Another state title & more 3d fun
This past weekend was the state championship for 3D, here in Connecticut. The course was nearly 2 hours away, but I really wanted to check it out and managed to talk R into going. The tournament was being held at Algonquin Archers, which I have heard great things about. They are one of the only all archery outdoor clubs in the state (most are rod & gun clubs or bird clubs that also have archery). Algonquin has target, 3D and field targets all on their property, so I was excited to check it out.
The shoot had a rolling start beginning at 7, but to avoid having to get up insanely early, we decided to plan to get their around 7:45. We had plans for the evening, so this would allow us time to set up our bows and get on the course by about 8, which meant we should be home by early afternoon at the latest. When we got there, we were hooked up with two other archers, so we would have a foursome to do the course with. All four of us hit the practice range to make sure our sight marks were good, and we proceeded on to the first target.
As an open female, I would be shooting the green stakes, R shot blue (furthest) as an open male, and the two others were shooting orange since they had fixed pins. First target of the day was a raccoon, which typically is a fairly close shot…we should have known it was going to be a long day, however, when it was roughly 35 yards for both R and I.
I though the course had a nice layout through the woods, with very few walk back targets. Through the first 5 targets, I was consistently hitting low, meaning I was under judging the yardage. I began to get frustrated as I knew I was making good shots, and my left/rights were dead on the twelve ring. I made the decision at that point to add a yard or two to whatever I guessed on the rest of the targets.
Overall, I found my yardage guessing to get better as we went. There were a couple of targets that gave us all fits (we would have a great group of 4 arrows, just nowhere near where we wanted them). This was by far the longest course I’ve ever shot on with virtually no shots under 30 yards for me. I think this did affect my yardage judging some, as I am not used to seeing turkeys (with small scoring rings) at 37 yards!
I had a couple of shots right at the max distance of 45 yards for the green stakes, and I seemed to do well on those. We finished the first 15 targets and went to start on the back half when I gave the organizers fits 🙂 They had placed targets 16 and 17, so you shot them from up on a platform. Luckily for me the platform was wide, and had a full set of stairs with railings on both sides. The problem came when I went to shoot #16, which was almost a straight down shot. I was too short to stand over the railing and shoot it without my bow touching the wood, yet if I stood back from the edge, and aimed down, my stabilizer would hit the side. After a lot of back and forth and various attempts, they realized I was just too short to make it work, and they had to get me a cider block to stand on.
In general this is something I’ve discovered at local shoots. Usually a fairly tall man has gone out and placed the stakes, meaning he sometimes doesn’t realize a ridge or something is in the way of the target for someone shooting at a lower height. I was happy to see the organizers here were very helpful and realized their mistake, so it didn’t become a big issue.
Not too long into the second half of the course, R looked at me and said good news, you’ve hit every target today (he was beating me by score but he had not hit every target). Unfortunately, this jinxed me, as 2 targets later, I sailed an arrow right over the back of a bedded deer. I was lucky in that my arrow just bounced off the tree behind the target, so it was easy to find and still in one piece.
That ended up being my only miss for the day, as I did much better on the back 15 than I had done on the front 15. I attribute this to my improvement in yardage judging. All in all, I finished with a score of 213, which was one point above my score from the week before on a much tougher course, so I was pretty happy.
As we were packing up our bows the organizers asked if we wanted to do the novelty shoot. Having never done one before, I asked what it was about. Basically they had a bear down a long narrow corridor, at an unmarked distance that you could shoot 1 arrow at for $1 or 6 arrows for $5. The kicker was to take the pot of money ($100+) you had to hit the X on the 40 cm target (the size target we use indoors for 18m!). I knew I could hit the X, as long as I could figure out yardage, as I’ve hit the center at home shooting 85 yards with just one arrow.
Yardage was very hard to judge with the way they had set the bear up, so my first arrow sailed WAY over the head. I quickly took off 15 yards and shot again, only to see another arrow over the top (just missing the head this time). Both arrows, however, we directly in line (left/right) with where I needed to hit, so I was still very confident. My third shot ended up being just a little low (I think in the blue), so I quickly added a couple of yards back on and shot again. This time I was in the yellow directly left. I quickly adjusted my sight a couple clicks and shot my 5th arrow. This got me closer to the center, but still left. So with one arrow to go, I made a more major change to the centering and took the shot. I knew as soon as I released that it wasn’t a great shot, but I did manage to put it just high in the red.
So no winning the pot of money for me, but I did manage to impress some men with my shooting in the process. I also found out after the tournament was over that I was the state female champion, so all in all it was worth the long drive out. The next day we had planned to do a field round, but after learning it was a drive as well, we decided to just stay local and shoot the Snake Meadow 3D course, which is very close to our house.
Unfortunately, I managed to injure myself Saturday night, so I woke up Sunday looking (and feeling) like I had gotten in a fight. My injuries were primarily do my face, with a sore neck, so I figured I was ok to shoot, especially since we knew it was an easier course.
There were some changes made to the course from last year when we shot here, but we saw them all as positives, with more longer shots and some tricky in/out of the sun shots. I felt my yardage was definitely improving and more score showed it. Not only did I manage to score about 30 points higher than that day before, I FINALLY beat R (by 1 point)! I wasn’t feeling completely myself, so I’m glad we stayed local, so I was able to go home and rest as soon as we finished.