Tuckahoe Quagmire

The July 20th Tuckahoe Bowmen’s 3D shoot in Queen Anne Maryland drew a nice size crowd. The group held some fantastic archers. The range was skillfully prepared; even so I busted my rear in the mud.

Tuckahoe Bowmen Clubhouse

The Tuckahoe Bowmen’s Bill, Paul, and Mevko (and perhaps others) had the 30 target range prepared with 15 minutes to spare before the official start time. At 10 minutes prior to start Paul guessed they might have placed only 29 of the 30 targets they’d intended. Bill supposed there were 28 fake creatures on the course. Mevko announced he’d lost count, a skill of which none claimed expertise.

Mevko, Paul and Bill, course masters

During this season’s 3D schedule, there have been sizeable crowds competing on the range located at its namesake state park. This week’s shoot was no exception. Tuckahoe frequently attracts some of the top archers in the region. Today held true with skilled shooters ruining arrows on the warm-up field by whacking Robin Hoods.

A 30-yard Robin Hood during warm-up. Say goodbye to about $36.00.

Entering the range, the result of recent heavy rain was abundantly evident. Stake one, a bobcat, sat at the end of a mud bog. Competitors retrieving arrows and calling scores wore knee high rubber boots. Most of them, anyway.

My boots only reached to my calves. They were adequate so long as each trip to a target had a planned approach strategy and each step followed a tactical placement decision. The plan collapsed at stake five.

Stake five seemed average regarding the sludge volume. Its appearance was deceptive. The approach was tenuous, the return a disaster. While climbing back, Paul Burrows noticed, “Your right boot nearly got covered.” On the next step, he added, “Your left boot is totally gone.”

It was gone; on the up stroke of my left leg only my sock got air. The boot suck was followed by the pop of free sock caused a shift in my balance that landed me in the mire. A muck-covered sock, swishing in a mud-lined boot meant for a sloshy remainder of the morning. My shooting partners were amused, me less so. Paul noted that the mishap ought to be remembered in print.

The group I shot with held two guys I am lucky enough to often times shoot with: Bill Drain and Paul Burrows. The third was a fellow I’d heard of and never met, Kirk Tull, Sr., who goes by “Pop”.

Paul and Pop which as Bill takes a shot

Pop is a bit of a legend on the Eastern Shore, he’s won a lot of tournaments and recently placed 17th in the IBO World Championships. Pop was out with a new BowTech RPM 360 purchased from Whitetail Outpost in Newark, MD. Even with a fresh bow fresh in his hands Pop ended up with the day’s second highest score (Paul took top honors)

“Pop” testing his new bow.

Another well-spent Sunday was soon behind us. Targets were collected along with more mud. Once the foam menagerie were back in their sheds a few of us sat longer and talked about the upcoming IBO World Championships.   Guys, also, grumbled about their scores, discussed the upcoming deer season and deliberated various styles of release. I mostly listened while picking mud from my boots.