With winter upon me, I do not get out to shoot 3D much, if at all. What I do have is a couple of Indoor Archery tournaments. Now, I will be the first to admit I’m no target archer. But I’m an archer, I actually like all forms of archery.
Last year in this tournament I placed fourth with a score of 180 (it is a 300 tournament). I’m a competitive person, winning isn’t so important to me as doing well. I’m also a realist, being my first time I was happy with my score of 180 and I knew that if I wanted to score higher I had better take it serious.
And I did. The first thing I did was find a target bow. I found it at ETAR at the swap meet. It is a 1967 Ben Pearson Pinto, 25 Pounds. Next I found some nice arrows for it. The Carbon Express Predator 2’s. I choose these because they come in 800 spine. I bare shafted them to the bow. Another thing I did was to learn how to shoot GAP. I found on this bow, my GAP is 11.5 inches down and get this ….. Nine inches to the left. This bow came with a rest, which was different for me since I normally shoot off the shelf.
A local archery club was running a fall league and I asked if I could come and just shoot (it was a 300 league). My first night I shot a 201, then a 231, 229 and a 239! I was feeling confident. But I have a problem, with my GAP so far down and to the left I kept wanting to look at the target and when I did, my arrow was off.
So, me being me, the week before the tournament, I removed the rest and shot off the shelf, hoping that by having the arrow a little farther in would help. On the first practice I was lucky to even hit the target. I also developed a bad habit of smacking myself in the face and nose with the string. The nose I did not mind because it was broken in the Kickboxing ring and it is no longer straight. I just kept getting worse, Finally I decided to start all over, I switched the string (from a Flemish Twist to an Endless Loop), went from a tab to a glove. The glove cured the string slap (it got so bad that I cut my nose and I’m a bleeder). I redid my GAP and it came out to ….. 11.5 inches down and yep, nine inches left! I did a 300 and scored a 218. Needless to say I lost all confidence that I built up.
So the day of the event arrives. They had two lines shooting, a 10AM line and a 1PM line. I was signed up for the 1PM line, but I wanted to film the ten. As the ten line was warming up I spoke to the guy who ran it and he informed me the one line was full. This was not good because I had a friend coming to shoot with me at one and he did not pre-register. I asked if I could shot the ten and give my friend my spot. He said “yes, but you have one problem” “they are about to start”.
I ran out, put up my target and they announce “This end is for score”. Yep, there would be no practice for me. Shot a 19 in the first end, while scoring the guy in my group had PSE gear big time. He was shooting a PSE target bow and I asked him how much was his. He informed me he didn’t know, that PSE gave it to him, he was sponsored by them! He did say that he knows the risers alone cost six hundred dollars and that he thinks the whole thing would run around twelve hundred dollars! Being competitive I wanted to see how I compared to him. Later I found out that he is one of the best 3D traditional Archers in NY!
Well I ended with a 235. The last arrow I shot was a one, I drew was ready and then out of the corner of my eye I saw something and lost all focus. Oh well. At least I salvaged a decent score.
The PSE shooter, he shot a 229! Yeah baby! Later in the day my friend was shooting, he was on fire. I swear he was on pace for a 250. After I helped in tallying the scores (I used the calculator on my phone) and he scored a 236! One point! That last arrow cost me big time. Then they compared scores with the other card and his was off, a few high and a few low. We re-did the math and he ended up with a ….231!
Target archery if fun, no, it is blast. But it can also be cruel. It will show you every flaw in your shot cycle. I think that is why so many archers don’t like it, it can and will crush your ego. But once you get past that, it is an awesome way to grade your ability and consistency.
What amazes me if that if you hit nothing but fours (the max you can get is a five), you would score a 240. That means you lost 60 points. The hard part is that gains once you reach a certain level come much slower. I went from a 180 to a 235 in a year. A fifty five point increase and all I did was to reduce the number of bad shots. Now, that I’m shooting mainly fours, the only thing I can do is eliminate the bad shots and make better ones! Tough game indeed, but I’m hooked.