3-D Archery practice
Not directly hunting, per se. But definitely related.
I participate in a weekly 3-D shoot at a local outdoor range. 24 arrows known distance,varying scenarios and challenges. Scoring is 12, 10, 8, 5 pts per arrow.
12 its is the bullseye, generally a 1" - 1.5" circle, depending on the critter. 10 is the ring around the bullseye - usually about a 3"-5" circle, depending on the critter as well. the 12 and 10 represent ideal shot placement. The 8 is a much larger area and is usually the size of the lungs of the animal. Fatal, but not as immediate as a heart shot would be (12 & 10). 5 is for a hit anywhere on the animal, and is generally considered non-fatal and a crappy shot.
Par is all 10s, or 240 points.
Distances vary from 10 yds to 70 yds, depending on the night. challenges include overlapping animals (a pair - one arrow in each on a position) where the vitals may be partially obscured by the other animal. Or where the animals on one position are in the line of fire for the animals at another.
This is an evening shoot, and it is designed so that half of it is done in the dark with small lights (flashlights) illuminating the targets.
Two types of targets I hate - all white (wolves, goats) and all black (bears, panthers) because you really don't have a good frame of reference at full draw.
anyway, last night was one of my better nights, I shot a 239, missing par by one point.
this stuff makes me a better hunter, rifle or bow, as I am conditioned for the kill zones on various critters. My eyes automatically seek out the aim point - even when watching shows on TV.
Anything we do that puts us under stress (competition) while honing our hunting skills is a plus, in my book.
Honestly, I wish I had the time, but I just can't seem to fit in archery.
[QUOTE=Garand;292903]Honestly, I wish I had the time, but I just can't seem to fit in archery.[/QUOTE]
So is Cowboy Action shooting, 8 months of shooting season is followed by 4 months of reloading season! Not enough time, unfortunately.
I've enjoyed the little archery I've tried, but have done very little of it. Part of the reason is due to the time commitment required to be any good, and part of it is being cheap. Everyone I've talked to says you'll almost certainly want to swap or upgrade bows soon after starting unless you buy a fairly high-end one to start with, and I can't bring myself to spend a lot of money on something that I don't know if I'll end up liking much; so I'd be initially looking into used bows.
I have a 37-inch sleeve length, meaning I'd need a fairly long draw length; and am left handed with most things. Never stumbled across a bow for sale that was left-handed, had a long enough draw length, and was at a price that didn't induce a gasp; so never have pursued it. I did have a cheap crossbow at one point (a barnett rx-150 iirc), and that seems like it could be a good approach since in Arkansas we can use crossbows for deer. Ended up selling the barnett in a yard sale and never got the itch to pursue it beyond that. It would be a good idea where we now live, since it's surreally rural and Arkansas has a nearly five month archery deer season. Some day I might actively look for a crossbow, just for the practical purposes of being able to harvest deer five months out of the year. For recreational purposes, the .22's are more fun for me personally.
I usually tell people when starting out, don't buy the cheapest nor the most expensive bow for your first bow. Get properly fitted at a good pro shop. Your style will change as you get used to shooting. Then, you will know when you have outgrown your bow. At that point, go shoot as many different bows as you can. There's a saying: "We don't choose our bows, they choose us." This is very true. I shot a bunch of bows before buying my current bow - Bowtech Reign 6. I probably have $1500 in my bow, by the time you add arrow rests, sights, quiver, peep, and I'm on my third string. (I shoot enough to replace them every 9 months or so)
The bows aren't cheap, but they are generally a buy once every 5-10 year thing, unless you have to have the latest and greatest every year.
Arrows can be pricey, I thin I paid about $15 per arrow...But I can't remember the last time I lost one, other than while hunting.
They do make bows for folks with long draw lengths, and left-hand bows can be had.
Other than initial cash outlay, I find it cheaper than pistol or rifle shooting (though I do both regularly).
I just like the challenges of spot and stalk hunting. We don't really do the tree stand thing here in the west.
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