cart SHOPPING CART You have 0 items

Discussion Forums

Search forums
Forum Index > Medium and large game hunting > Situational Hitting

Situational Hitting

23 Apr 2016
@ 04:47 pm (GMT)

Joshua Mayfield

My son is 6. Among his many and fascinatingly diverse interests there is baseball. This is his first year to hit pitches from a pitching machine. Instruction is pretty basic and fundamental at this stage. If he wants to stay with baseball into his pre-teen and adolescent years then the rules and actions of the game that we are practicing now will become ingrained enough that coaching will transition into new areas. One of those areas is the concept of situational hitting - teaching him that he needs to do different things as a batter with 2 outs in the 8th inning of a tied game and runners on 1st and 2nd than he needed to do with a 3 run lead and no runners on base and 1 out in the 4th inning. The potential situations are endless. At the highest levels of baseball you still have players who are terrific situational hitters but average players, and vice-versa. I feel "situational hitting" is a badly needed concept in hunting, particularly when the rifle is the tool in use.

I would love to see a video series done from this viewpoint. In hunting, as in baseball, potential scenarios and situations are endless. With more of the hunting community looking to extend range and broaden prey species, plus the variety of chamberings and bullets available there's a lot of valuable instruction to be made available. I would love to see someone lay out a scenario - game animal X presents at Y range with Z set of environmental factors, hunter is armed with Q combination of rifle and load, so let's analyze the viable options of the hunter and identify his best "hit" option.

Hypothetical video series aside, I'd be interested to hear about some hunts you've had where some factor caused you to either change your shot selection in a way that might surprise the casual observer or your practice and learning led you to pass on a shot that others might have taken.


23 Apr 2016
@ 10:45 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Situational Hitting
Hi Joshua, here is how we intend to move forwards:

1. Move into our hunting grounds. In brief, we spent all of our money on research for the last million years and have been shifting from hovel to hovel near to our hunting but always renting, opting for the worst of shacks so that we could keep funding the KB and research. We will now finally establish our own base where we hunt but with the house located high enough that we have a full internet connection (living in two worlds really).

2. Keep on with the KB and try to finish it (though by that time the factory loads for the small bores will have changed and need some updating).

3. Attempt to integrate video tutorials into the site. This ties back into point 1 because it will allow us to head straight out and take footage etc, then come home, edit and repeat.

I will not put these vids on youtube. We have given enough away for free and it hamstrings me when I put up a youtube vid and can't say or teach what I really want and just allude to things, because I worry that it will simply give away all the info in the books which are the few precious products we have to recoup on time and funds spent on the KB. So we want to try to set up something where the customer can either purchase a sub to a video or purchase a sub to a channel filled with many videos without any high costs. I am still learning about this myself and again I need to keep focused on the KB for this year.

What you say is quite true, learning about shot placement in the actual field is a good subject. I'll add this to the list of potentials.

It is so good to hear that you are supporting your son in this manner. I am told over and over that generation X (or y or whatever) has an attention span of less than 2 minutes. As if this were a genetic tide we can do nothing about.

23 Apr 2016
@ 11:29 pm (GMT)

Warwick Marflitt

Re: Situational Hitting
Joshua. Hunting's a bit different than a game of sport where the opponent is another human. Humans have rules Animals have instincts! As nice as it sounds I don't think a video 101 on hunting is a good idea. People would get all pissy when Bambi at 425yrds didn't die because the instructional videos X,Y,Z said he w/s/could? Some things are best taught the old way! Start off setting mouse traps with your kids the first step is small and has a purpose?
I think that "SITUATIONAL AWARENESS" Is far more important. It's part of " Learning how to THINK WELL"? You watch people in tricky, high risk, high pressure, need to make decisions quickly in unfamiliar situations fall to pieces, panic and make a bad situation worser!........ For example backing a trailer up the driveway from a busy street. Merging into traffic at 100kmh from an on ramp onto the motorway OR Are you Expecting a blast of wind to push your car sideways on the highway on a windy day as you drive past a gap in the hedgerow! Motorcyclists learn this the hard way if they don't want too listen to the old boy's some paying the ultimate price. So Because I have freewill? And if I'm smart enough to use it and learn about cause and effect basic Physics etc then once I Know and learn, I can prepare for the possibility that things will change? Everything changes its the one constant thing that you can rely on....... How can you prepare to be ready for things that haven't happened yet? Well sit and watch how animals interact with their environment? How fast do they walk when relaxed? How fast do they move when eating? How often do they stop, look and listen for whats happening around them? As a species we Humans have lost and are losing so much of our natural awareness? Whats kept us safe and alive for thousands of years we've lost, or renounced and ignored or worse have had it quietly removed from or social norms Accepting it due to our what do you need that! for? because of our "SITUATIONAL IGNORANCE"
To learn a skill takes time effort and a desire to learn or a need! Being hungry is a bloody good incentive to be good at hunting???? But now days we ring up and pizza and cola arrive at the door? Wow! Dial a Deer woohoo!!! how cool id that be a Dead Moose arrives half an hour after you rang and ordered it??? "what are you gonna do wit that" The Missus screams! "EAT IT" you say!
Sometimes in life LESS IS MORE!
I have enough so i don't need anymore, Why do you need more when you already have enough? Greed fear and poverty.... the perfect way to rule a world to destruction! I need to get away into the Hills. I must learn to forget, to remember the things my Dad tried to teach me when I was young and stupid n didn't want to listen to the grumpy old Badger. Now that hes dead I search my mind for his wise words and I wish i could turn back time! I have met an old hunter and the things he's sharing and telling me are gold. .
So Joshua, That's my 10,000 cents worth for what its worth. Its funny how many kids cant catch a ball these days let alone hit one? and yet they can hack your smart phone in seconds!
I'll be interested to hear others thoughts on this.?
24 Apr 2016
@ 01:36 am (GMT)

Joshua Mayfield

Re: Situational Hitting
Two in-depth, thoughtful, and frank responses - thank you both.

Nathan, it's odd in a way since we live on opposite sides of the globe, but I am fully sincere in saying I feel a genuine excitement for you and yours at the prospect of gaining tangible ground on a life goal. I hope you Fosters are able to be settled in your ideal home very soon. I look forward to points two and three that you laid out above as well. I have been a high school and junior high teacher and coach. I now work in a state prison system. The problem of short attention spans is absolutely a human creation that can be countered. I won't chase this rabbit, but I will tell you that in my experience the best way to turn a 16 year old boy from a testosterone crazed idiot who can't focus on anything other that a girl for 90 seconds into a calm, coherent human is to sit him down and make him draw silently for an hour with nothing but instrumental music to listen to. The best way in a classroom setting, I should say. Sports can be good as well, but less predictable results.

Warwick, I could not agree more. You phrased it as "learning how to think we'll." In my counseling with inmates I call it "making the decision to reason." We humans have been designed with a unique wonder of a brain. The concept I would be eager to see in the aforementioned hypothetical video series would be the act of showing - teaching, really - how one needs to reason their way to the correct shot. Much like reasoning your way through the act you mentioned of backing that trailer up. The easy becomes tricky with pressure. The tricky becomes impossible without reason.

Thank you both for sharing your thoughts. I hope to hear more.
24 Apr 2016
@ 03:24 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Situational Hitting
I don't think that's Joshua's angle Warwick. I know what you mean as I am sure Josh does, the basic parent child apprenticing. But with regards to hunting, there are now whole generations living in very large cities, either lacking skills or getting a bit rusty on it. They may wish they could do otherwise, but the strengths of their skill sets are such that they need to stay in the city to get ahead and provide for their families.

You have to understand that some of my most hardcore fans study the book series while commuting on the train to NY central, trying to learn as much as they can until opportunities arise for them to develop the physical skills. As you know, there is always a gap between theory and practice- the mistake making phase that is unavoidable like your low shot with the .303- a very typical shot for a young lad. Nevertheless, people can only do their best.

Again, I know what you mean. I see way too much- if X happens then do Y in a very pat manner, people wanting things boxed and dummed down, a general answer of what things are (labeling and acronyms) but not how and why and the reality of failure. Author Robert Greene wrote that in the past, the class system took away the average persons right to choose. This forced a type of rebellious thinking, an urge for people to forge ahead and learn, to create, to express. The migration to NZ, Australia, USA and Canada etc was all a part of this. Now we live in an age where choices are abundant yet many people do not want to choose. Instead a large group of people hide behind mediocrity and blame. Freedoms were not just fought for on battle fields but have been fought in every aspect of human existence. Yet we risk losing much of what we have gained with a generation that has no interest in building skills. I am talking hand skills too. Whether its machine shop, sewing a teddy bear, baseball, computer programming or shooting a rifle, tactile skills are key to survival.

Yes, it pisses me off too that some folk want a 2 minute vid and are too lazy to read a book that would propel them to mastery. But even when I make vids, I won't be blowing smoke up anyone's butts as to what it takes to become proficient. Yes I can fast track folk, but they need to dig deep and focus. Effort and obstacles overcome = endorphin's. The elation of success after trials.

The trouble is, any short comings are not the fault of this new generation- we are the ones raising them. This is why I think its great to see what Joshua is doing. He is teaching his boy to hunt for that ball, it is a type of focus but with a wider lateral awareness that we are sometimes now missing. Joshua's boy could fail miserably regardless of how much he is taught due to his own strengths and limitations, but he will always remember his father's and tutors thorough approach to learning.

It is the difference between: "I put my foot on the accelerator and the car goes forwards" versus "what does exactly happens when I put my fut on the accelerator"? When we were young, were taught to strip a carby, clean it, fit gaskets and set it, these kids can't because its a computer controlled unit- that's not their fault, I can't work on a modern carby either. I kissed carbies goodbye after I sold my Holden 186. I only know one person who can work on a modern carby, a forum member here, because he is an expert in the field of carburation. But we can still teach kids to be interested in how stuff works. Who knows, our forum member's boy might one day work on a new type of carburettor or perhaps by then we will be flying Ford Falcons over ley lines. Who the heck knows. My point is, we are raising our kids. You will know this as much as anyone, the time spent, the highs and lows, the great things your daughter has achieved so far.

Situational shooting in video could simply mean me saying "its too windy, I can't risk this shot" or whatever. I don't have to go the entire route and pull out a load of scenarios but I can keep what Josh said in mind as a concept as to how I approach video work and re-iterate book points. This will give my train commuter friends more to digest. There are other aspects to this that came up during my last tutorial which make Joshua'c comments doubly valid.

So after that long winded reply, I will say again- I see where you are coming from Warwick- there are only so many ways you can box and package hunting. But I still think that this is a useful method approach to teaching for me. Even if its just a flavor.
24 Apr 2016
@ 03:46 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Situational Hitting
Thanks Joshua, yes, its a big deal for us, a really big deal to be moving towards a solid base. Thank you, I really appreciate it.

Yes, I understand what you mean, that meditative mind space where we see thoughts and then learn to act (I have a choice) as opposed to reacting. I believe daily mindfulness practice has been fundamental in my ability to shoot well and shoot long. However, although I have tried to relay this in the final book, it is a tough subject for many because they jump straight to meditation as a religious activity which can cause various misunderstandings.

The key is, awareness creates choice. The quieter I am in my mind, the more I can take in the wind at various ranges and other variables. This allows me to think about several things at once, some things automatic from past learning, other factors consciously directed, the combined process is intuited. I can shoot better if I just lay down, shut my eyes and shut my mouth and rest. After that, I can take a long shot and really nail it.

I feel for clients because when I am watching them, there is a level of performance anxiety. Its hard to get into that quiet space of awareness. But its also hard to say- "hey Fred, I want you to lay down for a bit and do belly breathing". Seems hairy fairy to some. Still, this is the direction I will need to go to get people's heads out of their day jobs and into the moment. Its just going to head that way regardless.
24 Apr 2016
@ 04:46 am (GMT)

Warwick Marflitt

Re: Situational Hitting
Thanks Joshua. The human brain is an amazing biological computer. It's a great shame that so many of them are damaged and abused through poor, incorrect or abusive programming? I've worked as a volunteer For anger management / personal development program and seen amazing growth and healing for damaged men and women? Listening to their history of their experiences shows that the human mind is incredibly complex and unlimited in its capability to learn and heal unless its physically damaged? Brain injuries are very challenging?
The solution to many of life's issues and challenges is Practice just as your son's learning how to hit a pitched ball. Shooting varmints, targets, clay birds,rocks and learning about your calibre , Reading Nathans books and getting your head around what it is that he's sharing (comprehending it fully) Takes patience and understanding to challenge ourselves and what we thought, was! that isn't? And making adjustments to our mindset for new skills and knowledge to grow and increase our skills. This of course requires discipline, training and physical hands on practice to learn and perfect motor skills, hand eye co ordination, cognitive processing and visible results. If I can repeatably hit a bullseye at 500 yards and targets in between from doing drop charts and load development as correctly instructed. Then my confidence from the range and further practice increases my physical, emotional and mental ability to repeat the same in the field under pressure on live game.
So it's harder than it looks and yet it's easier than it appears? I love the smile on Nathan's face in one of his videos after a good long shot? Thanks for sharing Joshua. You are right that a teaching video could be good. My only concern is that the people using it will be limited by their initial ability and skill. If they don't like to follow instructions or have the short attention span. I've found that learning to shoot well is similar to learning to fly a light aircraft? You don't learn that by video...?

24 Apr 2016
@ 10:18 am (GMT)

Cor Nepgen

Re: Situational Hitting
Hi all,

If I can perhaps add my 2 cents worth and perhaps continue with a sports analogy...

I am quite passionate about Brazillian Jiu-jitsu. I train or teach most evenings and it influences most of my decisions to some extent. Living in South Africa, we are not exactly at the fore front of techniques and world class athletes in BJJ. As a result, video tutorials help a great deal.

As an example, I am part of the Atos affiliation, as part of that a specific curriculum is tought. The head of the affiliation visits once a year or so and the rest of the time my coach has access to online support where techniques are illustrated. Having access to techniques is a great help but it most certainly means absolutely nothing without a massive amount of training.

Point being, a video explains more complex concepts and movements easier than words alone. (Thinking about reloading as well).

Over the last couple if years a number of world champions have started their own websites teaching techniques etc. I rhink its very close to what you are speaking about Nathan. I think its a very good idea and sure many people will benefit a hreat deal from it. It does not replace practice and experience but it does help to eliminate some mistakes andprovides a good starting point.

Nathan, if you think it would benefit you, let me know and I will sugest a website to look at.

Not sure if this makes sense haha either way I am really happy things are coming together for you guys!!
24 Apr 2016
@ 09:47 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Situational Hitting
I certainly understand that Cor. Kyokushin for example have their Kata online so that everyone can check in and make sure the kata remains the same world wide. These cannot be taught by books and pictures very well and are great for Sensei and Kai-in alike. Judo, Jiu-Jitsu and Aikido are even harder to follow because of the subtleties in footwork, hips, weight distribution, lock points and so forth. You cannot use a video entirely without classroom training but you can make use of video in conjunction with physical training.

We have had great success as far as reader results go. Many customers have written in to tell of success stories and how the books are easy to follow. Perhaps the best feedback we ever had was from a dyslexic man (who spells a word this way? sick joke) who said that he had been put off trying to read years ago, but that his wife bought him the first book and that he enjoyed it so much that he was inspired to read again. This convinced me that I was on the right track when writing successive books. If I can communicate ideas and methods to such a man, then I think I have made something of worth that everybody can put to use. However, as many of you know, the series builds up in complexity. I try to take this step by step so that the reader is not dropped in the deep end, but once we get into the actual long range work, some complexities are unavoidable. Still, I have offered things like click rules which can be put to good use. Video will hopefully add a new dimension to learning.

Cor, if you want to send a link, please do so.
25 Apr 2016
@ 04:10 am (GMT)

Joshua Mayfield

Re: Situational Hitting
Some of the discussion has reminded me of a trait I've admired for a long time in my father that, for myself, is at the heart of why Nathan's writing is distinct. My family spent three years in Chile during my formative years, a country very dear to my heart to this day. In the chilean workforce people are specialists. They may specialize in something mundane but nevertheless, that is what they do. And that is the expectation. One day the school campus which my father oversaw in Santiago needed to set some large concrete posts. These posts were really massive, too large to be moved by hand. There was a great discussion going on among the men who'd been charged with getting the posts positioned. The debate went on long enough to draw quite a crowd. My dad came out of his office, saw what was happening, and quietly walked out the front gate of the property. In about 5 minutes he came back driving a forklift. He'd walked up the street in his dress shirt and tie, looking every bit the executive, to a construction site and asked to borrow the forklift. I wish I'd seen that part. My guess is that they told him he could use it if he could drive it, assuming that he could not. Dad grew up on a farm in the midwestern US. He had learned to do any number of things with his hands, fix a wide variety of machinery, and drive anything that moves. Some of the things Warwick has written make me think they may be cut from similar cloth. Anyhow, Dad came driving this forklift back down the street and through the gate and the crowd of people went silent. I think the phrase "shock and awe" would have fit. And then Dad proceeded to move all the posts into position, weaving between holes and further astonishing everyone there. I felt a rather smug pride that day in my Dad.

A film was made in the late nineties called The Edge. The two primary characters, both very much city dwellers, find themselves lost in the Alaskan wilderness with very large grizzly trying to eat them. Anthony Hopkins' character repeatedly tells Alec Baldwin's character that "what one man can do another can do." They eventually kill the bear and Anthony Hopkins returns to civilization.

My dad driving the forklift and The Edge are linked in my mind because that day in Chile was one of many illustrations I've had over the years of my father's belief that what one man can do he also can do. I've never heard him say that out loud but that's how he lives and how he taught his sons. If a thing can be done is there a reason why I cannot learn to do it? My dad taught us to start from the assumption that the answer is no. And perhaps that is the very essence of all good teaching.

I have come to value Nathan's book series in part because of the information. But as I've worked through the books I've gained a tremendous appreciation for the fact that Nathan assumes his readers can. I am halfway through the shooting technique book now and that's never been more clear. No coddling, no excuses, but a clear belief that nothing in print is beyond the reader. I appreciate that.

Warwick, would you share some background on your flying experience? Light aircraft are, in a sense, my first love. I was nearly qualified for my license when 9/11 happened. After that I've not been able to afford training hours. I do hope the day comes when I can fly again. There's nothing like it.
25 Apr 2016
@ 06:35 am (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: Situational Hitting
stalking up through two small clearing not far into bush,not big clearings 20mtrs x60 at most
been doing same thing for 10 years plus and knew one day we would see a deer in them
we approach carefully then stalk through on way to our favourite lookout spot

all the preperation in the world
all that 10+ years of anticipation didnt help one little bitty bit today when stag of a lifetime was there,and son with rifle slightly behind me as we approached,nor did it help when stag stopped obligingly at far side of clearing showing son head (with oh so lovely antlers) and just neck
all that pre training and previous kills and having drummed in to shoot for hillar/shoulder actually worked against us
lad tried to angle projectile into base of neck......result stag hair..nothing despite an half hour search and I had my deer dog with me.
think he must have thought body to right when infact to the left.small broom bush between them
bit of a downer but at least we know it was clean miss
.308 with 125grn ballistic tip would have left us some clue if it had hit.....we were anticipating 200-300 yards shot in clearing 5 minutes further on or an open country shot before hand.
dont think the 180s in mag would have made any difference as Im positive it was a clean miss.
25 Apr 2016
@ 07:51 am (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

Re: Situational Hitting
being a tradesman and having to teach apprentices its always interesting to see how people learn so differently.
im probably in the generation x or y that some of you guys talk about but i grew up with both parents on a quarter acre section in Hamilton then a on a life style block in Whangarei.
we were building tree huts, making go karts, helping Dad with jobs around the house and working on cars.

its interesting being in Auckland now, and seeing how when people grow up on a small section, in a rented house or with a father that works long hours or goes over seas to work.
you get 16-18 year olds that have never held a shovel, pushed a wheel barrow that decide to sign up for a drainlaying apprenticeship.
i once asked one to grab a pick out of the van and he came back with a chamber lifter and a spear asking which one was the pick.

the other day i was putting locktite on all the bolts on a wheelbarrow as im sick of the nuts filling off and one of the apprentices was asking about it and i was explaining its cheaper then double nutting everything.
i then had to explain about how you can put two nuts on a bolt tightening against each other to lock them as he had never heard of it and he's 21.

i agree with you Joshua trying to stay relaxed is one of the best ways to learn or to achieving, trying to teach someone to do a hill start in a manual car is fine but then if someone pulls up behind them and they stress it changes everything.
the same thing can be said when driving a truck with a road ranger gearbox if you just relax thing tend to go smoothly, its when you panic and rush the gear changes you miss gears.
its trying to get people to the stage that there confidence is high enough that they can relax and see the method and solution all in one step.

my hat really goes off to Nathan when i heard about the idea of writing a book to train people to shoot i was interested to see how well it would go.
i compared it to teaching an apprentice your trade without ever seeing how they are doing or being able to talk to them.
but a better job Nathan could of not done it, its simple to follow and if you don't get it first time you just reread it and you normally understand it second time round.

i think a video maybe not covering every scenario but a video of a hunt or few different explaining the thought process and the why for decisions, doesn't have to be anything to complicated, if a clip on microphone could be wore and somehow be connected to the camera you wouldn't even need to look at the camera much.

i like the long range goat hunting video on youtube because of all the information given from velocity,scope,the wind and the projectile.

i'm glad to hear that you found a good base to carry on your research Nathan.
im looking forwards to see what you and Steph do next and the pay per view idea sounds great, i have learnt so much already between this site, the books and from other forum members, i look forwards to more.
after all "the only thing no one can take from you, is your ability to learn"



We are a small, family run business, based out of Taranaki, New Zealand, who specialize in cartridge research and testing, and rifle accurizing.