Blogging has become a cumbersome experience the past week. Not only have I been struggling to find an internet connection, but I've been dealing with a broken camera!! I am happy to report that ALL technological problems have been solved as of today, and I am ready to share the good stuff of the past few weeks.
Last weekend, I embarked on my first 3-D Archery Tournament. I've been shooting a bow since I was six years old, but I've never taken the initiative to compete. The opportunity came about by way of the local Izaak Walton League and Mid-Iowa Archers who were hosting the event. I convinced my friend Brad (who has also never competed) to enter in with me. We took a few warm up shots and headed for the trail.
Most often, I find myself shooting at plain square targets. I believe this helps with concentration and the refining of good shooting technique. I am also able to measure and know the distance of my shots so I can fine-tune my sights. This 3-D tournament gave me the opportunity to practice my technique using a wide variety of targets, unknown distances, and shooting angles.
I think the biggest thrill of the whole tournament was the variety in targets. Even during hunting season, central Iowa offers only deer and turkey for large game. In order to add variety to my hunting appetite, I often target smaller game, such as rabbits, squirrels, and coyotes. This tournament allowed us to try our hand at full-size large game animals that can be found throughout North America.
The opportunity to shoot at 3-D targets made the whole outing extremely rewarding, but it was still a tournament. Each target had three rings in the vitals, allowing for 10,8, or 5 points. Each shooter was allowed only one arrow per target, making every shot important. My only complaint about the experience was the scoring on the targets. As I said before, we experienced many different shooting angles. From my bow hunting experience, I know that shooting downward on an animal means you should aim a little high--this insures the arrow will pass through both lungs and make a clean kill. On many of the targets, the 10 ring was positioned low behind the shoulder. In my opinion, this is NOT where you would aim on an animal in the field. I wanted to stay true to a bow hunting experience, so I did not examine the targets beforehand to find the 10 ring. I wanted the shots to seem more realistic and spontaneous. This did have a negative effect on my score, but it was fun nonetheless. I know I will be sure to attend the next 3-D shoot in September.
I would encourage everyone to participate in 3-D archery shoots. You don't need to be a great shot. Its all about having fun and getting ready for the upcoming archery seasons. These shoots are also great family events. I saw many young archers out on the range shooting at full size targets with the same excitement and enthusiasm I had. Don't be intimidated by the scorecards. Go out and have a good time!!