that you gotta keep things simple for yourself. With a bow it’s no different brother and I would stick with the release you have. Stop focusing on a surprise release. Master the basics and your shots will improve I promise. Remember that the longer you hold your that string back the pin will move more and more. Truly know that there is nothing that can change that. Try this the next time you shoot.

1. Get into a proper stance, feet separated enough so that someone couldn’t easily push you and make you off balance.
2. Take a deep breath through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
3. Raise bow arm a bit and relax.
  • Tell yourself to relax.
  • As you begin to draw your bow back begin to inhale through your nose. (Practice the timing of breath so that you are done breathing in as SOON as you hit your wall at full draw).
  • when we take a deep breath in and the lungs are full of air you will a your body relax. It’s like a natural pause and it’s at this pause that you want to pull the release trigger.
4. Aim, when you feel that natural pause very slowly squeeze trigger. Slow, steady squeeze.
5. Keep your position frozen until your arrow hits the target.
- don’t let the bow down, don’t let the bow fall forward, and let your release arm fall down, and please DO NOT pull your release hand hard backwards.

There is tons of stuff about surprise shot, and pulling hard all the way into the wall so that your arm goes back. It works for some but the majority it won’t. Try that breathing method. You don’t have to do it while holding a bow you can even practice doing it laying down. Practice that and even practice pulling the trigger without anything in your hand.

IMO you want to be in control of the situation the entire time. I’m sure surprise shot works but I just don’t get it. If your pin is not on the spot after that first natural pause take another deep breath, exhale and adjust pin, once that pause hits (you’ll feel it) slowly squeeze trigger.

This would be so much easier to explain in person. I hope I’m making sense. If I’m not let me know I’ll call you and walk you through it. I don’t know what release you are using but I would recommend a index release for learning this technique with the breathing. Once that’s down you can move to thumb or whatever else you want. One last thing on the index finger and the release trigger. On your index finger you will find a sweet spot. For most this is the first line on your finger when you curl it. Get familiar with that spot and just practice slowly squeezing trigger back. It’s a repeatable feel and process.

Disclaimer: This is all my opinion on the subject and am not a bow coach.




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