Crossbow hunters who are prepared both mentally and physically before, during, and after the shot will always be more successful than those who are not. Consistently successful hunters are extremely focused. When the moment of truth is at hand, being organized and being able to follow through with what you have to do is paramount to your success.
Call it buck fever or whatever you’d like, but you have to control your nerves and emotions to make a good shot on any animal. The best way to accomplish this is to put yourself in that pressure situation as many times as possible. I like to compare it to driving a car.
Most of us can probably remember when we began driving. The first few times on the highway were white knuckle experiences with everything seemingly happening at warp speed. However, the more times you got behind the wheel, the more comfortable you became and things started to slow down for you.
As the hours of driving experience accumulate, you can drive, listen to the radio, talk on the phone and drink a cup of coffee, and that’s just during your morning commute to work. The same can be true when taking shots at target animals.
The various hunting seasons roll around only once or twice a year for most hunters. So in actuality you can physically put yourself in that situation only a couple of times annually. However, mentally and on the range you can create the same scenario over and over.
When practicing, shoot every arrow as if there’s something riding on it. Go through the same mental process of picking a spot, taking your time, and squeezing the trigger. Always prepare yourself mentally before each shot as if you’re in your treestand about to take that shot at a trophy of a lifetime. If you’re mentally ready, you won’t be caught off guard.
Also prepare by practicing simulated hunting situations such as shooting at unknown distances. Always remember to take your time to pick a spot on the animal. Do not hurriedly shoot at the entire animal. Aim small–miss small. You can’t know when or where a buck will show up, but you can be mentally prepared for each scenario. And that will help you stay focused during the shot.Shop the hottest deals in hunting at Sportsman's Guide >