No Deal

Today, I received an email from a potential sport sponsor.  They invited me to be an “Ambassador.”  For that title all I had to do was purchase their gear at a discount of 35%.  I said no.  I like their gear.  I use it. But, I’m not going to market it for them at a cost to me.

The sport industry on the US is big. Annually, the 2019 estimate is for a gross of $73.5 billion US dollars. (1).  That’s a lot of money.  The company that contacted me has annual gross sales of $8.1 million US dollars. Let me be clear, I use their products everyday, but I won’t essentially pay to work for them.  Their employees earn an average of $54,000 per year. Their mid-level managers are earning around $81,000 per year.  So, why did they contact me?

Their “Ambassador” program, like those “Pro” staff programs are marketing and sales tools designed to generate growth by identifying athletes that have some merit who might help the company gain recognition in a specific market. Perhaps, the company that contacted me has seen that one of the largest markets in sport is people over 50 years of age.  In fact, it is a growing market. (2)

Archery is also growing at a rate decent rate. One report suggests archery is growing globally at 7.19%. (3) In the US the archery market grosses around $535 million US dollars per year. (4)

I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to freely give my time and money to companies, even those I like, unless there’s a return.  In any arrangement, unless there’s benefit and detriment to both parties, there’s no deal as far as I’m concerned.  A 35% discount is not enough of a detriment on the company’s part or benefit to me to create a deal.

In archery, the overall largest segment of competitive athletes is those over 50 years old. (5) I’m glad to see that perhaps one company has identified that segment of a large industry.  If, indeed, it was my age that contributed to the company’s marketing contact. No matter the case, there’s no deal.


  5. hitting-the-bullseye-reel-girl-archers-inspire-real-girl-archers-full



Are We Having Fun?

I get it; sports should be fun, maybe.

Training, just maybe, isn’t all that much fun.  Archery tournaments don’t leave me sore from laughing. Certainly, during practice or training there are epochs of fun.  When a practice session is over you should feel you enjoyed the workout with some degree of satisfaction.  Tournaments have moments of satisfaction. But, fun? At times archery feels like work.

We all know fun when we’re having fun. Archery, without a doubt can be fun.  But, it is also work.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines fun as:

“What provides amusement or enjoyment,a mood for finding or making amusement, to indulge in banter or playproviding entertainment, amusement, or enjoyment.”

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines work as:

“To perform or carry through a task requiring sustained effort or continuous repeated operations. To perform or carry through a task requiring sustained effort or continuous repeated operations.To function or operate according to plan or design.  An activity in which one exerts strength or faculties to do or perform something.”

You can decide which of these definitions best matches your practice of archery.  You may decide there’s some overlap.  Admittedly, I am almost curious enough to ask for responses to the question.

You can, of course, respond. But, to get the larger answer to whether we’re having fun or is what archers do more like work I’d need to generate a more scientific type survey tool.  I’ll give that some thought. Creating a bona fide survey tool collecting the data then compiling the results could be fun.

Big Fish, Big Game

Face it we all have an ego. Heck, I have a webpage – how egotistical is that?

Athletes are often portrayed has being extremely egocentric.  Being athletic or being a recognized athlete doesn’t mean that such an individual necessarily has a big head.  But, you’ve meet them, those big headed folks (athletic or not) that never hesitate to let everyone know just how awesome they are at whatever endeavor they feel they are the best. I’ve even met people willing to inculcate their proficiency on an activity they only just encountered.

Too often an excessive ego doesn’t match the skills.  My first memorable encounter with a person that thought he was a gift to all of us (in the case it was a he) was in cycling.  The fellow was a decent recreational rider and loved the sport. He’d show up at our training rides – in the days when I raced bicycles.  The rides were open to anyone that could hang on.

The guys on our team were fast.  There was a core group of six riders. All six of those riders picked up multiple State Championships, raced multiple National Championships (one winner), raced in Europe (two riders), represented the USA at World Championships (two riders, 3 Championships), and one made the Olympic Team.  I’m not exaggerating when I point out this was a fast group.

ITU World Championship, Duathlon (Yep, a vanity photo)

During a training ride, two to six of this core group would ride together.  A training ride might start with 15 to 20 riders.  Most would be dropped before 20 miles.  The rides ranged in distance from 20 miles to 100 miles. There was this one guy, Mr. Bike Ego, who considered he was our gift to be adored.

Mr. Bike Ego would get dropped nearly 100% of the time before we’d ridden ten miles.  He’d circle back or cut he course and hook back up with the group.  This was a common practice since we trained on a loop and he was not alone in being dropped. He’d cut the course then get dropped again and repeat his shortened relaxed pace ride. As I wrote many people did this until they could ride stronger and faster and could hang in for the entire ride.  Most worked hard at staying with the faster group.  Mr. Bike Ego stood apart from those who worked.  Yet, he remained steadfast in his pronounced ability.

Occasionally, after our group of six had beaten each other half to death Mr. Bike Ego would hook back up with the remains of the day a kilometer or so before the sprint to the finish.  No one in the group paid him attention beyond keeping clear of his bike.  The groups’ goal was to outsprint the others in the group.

Mr. Bike Ego would be left alone and hopefully he’d stay out of our way.  In a full sprint no one wanted his squirrely bike handling skills anywhere around.  He’d jump, as if he was going for the win, and typically we’d let him go for safety’s sake. If we started sprinting too soon we’d have to pass him while he bounced side to side down the road.

As a result, Mr. Bike Ego, who’d casually pedaled his bike for less than 10 miles might cross the finish line ahead of us, those that had ridden 60 or more miles.  When that first happened, Mr. Bike Ego laughed and cried and bragged at how he’d beaten us.  We let if go, for a while.

Eventually we pointed out the discrepancy of his self-proclaimed victory.  Aside from that one comment we offered it was ride and let ride. Our mention of his pseudo-win never took hold with him.  To this day he believes he should have been on some Tour de France Team as a cyclist despite the fact he never won a bike race.

In archery there are some folks with pronounced egos.  For the most part these people are few and far between.  Archery has no room for fools.  You either hit the mark or not – everyone knows.  This is particularly true in 3D where an archer can’t hide on the line.

Shooting on a line with a hundred or more archers you are essentially invisible like a zebra in a herd. You are hard to pick out unless a coach or family member is closely watching.  Even diehard observers of archery events where thousands of arrows fly become glassy eyed and numb following a few ends.

In 3D you are always alone at the stake.  Someone is watching and no one cares how you perform. That is unless they are secretly praying for you to screw-up in order that the watcher gains points off of your error.  In such a way, the individual that prayed for your mistake, if their prayer is answered, might take home a $3.00 medal to display over the fireplace where it hangs from the antlers of that trophy four point buck bagged a few years ago with a rifle or Ford F-150.

You may have won more National or World Championship titles than folks can easily remember and out of the blue you can blow a shot.  It happens.  Archery can be cruel.  So, it is kind of hard to be Mr. Archery Ego with that flopped shot waiting in your quiver. The second you puff up that screwed up shot is begging to be released. Believe me though; Mr. Archery Ego is out there.

Mr. Archery Ego is likely not shooting at National Championships or World Championships. He’s probably a local fellow that’s a big fish in a small pond.  Or at least a fish that in his or her mind is just waiting to show Reo Wilde, Jeff Hopkins and Levi Morgan how they’ve been doing it wrong all these years.

You may have noticed I’d gone from a generic ‘individual’ to ‘he’ in this writing.  I’m not trying to be sexist or disregard women.  I just haven’t met “Ms. Ego” although she too may be out there. Regardless of the scientifically proven fact that women talk more than men when it comes to braggadocio women play it cool.  Oh, they’ll beat a guy to a pulp on the range but they’ve mastered the ability to have you not feel so bad about it.  Women are just more advanced with their egos than men. I expect they quietly laugh behind our backs, which could explain the occasional smile men get and misinterpret as a friendly acknowledgement.

Last week, I watched the ultimate example of an over blown ego in a self-produced video by a Mr. Archery Ego.  He, apparently, had one of those sticks that held his camera away from his body while he aimed the camera at himself.  As I watched, I became hooked in the way someone does who can’t stop staring at a County Fair Sideshow Oddity.

During the video Mr. Archery Ego is walking through a wooded area.  He’s creeping along as if he’s hunting.  He’s speaks to viewers in in hushed tones to prevent a possible animal from hearing then running away.

As he creeps along he continues to quietly yammer away about himself, his bow, his arrows and his release. I would not have been surprised to have seen a sign pop up while he mentioned his equipment that displayed a little “#” tag.

I nearly did stop watching. It was just too much of a weird thing. Just as I lifted a finger to end the video he spotted his prey.  The video continued to run.

Somewhere tracked in front of him, in this wooded area, he’d discovered his target.  He continued to whisper, his voice now barely audible.  I knew he was preparing to shoot a hash tag hungry arrow.

Before even an arrow could be nocked, he went into a yardage-judging trance.  With the camera now aimed at his face he posed looking serious, concerned, he frowned, rubbed his chin, and wagged the fingers on his free hand in the air.  He whispered advice toward the camera’s microphone to viewers perhaps locked on his every breathed word.  After minutes he’d completed mental gyrations and declared the required shot distance to all of us.

As be put down the camera in order to execute the shot, leaving it recording his boots, I had to wonder, is he going to shoot a cow?  What other animal is dumb enough to just stand there?  A dog would have run away or toward him.  Who shoots a dog, anyway? There is certainly not a deer wating for an arrow unless it is tied down.  It can’t be a rabbit, pig, or fox; they’d all have been long gone.  Like everyone who views this hunt I’d have to wait while watching shoes.

The bow pop of an arrow being released is heard as I continued to examine Mr. Archery Ego’s boots. There’s a hushed exclamation, of “Yes!” and I knew something had an arrow in it.  I’ve got to see what this fellow has shot.

The camera pans away from the foot apparel as he gathers the attached stick. Together we walk.  His seriousness is portrayed as he instructs us, facing the camera his feet free from scrutiny, while walking toward a prize all the while an excited yet controlled voice tells the viewers about the shot.  As we get closer to his kill, Mr. Archery Ego is in full bloom.  I gawk at my screen in astonished marvel.  We’ve finally seen the prey.

There is no comparison of the steely non-running nerve of the ever still foam animal.  This man has stalked a foam target.  Well no wonder it didn’t run off, it was staked to the ground. It was here I pressed ‘Stop.’

I admit I too have posted poorly self-produced videos.  I’ve even got an un-posted video of a really cool shot that I can’t figure out how to download.  One day I may be able to post that video.  But, webpage and all, I remain a mere second rate marketer of my ego’s desires by comparison.

There’s a sucker born every minute

Cheers to the fellow that captured my attention. P.T. Barnum’s point has once again been verified.

The benefits of exercise

There are lots of articles at this site about the benefits of exercise.  Some people exercise their entire lives. Others are professional athletes where various forms of exercise are their work. For some of us exercise is an activity done at best a few times a week.  For too many people exercise is an activity they avoid.

When we see young fit glorified professional athletes we are amazed at their being ability.  You may think, “I could never do that.” Perhaps, it is outside your ability.  If you are 5 feet 4 inches tall, age 50 and overweight, you will not ever play in the NBA.

You do not need to be a professional athlete to be fit.  You don’t need to be 6 six 8 inches tall to enjoy playing basketball.  Being fit has nothing to do with professional athletes. There are a lot of ex-professional athletes, now in the 50s and 60s who are massively out of shape. There are also plenty that remain fit. There, too, are amazingly fit individuals that have never earned a dime in sport.

Being unfit can reduce how long you get to live.  I had a friend, tremendously unfit, who once said to me, “I’m here for a good time, not a long time.”  He said this to me when we ran into one another after years of not seeing each other. I nearly didn’t recognize him. A few months later he fulfilled his statement.

A lack of fitness will increase your risk for: coronary heart disease, heart attack, diabetes, hip fracture, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, obesity, and being over weight.  On the other hand exercise can lead a disability free extra 18.4 years of life.

Aging well is supported by fitness.  If you are young begin now developing a life style that will lead to an enjoyable existence in your later years.  If you have reached a point in your life that you feel too old to begin exercise you are mistaken.

In 2013 a group of investigators looked at physical activity and quality of life. They concluded that physical activity does improve quality of life. (1) It seems like a simple concept. Yet, the CDC has reported that 39.9% of the adult population of the US is obese. (2)

I do run nearly everyday. I also do a lot of walking during archery practice

Of course, you do not need to become a marathoner, Ironman, or open water distance swimmer to be fit. Walking, too often over looked for the lack of glamour given it by sports apparel corporations, is an ideal method to gain fitness. (3)

If you are reading this and you are an unfit archer you are on a path that can improve your fitness. Already you walk, back and forth to retrieve arrows, when you practice.  You may not be able to practice archery everyday, but you can walk everyday. Adding more walking to your archery-training plan will improve over health and fitness.


1.Diane L. Gill, Cara C. Hammond, Erin J. Reifsteck, Christine M. Jehu, Rennae A. Williams, Melanie M. Adams, Elizabeth H. Lange, Katie Becofsky, Enid Rodriguez, and Ya-Ting ShangPhysical Activity and Quality of Life. J Prev Med Public Health. 2013 Jan; 46(Suppl 1): S28–S34. Published online 2013 Jan 30. doi: 10.3961/jpmph.2013.46.S.S28PMCID: PMC3567315 PMID: 23412703

  2. 3.

Masters Athletes

If an archer over 60 is performs well, in his or her age group, unless they’ve got connections it seems unlikely any of the archery organizations or manufacturers are going to identify that individual as a potential athlete.  On the other hand is an archer is younger than 18 and shoots well that archer is more likely to attract support.

It is nice that the young people get support as athletes.  It is less of a compliment to the governing organizations and manufacturers that they reduce the support for the older population.  The support provided to older folks is feeble.  That’s  dumb  when in archery the largest segment of competitive archers are over 50!(1)

In a study, representative of USA archers, the investigators found that 25.5% of the archers in the US are under the age of 18, 30.4% are between 18 and 49 years old, and 35.2% are over 50. (1)

Now, the math is off. The total population should equal 100%. The total in their breakdown of age segments comes to 91.1% (opps). The researchers do point out that nearly 40% of the archers are over the age of 50, where their data shows that percentage is 35.2.  Arithmetic aside, the study suggests there are a lot of older archers.

USA Cycling and USA Triathlon put significant emphasis on older athletes.  The same is true with USA Track and Field.  Those organizations have figured out that the maturing population isn’t simply growing old and dying.  A huge amount of older folks are extremely active.

During my 50s I had corporate support to compete at the Ironman World Championship on Kona, HI. (2)   The same was true for the ITU World Duathlon Championships and the USA Masters Track Cycling Nationals. It really helped.   Perhaps, I was a better swimmer, runner and cyclist than I am an archer, but I wasn’t alone in having support in the other sports.

A fellow I used to train with in Atlanta was a professional triathlete in his 50s.  He wasn’t winning the major events.  He did well enough to continue to have corporate support as a age grouper.  Older athletes make up a market that corporations should be highlighting.  Being older and staying or becoming athletic is important for the general health of our population.

Todays 63 years olds – not the grandparents of the 1960s
“64 year old Grandaddy’s Pot Belly” Today’s seniors are often in better fitness than youngsters

Recently, I heard a news piece that suggested, with modern medicine, our bodies are out living our brains. Let me state, I do not believe it. The report cited the rising cases of dementia, Alzheimer’s and cognitive impairment associated associated with aging.  I believe our modern sleep patterns, lack of restorative sleep, poor nutrition, poor use of cognitive function (watching television versus reading a book for example) and decline in physical exercise contributes to various dysfunction of the brain over time.  Essentially, as a population too many people seek easily available and instantly satisfying rewards rather than putting forth too much strain for an achievement.

Being active and staying cognitively engaged can improve fitness, health, decrease cognitive impairment and the risk of cognitive impairment. (2,3) To age well people need to stay both physically and cognitive active.  Archery is an ideal sport for that combination.  People seem to be figuring that out for themselves.

In the US there are 21.6 million people that participate in archery.  Nearly half of them, 46.6%, say they are competitive in the sport.(1) Serious practice is a lot of work.  Certainly, it isn’t as demanding from a cardiovascular standpoint as training for an Ironman, but you do not need to train for an Ironman to be physically fit.  There’s a lot of walking in archery and walking is good. Archery also helps with upper body strength, core strength and balance.

There’s also the mental element of the sport.  Archery is as much a mental discipline as a physical one. Of the 9.8 million people that claim to be competitive archers there are 3.5 million of them over 50.   Of those over 50 years old the majority are over 60. The combined health effects of archery, mental and physical, is a beneficial to this athletes.

The 50+ year old archers equal about half the total population of US athletes involved with triathlon. Believe me, if you are over 50 and winning triathlons in your age group, winning state and regional triathlons and ranking high nationally some sports corporation will notice.  In archery, not so much.

Charles Eugster, 96 years old, posing with his World Rowing Masters trophy. All photos courtesy of Charles Eugster

That’s too bad.  The older population can achieve both physical and cognitive benefits from archery.  It is a sport that is ideally suited for a more mature audience.  In fact, it is one of two sports where an athlete over 50 can become an elite – the other is shooting.

I think archery as a hole is missing the boat considering this segment of the population.  Nowhere do I find aggressive marketing or competitive assignments directed to the older archery population or the recruitment of older individuals to the sport.  Even at a recent  World Archery Championship for Masters the organizers limited the World Championship  award to the 50-year-old age group.  The 60 year olds would be shooting against the 50 year olds or for fun.  I know, I got an invitation to go last year. I considered entering until I read the fine print.  Similar with the Gator Cup – I could not find a 60+ class to enter.

Sister Madonna Buda – The Iron Nun
Sister Madonna Buda, 85 years old.

There was a time in Ironman events when there were no age groups for 75, 80 or 85 year olds. Sister Madonna Buda changed that.  Nike dubbed her, “The Iron Nun” and triathlon celebrates her for her unyielding success. Archery is a much older sport than triathlon.  When it comes to promoting the older athlete archery is way behind triathlon.

85 year old Ibone de Belausteguigoitia.

I am not alone in my assessment  regarding the lack of concentration on the older athlete by US corporations and organizations. “In the U.S., masters athletes receive little or no corporate, governmental or organizational support to attend competitions. This is not true in France, where Renault sponsors masters athletes, or in Germany, where Mercedes Benz offers support…..on a more mercenary level, I hope to get corporate America to recognize that it is good business to offer sponsorships to older athletes. Baby boomers do not buy products from 20-year-old spokespeople.” Rob Jerome.(4)

Ron Ortiz, 52 years old

I understand Jerome’s position, I don’t care what a 20-year-old spokesperson is trying to sale – especially in archery. I expect that 20 year old archer will be gone from the limelight as soon as he or she needs to earn a living.


  1. hitting-the-bullseye-reel-girl-archers-inspire-real-girl-archers-full
  2. Karssemeijer EGA1,Aaronson JA2Bossers WJ3Smits T4Olde Rikkert MGM1Kessels RPC5. Positive effects of combined cognitive and physical exercise training on cognitive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment or dementia: A meta-analysis. Ageing Res Rev.2017 Nov;40:75-83. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2017.09.003. Epub 2017 Sep 12.
  3. Wang C1Yu JT2Wang HF3Tan CC1Meng XF1Tan L2. Non-pharmacological interventions for patients with mild cognitive impairment: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of cognition-based and exercise J Alzheimers Dis.2014;42(2):663-78. doi: 10.3233/JAD-140660.

Home in the nick of time

If you do a sport that’s an outdoor activity you have probably be caught in the rain. If you’ve been there, then you will understand:

Run looks pretty good. There are some clouds coming in, but seems okay
It appears to be getting darker rather than brighter as this morning runs progresses. Maybe its going to rain earlier than predicted
“River, here” – feels like a good point to start heading home
Barely a drop on me

Sure, some folks might have continued on their morning run.  I admit, I turned around shortening the run.

The Pro/Staff Sponsorship Facade

If you’ve read this website for long you may remember there was once a page for sponsors.  I took it down.  Before I removed it I politely said good-bye to those companies that had once supported me.  They were all good companies and I used their products.  But, overtime I became tired of their game. The products on this site, now, are mine.

The sponsorship game was essentially this:  I promoted their gear, I got a discount, I submitted quarterly updates, if the company had a booth at a tournament where I attended I was expected help at the booth, I’d only use the company’s gear, and I’d pay for the gear out of my pocket. There would be a discount on my purchase of 25% to 70% depending on the company.  To be fair one company never charged me for their products.  Nevertheless, I parted ways with them, too. Two of the companies were carry over sponsors form cycling and triathlon (those were the ones with the big discount and free goods.)

The whole archery deal felt off to me. Actually, the whole deal is a marketing program where those sports companies use amateur athletes to help promote their products.  I understand, I was in business most of my working life.

During that time of my life, before I retired, I did all sorts of business activities including product development, marketing, and was Vice President of Marketing.  I was also an Executive VP & Chief Medical Officer, and VP of Compliance and Regulatory Affairs.  I wore all sorts of hats.

I, too, ran marketing programs aimed at promoting my products.  One thing I always did was paid attention to the folks helping me with their expertise.  In my area the expertise wasn’t 100% an athletic skill it was mostly brain skills. Essentially, the academic/clinical environment was where my work and products were placed – for the most part.

There was a segment of my work that dealt with sports.  There I worked with professional and amateur athletes.  That work ranged from professional football players, track and field athletes (pro & am), triathletes, cyclist, runners, and event mountain climbers.  One of our key athletes was Jerry Rice who you may remember wearing a “Breathe Right” Nasal Strip.  Our segment of that market was medical but it was still cool to see Jerry Rice making amazing catches while wearing the “Breathe Right” Nasal Strip.  We even had a nearly life sized cardboard ‘standee’ of him in our boardroom.

With both venues, the brains and the brawn, one key function of our marketing department was to stay close to these thought leaders and athletes.  As a result we built a community or network of individuals that benefitted from our support and we benefitted from their support. The goal, of course, was to benefit people. I can honestly say we succeeded.  There are people alive today that might not be had it not been but for the work we all did.

Furthermore, that combined group had crossovers, brainy people can be athletes and athletes are smart, and those people worked together on projects.  It was a pulmonologist that inspired me to become a triathlete, Dr. Nick Hill a tremendous athlete. One of the toughest cyclists I ever trained with is an anesthesiologist, Dr. Chuck Law. Another close friend, a World Championship level cyclist, later became a toxicologist earning his degree from the Medical College of Georgia, Dr. Howard Taylor. These are just a few examples that come immediately to mind as I type this post.

Sometimes our company supported a project for the scientists or athletes and other times we did not.  Those times we didn’t provide support, financial or equipment, we did provide our help, if only to bounce ideas around, when it was needed even if the project held nothing for our benefit beyond the friendships we developed.  Years after retiring (We sold the company, I took my piece of the pie and called it quits.) that network still functions as a social group where ideas are exchanged.

The sponsorship or “Pro-Staff” arrangements I’ve been associated with thus far in archery have been extremely one sided.  There does not seem to be a commitment on the part of sport industry to create long-term associations with athletes beyond the young and the few. Personally, I could care less which bow a 17 year old is shooting.  Odds are that 17 year will be putting his or her bow down during their freshmen year of college.  A very few will continue with their advancement in the sport.

If you are fortunate enough and good enough that you are at a minimum getting free gear in return for donning that factory archery shirt good for you. If you paid for the shirt and get a 25% discount on products that has a  70% margin – well that’s your choice. If you see me wearing a company logo, you can bet that the arrangement has both benefit and detriment for both sides. That and I believe their gear helps me perform better.

Trying to Get Ready for Field Archery

In preparation for the Georgia State Field Archery and NFAA sections, coming in a few more weeks, I’ve been studying how to shoot a Field Archery Tournament.  I’ve read the rules, watched a tutorial on how to shoot them and the scoring, and purchased the targets used for the event.  It is a lot to remember.

Practicing on Hunter style targets for field archery

I’ve already booked a campsite and signed up for the tournament.  Too bad there aren’t any closer similar archery contests near me.  I’d feel better having a more solid foundation with the venue.

In the meantime, all that can be done is to prepare as best as possible. Part of that preparation means having a bow on which everything works properly.

80 yards if a long shot

My target bow is still AWOL.  It’s been gone, sent back to Elite, for months. I’m shooting an older back up bow. That bow needs a new rest.  The QAD rest clicks and rubs and feels like it could enter a complete meltdown at any moment.  I’ll give QAD a call for help tomorrow. They’ve been helpful with the problem in the past.  It happened to me before.

Had to pause during practice to trim some long hanging tree limbs to reach the target at 80 yards.

The back up bow is a 2014 Elite 35.  It has a lot of mileage and the limbs have been replaced once.  I upgraded to the Elite 37X in 2018.  That bow never did seem to shoot right.  After a while I noticed cable guard pitting which clearly isn’t right.  The bow was returned in March. Over two months later and Elite has the bow and the money.

Shooting 4 arrows at the same 35 cm target can be costly

I’ve also gotten my hands on an old Mathews Conquest Apex 7.  It was my first bow and it was sold to get the Elite 35.  The second owner returned to me that Mathews bow.  I shot it for 3D last week and won competing in the Hunter class (ASA) at a local competition. I’m considering making that the bow for the Field Championship.

Before I retired, I’d have just gone and bought a new bow. Since retirement, seven years ago, I’ve become a bit tighter with my cash.  But, the best bow out there is always the one in your hand.

Going into the next State Championship, everything is not ideal.  There are still a few weeks to go and in the meantime, I’ll do all I can to get ready. And hope I’ll get in a group of friendly archers that won’t be put out having me tag along.

Finding a bow for 3D

3D archery has pretty much fallen off the list for 2019.  At the beginning of the year I had high hopes for the 2019 3D season. Sadly, a few months into the year I no longer had a 3D bow.

I do have a bow.  But, that bow is configured for target archery. I tried shooting 3D with it using those skinny outdoor arrows and a lens.  It simply didn’t feel right to me.  In 3D I prefer using a hunting rig.

It wasn’t as if the skinny arrow arrangement barred me from shooting 3D.  In my mind it subtracts from the spirit of 3D, a discipline developed to simulate hunting.  I’d never hunt with a long stabilizer, scope and sight other than pins.

Of course, I could switch the bow over to a 3D rig and go back and forth with the gear arrangements before practices.  I’ve done it in the past.  But, it isn’t simple and if it isn’t simple it often times simply won’t get done.

I had two bows at the beginning of the year.  One was returned to the manufacturer in hopes they’d either resolve the problem or exchange the bow.  Since the bow was returned there’s been no reply.  Oh, I’ve checked on it. The response has been silence.

Then, I discovered an old bow that shoots.  It is an old Mathews Conquest Apex 7.  It was my first bow, purchased the year before it was discontinued.  I’d sold it.  The person that bought it wasn’t shooting it.  He told me I could “have it” when I asked to borrow it.

On the Friday before a local 3D competition I took the stripped bow to a local shot.  There they added a PEEP (one I had in a tackle box) and I’d already added a pin sight, it still had a D-loop on the string, and I attached a short front stabilizer. I also had an arrow rest; the one removed from the long ago returned malfunctioning bow, and it bow was ready to shoot.

Before leaving the shop the bow was paper tuned and tested.  It shot fine. During the afternoon I sighted the pins against known yardage so that the bow close to being ready to use in a tournament.

When I arrived at the local 3D shoot, Mathews Conquest Apex 7 in tow, the first words anyone spoke to me were from a PSE representative.  He asked, “What is that you’ve got in your hand?”  I explained the situation and he suggested I try on of his products.  I’ve already tried that bow.  It is nice. It doesn’t come for free.  The Apex 7 came for free.

Now, I am certain that over the years since this Apex 7 was developed there have been advances in bow technology.  I know marginal gains are available with advanced equipment.  Since I’ve not been shooting 3D, it doesn’t matter.  I was just looking to have some fun on a 3D range with the bow in my hand.

There’s always that awkward moment with I show up to shoot at a local 3D event.  I’m new here – still – by archery group standards.  As such, I have to do that milling about hoping to find a group with which to shoot.  I really hate that part and miss the group I shot with in North Carolina. Before every 3D event we get in touch with each other the night before to make our plans for the tournament.

My first attempt to connect with a group failed, as did my second. I got lucky and group of two invited me to join with them.  Having only shot about 30 arrows with the Mathews bow, where I was finding the pins and range intersections, I’d hoped to finish sighting the bow before I actually went to the range.  I got 6 shots and was off. The group that offered the invitation was ready and as the leader put it, “I’ve got things to do today.”  I appreciated her sentiment and invitation; beggars can’t be choosers.

Thanks for inviting me (Photo courtesy of Robbie Surface)

The windage was off a bit and the first target was wide to the right.  Wide enough to earn a 5.  No one complained as when I made my only adjustment.  A few cranks to the right and I’d do the best I could with the arrangement.

From target two until target eight there were no problems.  The old bow has minimal let off so I had to really be in the shot. That helped and I was shooting par. Target 8 was a trick.  A javelina sitting down a hill at 38 yards.  As a rule that isn’t too difficult.  But, today, I knew 38 yards was an in between two pins as best as I could guess.  I guessed a bit off and shot another 5 – a tad high just off the eight ring.  Beyond those two shots I ended up with all tens other than two 12s and two 8s finishing with a 190 in the senior hunter class.  (20 targets no bonus target)

It felt a little like a recurve. (Photo courtesy of Robbie Surface)

For the first time in years shooting a bow without a significant let off and shooting a bow for the first time of any merit I wasn’t too upset with the score.  Now that I’ve got this bow maybe I’ll be able to finish the 3D season with a few more competitions. One thing for certain, the arrows float off the bow and there’s little room for yardage error.