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Target Panic Tutorial by Perry Ratcliff

Target panic is not so easily cured. None of those form tips directly addresses the problems associated with target panic, although some may help keep it from returning.

The surest way to stop target panic is to go to a Stanislawski type release.

I have never had "REAL" target panic as described by those severely afflicted with the problem. However I have had problems jumping on the trigger.

Switching to a Stanislawski release for several weeks, just as a training aid can be very helpful if you aren't interested in shooting it full time. I started on Pinkie Finger releases and generally had little trouble with jumping on the trigger. However, the mechanics of the only release that felt comfortable to me, Golden Touch Release, were not good. After a few years I felt that the release was holding me back.

When I switched to a Carter Thumb release I struggled mightily with jumping on the trigger. After several months I came to the conclusion that I could not shoot the Carter with the trigger in its factory built position. I built up the trigger with epoxy putty in the shape of a rams horn so that with the release under tension the joint of my thumb caught the forward edge of the epoxy. This way, when I increased back tension the pad on my thumb naturally pulled back on the modified trigger. There was no effort to push on the trigger. When set up like this, the release can even be shot like a Stanislawski without the risk of losing an arrow. I do not shoot it like a Stanislawski myself though. Directly addressing the target panic problem...

If you are using a Carter release make a loop approximately 4" diameter using release rope. Place the loop through the loop in your release, now bring both ends of the 4" loop around your bow string and over the back of the trigger. The length of the loop should be adjusted so that you release rope ends up in the jaws of your release as it would under normal shooting conditions. You can now execute shots without the bowstring going anywhere. If you have any kind of target panic. It will become VERY OBVIOUS when shooting like this, your bow will try to yank your release out of your hands. Practice like this for weeks and most of your target panic problems should be cured.

Even with this training it is important to include Eyes Closed shooting in your target practice. I like to stand 5 to 10 yards from the target and alternate between Eyes Closed and Eyes Open shooting. Alternating your shots like this makes it very easy to analyze where your shots break down. Don't declare victory too soon. You can beat any form of target panic, but it takes time...

Good Shooting!

Perry