Monday, January 17, 2011

A Day For Letting Arrows Fly
Confidence in your gear is essential. Archery practice time for me has been almost non-existent lately. Sure, it's after the regular seasons, but I do have a couple of hog hunts coming up. All DIY hunts, so I do have to practice. I was checking out a few bows at the local pro-shop last week and contemplated getting a new bow with more let-off. (The Elite Pulse at 70lbs. has an 80% let-off that you can hold back forever). Then, after seeing the price tag I decided to think long and hard about it. What was I going to do?

My phone buzzed in the middle of the week with a text message from my friend, Michael. He wanted to do some target practice at the pro-shop and invited me along. Seeing as it's only three streets away I immediately said yes.

We met at the pro-shop only to find there was a tournament in progress. No problem! The weather has been fairly cool lately, but throughout the week the temperatures decided to rise up into the high 70's and 80's. It was stellar weather! We were both almost happy to know that we had to go shoot outside. Bummer, right? Ha! The El Dorado Park archery range is nearby (a mile away from my place) and we both really want to head out there instead. After a quick stop at my house for my target and the wife's truck (she's got the park pass) we drove over to find it filled with like-minded folks. It was such a beautiful day that everyone and their brother was out shooting. We snagged the very last target bale (out of around 20 or so) and set up shop. I was pumped to just see how confident I was going to be in my gear after not shooting for a while. 

Michael and I started shooting at 30 yards just to loosen up. He had a new string put on and he peep was just served in, so he knew he needed to adjust his archery sight. Once he had everything lined up we started punching holes in the paper plate. It felt good to shoot. Really good! I was shooting the best I had in a while. Michael just started shooting late last year and he was doing well, too. So we moved out to 40. Paper plate destruction. Out to 50 yards. More holes in the plate. Good thing I brought a few plates! 

Between the two of us, at 50 yards the plate didn't stand a chance.

Time to refletch some arrows!

We did find that Michael's bow was vibrating much more than mine and that his bow was falling backward instead of forward. I was trying out a new stabilizer (review coming soon) and that seemed to really help me. We are going to do some more inspection and investigating in regards to the vibration. Anyone have any issues with some of the older split-limb Hoyts vibrating much?

Then, it was time to separate the men from the boys. We moved out to 60 yards. Usually I get a bit nervous and jerky out that far. It's a confidence thing. That, and the fact that I am shooting Easton FMJ's and they aren't cheap, so losing one wasn't something I wanted to do. I knew I just needed to be relaxed and shoot the way I was taught. Drawing the bow felt super smooth and as I steadied the pin on the orange dot I squeezed the trigger. The 'thud' of the arrow driving into the plate sounded awesome!

After we buried two more sets of arrows into the target we were both stoked. Our gear performed well. Extremely well. We both shot well, and at the end of the day I was the most confident in my bow than I have been in a long time. It looks like I'll be spending my money on something other than a new bow this year. I am certain my accountant/warden at home will be very happy to hear that.


3 comments:

  1. SoCal- Nifty post. I like that you chose to stay with your old bow. Now that I'm shooting a big-girl bow, I can't imagine not shooting with it.

    And at 60 yards you separate the men from the boys? I can shoot at 50... does that divide the women from the girls?

    :-)
    HLYH

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  2. Haha! After reading your post, well I had to throw that in there. We actually both said that to each other, at the same time when we were shooting. I guess I'd have to change the way I said that if I shot with any women, but for now it's just the men unless I can get the wife to start shooting.

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  3. Oh how I long to shoot outside... (It's 9° outside as I comment!)

    Glad you guys got out to do some shooting. I'm jealous, very jealous!

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