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
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
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.