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Old 11-27-2010, 09:19 PM   #1
Draco
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While I shot instinctive for about 35 years, I had to change about 12 yrs. ago due to an inability to get my instincts to work right. I don't know what happened, maybe several eye surgeries had something to do with it. I shot NFAA archery for quite a few years in bowhunter division. I developed a gap system to aim and used the bow to gap off of. It worked quite well but only worked with the bow held vertically.

Knowing that it wouldn't work well for hunting I started to read as much as I could on other peoples gap system. It seemed gapping off the point was the way to go, however if I hadn't already used a type of gapping in the past I wouldn't have been able to do it as no ones explanation was very good.
I've taught several people to shoot using the gap in the last few years and have found a better way to explain it. I personally believe it is a superior way to shoot and has several advantages over other methods if you shoot 3 under. If you don't then there is too much distance between your eye and the arrow which would make the gaps just too large.

Here is the way I teach people to shoot the gap. You start with the target and you draw your own. It has a big plus sign with dashes every four inches above and below the plus. Here it is. The first picture is the target and the second is a close up of me shooting to show where my anchor is. It looks like my left eye is closed but it's not, the sun was bright from that direction.
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Old 11-27-2010, 09:28 PM   #2
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My bow is a 63# Pronghorn, shooting 2213 al. arrows and total arrow weight is 610 gr. The bow shoots these at 178 fps. I am going to shoot these just like I have some one do when teaching them. My shooting may not be too good as I have not shot since Oct. 10th. when I killed a buck.

I am starting at 10 yds. and I put the point of the arrow right on the big + sign and shoot. I shoot a second arrow to make sure.

The second picture is after shooting an arrow while holding the point the same distance low as the first shots were high. The arrow standing up has it's point on where I held the point at. This tells me where my 10 yd. gap is, about 12" low.
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Old 11-27-2010, 09:36 PM   #3
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Next I move back to 20 yds.. I shoot an arrow with the point right on the big + again. I shoot a second to make sure.

In the second picture I have adjusted my aim and hold the point where the tip of my bow limb is. Now I have the gap at twenty. 15 yds. will be right between the the ten and twenty gaps. I told you I wasn't shooting all that good.
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Old 11-27-2010, 09:39 PM   #4
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Next comes thirty. I always shoot best at thirty as I am point on at thirty. But we don't know that yet and we have to find our point on. Here's thirty and I'll be darned I am point on there. From now on our point will be above the + to hit right.
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Old 11-27-2010, 09:42 PM   #5
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Next comes 40 yds. and that is as far as we need to go for most hunting situations.

First is holding right on the + and of course it is low. Shoot a second to make sure.

Next shoot holding the same distance, about a foot, high as we were low and a second to be sure.
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Old 11-27-2010, 09:49 PM   #6
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Draco, your anchor and head position are exactly like mine. Will this method of shooting work with a canted bow?
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Old 11-27-2010, 09:59 PM   #7
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What all this tells us is that from very close range to thirty yds. we are only dealing with 12" of error in elevation. There is really no range estimation needed. If a deer comes in close, under fifteen, just hold it about a foot low of it's heart [right on it's front knee for me] and you got him. If it's not so close, more medium range, say fifteen to a little over twenty, just hold it six to eight or so inches low and bust him. If it is starting to look like a long shot then put it point on and if it looks like a really long shot put the point on it's back. You probably don't want to start taking those long shots for a few years but you will becuase with this method you will get that good.

I hope some of this helped. I have taught some to shoot this way that have killed their first deer only a few months after picking up a bow, it's just that easy to learn. However while easy to learn you will fine tune the system to fit your self even better.
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:01 PM   #8
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Yes ma'am it will. But I don't think you need to change. I've heard that you shoot plenty good all ready and that was from some one who knows good.
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:13 PM   #9
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I can tell that if I could learn to do that it would increase my accuracy 10%. It still seems like a lot of thinking, and it involves numbers.....I hate numbers and can't understand them at all unless they involve green and presidents.
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:21 PM   #10
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Bob,

Thank you for taking the time to put this together and post it. I will give it a try and see what happens.

I am really glad you posted tonight. I shot this evening and though I did not shoot terrible, after missing the target twice and loosing an arrow (I HATE TO LOOSE ARROWS!), I just hung the bow up for the evening.

I am likely goin over to Ol Mans in the AM and maybe I can try your suggestion in the morning.

Again, Thanks for the post.

Bill
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:41 PM   #11
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Billy, I hope you didn't take any thing I said as negative toward you at all. I know that when I met you at Bob's that you were just totally enthralled with sticks and strings. Besides that you are just a good ol' boy and i just wanted you to succeed with the stick bow that I know you love. If this doesn't work then go to the other bow and try it again next year. If you get it down then you won't have a problem sticking a deer, I gaurantee it.
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:50 PM   #12
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If you draw it out on cardboard Deb, like I have then there are no numbers. You will just see it in dashes above and below where you want to hit. Bob Wesley told me once that he could actually put a day glow orange spot on the target, in his mind,where the point should be as he drew his bow. He shot one over with a medium anchor so he was dealing with a lot more vertical distance than you or I and he still won the world long bow a long time ago. I myself really never think in terms of inches of hold over or under. After lots of practice I just hold the point where it needs to go at what ever distance it is and shoot. It's a method worth playing with a little just to see if it helps you.
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:01 PM   #13
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Does this change at all when you're shooting a broadhead vs. a fielt point?

What I mean is....field points are generally all the same in length and width, while broadhead shapes and sizes vary greatly. My assumption is that to shoot this way, you must practice this method with the same broadhead you plan on hunting with...correct?
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:21 PM   #14
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It doesn't change between points because with a high anchor you don't see the point but the end of the round part of the arrow. Hold an arrow up to your cheek bone and look at the end. You'll see what I mean.
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:59 PM   #15
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That's got to be the best explanation of gap shooting I've ever seen. Although it doesn't work for me, I can honestly say that I've never given it a fair chance, but as I get older... I'm very tempted. Thanks for posting and giving a very definitive explanation to this style of shooting! Well done indeed!

Tom
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Old 11-28-2010, 12:06 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
Billy, I hope you didn't take any thing I said as negative toward you at all. I know that when I met you at Bob's that you were just totally enthralled with sticks and strings. Besides that you are just a good ol' boy and i just wanted you to succeed with the stick bow that I know you love. If this doesn't work then go to the other bow and try it again next year. If you get it down then you won't have a problem sticking a deer, I gaurantee it.
Its all good Bob!

Lets hope it works. I will keep you posted!
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Old 11-28-2010, 07:47 AM   #17
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Thanks for posting, this trad newbie is gonna give it a try. Sorry maybe I over looked it but how far apart arw the dashes above andx below center?
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Old 11-28-2010, 09:10 AM   #18
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Thanks for posting, Draco. I'm going to check it out for sure, if it works for me it will put me in the 90% catogory. This is going to help a couple of my students a lot even if it does not work out for me. I can't try it until my shoulders & back heal up. I will let you know how it works out.

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Old 11-28-2010, 09:15 AM   #19
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Deb,
What happen to you?
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Old 11-28-2010, 09:22 AM   #20
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Not sure, really. It has to be one of two things. Either my shooting stance has changed in some subtle way or I spend to much time hunched over this computer. I'm thinking it's a bit of both. At any rate, I'm not picking up a bow until I see the Doc.
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Old 11-28-2010, 09:45 AM   #21
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Hope you get to feeling better.

I went back and read Draco's post. First marks are four inches from center.
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:47 AM   #22
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This is very well done Draco. Martha could understand this.

Of course she (and I) would also have to attain a better judgment of distance in order for gap shooting to work.

Then of course we (she) would have to work out yet another gap quessing method to accommodate shooting up and down hill.

We'll see if gap shooting will help her accuracy. I'm not yet willing to give up on instinctive shooting myself.
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Old 11-28-2010, 12:54 PM   #23
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Great stuff here Bob. Despite popular opinion, this is something even I can understand as a visual learner. This is the same basic way that I understood gap shooting to be just illustrated a bit better. I am very anxious to try this when and if my shoulder ever gets healed up and haired over. Thanks for taking the time...
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Old 11-28-2010, 07:37 PM   #24
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thanks for posting this im gonna have to try this ive missed two deer this year with the recurve and i think this will work maybe ill be intune with it by next hunting season
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:54 PM   #25
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I gave this an initial try this morning.

It was difficult to concentrate at shooting 3 under, establishing my new anchor, new aiming method and focusing on picking a spot at the same time. I need to work at it in pieces before I determine if it will work for me or not.

However, my best friend and trad mentor, Ol Man helped me determine that my instinctive shooting that went to crap was in a big part due to my establishing some bad form / release habits. It took us a better part of 3 hrs to get me back to the basics and back on track. I had to slow everything down from picking a spot, drawing, anchoring and following through after the shot. Kind of amazing that doing all the things that are required to become a decent trad shooter will allow you to do just that!

We also found that my arrow flight was not so good. I had added 100 grain inserts to get my arrow weight up and they became underspined.

I will still be trying Draco's gap style to see if it can work for me, but not likely till spring.
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Old 11-28-2010, 09:09 PM   #26
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Bob,
Thanks for this posting... I can honestly say that you my friend have done an exemplary job on explaining this. Finally I totally understand this gap thing ya'll talk about! Tried it... it works even split finger but, at my age and all the bad habits I have I shoot far better doing it my way! I really can see this helping an awful lot of people. Thanks once again for taking time to do and explain this so well!
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Old 11-28-2010, 09:42 PM   #27
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Great post. This is very helpful
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Old 11-28-2010, 09:43 PM   #28
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As a person that has learned to shoot this way from Bob I must admit that it really works. At least for me, and im left handed. The one thing i will would be care full about is to learn the concept first with the diagram to figure out your gaps. Then get to a 3D target. I could kill my bag target all day long but as soon as I moved to my deer target I would miss at the same distance. I figured out that I was aiming at a spot on the target to hit the spot I wanted the arrow to go. take away the spot and i miss. After about three arrows and thinking of the gap I was on again. Then it became VERY simple for me in a short amount of time. I shoot inside my shop all the time now and am confadent out to 25 yrds. Even standing on top of my office for an elavated shot ( Thats right Bob indoor shooting range ) I have only been shooting trad for a year so it works well. Thanks for the class
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:15 PM   #29
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I've told a couple of people to check this out. Can't quite imagine myself pulling it off, but I can't wait to try.
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:18 PM   #30
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When tryng it out this morning, when I could pull it all together I was very accurate. Switching from what I have been doing to this will be challenging but "may" work!

I have seen Draco shoot and it sure works for him.
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:28 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BmacBmac1 View Post
When tryng it out this morning, when I could pull it all together I was very accurate. Switching from what I have been doing to this will be challenging but "may" work!

I have seen Draco shoot and it sure works for him.
What did you switch from?
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:47 PM   #32
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How well does this work with split finger?
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Old 11-30-2010, 12:17 PM   #33
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This thread is missing some posts. As Rubydog said yesterday this will work quite well for split finger. TBH's "GapShooter" shoots this way and is an awesome shot. L.Freeman, S. Kanaga S. Wilson and Shabow are also among the best shots I have ever seen. Wait..not 100% sure that S.Wilson and Shabow shoot this way but I think so. Why it dosen't work for me I don't know, but here is what happend when I worked with it. From 10 yds I shoot at the center cross. It hits the center cross. I step back and raise to the second mark above. It hits the second mark above. Back and raise. It hits where I look. Guess I'm not smart enough to shoot this way. Draco, what do you make of this?
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Old 11-30-2010, 04:43 PM   #34
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It means your spot on from every where. Thats awsome.. Show off
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Old 11-30-2010, 05:12 PM   #35
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But that is not possible. ^^ Old timers chime in with your opinion. Where is guru Draco? One2bowhunt, I do not know how to post the little faces on here but I am sticking my tounge out at you right now.

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Old 12-01-2010, 08:50 PM   #36
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Deb, don't pay any attention to Joe,[one2bowhunt] as he's one of those guys that you show how to shoot and in about 20 minutes he is out shooting you. He is just a natural and would have been good no matter which way he shot. He does have advantages over us though. He's young, strong, has great eye sight and a steady hold. He is a great guy though.
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:33 PM   #37
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Lol, nobody likes guys like that.
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Old 12-04-2010, 08:50 PM   #38
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I am kinda new to archery but started out split finger, instinctive and could not get the hang of it. I switched to 3 under with an aiming system like you use and really started improving. Great article with sound advice!
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Old 12-06-2010, 01:50 PM   #39
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Draco here is a question for you. I started shooting instictive when I was 6 and di until I was 14 then I found out that I am left eye dominant and being right handed it makes it almost impossible to shoot instinctive. Do you think this gap method would work if I closed my left eye and only used my right when shooting?
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Old 12-06-2010, 02:27 PM   #40
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I am left eye dominant and right handed. I shoot instinctive 3 under just fine.
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Old 12-06-2010, 03:04 PM   #41
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good thread
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Old 12-06-2010, 03:57 PM   #42
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Quote:
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I am left eye dominant and right handed. I shoot instinctive 3 under just fine.
I didn't know that. Martha is left eye dominant and shoots right handed also. Of course she's not as good as you, but that's more a function of practice (lack thereof) than anything else.

I taught our son (now 25) to shoot a bow right handed before we knew he was left eye dominant too. When he got into shooting rifles and shotguns in Scouts, they determined his left eye dominance and taught him to shoot guns left handed and to sight with his left eye. He is quite good with guns.

He still shoots a bow right handed and uses wheels and sights and sights a bow with his right eye. He shoots a compound pretty well too. We messed him up in many ways.

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Old 12-06-2010, 04:56 PM   #43
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Hey, Dusty. If you look at the 2008 TBot newsletters you will see that Martha was just a few points ahead or behind me. Check 2009, too. I know she can shoot just as well as I can. And I REALLY MISS HER BEING HERE!!!
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:18 PM   #44
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Quote:
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I REALLY MISS HER BEING HERE!!!
x2...where is Mrs. Martha?
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:25 PM   #45
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Real busy.
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:16 PM   #46
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Quote:
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Hey, Dusty. If you look at the 2008 TBot newsletters you will see that Martha was just a few points ahead or behind me. Check 2009, too. I know she can shoot just as well as I can. And I REALLY MISS HER BEING HERE!!!
Yes Deb, that was true in'08. We practiced at the range nearly every weekend that year and both shot much better than we do now.

I have chalked up this year's showing to a lack of practice, but we learned recently that Martha has cataracts in her left (dominant) eye. She'll be having surgery to remove them shortly after the first of the year (the cataracts not the eyes).

The progressing cataracts probably had an effect on her shooting ability also (her eye sight has been getting worse after all). I myself don't have an excuse.
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:38 PM   #47
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As a first thought, Gtsticker, I would say yes on gapping with one eye closed. I have a friend that is a retired game warden that is right handed but left eyed. I showed him how to gap shoot and he loves it. He shoots way better than he ever has before and says he will never change.

On another note though, if you target shoot, it will be no problem at all. In hunting I can see where it wouldn't be as good. If all you do is sit in a stand and shoot deer with their head down in the corn, then it shouldn't be a problem. If you walk and hunt as in hunting the western states or walk hunting hogs or if you take a walking or trotting shot I would think having both eyes open would be paramount to success. You need the other eye for depth of field as well as gauging things that matter around the animal such as other animal action at the time you are about to shoot. With one eye closed it might be hard to do. That said, it hasn't bothered my friend Gary at all to shoot one eye closed and he says he wouldn't shoot any other way.

So it will work but might need to be practiced with to determine if it will work for you. Try it and see and good luck with it.
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Old 12-07-2010, 10:44 AM   #48
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Quote:
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He is a great guy though.
Man Have I got you fooled!!! Heck I even tricked you into buying lunch and you were happy about it.

There is no way Im out shooting you, matter a fact I need to come by and get a tune up. I seem to have picked up a habit or two but dont know quite what im doing wrong. What would be great of you would be to have a small get together some where to help others lean your tricks as well. ( see, there I go again. Im tricking you into a shooting party now )
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Old 12-07-2010, 11:32 AM   #49
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We can have a shootin' party here.
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:16 PM   #50
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Sounds good to me! Perhaps we can figure out a way to get Bob out of Gtown to go shoot.
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