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Reflect on each post as if it’s a live feed into the life of a “365 day a year whitetail & turkey fanatic”!


So you’ve practiced with all of your gear on in numerous different shooting positions, and you know your bow is shooting well. Now how do you defeat your own body’s production of adrenaline? We’ve all felt it, that fast-pulsed rush and shortness of breath we call “buck fever.” If you’re like most of us, you too have a hard time controlling your excitement as you draw on a buck, turkey, or bull. While the rush is never something you can completely get over (and I personally wouldn’t want to), there are ways of keeping it at a manageable level so that you can make an accurate shot.

In the summer… I know I know it’s not summer…, you may try and get out on the water for a bit of bowfishing for carp. While carp don’t quite get the heart pumping as much as a Pope and Young buck, they will make you concentrate, pick a spot and get a clean release in a short time span (before the fish swims off). These are all desirable skills to hone before the big-game season rolls around.

Blake McDonell & Jaime Beasley-Vanourne

Another great technique is jogging a 3D course, really I mean jogging if you can if not start off in a fast paced walk, because all that is needed is to get your heart rate up. This can be done if you live in a rural area and set a course up on your own property, or during off-hours at a local club. I like to put on my pack and my jogging shoes, carry my bow (arrows secured in the quiver, of course) and take off at a medium pace, jogging through the 3D course. It is important to do this either on your own private range or when no one is using the public range, as it can interfere with other shooters.

When you reach a shooting station, allow yourself 5 to 10 seconds to catch your breath, nock an arrow and get off a good shot. Retrieve your arrow and set off for the next target. The combination of physical exertion and time constraints helps simulate actual hunting and will not only get you in shape but will make you a much better shot under pressure. There are many other ways to go about this but these are a few ways I have used in the past. I have been fortunate to not to get too much of an adrenaline rush until after I take the shot, for me it is after, knowing I have made the shot that I get that rush. At that point I have to sit down in the tree stand, for fear I will fall out. If I was to lose that I would give it up.

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