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.