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