One of the advantages to travel is finding different archery competitions in which to compete. Regardless of where I am, before the weekend has arrived, I have scanned the Internet for local tournaments. Recently, while in Georgia, I found a nearby 3D shoot in Gray Court, South Carolina.
The TAB Archery Club had posted information describing their “On the War Path” tournament. MapQuest indicated the location was 61 miles from where I was staying. I found a contact for the club, Frank, and called him to verify the information, which he confirmed. I was set for a shoot.
At all the 3D shoots where I compete I arrive alone and hope to team up with 2 or 3 local shooters. After signing in and paying the registration fee I headed to the warm field keeping my eyes open for other strays like myself.
On the warm-up range I spied two guys talking that looked as if they could use a third shooter. Creeping around the guys, listening for a break in their conversation, I butted in and asked if I could shoot with them. They gave me a wary scowl and rejected me claiming their buddy was on the way. While I wasn’t actually creeping around, their opinion may have been different or they probably just wanted to shoot with their buddy.
My second attempt also failed. That time I attempted to appear open and friendly when I approached 3 shooters and asked if they could use a fourth. Rejected for a second time.
My third attempt panned out. I noticed 2 shooters that were looking for the course entrance. They’d actually gone way off course and were a little confused. These where my guys. They gladly accepted me when I told them I knew where the first stake was located.
Paul and Jesse were my kind of shooters. Light and fast we moved quickly over the range playing around slower groups when necessary. Paul and Jesse aren’t full-time 3D shooters. Both are more interested in hunting and practice 3D to keep their skills honed during the off-season. They are both excellent archers.
The TAB course was another gem. Extremely hilly and for the Bowhunter Class 40 yards was a common distance over the 25 targets. One hundred and thirty-one archers competed over the two-day tournament.
The hills were a new experience for me and I appreciated the challenge. Overall, I was pleased to have existed the course with the same arrows I brought with me. Jesse and Paul, as in most instances where I barge in, were polite and respectful. The TAB course was one of the finest and most difficult I’ve seen. Thanks to TAB and to Paul and Jesse for letting me tag along.