First, let me say that throughout the winter of 2016 I continued to practice 3D. Second, it was not my primary objective for winter competition or training. Indoor 18-meter was the focus. Third, that focused practiced paid off. Lastly, it is time to reverse the order of concentration and prepare for the 2017 3D season.
To be fair, I’ve shot three 3D events thus far in 2017. There wasn’t a whole of specific 3D practice before hand, but I shot well enough. However, my 2017 goals for 3D will require better than well enough to achieve.
Morning practice was more an exercise in bow maintenance. I had to switch my indoor equipment over to my secondary bow. I’d been shooting my primary bow for indoor events. There is no specific reason one is primary and the other secondary beyond the primary bow is the newer bow. I shoot both of the equivalently.
Basically, I switched the long stabilizers to the secondary bow along with my sight and scope. There was a moment of panic when I couldn’t find the scope. See, when we returned from Georgia last week I loaded the bed of my truck with our gear. The bed is covered. Then, I drove away with the tailgate down – opps. We didn’t discover the mistake until we were in Columbia, SC. By then, we’d lost a cooler with the fillets of the few fish we’d caught. I was much more disappointed in loosing the fish than the cooler. I’d planned a few meals and was eager to eat those fish. Anyway, for a few minutes I couldn’t find the case containing the scope and sight. The problem – it was right in the open on a bench just in front of my nose.
So, having found the scope and sight I connected my indoor gear to my secondary bow and adjusted it for the yardage. The primary and secondary bows are vastly different and there is always a good deal of fidgeting to get proper alignment. That exercise ate up my morning until it was time to head to the gym.
The afternoon was all 3D. I took six Black Eagle Challenger arrows, no longer practicing with my less expensive arrows, my primary bow, and headed over to the range. The plan was to shoot each target out to 45 yards at five-yard increments starting at 20 yard. I knew this would result in a few broken nocks and it did – I busted three. When the arrow placement began to drift I stopped and held that distance until the groups tightened. And I did all of this without a range finder.
Honestly, I don’t like range finders. At least I don’t like mine. I don’t trust it. For real accuracy, I use a 100-foot tape measure and place stakes in the ground for fixing yardage.
This year, all my 3D is going to be with fixed pins and unknown yardage. There is one exception. I spoke to a representative of the ASA regarding their Pro/Am shoot in Augusta. Last year, I shot a long stabilizer, sight and scope. I didn’t know for sure which group I should compete in using the fixed pin arrangement. I know for IBO, but there seems to be an ever-increasing number of classifications for both organizations. Rather than take a chance, I called for help. The ASA representative entered me into the Masters Elite. In that one day is known yardage. Unless they’ve put the distance at the stake I’ll need to us a range finder. Seriously, I am considering just relying on my judgment throughout. That or try to find a decent range finder.
The 3D session this afternoon ran for just under three hours. There was plenty of light remaining for practice and I had ample physical reserve to shoot. But, I had a dog, River that no longer wanted to watch or chase sticks. She was ready for more aggressive play and she ended the practice.