By Daniel Black
Mar 8, 2008 – 12:10:31 AM
Every bow hunter likes to make a clean harvest on the big trophy! What better way to sharpen your skills than shooting 3D archery! Alpine Archery has done a great job to create the product that allows us the opportunity to make good accurate shots, now its time to do our job and hone our skills.
Nothing is worse than having to tell the story of how you missed “The Monster”. Practicing different shooting positions and multiple shooting situations can help you improve your chance of success. You can’t expect to shoot the same target, at the same distance all day and then walk out to your hunting spot a month later and shoot out of a tree stand at a real animal. Keeping your skills in constant tune by shooting 3D while the season is on will make you a more comfortable hunter. A more humane harvest of your query is the name of the game.
There are many factors in a well setup outdoor 3D course that replicate real hunting situations. Yardage guessing, vital arrow placement and shooting uphill/downhill are just a few. This makes for excellent practice when it comes to crunch time each fall. Shooting a couple 25 target rounds may be enough to make the difference between a long tack for a wounded animal or short recovery and hero shot in your digital camera.
3D archery represents a lot of challenges that punching paper just doesn’t offer. Shooting for the 10 ring of a small target at 40-50 yards is a great way to familiarize yourself with your equipment. Rest assured that you will be ready when it comes time to make it happen in the field. Alpine Archery has raised the bar with the Velocitec Cam system which puts out arrow speeds at over 325 fps. This really helps with those long range shots where your yardage guessing may be off by a few yards. In fact if you are shooting an Alpine Silverado at or around 325 fps, for 35 yards, and the target is actually 40 yards, your arrow will only be around 2.5 inches low. This is still close enough to make a clean harvest, and keep you in the 10 ring on a 3D target. Speed is a great advantage in bow hunting, and 3D archery.
If you are lucky enough to attend a 3D tournament at a location with a lot of variance in the terrain then there is even more practice to be had. Shooting targets uphill or downhill is very challenging. Many archers make the common mistake of dropping or raising the bow arm to compensate for the elevation change. Bending at the waist keeps your upper body geometrically correct, just as if you were shooting at a level target. This is the most important key to keep in mind on the uphill/downhill shots. Skills like these are not easily practiced. They definitely should not be practiced on a real animal, so make an effort to get to your local outdoor range and practice on uneven terrain.
In the above picture I was shooting an antelope 3D target at around 40 yards with my Alpine Pro-Comp. This bow puts out more than enough speed to make this shot accurately, and efficiently. This particular situation is a good example of how your eyes can tell you one thing, while the rangefinder tells you a whole different story. This target appears like it is 60 or more yards away because of how it is positioned through a tunnel of trees and brush. In reality it is only 40 yards. Fine tuning your skills of judging yardage will prove invaluable when your hunting season finally rolls around.
Many states and provinces offer multiple shoots throughout the season. The cost is usually very minimal, just a small entry fee. There are various classes depending on your local organization. Many clubs offer a non-competitive, or hunter class for those that are just there to sharpen their skills, and have a good time. Competition is also a great factor of 3D shooting. It is a great place to meet friends, and share the passion of our great sport. I would like to encourage you to make an appearance at your next local 3D shoot. It is another great way to enjoy archery, while helping you become a better hunter.
The author Daniel Black is a staff shooter for Alpine Archery through his Father’s archery shop in Dauphin, Manitoba Canada.
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