After Practicing for 50 Meters – Getting Back to 3D

I finished 8 down in practice. It was a day of longer shots. I selected a range of numbers to generate 20 values from 30 to 50 yards. The average distance was 37.8 yards – nearly 9 yards further per target than my previous practice at 3D. On that occasion the yardage range was from 20 to 40 yards.  For the longer 20 targets I averaged 9.6 points per shot for a total of 192.

50 yards – yes there is a deer down range

It’s hard to figure out where the target distances might be set during a 3D shoot. The best we can do is to shoot all sorts of distances. Aside from the abilities to judge distance and shoot well, in 3D, with all the uneven footing, an archer must be able to adjust his/her form to accommodate the ground in order to shoot uphill and downhill.

50 yards – it doesn’t take being off much to lose an arrow

Here, in New Hope, North Carolina (on the cusps of Hertford) the ground is pretty much level. On my practice range, I have no variances in elevation. The best I can do for elevation is shoot off porches and decks. Those allow for changes in elevation, but the footing remains level.

Some people have suggested standing on blocks or making ramps, similar to skateboard ramps, to stand on while practicing. The theory is that those  ramps and blocks will provide unstable, not level footing. Those techniques remain untested.

I can’t make changes in elevation, but I can find ways to make shots difficult

There is nothing to be down for the uphill shots as far as local practice goes here on the coast on North Carolina. What I do most is work on things I have at my disposal – yardages and complicated shots.

Yep, this bear was one of those difficult shot series

Over the early summer I practiced primarily for 50 meters. Yes, there were a lot of 3D tournaments on the weekends. However, my focus was 50 meters. That effort may have cost me during 3D competitions. Over the past few weeks I’ve dropped the 50-meter sessions.  I still shoot from 50-meters, now at foam animals. But, by making my practice at 3D deliberate and difficult, my scores are over the past two tournaments are creeping up a bit.

Roanoke Archers, Down East Coalition 3D Tournament in Plymouth

The Down East Archery Coalition’s 3D point season is nearly completed. I won’t make the next point shoot which will be held in Elizabeth City, NC. The Elizabeth City shoot is on the same weekend as the IBO World Championship in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania. It won’t be the only competition in their series I’ve missed. Travel to tournaments outside the state have, at times, infringed on the Coalition’s events.

A group on the first side of the course. Targets 1 – 8 were pretty easy, nothing over 35 yards. Targets 9 – 20 , well things did get long.

The Roanoke Archers in Plymouth, North Carolina is one of their closer ranges to my home. The drive is only an hour away. I got to the range early. Arriving early often means getting onto the range before the slower groups. For this event, I got lucky.

I was able to team up with a small group and we were allowed on the range a few minutes before the posted start time. We weren’t the first with others hoping to get off the range before the temperatures soared.

It’s been hot here over the past few week with 3 digit heat indices a common occurrence. This day would fit that trend. By target nine there wasn’t a dry shirt on the course. A good friend of mine, Willis, was soaked in sweat.

Willis’ shirt is soaked with sweat which is why it appears to be two shades of blue.

Willis is 74 and retired. He mentioned he’s not real happy with his recent retirement in that he doesn’t know what to do with himself. Obviously, he’s been filling his days with archery – his shooting was spot on until the heat began to take a toll. His shots scores began to drop as his sweat began to drop into his eyes clouding his vision.

Two other activities, aside from archery, he mentioned are now doing on his weekly agenda are running and weight lifting. At 74 years of age, Willis, aside from his complaint that he doesn’t know what to do with himself, seems to have the active schedule of a 30 year old. In fact, it seemed to me he was handling the adverse temperature better than most.

It’s easy to admire anyone that decides to take on a fitness and training program. Willis is a great example that age is no barrier to sports performance and conditioning training.


There’s one more Down East Archery Coalition shoot that I might be able to manage, in Jacksonville, NC on August 30th. That’s far enough away it becomes an overnight trip. Maybe I’ll load up the Winnebago and give it a shot.