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Columns - Monthly : Fletch's Corner - Dave Coldwell
Last Updated: Feb 5, 2010 - 5:39:39 PM
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Fletch's Corner - Get your bow out now!
By Dave Coldwell
Jul 14, 2006 - 6:50:00 AM

Itís mid-summer now and many bowhunters have made the mistake of tucking their bow away until the Fall hunting season.  That is one of the most common mistakes bowhunters make.  Now is the time to get your bow out and really enjoy this sport of bow shooting.  Throughout the USA there are 3-D tournaments every weekend, and just shooting in your back yard two or three evenings a week will help guarantee success this fall at the moment of truth.

3-D tournaments hit their peak in the early to mid 90ís in the USA and despite a slight decrease in participation in the new millineum, 3-D shooting is still strong in most areas.  The strongest area for 3-D tournaments is in the mid-south from southern Indiana and Ohio all the way south to north Florida to north Texas.  However, one of the biggest 3-D shoots in the nation is the Redding shoot in California every spring.  Iím sure there are some 3-D tournaments somewhere close to your home that you and your buddies could attend.

The IBO and ASA host some of the biggest 3-D shoots in the nation and if youíve never attended one of these shoots, I promise you are missing out.  Each of the IBO and ASA shoots attract the best shooters and the education that you can glean from participation in these shoots is very valuable. 

Understand that no one expects you to compete against the top shooters like Jeff Hopkins, Jack Wallace, Tim Gillingham and the Goza brothers, (Larry, Joseph and Brian).  If you show up to shoot at one of these 3-D tournaments, you will be placed in a class with your peers, like MBR class.

Thatís IBO lingo for ďMale Bowhunter ReleaseĒ and this class shoots equipment like you use to prepare for the fall hunting season.  If you shoot in the MBR class, you will have to shoot 4Ē vanes, (unless the IBO changes and allows the Bohning Blazer vanes that are so popular today), a fixed-pin sight, and screw in field points. 

And, I believe that the maximum yardage that you will shoot is going to be 35 or 40 yards.  Usually, you will shoot 20 targets on Saturday and 20 targets on Sunday, and believe it or not, if you can put together a couple of good days, you might even have a check to take home for your efforts. 

Yardage judging is the key to winning at all of these sanctioned shoots. Rangefinders arenít allowed on the course and you are not allowed to discuss yardages while youíre shooting.

One of the best tips I can give is to not get too serious.  Relax and enjoy yourself and pay attention to the details.  When you are on the course, you can observe what works for shooters and what doesnít work as well.  You should observe what type of rests work well and what type do not.  Pay attention to equipment and you will see that the newest and best of everything from Arrows to Zebra twist strings on the course and how well every type of equipment functions.

At the end of each day, be sure to spend some time at ďtent cityĒ that is set up at all of these shoots for the vendors.  You can look at and purchase equipment from the various vendors that attend each shoot.  Do you need a new pair of binoculars?  Go look through the vendor tents and Iíll bet you find someone selling binoculars.  How about a new sight for your hunting bow?  Iíll guarantee that you can find the latest and greatest and, you never know, what you need just might be on sale.  Whatever you may need is probably there in some form.

The smaller local 3-D shoots are just as much fun and the bottom line of all of this is that not only will you get to see the latest equipment in the archery industry being used, but your participation at any of these shoots will make you a better shot and a more confident bowhunter this fall when opening day arrives.  I guarantee you that it will help you this fall.  Until next month, keep your eyes on the horizon and remember, thereís no substitute for good practice.

For broadheads that put game down: Grim Reaper


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