Archery…

more than men in tights…

A better time

I meant to do this last night, but other things got in the way and after a crappy day at the coalface it’s good to look back and remember and write about a better time. Yesterday in fact, when I last shot.

I arranged to meet Jumile at the field at 1pm, I arrived shortly before to find that I wasn’t alone. The club was having an internal FITA competition, considering I am the person who updates the website and only the other day put up the shooting calendar I should have known. Still I was gonna shoot, doesn’t matter that we weren’t going to be alone.Jumile arrived shortly afterwards, he returned my crappy compound sight and proudly showed me his new sparkly one and when done we gathered our gear and went to the line to set up.

As luck would have it, one of the guys shooting was retiring so we didn’t need to set up a new target for us. We’d arrived just as everyone else was coming to a distance change, they sat down to munch on something while Jumile and I set about the business of making holes in a paper face.

I am still using one of the club bows and am using that as an (extra) excuse for my poorish results. However, the important thing is that I was on the line again, putting more time into the sport; The results aren’t overly important, or for that matter indicative, as I haven’t shot for eight or nine months. I didn’t keep count of how many dozen I shot overall and certainly didn’t keep score as at the moment (as I may have said once or ten times before) it’s not the results, it’s getting the muscles back into the rhythm of shooting.

Part way through the session a longrod appeared at my bowstand, after fitting this things went very haywire; I was previously shooting mostly in the centre(ish), albeit with not much grouping, but they were together, after fitting the rod the arrows seemed as if they were strangers. If not to each other, certainly to the centre of the boss.

After a while I removed the rod and out came the bushing from the riser. Potentially the cause of the problems I was having since installing it, as it was certainly loose, possibly loose enough to vibrate during release. The ends I shot after removing the rod saw the arrows fall in the centre again. So the loose bush is my excuse and I’ll stick to it.

After a few more ends my back started to ache so I started to wind down, two ends later saw me pick up my stand and walk.

The weather hadn’t been great, overcast with the odd spot of rain and a changeable heavy wind from right to left across the line of flight. As soon as I got back into the shed to repair the bow – epoxy the bushing back in place, and refletch an arrow I’d damaged – I’d like to think it’s where my arrows were so close together that one rippled the fletch of another…OK, that’s enough make believe, the heavens opened. Good timing on my part I think.

Another seven or so dozen done and it’s feeling more comfortable. I am thinking of replacing the limbs with some of higher poundage at some point this week, probably after shooting tomorrow, ready for Friday. It really does depend upon how it goes. I’m in no rush, I’ve got no shoots booked, so there’s no pressure on me to get back up to 40# and shooting my own lump any time soon.

Although I ended the session with an aching back it was time well spent..only 24 hours until the next one then…

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So….tonight

I went shooting taking only my quiver, bracer, sling and tab out of the car. My back ached a little after a day which found me moving and building desks but I HAD to shoot.

Tonight I used a 28# club bow, as simple as it gets, a wooden riser, wood/glass limbs, cheap sight and a stick on rest. A set of immensely long club alloys filled my quiver to be my projectiles for the night.

Two of my first six ended up on the grass, passing to the right, hardly surprising as I’d just pulled it off the rack, strung it and walked up to the line and started shooting at 30yds. Those were the only two that missed, over time I was starting to group them. Without the shakes introduced by a bow that I struggled to draw, hold and keep on target, I found myself enjoying it more. The simplicity of the set up allowed me to concentrate on shooting, there was nothing to adjust but the sight, just me and a glorified stick.

I must have shot 4 dozen, maybe more, not as many as I’d hoped for, but more than I managed last week and more comfortably. Next time I’ll shoot the same bow, I’ll do so for several sessions, then up the limb weight, maybe add a longrod.

In time I’ll be able to use my own bows without struggling, without beating myself up thinking I should do better or feel like I’m wasting my time.

Right, time to do other things, all being well I’ll throw some down the field on Sunday….

OK…so doing reps isn’t enough

So..Saturday saw me and a chum heading down to Quicks for the afternoon. My objective was to resist temptation and to shoot, his was to give in to temptation and to shoot. To those ends we were both successful.

To a degree.

I hung about for a bit as he started piling stuff on the counter he wanted bolted to his bow, then went to shoot some. The first few arrows were kinda all over the place, apparently spending so long together in a tube had made them want a bit of time apart. Over a few ends they started coming together again and my last end consisted of one arrow that was so averse to the gold it missed the boss entirely and buried itself in the wood frame.

Despite being able to pull off six dozen reps the other evening, the most I could do without horrible shakes was three, I guess holding at full draw takes it out of me more than I expected, either than that or I’m using the wrong muscles to hold there. Or both of course.

When I’d given up, not wanting to destroy the few arrows I have, I borrowed a bow scale from the shop – I’d left mine at home, along with all my other tinkering stuff, to weight my holding weight….39 and a bit pounds…no wonder it hurt….

On the subject of restraint, I bought myself some nocking points (for the new strings) and a spare arrow rest…..see…I was a good boy!