Wednesday, June 03, 2009


A couple of weeks ago Tim and I shot in a 3D archery tournament. It was Tim's first and my second (my first was 2 years ago). 3D shooting involves traveling through stations on a course through the woods where life-sized foam targets such as deer, bear, turkeys, javelina, and other animals in different poses are situated. The targets are marked with the animal's vital areas with scoring rings like a bulls eye target, but not necessarily concentric - for example, the outside ring might be the shape of the animal's lungs, with the inside rings corresponding to the heart area. We shoot 20 targets in the morning and another 20 in the afternoon. We travel through the stations in groups of about 2-5 people - it's sort of like an archery version of golf.

The challenge isn't just to aim and shoot as best as you can, but also to properly estimate the distance to each target. Accurate range estimation is essential in archery and is probably the most critical part of the challenge. By the end of the afternoon, most people find it gets tougher and tougher just to cock the bow and hold it steady. It's a great way to improve your shooting and hunting-situation skills while engaging in competition.

These photos are from our last shoot in Elmira - we had a good turnout of over 50 archers, of those 12 shot with crossbows.

A turkey that's not going anywhere:

Our whole group shot well on this alligator - almost too well, as when this happens sometimes arrows are ruined by another arrow hitting it.

Early in our afternoon round we heard crying in the woods between stations and we all thought it sounded very much like a fawn. Sure enough, in the cover just off the trail we found this fawn bawling for it's mother, which had abandoned it while the groups traipsed through. We'd shot the same course in the morning and hadn't been there, so we figured it must have been born during our lunch break. It was still damp on it's flanks and struggled to walk on its wobbly legs. We tried not to let it touch us and get our scent on itself so that it's mother would accept it again once we left. It tried to follow us, probably imprinting and thinking that we were it's kind. One of the members of our group used doe bleats (the same sound we use for calling deer in the fall hunting season) and led the fawn off the trail into some thicker foliage were it's mother hopefully returned for it. We found out later from another group before us that had found the fawn still partially trapped in its sac. It was such a neat experience!
We decided the best thing to do would be to shoot our rounds and move out of the area as quickly as we could. Here the fawn is trying to figure out if I'm it's mother as I'm shooting:
Here's the group of shooters that we were in with one of our last targets. We enjoyed a lot of joking around and laughing together - good people, good times, good memories.
One of the guys in our group, (Kevin, who took me turkey hunting) took 1st place in the crossbow division. I came in 3rd and was pretty pleased with the results since I'm relatively new to the game and was the only gal shooting a crossbow that day.

This Sunday we're traveling to the London area to shoot again. Am looking forward to the event and the camaraderie that goes with it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Nature takes away any faculty that is not used.
~William R. Inge

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