A Special Tool

That little tiny rubber band that autoloads my Scott hinge style release snapped. In fact, it snapped on all four of my releases. See, I have two Pro Advantage and two Black Hole 3 releases.

Of the Scott releases I use I haven’t decided which I liked better. Sometines I like the Pro Advanatge better, other times I perfer the Black Hole 3. Eventually, I ended up with two of each, buying one extra in the event a release malfunctioned during a competition. Those little rubber bands aren’t necessary. They are nice. All four have been rubber bands busted for a few weeks of one another.

Having extra releases is a good thing. It adds a layer of sercuity to any event.  Actually, for 3D I often shoot with a thumb release. I shoot about the same no matter which release I use. Even with the thumb style release I ‘had’ two.

In the only event where a mishap occurred and I needed my back-up release was when I lost one during a competition. It was my thumb release lost somewhere in Seven Springs, PA. It is the only time I didn’t have a back up release with me.

Back to the little rubber bands – they are not easy to replace. I tried all sorts of gyrations to replace the little rubber band. I watched Youtube videos showing a middle school kid who was magically able to manipulate his Scott Black Hole 3 making repairs or adjustments in seconds. I studied and practiced and twisted and probed. Nothing worked to replace the rubber band.

As I mentioned, the rubber bands aren’t mandatory to shoot. The hinge can be reset without the rubber band. However, it is much easier with the auto-loading rubbery spring action. Without that rubber band, for me it is frustrating trying to get the reload to properly set.

I threw in the towel and called Scott for help. They explained how the rubber band is affixed to the release, I knew that, and then added they had a special tool to mange the replacement procedure. They made suggestions of what might work in place of their special tool. Their suggestions were among my repertoire of replacement failures. So, I did what anyone would do in such a predicament – I made my own special tool.

Taking a staple I bent it to form a hook. It’s a very small hook and there’s no way for big fingers to manage the required delicate manuveurs. Once the little hook was ready, I gripped it wth a pair of homestats. Now, I had a tool.

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The staple was small enough to fit, grab, twist and pull.  With my home rigged tool the replace procedure too about 30 seconds.

Like ‘Mama’ said, “Where there’s a will there’s a way.”

Not Again!

Finding the perfect anchor point after changing my release and stance has been a bear. It’s not that I am shooting badly; I’m not hitting as good as I should.

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Shooting a 5-spot in practice I was all over the place. Some shots smack on others felt forced. After 30 minutes of warming up and fidgeting around with my equipment I shot a scoring session. The score ended up 297. Certainly better than 36 mounts ago, but not what I am aiming for and not as good as I feel I can shoot.

Trail Running, Riding for Turtles, and One Crazy Squirrel

River and I ran through the woods this morning. I prefer trail running to running on the road and both forms of outside running beat a treadmill. There are many short circuits into and out of forested areas near my home here in North Carolina. River does not mind running loops and there seems to be more interesting areas to stop and sniff in the woods. I make this observation based on River’s actions; I don’t have the nose for a similar experience.

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This picture was taken less than a quarter mile from my front door. It’s one of the trails we run.

When it comes to exercise, running is often not enough and I add other workouts, cycling being my favorite. Because I ran trails I decided to ride the roads for a couple of more hours before shooting.

Turtles on the road interrupt nearly all rides. When I see them I help them across even when I’m racing against the clock. Today, I was riding easy and there was time for photographs taken of the two turtles I assisted.

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Turtle number one

Turtles have long lives when cars do not squash them. In their world no automobile warnings exist and they simply can’t comprehend the impact of a tire.

I wouldn’t call their moderate pace across a road crazy. Turtles don’t grasp that their mobile home provides no protection to the weight of a vehicle. Squirrels on the other hand seemingly have a limited understanding of cars and make an attempt to get out of the way – too often an unsuccessful back and forth rally made in hope of confusing the four-wheeled beast barreling down upon them.

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Turtle number two

Given the limited awareness of danger squirrels have I was mystified by one of the grey fellows today. While shooting a squirrel decided to forage a few feet to the side of my target. Clearly, this squirrel recognized that I am not a 15-year-old boy. Otherwise, its life would have been in peril.

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You can see the squirrel on the side of the pine tree. It’s about 6 feet from my target on the left and twenty yards away from me.

One of those days

Shooting a 5-spot seems too easy when compared to a 3-spot. The X is a whole lot bigger. So, I figured I’d take a break from shooting a 3-spot, give my ego a boost and hit a couple of easy 300 scores. That didn’t happen.images-1

I have not looked at a 5-spot since January of this year. My last score was, not to brag, a 300. Then, I stepped away from 5-spots in order to prepared for the USA Indoor Nationals. Today, when I tacked up the blue and white target I was feeling good and looking forward to a decent score for a change.

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You know, when I lined up for few warm-up shots those blue and white rings, well they looked funny. It was weird to see them after a nearly eight-month absence. The warm-up shots were okay and I felt ready to shoot like a pro.

Man, that did not happen. The first 60 arrows I dropped 3 ending up with a 297, the next 60 shoots ended up scoring 296. After each less that great arrow I stopped to think about where I’d screwed-up. Then, I reset and got on with business.

Mostly, my off shots were associated with my anchor placement. It really wasn’t a total disaster. The practice is helping me find just the right place for my right hand.

 

Running with the Pack

Before I started archery practice today I ran and then rode one of my bikes. That, in the triathlete’s lingo is known as a ‘Brick.’ The run was a special one today. River and I were joined by Coco, as usual. Today was different, we were greeted by Cornbread.

Cornbread is the Old Dog here on the river. He’s a reddish mix of Labrador and golden retriever. He’s exact age is unknown to me. But, I think I heard he’s around eleven.

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These are truly great friends

Running with a pack of dogs is a treat. Each morning when we gather River and Coco go through a ritual. In that their tails are high, ears are perked, and heads cocked. Then, it is an all out sprint where they jump ditches, sometimes over and sometimes into, as they leap at one another and bump shoulders. They occasionally pause as if to take a breather, check each other for inadvertent damage, and then start the melee again. At times they try to include me where I seem to become a sort of home base. They aim at me, running full speed, and if I am amiss with my dodge I will hit the ground. They don’t jump on me; they try to run me over.

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Pure delight

It was on the way home that our small pack was met by Cornbread. Cornbread is no longer a frisky young dog. He did, however, puff up and give the girls a gallant trot. River and Coco seemed to understand he is a grand old dog. The immediately slowed their run, hovered around Cornbread and it appeared they gave him a slight bow of their heads. There was a reverence to the greeting.

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The girls and Cornbread

The girls, their attention waning, sprinted away and caught me on the final leg home. Once home both jumped into the Little River for a short swim before they got their snack, a Milkbone each.

Coco stayed with us a bit longer than usual. Perhaps hoping for another biscuit or maybe another swim. It’s always sad to watch her walk home alone. Maybe Cornbread came out and said hello again as she made her way back to her house.

There are few pleasures more enjoyable than running with dogs. During my cycling I checked on Coco, she was taking a nap in the shade of a tree. Cornbread, I guessed had gone inside to sleep it off. River stayed home while I was cycling, asleep under my desk where she’s relaxed since she was a puppy.

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River, ready for a nap

Hey, do you mind taking a picture of me?

Rudy Project, my shooting glasses sponsor, asked for a statement about their glasses and a photo of me shooting for their website. Typically, I am the one taking the pictures so I have very few photographs of yours truly.

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In order to get a picture for Rudy Project I needed to have a friend take a few shots of me. Of the few pictures I already had most were just too dorky. I don’t consider myself very photogenic, hence the limited collection. Then there’s that awkward moment where you have to ask for help, “Will you take a picture of me?”

Since I was headed to an indoor range for the morning practice and I know the guy that works there I planned to ask for his assistance. The range is located at PGF Archery in Elizabeth City. Aside from archery supplies they sale fishing gear. The guy that works there during the mornings is a professional competitive fisherman.

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When I explained to him my need he completely understood, he’d been in this same boat in the past. The awkward moment passed then we got on with the photo op.

A bonus was that no one, aside from the two of us – iPhone equipped photographer and dorky feeling subject – was on the range.

For a guy that fishes professionally, my friend seemed extremely enthusiastic in his role as iPhone photographer. Now, I did appreciate his help and remain grateful. But, it seemed he was laughing a bit, albeit on the inside.

(I shoot an Elite bow. They do not sponsor me.  The Elite logo in the background was a coincidence.)