Going the distance

After doing this for  a few months in a hardcore sort of way I’ve gotten pretty proficient in the 20 to 30 yard range and have been able to begin focusing on refining form and a little of the mental part of aiming and letting your mind do some of the work for you but now and then it’s a great release to not deal with the details and have fun with the broad picture.

That’s when I love to shoot distance.

I have a target in my yard which I’d measured for 20, 30, and 40 yards. It then occurred to me that maybe I could shoot 50 and as soon as I did  I rushed to 60 yards. I was satiated with 60 yards for a long time (3 weeks) until yesterday.

I got home nobody was home yet so ran inside got my compound bow and started shooting my love for 60 yards, when poison trickled into my mind and I wondered If I could shoot 70. 70 what a number. I hurriedly paced it off, took a guesstimate at the sight and thwack! hit the target. I didn’t even get one other shot off when 80 entered my mind. It was getting dark and I thought I could do it, I started pacing it off and paced myself into a loose thicket (oxymoron) of pre-spring brush and thorny stuff, no matter, wild guess at the sight and, loose an arrow and then lose an arrow straight into the woods somewhere. Ok, deep breath, relax, steady, release breath, let the release surprise you and … that didn’t help either, I heard another arrow bounce around the woods. Shit… those are expensive arrows. Walk the 80 plus yards, stumble around in the semi dark and luckily found my arrows. Phew…

Today another day – Got home with this firmly lodged in my mind except this time with my passion for 60,70 and 80 somewhat subdued, I got the 100 foot tape out and measured out the exact 70 and 80 yds. 80 was still in a “loose thicket”. This is what it looks like:

70 yards

You can see the yellow target at 70 yards, illustrated by das red arrow on the picture. It helps to have a pair of binoculars so you can more or less see what you shot and adjust or not, plus you feel like the cool archer guys that do it..

I then looked at my sight which is a one pin HHA brand sight, in which you calibrate the distance, they have cool tapes to help you do this but I was happy with their blank tape and a pencil, see picture to better understand what I’m talking about.

HHA single pin Sight

On the picture It’s set at 60 yards, so now I have to calculate where to set it next for 70 yards, I just estimated the distance from 50 to 60 and added a hair more because an arrow decelerates as it travels.

My 70 yard guesstimation

I then proceeded to shoot off 5 arrows hearing the satisfying thwack of safety. Walk up to the target to see how I did.

Not bad on the target anyway, ok they are all over the place and i was aiming for the center, I adjusted the sight slightly as the majority of the arrows were low. Next end (an end of arrows is a set number of arrows that are shot before going to the target to score, usually 3, or 5).

2nd end at 70 yards

Better, starting to get them in the same plane and definitely grouped the middle two, still low but once again the light is waning, so off to the thicket at 80 yards.

My "loose thicket" lots of thorny stuff in there

I threw a piece of firewood at the 80 yard spot where I had to stand, you can see it in the middle of the picture.

I went to set the sight and maxed it out, I knew it wasn’t enough so I’d have to aim a bit high.

My sight maxed out before hitting what I think should be 80 yards.

80 yards

I loosed an arrow, then 2, then 3, each time hearing the target, then i shot one and silence, maybe a little soft thud, must have gone in the dirt. Nock a last arrow, relax, breathe, tension the back and let my thumb slip over the release. Thwack. Back on target.

First and last end at 80 yards, for tonight..

Low and right from the centerline, next time will have to aim higher yet. You can see the bottom arrow at the edge of the target where the target is thinner, its actually gone through the target and is sticking out the back 20 inches. Only four arrows on the target as one is out there probably buried in the mud but I’m secretly pleased! 80 yards, wow! how exciting! Now I wonder if I could shoot 100….

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8 thoughts on “Going the distance

  1. Hello Charles, I could hear your enthusiasm through all of your words. You sound so excited and happy as you used to be as a child. Archery is bringing out your inner child and I love all your excitement about the sport. Keep on doing it and keep on shooting, after all 100 yards will seem short with that type of fun you put into it. Love you, Michou

  2. Well, Charles, I see that you have been bitten. By the archery bug, that is. It is inffectious, occupies our waking and non-waking hours alike. Feathers, targets, bullseyes and deer run aimlessly throughout our dreams at night … and sometimes during the day too.
    Sounds like a reincarnation of me eons ago. Maybe it is. After all, you are my son.
    Love, Dad

  3. Just back from league night at the local archery range where I shot a 291 with 26 x’s at 20 yards, perfect score is 300 with 60 x’s – so I have something to aim for! Thanks for your comments Dad and Mom, I am indeed excited and definitely bitten by the bug!

  4. Oh and I found my missing arrow, all I could see was the nock, the rest was buried under brush and dirt, lucky it did not go further!

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