Indoor 5-Spot Followed by 3D

Brenda has driven up to Maryland to visit her friends. Many of them are teachers and they are a long weekend. I remain in North Carolina with the dogs. There are just some trips where husbands aren’t necessary. This is a girls’ weekend.

Choptank River, Cambridge, MD

Home alone it takes little effort to make a mess. Before Brenda returns I’ll have the place almost acceptable. In the meantime, I’ll do the usual, shoot, ride, and run.

Little River, here at home

Today began an archery double. That is, indoor 5-spot league on Saturday and 3D on Sunday.

The league competition was my final exercise in release decisions before the USA Archery Indoor Nationals. I shoot with a hinge or a thumb release. Last week, at the NC State Indoor Championship I used a thumb. During the following days I practiced with a hinge. There is little difference in the outcome.

My problem with this thumb release my be associated with it being a very inexpensive product. It has no way to adjust the trigger pressure. It is a one size fits all. It seems that a lighter touch might offer an overall improvement. Of course, that means purchasing a new release. Not something I’d do so close to the Nationals. At least, that’s my current thinking.

The problem with a hinge is not the device itself. For me, it’s eyesight and light. I have fine vision. It’s not a bother except under fluorescent lighting. It appears that my dot becomes a blur under fluorescent lights. When that happens my focus is on trying the see the dot not on relaxing and making the shot. With the thumb I feel I have a little more flexibility controlling the dot to get the best image possible. At least I’m not worried about it.

That proved to be case today during the 5-spot competition. Yesterday, with the hinge shooting a vertical 3-spot in my yard and with wind I ended up with a personal best. What occurred to me was how defined my dot was under natural light.

At the indoor range today my dot was a blur barely perceptible. After three ends I’d only shot three Xs. In addition, I shot three 4s. In frustration I soon switched to the thumb. Despite the thumb and hinge being slightly different where the sight is concerned I was able to fire off thirty-seven Xs after tweaking the sight a bit. That made my decision for the Nationals.

Back home, and having stopped for a buffet lunch at Golden Corral, I took a bike ride. It was such a nice day here that it would have been criminal to have not ridden. Then, I grabbed my back-up bow and got it sighted for 3D. Once that was done, I headed over to my 3D range for an additional three hours of practice.

Not exactly a 5-Star, but good food, filling, and inexpensive.

Because I’ve been spending so many hours shooting paper at a known distance 3D practice wasn’t stellar. In fact, I lost one arrow when I relied on a rangefinder versus my estimate of the yardage – I was right, it was wrong.

What I’d been doing was starting at 20 yards and working my way out to 45 yards. The pin system I have on my backup bow only has pins to 45 yards. I could switch over to primary bow and use a sight and scope, but I don’t want to mess with anything on that bow before next weekend.

So, the 3D practice was pins shooting several arrows from 20 to 45 yards at 5-yard increments. The exercise took 3 hours on a rather fast pace to get through all the targets.

A Good Start

The miss (and subsequent lost arrow) was on a turkey hen positioned at a tough angle that is obstructed making the shot more difficult. My range finder read 27 yards, I estimated 22 yards. I went with the range finder skimming the arrow over the back to the target.

I’m guessing this faux-rabbit isn’t going to last long

It was also the inaugural practice for my latest 3D target, another small one, a rabbit. The spot I’d originally picked for the rabbit was limited for space. Where it would have been positioned meant a maximum of 30 yards. I found a better area where I can get an easy 50 yards of distance. You know, somewhere there will be a time when a small target is sitting 50 yards away. Most likely a bobcat, turkey, badger or javelina.

Nope, this is only 30 yards; you know it’s waiting somewhere out there at 50.

It was a good day of shooting. The temperature was ideal. Thankfully, Brenda left me some pasta in a Tupperware container so I’ll have decent dinner.