A goodly number of archers are prone to suspect that their shooting issues are due to target panic when it’s quite plausible to assign the problem elsewhere.

If you are a trigger release shooter (whether index finger or thumb), make certain your release is set at a low enough pressure point. It must allow activation without strain. By “strain” I mean having to actually think about pushing your digit into it rather than experiencing a smooth release when shooting at a blank bale. Get up close and close your eyes at full draw to get a better feel for when it’s going off. Do this for an entire practice session, adjusting the release up and down after several shots at each setting.

Here I feel inclined to state that continuing to blank bale is not likely to solve your problem; rather it is simply a technique to be used temporarily to identify the real issues behind errant shots.

All archers need to confirm with a coach or bowshop pro that they are shooting a set-up which is right for them. I particularly find that archers who have purchased equipment out of a catalog or second-hand, find themselves either overbowed or with mismatched arrows. The right equipment can make all the difference.

If you are a trad shooter, confirm with a coach or your bowshop pro that your form is ok at full draw, and that your arrows are both the correct length and spine. When shooting at a blank bale, have him assess your form and release. He may well find an easily remedied fault. Those new to trad often tend to shoot at distances beyond their capabilities, especially if they formerly shot with a compound and pins. Frustration with inaccuracy often leads one to think it’s between the ears when really, you’re just not there experience-wise yet.

If you are a one eye open shooter, try it with both eyes open. Interestingly, change for the better can also occur when you go the other way from shooting both eyes open, but this primarily occurs when the recessive eye is weaker, or you are wrong-eye dominant. Chances are, you won’t feel comfortable with the change right away. Give it time – several practice sessions, at least.

Shooting when fatigued. All too many archers shoot too many arrows in a single session, particularly older archers and overbowed ones. Even if you are not finished with your round when your arrows start going astray for “no reason,” QUIT! The fastest way to truly acquire a bad case of TP is to keep on shooting when it’s just not going like it was earlier in the day.

However you shoot, and if your own fixes haven’t helped, you may now want to read some stories of archers/bowhunters who, like you, were ready to enjoy their sport once again. You can find their stories here.