Travel, Practice, Tournaments and Arrows

Between now and the USA Archery Outdoor National Championship there are a lot of 3D tournaments. The championship isn’t until July 12th – 16th. Neither style of archery event is a problem. However, there is a problem. Travel.

The last two weekends in May I travel to grandchildrens’ birthday parties and a social event for Memorial Day. While I look forward to both there will be no archery competitions. The first weekend in June there are two archery tournaments – one local one in Kentucky. I’ll probably compete in the local event. Kentucky means more travel.

There’s a shoot the second weekend of June, but I travel to race in an XTerra Triathlon. I am looking forward to the triathlon. I’ve never done an XTerra triathlon even though I have done a lot of mountain bike racing and a number of trail runs.

The third weekend in June we head back to Georgia to see Cirque du Soleil with one of our daughters and her family. That will be a quick trip. Travel.

I’d planned a 3D shoot in Maryland for the last weekend in June, but now the other daughter is coming for a visit with us on that weekend. We leave to return to Georgia on the 28th of May.

We’ll stay in Georgia for 15 days before heading to Decatur, Alabama for the Outdoor Nationals. For that trip we’ll bring the Winnebago and camp along the way. I’ll still be able to practice in Georgia.

All of the travel has led me toward a path of focus for the Outdoor Nationals. Any 3D along the way, now most of them derailed, will be for fun only. So, I began a new training plan with a primary object to shoot well at 50 meters.

Shooting well at 50 meters means changing arrows. With that in mind I’ve began a training plan that I hope will help me do well at the Nationals. First off was calibrating my sight and nocking point for skinny arrows.

In 3D and indoor shooting I use slightly fat arrows. Not the fattest one’s available. But, for cutting a line or pulling a line on foam fat is good. On the other hand, fat arrows are probably not the best choice for shooting over long distances in wind. Here on the coast of North Carolina, it is almost always windy and I need to practice out to 60 yards.

The only skinny arrows I own are Bemen. I bought them over a year ago, before I began shooting Black Eagle Challengers for 3D. The Challengers are a bit fatter than the Bemen ICS Hunter arrows. Checking on the Bemen website, it seems the model Bemen I am shooting is out of production since 2015. No problem, I have twelve of them, or I did.

While working my nocking point and sight to accommodate the Bemen arrows I was careful. That is, as my arrows began landing in the center of the target to stopped shooting the arrows and pulled them. Twelve arrows are not a lot.

I began at 20 yards and worked my way back to sixty. I didn’t do this in 5-yard increments since I had somewhat of an idea of where the yardages would be on the scope. Checking in 10-yard increments seemed okay. I’d kept notes on the Bemen arrows from the last time I’d shot them. My notes and my arrows hits indicated that I was close.

At sixty yards I put up a new target and got down to business. A new target is easier to see with my binoculars than on that’s full of holes.

My first shot was a bit high to the left. A click or two and the next arrow was closer. Since it was close there didn’t seem to be a need to adjust the sight. Another arrow would help determine whether the miss was me or was it how the bow was set.

That next arrow did clear-up the matter, it was not me, it was how I’d set the sight. A little high, a little to the left. Eleven Bemen arrows remaining.

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I’m not certain I’ll use Bemen arrows for the Nationals, I might. I have eleven remaining. If I decide to use them I’ll need some more before July. I thought about trying the Black Eagle skinny arrows, but have no idea what to choose. With all the traveling, I think I’ll just stick with what I do know. It would be awful to get on the road and discover I’d made a mistake in ordering.

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