Monday, April 14, 2014

3D Archery Shoots - Entertainment vs Ethics

Upper Snake River Bowmen

This last weekend there was a 3D archery shoot in my area where a lot of avid archers were able to get out and fling a few arrows!  This is always a great time to get out and spend time with family, friends, or just to get away and out of the every day routine.  I am a huge fan of these shoots and feel they are extremely important to make part of your off season training program for many reasons.  Today I'm not going to be talking about the reasons I feel you should go to the 3D archery shoots but instead, talk about a principal I feel is much more important to remember when attending these shoots.
3D Archery Shoot USRB
My daughter telling me where to shoot
Usually when I attend these shoots I am with a group of family and friends who enjoy getting out and trying not to lose to many arrows.  In my group we usually have a person or two who does not hunt nor has had much experience with archery other than attending the shoots we bring them to.  I always love the fact that we are able to share this sport with people who aren't necessarily avid hunters or outdoors men/women, yet fail to remember to teach some of the important lessons I was taught as a kid from my dad.  The following are the main points to remember when attending 3D shoots no matter what level of archer you are:
3D Archery Shoot USRB
My wife shooting at a bear target
Clear Shooting Lanes: This is my main focus of this post.  I can't tell you how many times I have been at an archery shoot with experienced archers as well as beginners and I hear the statement, "I can't even see the target" or "How in the world am I supposed to shoot that".  While I usually laugh at my dad trying to stand on top of logs to attempt to see over the brush enough to shoot the target I caught myself wondering this last time if the less experienced archery would think it is okay and ethical to attempt a shot under these conditions.  As much as I enjoy the challenge and the dynamics of many of these shots, I will admit that if it was me and a real animal in the wild I wouldn't take the shot in fear that I would wound the animal with a poor shot.  This leads me to my next point...
3D Archery Shoot USRB
My aunt shooting her bow
Shot Placement:  Another point I caught myself considering while at these shoots was shot placement.  Most of these 3D archery targets have vitals printed on them or circles indicating where a "proper" arrow placement should be.  While this is true if the target is standing broadside, many of the shots at these 3D archery shoots have the targets standing at an angle.  As we archers know, if an animal is presenting itself at an angle, the shot placement is going to be different according to how the animal is standing/bedding.  It is important to point out to the archers just beginning that just because the vitals are printed on the target where they are, doesn't mean that is exactly where your shot placement needs to be.
3D Archery Shoot USRB
Distance:  The past point I wanted to discuss about 3D archery shoots is the principle of distance... I know this can be a controversial topic and I do not want to get into specifics about what is ethical and what is not because I am very aware that what is ethical to some hunters may not be considered ethical to others.  At the shoot this past weekend there were plenty of shots on animals well over 60 yards.  The furthest target on this weekend's shoot ranged in at 107 yards.  When we reached his target we were excited for the challenge and all flung arrows in hopes that we wouldn't be spending the next 20 minutes looking for lost arrows.  Between the steady cross-wind and other factors, our group happened to place 2 arrows in the target (one in the gut and the other in the bottom of its leg) while the other archers completely missed.  I am not going to be the one telling you that you should or shouldn't take a shot at a certain distance on a live animal, but I will be the one to say that it is important to never shoot at an animal beyond your level of ability.  It is also important to remember that at short distances factors such as the wind may not effect the flight of your arrow as much as it will at longer distances.  There are many factors to consider when talking about shooting at further distances but I will leave it at this for now.
3D Archery Shoot USRB
Believe it or not but there is a bull elk target out there we are supposed to shoot
In essence, 3D archery shoots are a lot of fun and a great challenge but it is important to remember that these shoots are for the purpose of entertainment and sport.  Some of the shots at these shoots may not be the most ethical or responsible when it comes to a live situation with a living animal so it is important to separate 3D archery shoots from real life hunting and know that when it comes down to ethics or entertainment, entertainment may trump at an archery shoot while ethics should always trump when in the field!
My daughter enjoying the shoot

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

3D Archery Shoot


One of my favorite things to do this time of year is get out and shoot my bow!  Luckily my area has a local archery club called Upper Snake River Bowmen who put on some amazing archery shoots!  This weekend they are sponsoring their annual Beaver Dick Shoot in Rexburg Idaho.

3d archery shoot
My wife shooting at the Beaver Dick Archery Shoot a few years back
 This is the first outdoor shoot of the year and it will be a great chance for me to get out and practice shooting my bow with my wife and the rest of my family.  The shoot usually has around 50 targets which range anywhere from 10 - 100+ yards which is always an adventure!  The shoot will go on Saturday and Sunday at Beaver Dick Park for the majority of both days.

If anyone is interested in attending the shoot, either for fun or for competition, feel free to either message me, check out the USRB webpage or Facebook page.   


Sunday, February 16, 2014

2014 Western Hunting and Conservation Expo

This last weekend I attended the 2014 Western Hunting and Conservation Expo!  This was the first time I have ever been to an outdoor expo and man it was an eye opener for me! With it being Valentines weekend I had my wife with me for the weekend and the way she described it was, "It's like a glamorized craft fair for men" haha I couldn't agree more!  If you haven't been to an outdoor expo you need to and this post will tell you all of the reasons I would suggest you go!

My number one reason for going would hands down be all about meeting the people behind the scenes.  As much as many of us outdoors men would love to work in the hunting industry I give extreme kudos to those who make the sacrifices during the on and off season to make sure the hunters who don't work in the industry are able to enjoy our hunting experience.  These guys at the booths are passionate about the sport of hunting but rather than spending their time in the woods like many of us, they spend their time designing new products to make our hunting experience better.  Every booth my wife and I went to, we were met by amazing people who were genuinely interested in helping us find what we were looking for at the expo!
western hunting and conservation expo 200 trophy hunt application ...
One of the booths I spent well over an hour at was the Hawke Sports Optics booth talking to Trent about the different products.  After talking about scopes and binoculars we both started talking about our families, hunting experiences, pet-peeves, and anything else that we could think about.  I'm just speaking from my point of view but when a person is willing to spend that type of time talking to you about anything and everything, that's the type of person I want to do business with!  Not to mention the price on their products were hands down the best deal in the whole expo for optics! I spent a good portion of the day showing my wife the different optics at the expo, comparing quality and price... Quoting her again, "Why would anyone buy one of those other expensive optics just to have some fancy name on it!"  I tried to help my wife understand that those big brand names are similar to those in vehicles, clothing, shoes, etc. and you are buying the name more than anything... Back to the expo!
Another booth I spent a lot of time at was the 46 Rail booth! I am completely honest with you when I say that this booth was so good I literally took my clothes off... (in a dressing room of course!)  I had seen this brand of camo on Twitter and other social media outlets and was VERY curious about them.  They have a completely different design that no other camo company has even come close to as well as a very unique fit.  I won't lie the first time I saw these I thought they were weird and you couldn't pay me enough to be seen wearing them around.  When I showed up at the booth and saw them in real life I was a lot more open minded about them.... Then I tried them on.... WOW! Honestly I have never tried on a more comfortable pair of pants (let a lone camo pants) ever in my life!  The only way to describe them is that you don't even feel like you are wearing pants... I know that sounds a little odd but these pants were so comfortable I would choose to where them over my sweat pants at night if I could! 
46Rail camo pants, shirt, gloves, and bino case!

If I hadn't gone to the expo I don't think I would ever given 46 Rail another thought other than, "oh yeah those are the funny pants guys".  Now that I have seen them in person, worn them around, and talk to the guys in the booth about their functionality... I will say that some day I am going to own me a pair of these pants!

I could talk on and on about what I loved about the expo and I am sure I will be writing more about some of the products I saw there but I just want to leave you by saying if you haven't been to an expo like this or something similar to it, you need to go! These shows are places you can get amazing deals on amazing products as well as meet some outstanding people!  The expo is also a great place where you can find out about products you have never heard of and be ahead of the game (literally in some cases) when it comes to being successful on your next hunt!