Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Archery Range Meetups and Keeping Your Cool


New bow hunters are usually quick learners and they simply need guidance and encouragement.  I encourage anyone and everyone to come out and shoot. It brings out the best in us and some friendly competition is good for you!

Just a few weeks ago, I got a message from a young gentleman I met at one of my seminars at Bass Pro Shops in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. He wanted to see if I wanted to get together to shoot sometime. I told him, 'Sure!' We met up at the local range to not only practice, but get to know one another a bit. Another time, another seminar attendee brought his dad out to shoot. His dad is just starting out, but he did the right thing and shot many bows before choosing the one that fit him the best. We shot many rounds and had a great time getting to know one another. Plus, his dad nearly out shot us at the end of the day! That is some of the best time you can have. Practice as often as you can and invite your friends! Make it a friendly competition and see who can hit the smallest target at a distance. You may not be the best, but it will make you focus more. Also, bring your own target to the range. Typically, straw bales are not meant to withstand high powered compound bows and the arrows will embed in the rubber backstops. You'll thank me later. 

There can be a downside to shooting around many people and that is dealing with "that bow hunter" at the range. It can ruin a target session if you let it. You know the guy. He's been bow hunting for years, shoots deer at 140 yards with his recurve, and looks at your compound and says it's not set up properly (I kid you not, these were all said to me recently). What do you do? My response was to simply put on a smile and have a conversation. Try not to get defensive, but have some fun with the person. Recently, I had the pleasure of talking with such a gentleman at our local range. The banter was truly comical for a nearly ten minutes, until he reached for my bow and claimed it was set up improperly. Normally, it wouldn't bother me, but I was trying to help a new bow hunter shooting properly. Instead of getting overly upset, I pointed to the four arrows buried in the 4" circle of my Rinehart target 30 yards away. 'It seems to be working just fine for me,' I said. He wasn't amused, but smiled and abruptly left. It truly bothers me when other archers or bow hunters claim to be experts and start telling you what you are doing wrong or how your equipment should be set up. I keep to myself unless asked or I see someone doing something dangerous that can hurt themselves or someone else. I encourage you to do the same.

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