To Go or Not To Go

The 2016 3D archery season is, for me anyway, finished. Now it’s time to begin planning next year. While planning 2017 I noticed a few other tournaments that aren’t exactly in my backyard, but not that far away. For example the North Carolina State Field Archery Championship has popped up.

Naturally, I am drawn to the competition. The event is 7-days from today. Sure I could adjust my bow to handle the different arrows, thinner in diameter than what I’m currently shooting. Sure I could pack the Winnebago and head to the western part of the State.

But, I just got home after nearly a week on the road shooting. Since June, I’ve spent 34 days on the road for archery tournaments. While I decide whether to make this ‘unplanned’ trip I’ll continue to work on the 2017 schedule.

NFAA Sectional in North Carolina

At the NFAA Sectionals, here in North Carolina, it was hot. Not record setting hot, but the second highest temperature that had been recorded for these two days. Shooting in 95°F was hard on a lot of people. The heat combined with the rugged terrain was more that some people could handle.

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At every turn there was something interesting to see
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Hard to see, but there’s a target 80 yards away

The first day was the hardest since there were three rounds. Two were field rounds and there was one animal round.

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Knowing the yardage makes a long shot fun
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The real deal

The field round, as expected, had plenty of long shoots. There were eighty-yard targets, mixed in with 70, 60, and 50 yarders. The second day was a “hunter” day and the distances remained the same. Lots of long shots. Long shots are fun shots. There’s something audibly rewarding to loose an arrow then wait awhile to hear the pop of it striking home. It’s visually rewarding to land on a center ring.

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John, one of the guys in my group preparing for a 60 yard shot

There were no freebees. When there was a short target it was often arranged at a difficult angle. One such was a “walk-up” where the first shot was only 11 feet away. After taking the short 11-foot shot, archers walked closer until four arrows had been fired.

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Shoot and walk closer -harder than it looks

Initially, it sounds easy. It wasn’t easy. The target was at an angle such that archers needed to contort creating a radical bend from the waist simply to see the target. In fact, it was a fun target.

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Rough terrain, but very scenic

The heat and rugged terrain did take a toll. On the second day there was a pronounced reduction in competitors. It was a tournament of attrition.

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The heat was oppressive

This was my first field archery event. I look forward to getting into as many of these as possible. (238 shots in 2 days -very cool)