Charlie Weinstein – Junior World Champ

I walked into Lakeside Archery in Yarmouth, Maine on Saturday to find Charlie Weinstein just back from competing at the World Archery Indoor Championship in Nimes, France. The range was decorated with a big banner welcoming him back, there were large pictures of him around the range and a party to celebrate his achievement.

Left to right - Charlie Weinstein,

Charlie Weinstein on the left with teammates, Dillon McGeorge and Bridger Deaton

Charlie and his teammates, Bridger Deaton (Pella, Iowa) and Dillon McGeorge (Loganville, Georgia) formed the compound junior men’s team representing the US. Their dead solid win in the finals against Italy (233 -221) earned them the gold.

I hear those arrows were made from Hershey Kisses!

I hear those arrows were made from Hershey Kisses!

I’ve been coming to Lakeside Archery for some time now and Charlie is always there, he has tremendous commitment to the sport and is fortunate to also have tremendous commitment from his parents, his extended family, the archery community and Lakeside Archery.

Me and Charlie Weinstein, Charlie is holding his gold medal.

Me and Charlie Weinstein, Charlie is holding his gold medal.

While there I spoke with his father David, also an archer, who was waiting for a stop in the action to get a picture of both of them at full draw, obviously proud of his son. I also spoke with his mother Marianne who told me just how good this had been for Charlie’s confidence.

Charlie and his mom

Charlie and his mom, Marianne

I gave this some thought and really what could be better for a young person than to see their dedication, years of practice and constant honing pay off. The experience as a whole seems to provide a positive foundation to achieve future goals and meet life’s challenges. Valuable indeed.

I’ve included the video of Charlie and his teammates competing for the gold in the final round against Italy, find it below:

Congratulations on your achievements Charlie!

Advertisements

“Nock on” – The Podcast

I have a longish commute and so I’m always on the search for audio books, podcasts and the such. I recently caught John Dudley’s new “Nock on” Podcast.

I have listened to the first two podcasts thus far and found that the “Dud”  is passing on some great archery information. I really liked what he had to say about stabilizers and I could relate to what his guest, Christian Berg (editor of Peterson’s Bowhunting), is going through with a strained shoulder, and what is helping him. I think John Dudley is on a good path sharing his knowledge, kudos to him, I say.

You can find a link to his ITunes Podcast below:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nock-on/id827919428?mt=2

Screw on field tips keep coming loose?

Field tips

For a long time, my routine, after shooting at a target butt would be to pull my arrows, then check and tighten the tips so I’d be ready for the next end, it had become an intrinsic part of my process… and it was a pain.

Even though I’d check I would get loose tips. I could hear them rattling all the way to the target. Looking for a solution I thought I’d apply a little blue Loctite to the threads but a fellow archer offered a simpler solution and most of you already have what you need to solve this little problem forever.

His advice was to use string wax, the stuff that’s in your quiver pocket.

String Wax

Apply the string wax to the threads of your field tip.

waxing threads on field tips

Screw the tip back on to the arrow insert.

Waxed field tip series

You’re ready to go.

Field tip

One caveat:

I live in Maine where we don’t have 100 degree days so I have not tested this method in extraordinary heat. If you use this method and you’ve tried it on some scorcher days, please leave me a comment with your results.

Thanks, C.

Hunting – Year 2

The novice goes into the woods, year two.

The novice being me of course, year one had a lofty learning curve and the steep curve continues this second year.

In the beginning it often seems that the more you know the less you know. The important thing is to grasp enough of the blocky fundamentals to be effective… or lucky!

I had a lucky turkey last year, I wasn’t hunting and a turkey came to me, I still had to do my part but luck it was.

I also shot a doe, not lucky. That really was hunting, the result of scouting, a setup, and persistence.

Deer track

Prior to getting into hunting I envisioned hunting as stalking, while stalking is a method of hunting, I think that the majority of bowhunters in the northeast and possibly elsewhere rely on some sort of ambush, and a successful ambush takes knowledge of your quarry, scouting, setup and patience.

The patience part means waiting, and waiting is directly proportional to how good your information is. If you know deer pass a break in a fence every day at 5:30, then you can setup for that spot and that time, increasing your chances (think game cameras). If you don’t know that you may have to wait all day for a deer to appear and they may not, they may not show up all week and or all month. Having good info is key.

Scouting your quarry, turkeys scat and found feather.

Scouting your quarry, turkeys scat and found feather.

I hunt with a compound bow, although the rest of the year I shoot a recurve. Why  the compound?

Bowtech SWAT on my elevated practice platform, not the latest and greatest, but plenty of bow for the job.

Bowtech SWAT on my elevated practice platform, not the latest and greatest, but plenty of bow for the job.

I just feel that the size, added control of a bow with let off, speed and my comfort level makes the compound a good choice. I’m also a new hunter with plenty to learn, the greater challenge of using a recurve can wait till I’m a better hunter.

Which brings up practice. I shoot a recurve the rest of the year which means that when hunting season approaches, it is important that I get back on my compound horse and practice up. I don’t have any animal targets but I do have plenty of bag targets.

My 20 and 40 yard targets.

My 20 and 40 yard targets.

This year I started my practice at 20 yards to get all the mechanics back then quickly moved out to 40 yards. My thinking being that if I can hone 40 then 20 and 30 should come easier. Once I’m feeling confident I climb up on my roof and practice at 20, 30 and 40 to simulate shooting from a treestand.

Bag targets at 20, 40 and 30 yards, left to right.

Practicing from my roof to simulate treestand conditions, bag targets are set, left to right at 20, 40 and 30 yards.

Practice paying off, 40 yards from elevated position.

Practice paying off, 40 yards from elevated position.

I also tried running to the target and back to get my heart rate up and then shooting to simulate the increased heart rate and adrenalin boost you get when the game you’re hunting shows up.

That is indeed a special moment, when you practice even in challenging situations you are more aware of your form, your bowarm is firm, bowshoulder down, your grip is relaxed and you’re releasing with backtension. When “your” deer shows up, it may fill you with enough buck fever that you pay little to no attention to the shot sequence, form or anything else. The idea is to hone it through enough practice that muscle memory takes over and you make a good shot.

If I have the good fortune this year to draw on a deer I plan to try and focus on form and shot sequence as a way to stay calm. Of course, these things are easy to say, the action of the moment is a completely different thing, so it will remain to be seen.

This is where I’m at on my 2nd year. I’m learning new things, I don’t know what is useful yet, but, we’ll see what proves out over time.

Good luck to all who choose to hunt with a bow. May all your efforts pay off.

Nock Out

Nock Out is a competitive reality TV show, 12 compound shooters compete against each other to come out with a single best shooter.

This is sort of old news as the show has been on for a while and just had their season finale yesterday, however for those (like me) who hadn’t seen it you may enjoy watching their first episode.

The show has been aired on NBC sports. I hope the show’s producers will choose to put the whole season on the web at some point (please).

The show is sponsored by Lancaster Archery and Rinehart targets. Way to step up.

Archery storage for small spaces

I have a 3 bedroom house, two sons and a mess of archery tackle.

Up to now my sons have shared a bedroom, leaving a bedroom to be used as combo archeryhaven, office and guestroom.

With the lads springing into teenagehood, they wanted to get out of their shared room and into their own. I’d want the same so I’m cool with that. It just meant that the archery empire would have to move.

I don’t have a basement or garage and so I looked around at the options. My dad’s archery cabinet and his bows could go out into the family room area and just be a part of the rest of the house. I thought of my bedroom but my wife gave me the evil eye when I mentioned it so I quickly dropped that plan, which didn’t leave me too many options. Really the only space left was our shed outside or a closet.

The shed just had a skunk move in, which may end up involving archery gear, but trudging out there really wasn’t practical, which made the decision easy (by the way if you know how to get rid of a skunk without them invoking “the potion”, let me know).

The closet is already home to tools, glue, nails and general hardware, fixit stuff but it was jammed packed, so I spent a couple of weekends judiciously utilizing the adage, “When in doubt, throw it out”, (or recycle) until I could see some promise in there.

P1000788

Tool, hardware and now also archery closet.

I already had a lot of archery hardware in organizer cases and I figured I could store bows vertically on a pegboard. Arrows in tubes, my compound bow hung, my fletching stuff in a box and it all came together. Frankly, I’ve been very pleased with everything having a home. I’m sure there will be changes but I think I’m off to a good start.

Bows hung vertically

P1000816

Archery storage shelf

Organizer box

Hanging hook

Hook is made from clothes hanger wire, some tape and some small hose to protect the bow.

For a workspace, a place to fletch arrows, tune, and do archery stuff I moved a small desk into a corner of the house.

In the end I’ve been downsized but that’s small potatoes and a very small sacrifice in comparison to seeing the excitement in my sons eyes at setting up their bedrooms and having them be their own.

Counting arrows

Here’s a little tool that you can use to help you achieve training goals. It is inexpensive, small, easy to carry around and simple to use. What is it you ask?

It is the venerable sports counter.

Arrow counter

Many archers have daily and or weekly arrow goals. Whether that is 300 a week or 300 a day, a sports counter is an easy way to keep track of arrows shot, that and a log and you have a nice system to gauge the pace of your training.

I got curious about one when I heard another archer mention the benefits, so up to Amazon I went and found a slew of them for little money. A couple of dollars for a simple and seemingly foolproof training aid is rare in the archery world, so I jumped in feet first and am glad I did.

When I first tried it I would click the counter after every arrow, but I quickly realized that wasn’t going to work for me, it was too much of a disruption to my sequence because I’d forget then think about it midway through my next shot.

I now click them in after each end when I go to retrieve them. Archery is a chain of small events and I needed it to find a place for it in the procession.

Sports counter on quiver

I hang it off my quiver with a small carabiner where it is at easy reach. I would emphasize easy, because if it’s not easy you’re just not going to do it, so don’t bury it.

I paid $1.51 for the one I bought. Here’s the GINORMOUS Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AG2846O/ref=pe_309540_26725410_item

By the way, this would make a thoughtful gift for another archer, think mother’s day for your archery mom.

Best, C