Archive for the 'Target/3D' Category

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Published by RchurE on 29 Apr 2008

My journey back to field archery.

It’s been about 8 or 9 years since field archery has been a part of my life. Some of my best childhood memories are of the tournaments my dad, his friends, and I attended. I shot the 3-D scene for a few years after field “fizzled out” around these parts in Southwest Virgina. Our field range had been on hiatus due to a gas pipeline that had to be consructed pretty much smack dab through the middle of it. When I rejoined the club last year I was pleasantly surprised that there were a few people that had rekindled the field spirit and reconstructed the range. 

When I was in my prime if I ever had one I usually averaged in the low 540’s and always wanted to hang with the big boys in the 550’s. I shot in the 550’s a few times as a youth and won the Va. state shoots a few times. Once I stepped up to the young adult class and then the adult class I kind of just leveled off and never was able to reach that next level. Then I hit that age that we all hit as young men and started chasing the girls and archery was no longer my primary interest. I still shot quite a bit but not enough to achieve the “shot” that takes more practice than I was willing to commit to.

Here I am many years later and I’ve came full circle back to where it all started for me, field archery. I thought I might start this blog to help track my progress as I make my way back in. I’ll start by saying that I probably won’t be shooting a whole lot of tournaments because I’ve decided that this stint in archery is going to be more of a hobby for me than anything and I don’t want to put pressure on myself so much that I stop enjoying it. That was a large part of why I stopped the last time. I think you can take this stuff too seriously and I don’t recommend letting it get to that point.

The past year has proved to be both expensive and frustrating. I’ve been through 5 bows and I’ve had to learn everything that I have forgotent all over again. I ended up with a Hoyt Ultra Elite for 3-D and a Pro Elite for field. I just got the Pro Elite ready to go a couple of weeks ago and I shot my first half with it today. Up to this point I’ve been shooting some rounds but they’ve all been done with my 3-D bow.

The first time around this year was on March 31st. I got to meet a new friend that day named Roy Sturgill. He’s an older guy from this area originally but moved to Delaware. He was in visiting some family and decided to shoot a round at the club while he was here. We had a great time that day and it couldn’t have been more fitting for me to get to shoot with an “old schooler” that day. I ended up shooting a 265 half on the field faces. I felt pretty happy with that since it was the first time outside and the first time on a field course in that many years.

My second time out was on April 5th. That day was wet and rainy but still a lot of fun nonetheless. I shot alone that day and to be honest it had been some kind of day at work so I was glad to get some peace and quiet at the range flying solo. I did better that day and was tickled with a 271 half, still on the field faces. I shot a 20 on the 30 which I normally struggle with pretty badly and I also 20’d the 80. I hadn’t done that in a long time so I was on cloud nine.

On April 20th we had a 28 animal round at the club and I decided I’d shoot it. It rained pretty much all day long and it was miserable as far as shooting conditions go. The camaraderie was just as I remembered it though. We had a blast as we all got soaking wet and tried to keep the raindrops out of our scopes. When it was all said and done I was whipped. I knew I was out of shape but wow, I forgot what good exercise it is walking 28 targets. Those pesky little 21 rings they put on the animals now are a lot tougher to hit than one would think. I had two brain farts for 18’s and hit five of those 21’s for a total of 561. I was happy with that but I think I can do much better with some practice. 

I realize this has been a long post here but I’m coming to an end very soon. All of this brings us to present time so I’ll get back to the first round with the new bow I spoke of earlier. It was blue cold today compared to the 70 degree weather we’ve been getting and it seems this part of the country is the new Chicago as far as the wind goes. I’m getting pretty used to these terrible shooting conditions and won’t know how to act when I finally get to go shoot on a nice day. I shot really well today even though my score didn’t reflect it. I shot 14 hunter targets and ended up with a 270 half. The 32 fan took my lunch money as I suspected it would. I shot a 17 on that one so almost a third of the points I dropped were on that one alone. I shot 18 on the 70 walk up, 19 on the 64 walk up, 19 on the 40, 19 on the 48, 19 on the 58 walk up, and 19 on the 44.

I’ve set a goal for 550 before the year is out and I don’t think I’m too far off. I’m hoping to get out tomorrow or Thursday for another round. Stay tuned for details.

 

5 votes, average: 3.40 out of 55 votes, average: 3.40 out of 55 votes, average: 3.40 out of 55 votes, average: 3.40 out of 55 votes, average: 3.40 out of 5 (5 votes, average: 3.40 out of 5)
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Published by csinclair on 22 Apr 2008

10 Things every Archer who wants to be a Bow Hunter should know.

Practice in full camo gear.

1.) Bow hunting / hunting is / can be very expensive when starting out, having all the best gear isn’t necessary to practice your archery skills, (good archery skills is the basis for Bow Hunting), get decent quality gear and practice lots.

2.) Bow hunting / hunting can be / (is) very time consuming if you’re serious / passionate about it.
(Make sure your spouse, girl/boy friend is OK with it, because it can / will be time a consuming obsession).

3.) Be a student of the hunt, there’s more than one way to do it, every old timer is your teacher,
do lots of reading, talk a little, but listen a lot.

4.) You will accidently hurt / bruise your bow arm with the string from having improper form at some point, don’t be discouraged, learn from it, improve.

5.) If you’re using a mechanical release, you will hurt your face / nose / lip / eye / etc.. with a pre-mature / accidental release, (one fellow I talked to said he even broke his own nose, apparently it’s pretty common when new to the sport).

6.) Practice makes perfect, there’s no substitute for practice. If you think you’re shooting well, step back 10 or 20 yards and think again. Practice, practice, practice.

7.) Be safe and careful, remember to practice safety for you and for others around you, nobody want’s to get hurt.

8.) Be respectful of nature, including the land, prey you hunt and other animals you’re not hunting,
that may live in the area you’re hunting / practicing / scouting in.

9.) Practice for hunting in the gear / clothing that you’d be wearing during a hunt, if you don’t practice shooting in full gear, how will you know if you can perform when the moment comes.

10.) Do your research with regards to local laws, rules and regulations, don’t get into trouble, you’re an ambassador of the archery / bow hunter community, be responsible, set a good example.

2 votes, average: 3.00 out of 52 votes, average: 3.00 out of 52 votes, average: 3.00 out of 52 votes, average: 3.00 out of 52 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5 (2 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
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Published by csinclair on 15 Apr 2008

Eat, Sleep, Archery – the pay off is … accuracy?

I sincerely feel that all of my archery practice as of late is really starting to pay off. It is becoming very obvious in how my arrows are grouping tightly in two’s and threes, however, I’m still slightly high and to the right it seems, no matter how I tune my sight up to the arrows, which I find odd..?,

*Can anyone help with an explanation of why this may be? I can hit the gold if I compensate slightly low, left, but if I change my sight to that position, I always end up with tight groups slightly high and to the right again, maybe it’s in my release?

I’ve been trying to shoot every day now that the nice weather is back and I’m really feeling good about my shooting, ‘all’ of my arrows are in a pretty tight group now, which they never were before.

I joined my provincial archery association today, (the OAA),  so that I can shoot in 3D tournaments this summer to prepare myself a little more for bow hunting next year, which is very exciting end result of all my hard work, dedication to shooting every day, proper diet and fitness training and all the reading that I’ve been doing to try and get ready for it.

Another good thing that happenned today is that my friend who I shoot with is starting to get noticably better, and really seems to enjoy archery, and his daughter who is 10 years old has also become interested and is shooting well now too, soon enough I may have enough participants to start a club, which is a perfect solution for us seeing as there are none in our area, why not?

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Published by Hyunchback on 11 Apr 2008

Another day of practice

Again I worked primarily on watching my shafts hit the target.

This may not seem special to others but I make no apologies for it. I wasn’t doing this before and it is very important to me today. It’s a new element to my form. I must not neglect it.

I lost another arrow today. My bow shoulder broke down at the same moment my release fired and the arrow went somewhere undiscovered. I’m down to 10 out of 12 shafts. As it was one of the remaining 4 that hadn’t lost their inserts I decided it was time to reduce all my remaining arrows to 32″. The shafts started out full length or around 32.5 inches.

Let’s examine why my form fizzled. This is, I suspect, due to my not yet being as strong as I need to be. I work strong and long on Tuesday and then Thursday is crap. Utter crap. Week after week.

The only reason I can figure out is that I have not yet recovered my shoulder muscles after Tuesday’s workout. I only get a minor workout with my walking stick on Sunday or Monday (If I go walking). Tuesday I’m rarin’ to go and may over-do it. Wednesday is a day of work and so Thursday is not the best. It’s a day for shooting so it’s not bad. Like pizza it’s not bad even when it’s not good.

It’s a day I get to go to the range and that’s not a bad thing.

A primary point, though, is to learn from form errors that I can pinpoint.

And to recognize what errors I’m eliminating. With the exception of fliers where the sights were not really on target as they should be I was eliminating inches from the left-right scattering.

It’s important to note that I’m claiming “eliminatING” not “eliminated”.

And it is important to note that I’m not trying to buy my way to perfection. Still the same bow. The same shafts (even if new inserts), the same sight and the same release. And the same shooter.

I’m getting better. That’s a good thing.

I’m no threat to the kings of 3D or 5 Spot or Vegas. Wish I were.

But I’ll outshoot my previous score in the archery league if we ever get another place to shoot for scores in the archery league.

This session, aside from the lost arrow, showed a SEVERE reduction in left-right scatter. I still have fliers that I am attributing to form flaws or imprecise aiming. But the majority of “good” shots are in a very narrow vertical impact column.

Now, why am I still having variations in my vertical distribution? The bow has a hard wall. I pull to it.

It’s possible that some of it is the imprecise sight picture.

What is important is that I have, minus fliers, reduced the left-right scatter of my groups at THIRTY yards.

Until recently I never shot past 20 yards.

Until recently I hadn’t been shooting bows at all.

I’m not regularly hitting a 30 yard target and could be hitting on the 40 yard target, twice my previous distance. Not yet as tight on groups as I feel I should be capable of but superior to my earlier efforts.

With just fiber optic pins for my sights.

The first monthly shoot will arrive on May 4, 2008. I expect to shoot better by then.

Since I completed practice with only 3 shafts still bearing inserts I decided to do arrow surgery before coming home.

I cut the extra half inch off the remaining shafts and tonight I cleaned and then epoxied new inserts into the shafts. Instead of Bohning’s Power Bond I’m using a 2 part epoxy called Two Ton Epoxy. Gold Tip rejects the use of hot glue on carbon shafts.

Without a measuring arrow I’m guessing that I’m currently set for 31″ on draw length. The bow mechanic had been required to change the BowTech Commander’s draw length radically over the previous owner’s draw length. I’m going to keep it at the 32″ mark for now as broadheads require some clearance.

My bow’s previous owner was over 12″ shorter than me. Not a put down of a man who is clearly a superior archer. Just a fact of our disparate heights.

2 votes, average: 2.50 out of 52 votes, average: 2.50 out of 52 votes, average: 2.50 out of 52 votes, average: 2.50 out of 52 votes, average: 2.50 out of 5 (2 votes, average: 2.50 out of 5)
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Published by csinclair on 09 Apr 2008

Spring, the time for practice and the pro shop

Hello sports fans,

In my last post I mentioned the difficulty of finding a place to shoot locally, (outdoors and legal according to the local by-laws in this part of Canada). My experiment was a success and I have found not one but several good places for shooting at some of the home made targets that I’ve made recently, (who says archery has to be expensive to get into). So after a morning of extensive scouting with the maps that I’d printed off from the by-law website on the discharge of firearms, (including bows and crossbows), for my local area, I easily found a few good spots, out of the way of passers by and hikers, where I could set up my targets and let some arrows fly.

What a great feeling, outside on a beautiful spring day enjoying my Martin and some Easton Lightspeed 400s. I enjoyed myself so much infact that after shooting probably a couple hundred arrows, straight ahead, at 20 / 30 / 40 yards and even greater distances, up hill, down hill and even through the brush, (just to make things interesting), my shooting was ok, but I noticed that my grouping was a little loose, so I had to go back to the shop today and have my bow tuned right up to it’s maximum draw weight and installed a peep sight for better accuracy.

While in the shop doing all this, during my test shots with the new peep sight, the fellow who owns the shop noticed my left hand position wasn’t optimal, my wrist was too high. Correcting the problem, I spent some time at the indoor range at the shop and immediately noticed that my grouping was tighter and my shot placement was much better almost like magic. I’m not sure if it’s my hand position or the new peep sight, probably the combination of the two together, but my shooting just jumped up a notch today and I’m really happy about it. It never ceases to amaze me how something as simple as a trip to the pro shop once and a while, with regular practice can really improve one’s skill level. Perhaps my new archery motto should be practice, practice, pro shop. 😉

I can’t wait to get out to the forest range tomorrow, some friends are coming out with me, I’ve agreed to loan them bows so that we can all enjoy some archery outdoors for the day with me, is there any better way to spend a spring day, while on one’s way to becoming a bow hunter.

Craig

4 votes, average: 2.00 out of 54 votes, average: 2.00 out of 54 votes, average: 2.00 out of 54 votes, average: 2.00 out of 54 votes, average: 2.00 out of 5 (4 votes, average: 2.00 out of 5)
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Published by Hyunchback on 08 Apr 2008

An eye opening revelation

Literally.

Today as I practiced I was finally able to keep my eyes on the target as I fired. Partly by not squeezing my non-aiming eye fully closed, making it easier to watch the arrow all the way to the target.

This hardly ever happened before for me. It’s like a new portion of my form that I was finally able to bring into my shot sequence.

Literally. My groups tightened up. I resolved from that point to devote the rest of my session keeping my eyes on the arrows as they hit the target.

No, I didn’t magically turn into a threat to the 3D champions. I just found something that I’d been missing that was resulting in many, many random misses. It’s a wonder that my arrows ever hit the center. I was flinching.

5 votes, average: 3.00 out of 55 votes, average: 3.00 out of 55 votes, average: 3.00 out of 55 votes, average: 3.00 out of 55 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5 (5 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
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Published by csinclair on 07 Apr 2008

The Urban Archers Outdoor Range and ByLaws (CDN)

Hi Folks,

In order to become a better archer and bow-hunter one needs to be accurate, (practice, practice, practice comes to mind), shooting tight groups consistently from various distances under any weather conditions from any position, (sitting, standing, crouching, up-hill or down-hill), one needs to practice much and do so in an outdoor setting which mirrors the real hunting environment as closely as possible.

It’s always been a challenge for me personally to find an appropriate place to shoot like this due to the fact that I’m living in a Canadian urban area where the by-laws specifically state that one may ‘not’ discharge a firearm, (including a bow), as the discharge of firearms is disallowed in most areas within, (and around), city limits.

Recently I had a very informative discussion with a gentleman who was a local bow hunter as well as being very well versed in the local by-laws, (we started talking archery when he noticed my bow-shop hat), possibly because he is studying to become an RCMP officer as well, he really helped set me straight on the facts, which I’d like to pass along to any other new bow-hunters / archers who may also benefit from the information that he shared with me.

The tip that he shared with me was simple really, just do your homework and search the internet for the local by-laws, which I found quite easily, in particular the by-law that governs the discharge of ‘firearms’ which includes bows and crossbows. Included with the by-law that governs the discharging of ‘firearms’ in the areas surrounding the city limits is a map, which showed me the exact areas where I could, (and could not), legally set up a ad-hoc range for myself and shoot outside all summer, up hill down hill through some trees, crouching, standing etc…

I’ve since scouted the area and am going out today with my bow to do some shooting, I’ll post some pictures as soon as I’m able.

Happy shooting,

Craig

3 votes, average: 1.67 out of 53 votes, average: 1.67 out of 53 votes, average: 1.67 out of 53 votes, average: 1.67 out of 53 votes, average: 1.67 out of 5 (3 votes, average: 1.67 out of 5)
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Published by Hyunchback on 03 Apr 2008

Another day at bow bending

Today’s shooting was not as tight as I wish. It could be that I was just “off” or whatever.

I have recently replaced my copy of Larry Wise’s “Core Archery” and begun re-reading it. There are two people who I have read which I feel put more thought into how they do what they do than anyone else and Larry Wise is one of them (the other is James Park).

Today I followed Larry Wise’s advise about finding one’s stance. I drew my arrow, lined up my sight and closed my eyes and let time pass. When I opened them I was pretty much on the bale and target with my sights. I think I’m working with a fairly close approximation of a good stance but I’ll keep checking.

Despite my arrows being more scattered than I would have liked I have begun to batter the vanes. That’s okay, though. This set of shafts were fletched straight and I need an offset for use of broadheads later.

Since the closing of my nearest archery shop I’m going to be forced to learn to do more work on my bow and arrows. Goody! Always willing to learn.

4 votes, average: 2.75 out of 54 votes, average: 2.75 out of 54 votes, average: 2.75 out of 54 votes, average: 2.75 out of 54 votes, average: 2.75 out of 5 (4 votes, average: 2.75 out of 5)
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Published by Hyunchback on 01 Apr 2008

Reflections

I look back on what I did during my last archery binge. It’s hard to ignore since some of the evidence is still with me. I have over half a dozen archery releases representing hundreds of dollars I spent on just one aspect of the shot. I have 4 different sets of arrows. I had 4 bows, pared down to 1 and now up to 2.

I realize that a lot of what I did the last time was to try and buy my way into skill. I learned some lessons, especially about back tension but what is more I learned to stop trying to spend my way to success.

I put 3 of the sets of arrows and one of the bows into my storage unit. I’m concentrating on one bow, one set of arrows, one sight, one stabilizer, one release. The decision is to stick with the bow I purchased for hunting, using it for 3D as a way to practice for hunting.

Working with my bow today felt good. I wasn’t thinking “if I buy X then I’ll be on target”. I was thinking “basics. form. consistency. sight picture. shot sequence.”

I’m not a champion archer but I’m not yet as good an archer as I could become. My eyes are not very useful at any distance but I can still learn to estimate distances and practice shooting at different distances.

And the most basic part is to have fun. To want to go to the range not to try out some new doohickey. It’s so that I can feel like I had a good time.

Yes, I still have to spend. On basics like inserts and nocks and points. Shafts and fletching. Not new ones. Just ones lost through normal use. Just replacements for the same tackle, not something new.

I think I’m going to have more fun this time around.

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Published by mark kennedy on 30 Mar 2008

Back Tension And Target Panic

Hey everybody,

I know how frustrating it can be learning to use a true backtension release.  I know how much time and effort must be put into the practice and proper execution of a backtension release.  I am definatly not a perfect back tension shooter, heck just today I had a lot of problems getting my back tension to go off at a local tournament.  But I have been shooting with a back tension for 2.5 yrs and i think it i may be able to help some new guys get into it with a lot less frustration than i had, by informing people of the many ways not to start learning a back tension.

 I started 2.5 yrs ago with a tru-ball ultra 3 backtension release.  I had just started to get into spot shooting and was struggling with TARGET PANIC.  Everybody gets it at one time or another, and boy is it troublesome.  I was having such a problem i almost gave up shooting all together.  Finally i was in my archery shop one day and was discussing possible ways to get rid of target panic when one of the pros that frequent the shop told me about the back tension release. 

He explained to me the ideal shot,what he called a SURPRISE SHOT. The purpose of the surprise shot was to 1 reduce the urge to punch the release creating steady grouped shots 2. reducing the ability to predict when the shot was going off enabling the shooter to keep from grabbing or torquing the bow as it arrow leaves the rest.

 It sounded like a miracle to me, like the locked door to better scores that i sttod before had just swung open.  I bought a backtension and couldn’t wait to try it.  So I got my bow, loaded an arrow, and stepped to the twenty yard line. That was my first mistake, when shooting a backtension the first few times, even if you have read all about them and seen people shoot them if you have never shot one yourself than pull a bail to five yards.  I didn’t get my bow back 6 in, when that release tripped and that arrow went straight into the wood next to the twenty yard bail.

Always start at five yards, it is the most important thing, Also take your sight off, start by just trying to get the release back.  If available have somebody who shoots a backtension CORRECTLY watch you and comment on your form and technique.  Once you are able to get it fully drawn follow these steps to help get you started, a variation or simplification of these steps is fine whatever works for you because you are the one shooting the release.

1. set your rear shoulder so that your rear forearm is parallel to the ground and in a locked comfortable position.

2. set your front shoulder/arm in a broken arm fashion, you don’t want your arm locked out, this can cause yu to strap yourself and will make it hard to use a backtension.  You only want your arm to be slightly bent.

3. set your release hand to a TOUCH POINT on your face that is easily remembered and does not move your front or rear setup.

4. Aim

5.while you continue to aim push the bow into the target with your shoulder not with your elbow as this will cause inconsistent pressure, as you focus on the x on the target, the pin may move but just focus on the target, push the bow into the target.  At the same time pull with your release hand into the wall behind you as if you are going to drive your elbow into the wall.

6. keep focusing on the target, pushing and pulling, and before your ready more than likely that shot will be gone, if you anticipated the shot, you did wnot follow correct form, maybe you pulled with your outside fing er instead of pulling straight back, this is called TRIPPING THE RELEASE.

TRIPPING THE RELEASE is the process of turning a backtension release to the point that the hinge releases the bow.  This form is inconsistent and should not be used, Although i have seen some pros shoot this way very well it is not a SURPRISE SHOT.  the whole prupose of learning the back tension is to get this surprise and reduce target panic and get better form, turning the release accomplishes none of these things.

 Afetr 2.5 yrs I am still learning my backtension and I hope to have it perfect soon, but the best thing i can suggest is to blank bail, we all hate it and nobody does it enough but it is really the best way to learn the relaese.  When you are sitting on the couch get a shoestring and simulate yourself shooting a backtension using your release and a shoestring during commercials, my coach gave me this same advice and i’ll tell you it is a lot less boring than hours of misguided blank bailing and it i find it works well.

 I hope this information helps people to better understand the advantages of a backtension and its proper use, don’t give up no matter how long it takes because eventually you’ll get it, just keep working at it.

 

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