Sunday Marc 24th 2013
On Sunday, Marc and I went with some friends to our first Canadian 3D archery shoot. Well, it was our first 3D together since we have lived here but Marc had already been to a 3D in the summer at Enderby, BC and loved it! The shoot was being held in Summerland and it just so happened that we had a free Sunday! So we duly obliged and began to look forward to it, making plans to have an early night on Saturday. Boring!
So off we went at 6.30am Sunday morning, arriving at our friends Myles’ house, a thirty minute drive away from us. He had offered to drive and it turned out that there were five of us all together. The two others, were new friends, Mike and Bryce who both shoot compound, as does Myles. Unlike Marc & I who shoot barebow.
So, following an approximate 2 hour or so journey, we arrived at Summerland Rodeo Grounds to find that it was already pretty busy! Myles thought it was much busier than the previous year that he’d been. So much so that we couldn’t find anywhere to park in the main lot!
We all paid our $15 entry free and received a free raffle ticket with our entries and went to have a quick shot at the practice bags. Then round the corner to the first target, only to find……a queue! Or a line-up as you’d say here in Canada 🙂 The idea is to do 40 targets in the day and this course was set up for 2 rounds of 20. You take one shot at each and score according to where your arrow hits. 11 for the centre of the kill-zone, then 10, 8 or 5.
The first 3D was the walking brown bear, with a helpful, arrow-smashingly-great metal can as a backstop. The compound shooters took their shots from the orange peg and us, unsighted bows shot from the blue peg which, in most cases, is closer.
Now, it was fairly chilly at this time and it quickly became apparent that I had not put on enough layers, so while approaching the 2nd target and seeing another queue, I saw that the truck was in shooting distance and decided to run and get an extra layer. It’s no good trying to hold your bow with a hand that you can’t feel (i’m a ‘typical woman’ – cold hands, cold feet!) and pulling your string back with fingers….what fingers….that are numb with cold! This then seemed to open the floodgates for the men who also wanted extra layers, but had not wanted to mention it until the girl did 😉
So after grabbing the coats and gloves, I dashed back to target number 2, the Caribou, to find that there was still a bit of a line-up. Eventually though, things got moving and our turn came round. The five of us shot together, usually the three wheelie-bows first and then us two. Target 3 was a small Wolverine, down a steep little hill and was my first miss of the day, boo! My Bearpaw Pentathlon Timber Stick Gold Tip arrows have had plenty of hammer over the last 18 months and have stood up pretty well so far. Was today going to be the day that this changed?
So we carried on, with a few people behind us and more in front of us. Although the waiting gave us chance to chat and admire our lovely surroundings. Next up were a Wolf, an Elk, a Turkey and a Coyote, all strategically placed to give you a little challenge. Maybe on an incline, with a rocky back stop or between the trees – all great fun! Then onto a White Tail Deer, Mule Deer, Brown Bear, Ram and Standing Bear – standing with two little cubs, who were also targets. I think we all went for mummy bear though, just to be on the safe side.
Then, the course setters started to get really sadistic. Target number 14. A Dinosaur. Not a small Dinosaur either. But a Dinosaur perched on the edge of a cliff-top. Enough to play with your psyche if you let it. And I did! I under-compensated and watched helplessly as one of my arrows sneaked through, under the shortest Dinosaur legs in the world and went whistling over the cliff and down into the ravine below. Idiot! I said to myself, knowing that I should have just done what I normally do and I would have been alright, but no! When we had all shot, the lads walked to collect and I walked to peek over the cliff in the hope that the ravine wasn’t that deep. If I said that I had probably shot two more targets before my arrow hit the bottom, would you get the picture?
But such challenges are all part of a good 3D course and strangely, it makes you not mind losing and smashing arrows. It makes it fun. Weirdly 😉
Then onto a number 15, a Mule Deer and 16, a Bison. On the edge of the cliff again, no less. But to be fair, the Bison was that big that if you missed this one, then you deserved to have to scale down the ravine and retrieve your litter.
Three of the last four targets were in the woods and on the way back to the start. First, a Beaver (down a ravine), secondly, a Treed Cougar which was in a frame and hoisted up into a tree, making this a nice challenge of a shot and thirdly, a Bedded Cougar. Surprisingly, not particularly sadistic, but for a powder-blue arm chair at the compound peg, sticking out like a sore thumb with the green, woody back-drop! It must have looked enticing as all the wheelie-bowers must have needed a moments rest while they shot the Cougar.
The last target, number 20 was the Standing Griz. Down another steep hill and with a babbling river backdrop. One of my other misses of the day, leading to my first major arrow smash – snapped totally in half. I guess they can only cope with so much abuse!
The first half of 20 had taken us in the region of 4 hours! This was quite a long time, but I guess was testament to the amount of people that showed up at the shoot! So we were all set for lunch and the general consensus seemed to be that we would head home after we had eaten. My shooting companions all had an awesome burger from the hut and I (being wheat intolerant), stuck to my pre-prepared, pretend-bread sandwich. Soon though, everyone changed their minds and it was decided that we would go and shoot the second twenty, because it wouldn’t talk half as long as the first round!
So we set off to shoot the second half and notably, it was much warmer. We were joined by two more traditional bow archers, Kym and Dalan who lived locally and had no need to rush off either. The second 20 was as much fun and only took us around 2 hours to complete and I managed to decrease my misses by one and increase my points by three, so I considered this to be a success!
In total, I broke one arrow in half, split the back end of another and kissed goodbye to one completely down a very big sheer-drop, so a pretty good day, all-in-all.
Marc on the other hand was “on fire”. He couldn’t miss. And didn’t. We were both shooting our Hoyt Dorado’s. He has recently made a transition from split fingers to three-under, moving his anchor point and his nock closer to his eye. Boy can you tell the difference in his improved accuracy. I already shoot three-under myself, but am inspired to try and make the anchor point change too, to bring the nock closer to my eye, hence making my gap smaller. It’s not going to be easy, but it will hopefully be worth it.
Myles, Mike & Bryce all shot really well too. In fact, I don’t think I know who scored the highest, but i’m not sure it mattered too much.
We eventually arrived home at just before 9pm, making it a very long but very enjoyable day indeed! Marc & I would like to take the opportunity to thanks Summerland Archers for their hospitality and great course. It would be great to see some familiar faces out at our Kamloops 3D Shoot, coming up on April 13th & 14th….just sayin’!!