Khatuna Lorig Workshop

Khatuna Lorig will be at Lakeside Archery in Yarmouth, Maine November 21st, 22nd and the 23rd. She will be sharing her knowledge and expertise, I am signed up and thrilled to have the opportunity to attend!

KhatunaLorig2013BackShotKhatuna Lorig is a 5 time Olympian, a bronze medalist, and to boot an expert archery coach. I’ve signed up for her seminar on Friday night, and her workshop on Sunday.

Her Friday night seminar has the option of a trip to the movies to see the latest installment of the Hunger Games – Mockingjay, where former student, Jennifer Lawrence, will dazzle us with, exploding arrows, and more in her battle with the capitol.

I hear that there are still  a few seats open to Khatuna’s workshops and seminar, the opportunity to learn from a talent like Khatuna Lorig doesn’t come along every day, I would encourage all you archers out there to come out and get a chance to learn from one of the most experienced archers on the planet. You can find out more by calling Lakeside Archery at 207-829-6213.

The schedule of events is as follows:

  • Archery Seminar  –  Friday November 21st 6:00 – 7:30 PM – 90 minutes

This informative seminar includes discussion about technique, shot process, mental game, mindset, experience in 5 Olympics, training, and questions & answers. Recurve and compound archers are encouraged to attend.  Archery Seminar  – $30 per person, Archery Seminar & Movie  – $50 per person

  • Elite & Coaches Workshop  –  Saturday November 22nd 10am-1pm
  • Beginner Workshop  –  Saturday November 22nd 3pm-6pm
  • JOAD, Advanced Archers & Coaches Workshop  –  Sunday November 23rd 10am-6pm

You can see a flyer and full description by clicking here.

Hope to see you there!

2013 NFAA Maine Indoor State Championship and 2012 – 2013 Maine Shooter of the year

I wanted to give a big shout out and a word of thanks to Tom and Jess Hartford for hosting the Maine State Indoor Championship this past weekend at their facility, Central Maine Archery. There was a lot of work to do and Tom and Jess stepped to the challenge. They in turn were helped by many volunteers from the archery community and of course by the driving force behind it all, the Maine Archery Association. Thanks to all for making it such a success!

Tom and Jess Hartford

Tom and Jess Hartford

I should also mention that Tom and Jess raffled of a new PSE compound bow and a year’s worth of free range time for a whole family. Nice.

There were shooting times Friday, Saturday and Sunday with the last shooters wrapping up on Sunday afternoon. There were some very exciting moments were I got to be a spectator and watch some outstanding archers compete head to head during tie break shoot outs for their class and some positively nail biting competition during the Triple Crown Finale.

I found myself really enjoying being a spectator during these events.

Jon Thompson and Levi Cyr battle for 1st place.

Jon Thompson and Levi Cyr battle for 1st place.

Callie Gallant and George Tarr during the shootout for the Triple Crown.

Callie Gallant and George Tarr during the shootout for the Triple Crown.

Callie Gallant and Joe Wilkin

Callie Gallant and Joe Wilkin shoot for 1st and 2nd place with Callie taking a nailbiting 1st.

Callie took first for the Triple Crown which was a money shoot earning herself some loot and bragging rights. I have to mention though that Joe Wilkin shot an outstanding round for the Triple Crown and also shot the State championship despite being on crutches and having to hobble around – that’s dedication!

1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners 2013 Maine Indoor State Championship

Winners for the 2013 Maine Indoor State Championship

2012-2013 Shooters of the Year

2012-2013 Shooters of the Year

As for me, I ended as Shooter of the Year in the barebow class which wasn’t terribly difficult seeing as I was the sole archer shooting the class and I came in first in the State Championship for barebow. I was far from my best though. Kudos to fellow barebow archer Dave Toner who took 2nd. Nice to have company.

They give you a bunch of neat stuff when you win, certificates, medals, patches, I even got a hat but the coolest by far is this belt buckle:

Shooter of the year buckleNext shoot is this Sunday at Lakeside Archery for the Traditional Classic, hope to see you there.

Focus, Focus, Focus…

This past weekend’s shoot was at Central Maine Archery. I like shooting at their range as it is large, well set up and the owners Tom and Jess Hartford run a good shop.

P1020549

This shoot was a little different for me because my inlaws, Laurel my wife and my kids were coming to watch. I wondered if this would affect my shooting knowing I had an audience as I usually go on my own, I was very appreciative of them taking time out of their lives to come out and support me so I figured it’d be what it would be.

My in laws George and Greta showed up first and between ends I explained what was going on, practice ends, and next would be the first scoring end.

The  first scoring end started and it was on like Donkey Kong (always wanted to say that).  I scored fine on the first end then I heard the door open and someone else coming in, some whispered voices and I could hear a camera clicking away and I figured it had to be Laurel and the kids, and this my dear friends is the whole point of this little tale, I let my focus wander.

I’ve been learning (the hard way) that when your focus is not all about the X twenty yards away that it just doesn’t go as well. This little event providing ample proof. My five arrows for that end were X, 4, 2,2,2 for a 15 out of a possible 25 per end.

P1020530

I’m the recurve guy.

I rallied in the right direction with a 20 on my next end then shot another 15 – 4,4,3,2,2, as my son would say “OMG!”

After this I settled myself focused on shot  sequence, shut the world out and sure enough my scores went up with all my ends in the 20 + range, on the 8th end I shot a  23 with 3 X’s – X, X, X, 4, 4. Perhaps this made me feel confident as I lost my focus on the following end with a dissapointing 17.

Scoring

Scoring

Overall this wasn’t my best shooting but it did provide a valuable lesson. Focus is  just as important as any of the other components of your shot. I spend a fair amount of time practicing these components but other than to put myself in competitive situations I have spent little time practicing focus, can’t say I even know how to practice it but it is on my list.

Let me know if you have found ways to improve your focus on the range.

Visit your local Archery Pro Shop – Guest entry

This was written by Steve Dunsmoor owner of Lakeside Archery in Yarmouth, Maine.

VISIT YOUR LOCAL ARCHERY PRO SHOP

101_0398At one point in time, before the internet, if you wanted to purchase new archery equipment you had to drive to your local Archery Pro Shop, physically pick out an item and talk to the person behind the counter or you had to mail order.  You remember……the OLD DAYS! You go in planning  to purchase an arrow rest or that sight you just can’t live without, but you can’t help yourself and before you know it you’re looking at lighted nocks and stabilizers, and don’t forget the manufacturer’s catalog for your favorite bow.  A trip to the local Archery Pro Shop was the equivalent of a child going to the toy/candy store.

Today many archers turn to the Internet to make their purchases because it is more convenient; just a few clicks of the mouse and UPS shows up with your pro_shopnew bow or accessories.  Yes, we can all agree that there is an element of shopping online that is very appealing.  People are busier today than ever before and with the added expense of gasoline and increased traffic, shopping online definitely has its advantages. But what are you missing?

Visiting the local Archery Pro Shop is the equivalent to stopping at the bar “Cheers”, where everybody eventually gets to know your name.  A quick shopping trip can quickly turn into a couple hours as you shoot the breeze, with the Archery Pro Shop employees and fellow customers.  As you walk around the Pro-Shop you can look, touch and feel all the latest equipment, bows, accessories and more.  That bow looks much nicer in person than it does on a website; I’m sure the Pro Shop owner will let you try it out.  WOW!!  Try that on the internet or at a box store; it feels much better when it is actually in your hands, as compared to trying to envision how it will feel from a photograph.

101_0401Perhaps you’re trying to modify, upgrade or repair your bow. You can bring your bow to the Archery Pro Shop and check out the repair options and see what components will work best.  Perhaps you’re looking for a new mechanical release and the Archery Pro Shop owner is nice enough to allow you to take one out of the package so you can try it out.  Working with your local Archery Pro Shop can take much of the guess work out of your purchase decisions.

Maybe something broke during your last league night or at a 3D shoot, a quick trip to the Archery Pro Shop can get the parts you need to fix your bow and get you back in the field for the rest of the week.  When it comes to my archery equipment, I tend to be on the picky side and will drive over an hour to the Archery Pro Shop that has the part and can do the repair rather than waiting.

imagesOne of the most important things that you can find at an Archery Pro Shop is knowledge. The people in Archery Pro Shops, in many cases do this fulltime.  As such they’re exposed to a lot of trouble- shooting for customers, as well as new products, and can be privy to many new solutions and techniques available.

The bottom line is that even if you shop online; don’t deprive yourself of the experience of patronizing your local Archery Pro Shop.  They will appreciate your business and you will Lesson 10find a plethora of knowledge there as well as the potential for making new friends and future archery buddies.  Archery Pro Shops offer a list of opportunities that just are not available anywhere else, including certified coaching and instruction.  Archery Pro Shop owners have more competition now than ever before and trust me when I say that they will be happy to see you in their store.

Steve Dunsmoor NAA/NFAA Level IV Coach     Owner: LAKESIDE ARCHERY

www.lakesidearchery.com    Email:lakesidearchery@gmail.com   Phone 207-829-6213

Steve Dunsmoor – Lakeside Archery

I got to the Sunday shoot at Lakeside Archery in Yarmouth, Maine early. It was snowing and nobody else had arrived yet, although it looked like someone had already been up and plowed the long driveway to the range.

I stepped out and walked into the range, there was Steve Dunsmoor, the owner of Lakeside archery numbering scorecards with lane assignments. The range was neat, clean and organized, the practice targets were up and everything was ready for the day’s competition.

Steve Dunsmoor owner of Lakeside Archery, scorecards in hand and ready for the upcoming shoot.

Steve Dunsmoor owner of Lakeside Archery, scorecards in hand and ready for the upcoming shoot.

Steve is a pretty dedicated guy and provides Maine archers not only his services as a level 4 coach and proshop owner but also a heck of an archery facility. With a 16 lane indoor range, an outdoor range out to 80 yards, and a full fledged 3D and  field course. There isn’t another facility like his in the state, very likely there aren’t too many in New England.

Having great facilities is not the end though, Steve also runs a very active JOAD program, league nights, hunting safety courses, is a Maine tagging station and hosts a variety of archery competitions at his facility.

Did I mention how helpful Steve can be??

Steve always seems to have Allen wrenches in his pocket to help somebody out with, or a suggestion, kindly put, often in the form of an example or a small story that illustrates the point and leaves you a better archer. I for one have benefited from many of his golden nuggets.

You can find Steve and Lakeside Archery at:

55 Cumberland Road, North Yarmouth, in Maine.  Phone:(207) 829-6213

Some of the upcoming events at Lakeside Archery are:

  • 2013 3rd Annual Lakeside Archery Amateur Classic  –  (3rd Leg of MAA Triple Crown Event)  January 27, 2013  9:00AM

  • 2013 2nd Annual Lakeside Archery Traditional Classic. March 17, 2013 9:00AM – All you trad guys and gals this is your chance to compete!

I’ll be at the Traditional Classic, I hope to see you there!

Kids bows continued..

Here’s a big shout out to nine year old Owen Barter from Edgecomb, Maine who got his first bow this Christmas. Here he is, off to a good start. Nice form Owen!

Go Owen!

Go Owen!

Owen received a 54 inch, 20 pound bow from LL Bean, it is part of a family archery kit that they sell. These are good bows made by Samick for Beans, an archery company making a full range of bows from entry level to Olympic bows.

The kits are very complete and include an elevated rest, 3 arrows, paper target, hip quiver, armguard and a storage case. I also believe it comes with a stringer. The string has finger pads which makes it an easy bow for a beginner to use. Click here for LL Bean’s description.

Mom reports that the folks in the archery department at LL Bean were very helpful and offered for Owen to come in after Christmas to get the basics in their range. Way to go Beans.

If you do go to Bean’s in Freeport there are a number of good, experienced folks in their archery department. Make sure you ask for one of them.

If your kids received bows this Christmas and are new to it, make sure to keep the targets close (10 yards max). It is important for them to have success and keep them interested and motivated, leave the distant stuff for a little later when their foundation is more established. If there is a JOAD (Junior Olympic Archery Development) program nearby, or after school program, these are great for kids to develop as archers and people.

Good luck Owen!

Starter Bows for kids

One of my co-workers asked me for a recommendation for a Christmas bow for her son, so while on this line of thought, I thought I’d share my research and thoughts on the subject.

I would start by saying that the very, very  best thing you can do, is to go to a good archery shop and let them help  you.

You want a place where archery is their main gig. There are some shops where archery is a sideline, not the mainstay of their business, you may end up with a bow that is not appropriate for a child. Do a little research on the web or ask someone knowledgeable in your area for a referral to a good shop.

Shops that are used to working with kids will often have a JOAD program (Junior Olympic Archery Development)  and lessons, these are great places for kids and their growth as archers and people. Very often these shops will have bows that you can try out.

If you don’t have access to a shop and or want to know what to look for in a bow for a child, just keep on reading, I’ll highlight the important stuff.

The number one issue for not only children but any new archer is bow weight. I don’t mean the physical weight of the bow but how much weight or “pull” an archer has to hold at full draw.

Bows are usually rated for a certain poundage at a certain length of draw, this rating is usually written on the bow or limbs.

This issue is important for a couple of reasons:

  • A young archers body is developing, a heavy bow can injure a child’s young body.
  • Too heavy a bow will be difficult to hold at full draw, which will make it hard to focus on the things they need to learn because they are too busy just trying to control the bow, it can also lead to bad form issues and general unhappiness. Too heavy a bow is often the reason a child loses interest in archery, its no fun!

Bows are not like other things where you can buy them a little big for your child to grow into them. You want to get the right size and weight for their current age and development. You can always pass them down to a sibling or resell them later, some bows have enough adjustment latitude that they will last a pretty long time.

Length of bow – This part is more common sensical, you want to get a bow that fits your child’s stature. This is easier as lighter weight bows meant for children are often already shorter/longer to accommodate a young shooter’s size.

Compound or a classical style bow?

Compound bows are technological marvels, they use modern, mechanical components to leverage energy in their favor. They are faster and more accurate than their classical counterparts. They are also more expensive and complicated and depending on your setup have more components and accessories to buy than classical bows. You will very likely need professional help to set one up  or tune it.

There are compound bows on the market now that have a wide range of weight adjustment making it possible to purchase a bow that will last a young person a long time, making your upfront investment last.

Classic bows are the eternal teachers of this discipline. Particularly the recurve bow, which is the mainstay of modern archery education.

The plus of these bows is that they are fundamentally simple. They are easy to maintain and are relatively inexpensive and you don’t need a lot of accessories to use one. You can learn to tune one yourself or have a professional help you.

Let’s get into it and go over some of the more popular bows for kids on the market today:

Samick Polaris

The bow on the left is a Samick Polaris takedown recurve. Takedown means that the bow can be broken down into three pieces, the riser (wooden middle section) and the two limbs. This can be practical for transporting the bow.

There are other makers of bows that have near identical bows to the one on the  left and would all be appropriate for a great starter bow, the ones that come to mind are  the PSE Buckeye and the Mohegan Recurve by Greatree Archery, in fact my youngest son, Alistair, owns a 16 lb Mohegan recurve.

All these bows seem to range somewhere in the $90.00 to $120.00 range.

If you decide to go the classic bow road, you will also need a bow stringer, they run aprox.  $10.00. Most of these bows come with an arrow rest, which sticks on to the bow for your arrow to sit on, should it not have an arrow rest, simple rests can be had for a few dollars. You will of course need arrows, again talking to a good pro shop is the way to go.

Now, there are of course many other options for a kid’s starter bow from simple fiberglass bows to traditional longbows, and Olympic recurves,  some cheaper and some more money. I’m just pointing out a true and tried style of bow used widely in early archery education, that will serve a young person well.

A popular kids compound bow is the Mathews Genesis.

Mathews Genesis

They are easily found,  and are a great first bow if you decide to go the compound road. They also come in nine different colors to include pink and camo, to suit most any kid.

Compound bows usually have a feature called let off, this means that as you draw the string you get to a point where the bow weight shifts and you’re only holding a fraction of the weight, usually 20% to  30% of the original weight. Making it easier to hold at full draw for longer.

This bow doesn’t have that and for the weight range, doesn’t need it. Not having let off makes it more easily acceptable to a variety of draw lengths and also helps the bow grow with the child.

The weight on this bow can be adjusted from 10 to 20 lbs.

This bow runs about $165.00, you can also buy a kit which will come with arrows, quiver, arm guard and targets for aprox. $ 220.00.

There is also a mini version of the Genesis, with adjustable weight from 6 to 12 pounds and a Pro version with adjustable weight from 15 to 25 lbs. The pro will run you $185.00 for the stock model.

Very similar to the Genesis Pro in concept is PSE’s Discovery 2. It also comes in a variety of colors and has the same universal draw length as the Genesis. The weight range of the PSE Discovery 2 is 20 to 29 pounds, so it has a bit more ummph, should you want it. My 11 year old owns this bow.  Price for one of these is about $180.00.

PSE Discovery 2

For parents of kids that want a compound bow that will have all the features of an adult sized compound, to include the ability to “let off” or shift gears to a lower holding weight, and a greater range of weight adjustment, a few bows come to mind.

PSE Miniburner w/accesories

PSE Miniburner w/accessories

PSE’s Miniburner is a full fledged compound bow. The weight is adjustable from 15 to 40 pounds which means that this bow can really grow with the child. They retail in the $200.00 range.

Diamond’s Infinite Edge is also a full compound bow and is adjustable from 5 to 70 lbs, a huge range of weight. You could shoot this bow as a young person and retire with it if you’d like.  It comes as a package deal with sights, rest, peep, quiver, etc. The package price will run you $ 349.00.

Diamond's infinite edge with accesories

Diamond’s infinite edge with accessories

I’ve shown you all these compound bows as viable options for a beginner however my personal belief is to start simple.

Which in my mind means starting with a straightforward stick and string, like the recurve pictured at the beginning of this post.

There are practical reasons for this like cost. A simple recurve will be cheaper than a compound, also compounds come with more accessories, sights, complex arrow rests, and releases to name a few. All of which will add to the expense. Another plus of starting with a simple less expensive bow is if your child finds that archery isn’t their cup of tea, you’re not in very deep.

Although a compound bow can be shot with fingers on the string, the majority of compound archers use a release. A release is a device that either straps to your wrist or you hold in your hand that attaches to the string. The release has a trigger, when you are ready to let go of the string you activate the trigger and off your arrow goes.

I say let them do it the way Robin Hood did it, with fingers on the string. Let them feel and be a part of archery’s long history. Once they’ve gotten a grasp of it and have built a bit of a foundation to their shooting and understand the fundamentals of archery via a simple bow,  they will then be in a great position to decide if they would like to give a compound or any other type of bow a try.

Whatever you decide, archery is a great discipline to introduce  to your children, the learning of which can transcend the simple act of releasing arrows and help them in their growth.