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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been shooting slingshots for several years now. Full confession, I shoot fairly regularly for about 3 months then things happen and I may not shoot again for 6 months, then back to shooting for 3 months or so then...... You get it. I've never done any hunting of any kind. I would eventually like to hunt but I know that I am not accurate enough. When I practice I try to keep what I call a hunters mentality. Aim small miss small, one shot one kill, etc. For me the first shot is the most important shot. After all if I am in the field and I have a game in sight, if I miss I might not get another chance. There is where my shortcoming is. You see the first dozen or so shots always seem to be way off. I usually start off with cans and at 10 meters I completely miss the can. After the first dozen its like I almost can't miss the can. I am guessing whats happening is the bands are warmed up and have stretched to what I am accustomed being my natural aiming points. It gets to the point that I almost don't even need to aim. Just raise the slingshot, point it at the can and BANG, music to my ears. I guess my question is since the first shot is the most important shot, and I don't get another first shot in any one training session, what is the recommended method for making the first shot a hit? And is there anything I can do about the dirty dozen?
 

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Share your aiming method perhaps. My initial guess is your technique is a tad muscle memory and a bit technical. I think your first shots are closer to technical and you are correcting for technical imperfections during the following shots until you get to a point where you feel accuracy is adequate. If possible you want to figure out what you are changing during those first shots each session.

Technically: You might need to re calibrate your sight picture and come up with a slightly modified version. You could accomplish this by shooting 10 or so shots at a marked paper target while avoiding any modifications to your aiming, release, and tensioning practices. then while aiming identically analyze where your shot pattern is centered and what that sight picture looks like. Then, modify your stored technical shooting pattern to match your performance.

Consider you-tube to learn a few aiming styles: You may be using one that is less effective for you than an alternative.

Review how you are shooting after the dirty dozen. Is it technical or muscle memory? It is possible all you really need to do is throw your technical style away and trust the force... If you decide to try this you should also use a paper target to analyze your performance. This will be quite difficult to accomplish as it is near impossible to ignore the holes in the target while you put more in it. If you can do it you will discover your ability or inability to shoot adequately from muscle memory.

In the end you will be the only one to decide what style is best for you. What is not best is to hold onto one style that it takes you a dozen shots to overcome every time you pick up a fork.

Finally, There are more than a few shooters that benefit from taking a warm up before hunting or before a competition. Allow yourself to be one of them if you already are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Share your aiming method perhaps. My initial guess is your technique is a tad muscle memory and a bit technical. I think your first shots are closer to technical and you are correcting for technical imperfections during the following shots until you get to a point where you feel accuracy is adequate. If possible you want to figure out what you are changing during those first shots each session.
You hit it right on the head. I really try to concentrate on the first shot. Its the only one I get in that whole session. So I make an extra effort to aim. After that I seem to aim less and just enjoy the thwacking experience. Its way more muscle memory and instinctive shooting. However I also feel that a can is a very large target. After the dozen I hit the can rather consistently. I can even choose to hit the top portion or the bottom or even move the can to the left or right. For sure my aim is different. I aim low on the first shots and usually miss high. After the dozen I pretty much aim right below where I want to hit and it hits right where I put it. Really I guess its just a matter of knowing myself and my gear.

I think the suggestion of using paper targets is a great idea. Now I need to find a pattern with some cross hairs on them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Start soup can cutting.
I've done plenty of those as well. It takes forever to cut one of those in half. But soda cans are plentiful at work. I grab them out of the recycling bin. When I am done I put them back. They are just not in the shape they were when I got them.
 
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A slightly different perspective;

Take your warm-up shots before you go into the field and then take one now and again as you move through the area.

I shoot intuitiively and so I don't aim at all. All I can do is narrow my field of view way down and look at a spot. What I mean is don't look at the can - look at a small spot on the can like a letter or small picture on the label. I don't look at a leaf, I look at a small spot on the leaf. The point is that for a big target like a can my brain doesn't get focused or concentrated enough. It's a reletivley large target yet I can easily miss it all together. Aiming much smaller helps me narrow my focus and hit not just the can but the mark.
 

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No choice then - match-lighting it will have to be.

Honestly OSK's depend on your approach - instinctive vs aimed etc. If you can hit a target thats smaller than the head of the quarry regularly from various distances - and you are confident you can take humane shots you should be fine. Its just takes loads of time shooting to get to that level.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
A slightly different perspective;

Take your warm-up shots before you go into the field and then take one now and again as you move through the area.

I shoot intuitiively and so I don't aim at all. All I can do is narrow my field of view way down and look at a spot. What I mean is don't look at the can - look at a small spot on the can like a letter or small picture on the label. I don't look at a leaf, I look at a small spot on the leaf. The point is that for a big target like a can my brain doesn't get focused or concentrated enough. It's a reletivley large target yet I can easily miss it all together. Aiming much smaller helps me narrow my focus and hit not just the can but the mark.
Thats what I mean by aim small miss small.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
No choice then - match-lighting it will have to be.

Honestly OSK's depend on your approach - instinctive vs aimed etc. If you can hit a target thats smaller than the head of the quarry regularly from various distances - and you are confident you can take humane shots you should be fine. Its just takes loads of time shooting to get to that level.
I was actually thinking of trying card cutting first. I have the cards on hand. I have clamps. Now I just need to figure out how to hold the clamps up and remember to bring my tape measure for the video.
 
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If, after a dozen shots you can move the can left or right and hit the bottom or top when you want then you have answered your own question. Take a dozen shots before going out into the field and you should be able to hit anything you want.

If you want the rabbit to right hit it on the left butt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If, after a dozen shots you can move the can left or right and hit the bottom or top when you want then you have answered your own question. Take a dozen shots before going out into the field and you should be able to hit anything you want.

If you want the rabbit to right hit it on the left butt.
Where is the spot to get it to jump out of its own hide?
 

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Also, use one slingshot. If you switch slingshots, things change a little and you will have to get used to that particular one again. If you are already comfortable with, and used to a particular slingshot, the first few shots will be easier.
The other thing is, if your bands are too hard of a pull, it's easier to "throw" the ammo off target. Make sure you are comfortable with the draw weight of the bands
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I got a paper target drawn up today and did some shooting.

I am trying to post some pictures of the result but I get an error

An error occurred

You are not allowed to use that image extension on this community.

How do I post pictures?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think I figured it out.

I got a paper target drawn up today and did some shooting.

The target is the diameter of a soda can. The pink circle is a 3/4" diameter Avery label. The red circle indicates shot #1. I did not record after shot #8 as the target area was getting fairly cluttered. I was very please to see that I hit the bulls eye on shot #5. Overall I have to admit I think this is one of my better "dirty dozen".
 

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Does it look a bit to you like 8 is a flier and possibly 2 as well with your grouping somewhere close to 6? If that was my target I would sight on it and consider that my new sight picture could improve some by considering the sight picture that lined up with that spot as my reference picture. It may be that you will also become a bit more repeatable over the coming hours/days/weeks and end up with smaller patterns and another small sight picture adjustment. Just avoid even the slightest corrections to your sighting pattern and procedure while you create/print/shoot your patterning targets.
 
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