Archive for the 'Tips/Advice' Category

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Published by admin on 19 Jan 2010

My Method of shooting the bow: by Frank Addington Jr.

My Method of shooting the bow:
The Groscup Method of Instinctive Shooting
Although my father actually started me shooting a bow instinctively at four years old, I have dubbed my method “The Groscup Method” in honor of my friend and mentor the late Rev. Stacy Groscup.  A humble Methodist minister from Morgantown, WV Stacy was a great shot with a bow.  Any bow.  He was the first man to hit an aspirin tablet from mid air with a bow and he was the only archer to ever hit seven pills in a row, that remains a world record.  He did that record shot in the 1980’s in front of national TV. In 2004 he signed the 7th arrow he used for that shot and gave it to me.  I also have many other things that help me remember my old friend and second father. 

Stacy always called me his second son, and we laughed about it.  My parents didn’t mind sharing and Stacy and I were close my entire life.  Now that he is gone I want people to remember him and read about him.  I guarantee Stacy had a positive impact on anyone he ever met.  Like Jesus, he went about life doing good for others.

 
There was only one Rev. Stacy Groscup.  His father Baptized my father when dad was born and I grew up watching Stacy’s amazing shows.  I even tossed targets for him at a number of shows.  When I turned 18, he took a Pepsi can and tossed it into mid air and challenged me to hit it.  I did and that same day he put me in front of an audience shooting aerial targets. 
 
Stacy preferred the shortest bow he could get with the arrow as close to his knuckle as possible.  Fred Bear liked his arrow near his knuckle too.  However I’ve seen Stacy shoot an Onieda eagle, longbow and longer recurves with the same accuracy.  Since he was not a tall man, he liked the bows short.  He could shoot anything with a string on it.  He had an extensive bow collection, everything from antique Turkish coathanger bows to the most modern Black Widow or Zipper.  Golden Eagle even produced a limited edition bow via Zipper with Stacy’s name on it and they also made a video in the 1990’s featuring Stacy.
When the Archery Hall of Fame inducted Stacy as their 49th Inductee, I was very pleased to have been the one that got the nomination packet together.  It was the least I could do for this great man,  As humble as Stacy was he was very honored to be recognized by the sport he loved so much. I loved seeing him at the podium accepting the award and speaking to the group at the ATA dinner in Indianapolis.  When we got back to West Virginia the Governor honored Stacy with the Distinguished West Virginian Award and the WV Senate had him on the floor of the Senate and recognized him.  The West Virginia DNR also hosted a small party for Stacy at their headquarters at the Capital. 
The morning of the Governor’s award Stacy met me at Pop’s archery shop.  We presented Stacy with a Mathews MQ 32 bow.  A member of the media was there to interview Stacy.  I had told them he would be available for interviews but wouldn’t have time to shoot.  The next thing I know Stacy has the brand new MQ bow he’s never shot outside and a reporter filming him shoot discs out of mid air with it.  Now keep in mind Stacy had just driven three hours and was 78 years old.  He hit the aspirin the FIRST shot for the camera.  I was amazed and I had watched him shoot my entire life.  After the shot, Stacy grinned, said we better go and put his sport coat back on and we left to meet with the Governor.  Just another day for Stacy.  I mentioned the feat later that day when I spoke at the Governor’s ceremony.
I could tell you a lifetime of similar stories about Stacy.  Having shared the stage, hunting camps and practice range with him my entire life I can attest to the fact that he was the most consistent instinctive shooter to ever draw a string.  I am not taking away from any of our sport’s legends, living or past, and I consider myself a fair shot, but of us all—instinctive shooters and exhibition shooters, there has never been another like Stacy.  He could hit aerial targets from his stomach, his back, at a full run, or in a variety of positions, and was able to maintain his accuracy through old age.  When he was 82 he joined me on stage and hit the aspirin the 7th shot… at 82 years old.  How many of us will even be able to see an aspirin airborne at that age? 
 
Stacy played a big part in my life and is one of the reasons I do what I do.  He was one of those role models that impact your life and remain unforgettable.  Ted Nugent wrote a song about another friend of mine named Fred Bear.  He wanted future generations to remember Fred.  I thought that was huge of Nugent to do to keep Fred’s name out there for all.
I thought that by using “Groscup method of instinctive shooting” in my media interviews it would help keep Stacy’s name and memory alive.  If you have never heard of Stacy or did not have the opportunity to see his show I am sorry.  When we lost him the sport lost a gentle giant, a legend, and a man that truly lived up to the word hero.   
Until next time, Adios & God Bless.
Shoot Straight,
Frank Addington, Jr.
The Aspirin Buster
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Published by admin on 18 Jan 2010

2010: Aspirinbusting 25 Years by frank addington, jr.

2010: Aspirinbusting 25 Years
by frank addington, jr.


 
         It is hard to believe that 25 years ago  the late Rev. Stacy Groscup tossed a Pepsi can into mid air and challenged me to hit it.  I did and that same day he put me in front of an audience and had me shooting at aerial targets.   I’d actually assisted Stacy on stage for years by tossing targets for him from time to time.  Ann Clark  also had me assist her when she visited the West Virginia Sport show around 1981.  Those early experiences with Ann & Stacy let me know I’d found my calling.  I wanted to make a living shooting a bow and arrow.  It’s the only thing I wanted to do.
      The shows have come full circle since that time and I have evolved into performing  my own shows.  When I first started I basically imitated Stacy’s show, the same shots and the same script.   I soon came to realize that there was only one Stacy and as my confidence grew I began designing my own show and my own shots.  That’s part of how the behind the back shots came into play.  I wanted to break new ground and do some shots that had never been attempted in front of crowds before.  I wanted to rewrite the books on exhibition shooting with some of the shots I’d attempt.  Some worked, some didn’t.  I kept the good ones and forgot the others.  I once fired two bows at once in California— and hit both targets with two arrows.  That was a crazy shot!  I couldn’t do that shot often, when you consider that shooting twin 45# bows meant I was really pulling 90#. 
      I’ve written about some lucky shots I’ve done before, including the long distance shot in Union Grove, NC in 1988.   I won’t revisit that tale now but I would be lying if I said that 80-90 yard shot wasn’t luck!  Sometimes there’s a fine line between luck and skill.  I Am always happy when luck is on my side.  I’d like to think all my first shot shows on baby are 100% skill but I must admit sometimes luck plays a part. 
      2010 will mark my 39th year shooting a bow and arrow.  Crazy huh?  It’s hard to believe I’ve been flinging arrows that long.  It’s been so long that I really don’t ever remember not shooting a bow.  I have made many friends during that 39 years in the sport.  Fred Bear, Earl and Ann Hoyt, Stacy Groscup, and so many others.  Sadly, many of these legends are gone.  Fortunately we have some icons left, like Chuck Adams. Ted Nugent, and many, many more.  My son Gus, 3, has been shooting a bow since he was about 18 months old.  I had to help him but he loved it.  I was glad to see a third generation Addington come along that enjoyed archery!
      Many of the folks I have shared seminar stages with when I started have moved on, retired or passed away.  I miss many of them.  I’ve met some unforgettable characters in this business, that’s for sure.  My equipment has changed over the years.  When I very first started I used a wooden Bear Kodiak recurve bow.  I have a special blonde colored Bear Kodiak Fred Bear signed and sent me that I never put a string on.  I remember his shoulders rocking with laughter when I told him I was hitting aspirin with one of his bows.  He smiled and said, “I thought I was doing good when I used to hit coins…”  I have some photos Dick Mauch shared with me of Fred on stage doing exhibitions.  Fred used to trade these shows for booth space when he first started out. 
     In the mid 1980’s I would join Hoyt/Easton’s Advisory staff.  There I’d meet folks like a serious bowhunter named Chuck Adams.  He climbed the ladder quickly and was one of the hardest working men in the sport.  Driven and focused on what he wanted, he became the first to obtain the famous “Super Slam” by bagging one of all 27 big game species in North America.  Chuck has lasted all these years because he has worked for his position, he doesn’t cut corners and he plays by the rules.  We remain good friends and I was delighted when Chuck agreed to write the forward for my book when it finally comes out.  Some may be jealous of Chuck’s fame or position but he put in the hours and the sweat to become the sport’s most successful bowhunter. 
      During my time at Hoyt I held various positions, including Gold Staff member, and a one man member of a term Eric Dally made up, “Promotional Pro Staff.”  I left Hoyt in 2003 and shot Mathew’s Sky recurves beginning in 2003.   2004 was a wild year for my shows, we even ended up doing an exhibition on behalf of the President of the United States, George W. Bush.  “Old Blue” is the Sky bow I used for 6 years.  I had newer bows from Sky including two Mathews prototype bows that were never launched to the public, but I remained true to “Old Blue.”  It was a great shooting bow.
       July 1, 2009 I returned home to Hoyt.  Mike Luper and I had talked and I knew that it would be great to work with Mike again.  He knows the archery industry and has a knack for promotional efforts and promoting the sport and Hoyt.  He thinks out of the box.  I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Mike and I am glad to be back working with him.  For 2010 I will be shooting twin Formula RX bows.  I am just now getting them ready for our new show season.  If they shoot as good as they look the baby aspirin are in trouble.  Here’s the website, check out these bows for yourself:
 
   http://www.hoytrecurve.com/recurve_bows/hoyt_formula_recurve_bow.php
 
       My how bows have changed since 1971!  My first bow was a fiberglass stick with a string.  It’s funny that I use the same shooting style now that I used way back then!  Instinctive shooting has been good to me.  I am thankful my father set me up that way.  He still sets up every bow that I perform with on stage.  I always am quick to say I have the very pit crew in archery with Pop!  I can set up my own equipment but prefer he does it.
        His retail shop, Addington’s Bowhunter Shop, turns 32 this year!  If you visit you’ll find a shop full of vintage photos, hunts he has made all over, signed photos from folks like country singer George Strait (he set up a Hoyt for Strait in the 1990’s),  and an indoor range full of full mounted animals.  I also have a display of my show bows.  I have kept at least one of every bow I’ve ever used on stage the past 25 years and have them on display.  We are working on an additional display which will have some special Stacy Groscup items in it.  One visit to the shop and you’ll see why my parents love the sport so much.  They have bowhunted together all of my life and have a lifetime of memories and photos on display.  By the way, Mom has taken 17 or 18 bear with her bow! 
        During the past 25 years I’ve seen countless airports, hotel rooms, thousands of miles of highway, and met lots of new friends.  For the 25 year mark I have some new shots up my sleeve.  You will have to catch our show this year to see what we have planned!  I feel very blessed to have been able to perform at a professional level 25 straight years.  However, I am just getting started. A few years ago I saw that my friend Ted Nugent always had cool names for his rock and roll tour each year, so I dubbed my tour the HAVE BOW WILL TRAVEL tour.  Catchy huh? 
 
Until next time, Adios & God Bless.

Shoot Straight,
Frank
 
www.frankaddingtonjr.com

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Published by admin on 18 Jan 2010

My beat up leather tab…Frank Addington Jr.

My beat up leather tab…

 

One frequent question from traditional archers is what type of finger protection do I prefer when shooting.  I have always said that instinctive shooting is mostly personal preference and you should shoot what allows you to shoot best.  If you are comfortable and can shoot accurately that’s the answer. 
 
When I was a kid I preferred a Bear glove.  The package had Fred’s photo on it and I knew he wore a glove so that’s what I wanted to wear.  I would wear a new glove around for days trying to soften it up and get it broken in.  I still have my first Bear glove.  Those were happy days.  I’d spend hours in the back yard shooting pretending to be Fred Bear on some remote adventure.  I always told Fred he’d made me a better shooter and those big shoulder’s of Fred’s would rock with laughter.
 
I tried some tabs along the way and eventually went to bare fingers.  I shot this way for several years and built my fingers up.  I tended to drag my third finger so it usually had more calluses than the others.  However, one time around 1990 the late Rev. Stacy Groscup and I shared a stage together performing at a local sports show.  There was a stage but no chairs so the audience would stand at the stage.  After about eight rows back people couldn’t see so Stacy and I would do a show, let that eight rows leave and then we’d immediately do another show.  I think we ended up doing more than 20 shows that weekend and my fingers were throbbing so much that they hurt when they touched the sheets at night.  So the last day of the show Stacy handed me a special hand made leather tab he made.  I used it that day and had great results with it, even with my sore fingers. 
 
I gave his tab back and he told me he would make some tabs especially for me.  I forgot about it until a few weeks later a package arrived.  It was full of leather tabs, mostly brown leather but a few were out of different materials.  I picked one and noticed Stacy had signed the back of it.  That was 1990.  Now, 20 years later, I use that same tab today.  I have never had to use one of the back up tabs.  I am still using the original tab.
 
It’s made out of flat leather and I carry it in my wallet.  I always have it with me.  The last thing I do before heading on stage is take out my wallet and place the tab on my right hand.  It’s a quiet reminder of Stacy and a tradition that I’ve stuck with all these years.  I say a quick prayer and then head on stage. 
 
What type of finger protection do you prefer? 
 
Wearing a tab helps me get away from dragging my third finger so much.  I feel I get a cleaner release with the tab.  I also like the fact that I can always have it with me, even if I don’t have my bow and someone wants to shoot I am ready.  I like the tradition and feel of a leather glove but feel I am just a little more accurate with my Groscup tab.  I have several in my desk drawer at home.  I told someone this supply should get me through the rest of my archery career and still have some left over to pass along to my son Gus.
 
In closing, my best advice is to shoot what allows you to shoot best.  We want you enjoying archery and hitting what you shoot at.  That’s the name of the game.

Thanks for reading.  Until next time, Adios & God Bless.

Shoot Straight,
Frank Addington, Jr.
The Aspirin Buster
 
www.frankaddingtonjr.com

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Published by KurtD on 14 Jan 2010

DO NOT POST ITEMS FOR SALE IN THIS SECTIONS (Blogs and Articles)!

This section of Archerytalk is just for Blogs and Articles.

Please use the Archerytalk Forums TO POST A FREE CLASSIFIED AD

Thanks,

admin

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Published by justsayitsigns on 29 Dec 2009

looking for mod.for 26-27 in draw length

i got a used bow for christmas. it is a pro line dual cam wit 29 in draw. i need to find 2 matching mod to reduce the draw to 26 or 27. i can’t find any real in fo out there for pro line. i think it is a carbon pro line! please any suggestions or links would be greatly appreciated.

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Published by Jessehoyt on 27 Dec 2009

spott-hogg sight

when i set my bow up the other day i noticed that the sight houseing where the pins are is bent down and i notice it alot when i pull my bow back and look at my pins the fiber that runs up and down behind the pins is slanted. how do i adjust my scope houseing so the fiber is straight up and down?

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Published by sarah on 22 Dec 2009

My very first hunting trip in the pouring snow

The weather man is calling for a twenty four inch snow storm here in Roanoke county Virginia.   more snow than we will have gotten in fifteen years, also setting records for the month of December!  Anyways, i decide it will be fun to hunt in the snow and i should get to my tree stand before it starts snowing heavily.  As soon as i start walking into the edge of the woods i can barely see through the sno

windburn :(

 
windburn 🙁

w. i don’t turn back.  By the time i get to my stand already an inch and a half of snow has fallen and the steps are slippery climbing up.  im sweating and i should have lived in that last moment of warmth.  finally hooked in my stand i start to feel the snow flakes and wind on my cheeks.  windburn was in my future. my big fluffy NON-waterproof coat was starting to turn white and so was the rest of my clothing. i had to stand up to get some of it off before it all soaked in.  this turned into a routine.  an hour has passed and I’m colder than I’ve ever been in my life, and it feels like the temperatures dropping.  it hurts to look to my left; the wind and snow are hitting me harder than ever.  the next two hours were miserable.  i hadn’t seen a a squirrle  much less a deer and i was about to die so i lower my bow down and descend down the slippery steps once again.  up the hill i fell more times than i can count and next time i WILL dress warmer!

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Published by admin on 22 Dec 2009

Dip Your Own Arrows By Steven Barde

Dip Your Own Arrows
It’s Only Minor Trouble And Your Shafts Can Carry
Your Favorite Colors!
By Steven Barde

http://www.bowandarrowhunting.com/

cover

 Dipping Arrows is one way to add color to the shaft, make it more individual and in hunting, easier to find.  There are several ways of adding color.  Some spray the shaft, which can be messy, some prefer to paint it on but the easiest and perhaps the best method is to dip the shaft full length in a tube.  The dipping insures a complete coating, smoothly applied, while the end result is even and has no runs or blemishes if done properly.

Dip_Your_Own_Arrows

 Any lacquer designed for wood will work well.  Some automotive lacquers can be used but many of these have a different base and it may be hard to find a thinner that works.  If the lacquer and thinner won’t work together, you will get blisters, and in some cases, the lacquer won’t adhere to the wood but will run or peel off.  If you plan to use a lacquer you’re not sure of, try a small amount and use some parts of a shaft for testing.  Some combinations will work even against the rules but it is best to test first.  The wood lacquers and thinners are easily obtainable.

Dip_Your_Own_Arrows_4

 If you buy one pint  of lacquer, get at least one quart of thinner, since the solution used for dipping is thinned a great deal.  If you plan to do quite a bit of dipping, add to your list of purchases some retarder, to prevent the thinned lacquer from drying too fast on the shaft causing runs and blobs, and a silicone additive.  The silicone gives the lacquer mixture a high glossy finish and makes the lacquer flow smoothly during dipping.

 Mix the lacquer  and thinner to the ratio you desire.  Most use a mixture of two parts thinner to one part lacquer.  Add one eighth part retarder, if you plan to use it, and a few drops of silicone additive.  A little of the silicone does an excellent job.  Some archers prefer to use a thinner solution and mix three or four parts thinner to one part lacquer.  The thinner the solution, the more dipping is required to get a good high gloss finish.  Put the solution into a bottle that can be tightly capped and shake well.

 If you haven’t tried dipping before, the two parts thinner to one part lacquer works well and requires less dipping.  The more dipping and polishing that is done, the higher the gloss on the finished arrow.  You also will need your dip tube, (see Nov.-Dec. 65 issue), some 0000 steel wool to take the hair grain of the shaft, and a rag.  Stretch a line from two supports, preferably a line with a twist, to hand the shafts on while drying.  Some archers use household clothes pins, some use electrical alligator clips but carpet tacks have proven best for many archers to hold the shafts to the line while they dry.

 When selecting your arrows for dipping, the edge of the grain, which is the side with the finest lines in it, should face the side of the bow, since the edge grained side of the shaft is the strongest part.  If you don’t have a method to mark this grain side, it is hard to find after the shaft has been dipped.

Dip_Your_Own_Arrows_2

 By using carpet tacks, you can put the tack in the grain side of the shaft and the little hole left is easily found when it comes time to nock the dipped arrow.  The line or raised edge of the speed nock goes in line with the hole left by the carpet tack.  One other advantage of the tack is that there is less handling of the dipped shaft.  When using the alligator clip, the clip is just hung over the edge of the line, the same as the carpet tack.

 When you use the clothes pin, it is necessary to dip the shaft with the fingers and hold while attaching the shaft to the jaws of the clothes pin.  In this step, you will get covered with lacquer if you dip too high on the shaft.  These are a few of the ways to hand the shafts to dry but the final choice will be the one that works best for you.

Dip_Your_Own_Arrows_6

Dip_Your_Own_Arrows_3

 Select the shafts you intend to dip and lay them in place.  Take a damp rag and wipe each shaft.  This will dampen the wood and raise the hair grain.  Cut the nock taper on both ends of the shaft prior to wiping.  The reason for cutting the nock taper is that it allows the lacquer to drip from the end rapidly, and when the nock is applied to the dipped shaft, there is no holiday of bare wood where the nock taper has missed the edge of the nock.

Dip_Your_Own_Arrows_5

 After wiping, allow the shafts to dry about thirty minutes.  When they are dry, apply the carpet tack or other holding device and dip the arrow in the tube, pushing it to within an inch or less of the top of the shaft, but slowly.  A line attached above the dip tube will let the drops from the dripping shaft fall into the tube instead of on the ground or mat.  When the drops have almost stopped, place the dipped shaft on the drying line and proceed with the next shaft, and so on, until all shafts have been dipped once.  Allow the dipped shaft to dry at least two hours.  The drying time will vary with humidity and temperature.

 Remove the dry shafts from the line, take a piece of your steel wool and rub each shaft to remove the hair grain that was brought up by the damp rag and lacquer.  After steel wooling each shaft, wipe them with a dry rag to remove the steel particles and dust, revers ends and dip again.  Apply the tack or other holding device, dip, drain and hang to dry.  For most hunting shafts, two dips will be enough with a two part thinner and one-part lacquer solution.  Allow to dry for another two hours.  If the color is still too light, steel wool, wipe down, reverse ends and dip them again.

 Some colors cover better than others and some lacquers are thicket than others.  The best thickness of the mixture is determined after you try a few shafts.  If the lacquer runs too slowly and causes runs down the side of the shaft, it is too thick and needs more thinner.  If the lacquer is too thin, it will run rapidly.  If you like to use a thin solution, it will work but will require more dipping to get the desired finish.  The solution that works well in dry Arizona will not work the same in humid Florida, sot he proper mixture must be determined by the number of dips required to give you the best color and finish for the climate you live in.

 After the shaft has been dipped  and you have the desired color and finish, remove the tack and lightly steel wool the finished shaft to remove any roughness, place the shaft in your arrow rack and you are then ready to nock the shaft and fletch.

 The nock should go with the speed nock ridge in line with the edge of the grain of the shaft so the arrow will have the strongest part of the wood bearing against the side of the bow.  The edge may be determined by the previous use of the carpet tack or by cutting the opposite end.

 Remember the best solution is one that gives you the best results.  If you want to experiment with different colors and lacquers, try them, but be sure the lacquer and thinner mix together and do not form bubbles or blotches.

 Recently I decided to try a new color for hunting.  I wanted a bright orange, almost international orange, but couldn’t find it anywhere.  I went to a paint store and after checking the lacquer, added some bright orange from one of the new color mixing machines and shook it up.  When this lacquer and thinner were poured into solution, I didn’t know what to expect so I tried a few shafts.  The dealer said the color mix would work with anything but I was doubtful.

 These shafts came out beautiful!  They are a brilliant orange, the color I wanted, and there were no runs o blotches to mar the finish.  These shafts have been easy to find and have stood up well with rough use.

 If you decide to experiment like this, go ahead, but try a few shafts first before gambling all your undipped shafts.  A garage or any open place where the dust and dirt can’t bother the wet shafts will work well.  Dipping is fun, inexpensive and the colors and results are left only to your imagination.

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Published by admin on 22 Dec 2009

A Key to Hitting the Mark by Frank Addington, Jr.

A Key to Hitting the Mark by Frank Addington, Jr.

fence
 
I think that one of the most important aspects of any style of shooting is “target acquisition.”  I don’t care how good or bad your vision is, what your method  of shooting is, or how long you have been an archer.  If you aren’t effective at target acquisition, you won’t be successful in the long run.  Whether you are a 3-D champ, a bowhunter, backyard archer, or someone that enjoys days afield stump shooting, you cannot hit what you cannot see.  And you must be able to do this consistently.
 
This single thing allows me to hit objects as small as a baby aspirin in mid air with an arrow.  I have tuned my eyes, mind and body through years of practice to immediately acquire the target. In the old days they called it, “picking a spot.”  It is simple in theory yet hard to master.  I myself am guilty of occasionally staring at a huge set of horns and the whole animal instead of a particular spot.  I miss when I do this and I bet you do too.  You have to be able to shut out everything but where you want your arrow to land.  I think this is a mental and physical exercise.  I cannot rule out the mental side, after all, you have to be able to concentrate. 
 
In my stage shows I have to be able to shut everything out except the baby aspirin.  I have to ignore loud crowds, noises at sports shows, kids yelling, music blasting, and all the other sounds that go with sports shows.  I also have to be able to ignore the media when they show up, VIPs, and anyone else in the audience that can break my concentration.  When I am “in the zone” you could blow a bugle beside me and I’d never hear it.  I would simply do what I do and hit the target.  But being the zone can come and go if you don’t practice.  You have to have a strong mental concentration.  We did shows in downtown New York city a few years ago.  Talk about mental concentration.  I was outside at Tavern on the Green in the middle of Central Park on a Spring day.  We also performed in the Bronx at Van Courtland Park.  Again, concentration.

Locking down on a very small, distinct spot.  No waiver, no second guessing, just locking down and putting 100% of your concentration on one particular mark.  You can train yourself to do this with some practice.  Learn to “acquire” the target.  Focus.  Concentrate.

As a bowhunter, you have to be able to ignore things too.  The big rack, any other game, the elements,and anything else that serves as a distraction.  As a competitive shooter, you have even more to ignore.  Don’t let a competitor anywhere near your mental game.  If they get in your head you may as well hand them the trophy.  Game over.  Be strong and stay focused.  The late, great AL Henderson was the first to call my attention to the mental side of archery.  I suggest everyone reading this column pick up a copy of Al’s book, “Understanding Winning Archery” sometime soon.  It is a good read.  Al was ahead of the game on his theories on the mental side of archery.  Look for his book on Target Communication’s website.
 
When it all comes together you will bring a strong amount of shooting practice, a strong mental game, and the ability to acquire a target all together.  Can target acquisition be learned?  I certainly think so.  My eyesight is good.  Really good.  But even if yours isn’t, I still think you can get better at target acquisition with lots of practice.  When you see an object, look at it.  Really look at it.  Instead of the whole 3-D deer target, pick a spot where you can see a mark or a shadow or anything that serves as an “aiming point.”  Smaller is better.  Always try to aim small. Pick a tuft of hair when you see that big buck.  Don’t see the whole deer, see a spot where you want that arrow to land.  I do this on the balloons I shoot.  I never shoot at the whole balloon.
 
I don’t shoot at flat target faces often.  Why?  It is more difficult for me to pick a small spot on those type targets.  I prefer a lifesaver, a balloon, or any 3-D object.  I will even tear a piece of paper off the target face and shoot at it instead of a bullseye.  As an instinctive shooter, I look at what I want to hit.  What I write about here will apply to all shooting styles. Think about it.  You cannot hit what you cannot see.  I hope this coulmn will help you become a better shot.
 
 

Thanks for reading.  Until next time, Adios & God Bless.

Shoot Straight,
Frank Addington, Jr.
The Aspirinbuster
 
www.frankaddingtonjr.com

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Published by usaoutback on 16 Nov 2009

The Right Trail- How to blood trail your deer this year

Every hunter has an obligation to know how to trail a wounded animal. It is vital to the hunter to only take the shot that allows a clear path to the vitals of the animal. Know YOUR limitations and stick to them. Missed shots make lousy blood trails.
Imagine yourself in a tree stand during bow season and the buck of your dreams offers you a broadside shot. You draw your bow, aim, release and the buck bounds off into the brush. If you find yourself in this scenario this fall, here is some information that will help you bring your animal from the field to the freezer-

I. Pick a Spot- Mentally pick a spot on the animal when taking your shot; never look at the entire animal. Also, pick a landmark (spot) where the animal was standing when it was hit. Whether it is a tree, bush or rock, these objects will help you locate the beginning of the trail to your quarry.

II. Sit and Think- It seems to be commonly accepted practice to wait at least a half of an hour before trailing. Listen for the animal’s direction of travel. If a fatal shot was made, you may even hear the animal fall. Replay the shot and think of what the animal’s reaction was to the shot. Be patient. A quick pursuit could push the animal into clotting the wound. Massive bleeding is the cause of death when bowhunting. If the animal stumbled or ran off wobbly, the arrow probably hit a shoulder, leg or vertebrae. A gut or intestinal hit will cause an animal to stagger and run away slowly. Finding your arrow and blood trail will give you an idea where you hit the animal.

III. Find Your Arrow- After the waiting period, go to the point of impact and locate your arrow. Hair, blood, bone and fluid on the arrow can tell you where you hit the animal.

Ask yourself the following questions-
1. What color is the blood or fluid on the arrow?
2. Is there any brown or green fluid on the arrow?
3. Is the blood light or dark?
4. Are there any bubbles in the blood?
5. Is there any hair in the area?
6. Is there an odor to the arrow?

Every one of these questions will give you clues to locating your animal. Let’s go into more detail-

1. Blood Color. The blood color and consistency will help identify the type of hit. Bright red blood with no bubbles signifies a muscle/arterial hit. Dark red blood with no bubbles indicates a hit in a vein, liver or kidney. Pinkish blood with small bubbles is a good indicator of a vital hit in the heart/lung area. Blood that has a clear, odorous fluid with food matter is a sign of a stomach, intestine or bladder hit. If this is the case, you should wait at least 45 minutes to an hour before pursuing the animal. The animal will soon feel sick and lay down in the vicinity if it is not pursued too soon. Death could be in a few hours or a few days with this type of hit. Unless there is a threat of meat spoilage, give the animal at least four hours before searching heavily.

2. Hair. Look for any hair in the area where the animal was standing when it was hit. Broadheads ALWAYS cut hair upon entry. The hair you find can help identify where on the body you hit the animal. Long, dark hair comes from the neck and back of a deer. Short, dark hair grows on the head, legs and brisket. Light, white hair is from the belly and behind the legs.

IV. Mark Your Trail- I carry a roll of orange surveyor’s tape strictly for marking trails. It is very visible and will help identify a direction of travel if you lose the blood trail.*
*Note- Don’t forget to remove your markers after you find your animal. Always leave the woods cleaner than when you arrived.

V. Get Help- “Two heads are better than one” holds true when trailing a wounded animal. Back in 1989, I shot a fat little four point that ran off into the brush. Since I was hunting three miles from home, I drove home to ask my wife to help trail my deer. She was a great help following the blood drops that were easily lost in the red leaves of fall. There were times when I lost the trail but Denise kept me from straying off the deer’s direction of travel. We found the buck in less than an hour in a thicket less than 100 yards from where he was shot. It was gratifying to share the experience with the person who suffered through my countless hours of preseason rituals.

VI. Cut grids- If you find yourself at “the end of the trail,” cut grids starting at the last marker. I use a compass and markers to search an area and do so in a snail shell pattern. This type of search will eventually have you back-tracking to the origin of the trail. Check known escape routes, bedding areas and water sources in the area you are hunting. Wounded animals often return to the preferred areas of security- especially down hill when mortally wounded.

VII. Use All Clues- Every blade of grass, broken spider web and snapped twig can be a clue to finding your animal. Does a rock look like it was recently kicked? What direction is a broken weed pointing? Did a red squirrel or birds start making an unusual amount of noise in a thicket close by? All of these “little” things can make a difference.

VIII. Electronic Tracking Devices- There are electronic tracking devices on the market that measure temperature changes as slight as a degree and have ranges up to 300 yards. I don’t have any experience with these units but I thought I would mention that they are available.

Your proficiency with your weapon of choice will determine the future of hunting. Be a responsible hunter and acquire the skills needed to make a quick and clean killing shot this fall. Your actions represent ALL sportsmen.
If you are an experienced hunter and tracker, teach those nimrod skills to the less experienced hunters. Share the hunting experience with someone who has never hunted. By all means, get involved with your local sportsmen clubs. Join some of the state and national organizations that are fighting for your PRIVILEGE to hunt. By helping others in our ranks, we help ourselves. Happy blood trails.

*Learn about ‘Making Sense out of Scents’ and ‘Call of the Week’ by going to www.usaoutbacktv.com

 

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