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.

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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!

My Vampiric practice schedule and shooting at Central Maine Archery

With shorter days this time of year and balancing time between work, family, activities, etc. I’ve found myself having to squeeze in time for archery practice wherever I can.

I don’t always have the time to drive to the range and while I can tolerate the temperatures, I’ll practice at night, usually in the mornings and evenings before and after work. This nocturnal schedule has had me feeling somewhat vampiric, but hey if that’s what it takes… I can’t imagine I’m the first archer to rig a spotlight on their target.

There is the added benefit that aside from practice, the stars are often out and it can be a moment of calm in the busy lives many of us seem to lead.

The practice has been paying off and I’ve watched my scores rise at the weekly “Shooter of the year” competition put on by the Maine Archery Association. This is an indoor competition at 20 yards using NFAA blue face targets, it is a 300 round. I scored 214 – 6 x’s the first time, 227 – 8 x’s on my second shoot and yesterday on my 3rd shoot I scored a 244 – 4 x’s under the barebow division.

Archers on the line at Central Maine Archery

Yesterday’s shoot was held at Central Maine Archery, I’d never been there and found that they have an excellent range and a clean, well thought out facility. The shoot was well organized and the little interaction I had with the staff was good. My quick perusal of their shop revealed a good stock of bows and components, and I can personally vouch for their hot dogs, which were good!

Scoring

Although I was happy with my score, I did have a handful of right arrows, that scored me 1’s and 2’s. I think that they are the result of nervousness and not being fully aligned, settled in and locked into my back muscles before releasing.

Calling out scores

I did  much better on the 2nd half of the shoot than the first half, again I think I’m just calmer and more settled, all I know to do about it is to do more of it and get comfortable with the process. It’s interesting that all my 1’s and 2’s are in the first five ends.

Something to practice and figure out, later tonight of course…

20 yards

I shot my first indoor competitive event this past Sunday.

Days prior I was fletching new arrows for the indoor season. I was switching from fast light arrows to long heavy slow arrows. My goal with heavier arrows was to get my point of aim higher, particularly since I am comfortable with and somewhat attached to a low anchor. (A high anchor raises your point of aim, which is why it is often favored by traditional shooters not using aiming devices, as it places the arrow beneath your eye and for many that is a plus)

I got a chance to practice with my new setup on Friday before work and Saturday amidst family events, friends, hunting and the like,  enough to feel comfortable entering the “Shooter of the year” indoor session at Lakeside Archery on Sunday. This is a weekly event with a rotating location (range/pro shop). It runs through February and is sponsored by the Maine Archery Association under NFAA rules (National Field Archery Association).

Archers on the line. 4 minutes, 5 arrows, 20 yards.

I’ve done very little competition and so when we got called up to the line I found myself a bit jittery and had a bad release almost right off where I put an arrow outside of the target, I definitely felt discouraged for a moment, fortunately for me the first two ends were practice ends and I managed to settle down and get to the business of focusing on the target. Looking back on it I am amazed at how things change from one minute to the next, I was there early practicing shooting the same distance, same place, same bow, same arrows and the minute it became the “Official” competition it threw me a mental curve. On the plus side I had been strict about not doing any scoring during practice as I didn’t want  to go in  with any expectations, this worked as I did not feel the pressure of trying to reach or surpass a certain score.

I was also schooled by fellow archers in the art of scoring, with a caller and and double scoring for each person. I was one of the scorers, I did however see how it can so easily get confusing as a fellow scorer had some uncertainty with two cards at one point and had to make some corrections between archers, the potential for mistakes definitely exists.

Scoring targets at the Lakeside Archery range

In the end I shot 212 with 6 X’s in the recurve barebow division (no sights).  I am satisfied with that score. I will continue to hone, practice get used to the new arrows, work on my release, get used to competition and hopefully that will turn into improved scores although I dare not count on it as I would like to keep the expectations out of the picture as much as possible.

Lastly I wanted to mention that the folks involved in this weekly pursuit that I’ve met so far, all answered my questions, were friendly, and supportive. It seems an interesting group with families, moms, kids, teenagers, seniors, truly a varied bunch brought together by the love of this discipline, also thanks to Trey Tankersley for taking pictures to post to this blog.

My first time in the field

I’m just back from the State of Maine National Field Archery Association championship held at Lakeside Archery in Yarmouth and also my first archery competition ever and I won my class!

The reality check though is that I was the only traditional shooter and the only person in my class, so it was a gimme, I’m still thrilled and happy about it though, and I felt like I shot well for a beginner field archer. (258 in the traditional class)

The highlight of the day though was that I got to shoot with Laird, who’s been involved with archery since the 60’s. He was a good companion and archer, shared some good insights and made it a very pleasant way to spend most of a day. Here are some pics:

This is Laird at 60 plus yards, I can see that the signmarker just ahead of him marks 64 yards

Here is a competitor, shooting the bunny hop which consists of targets at 35, 30, 25, 20 feet, a little trickier than one would think.

Me  at 50 yards.

The shoot was split into two parts 14 field targets and 14 hunter targets for a total round of 28 targets. The hunter targets differ from the field targets in that they are all black with a white center, like the ones below. The hunter round is also different in that you shoot uneven distances and there is a greater variety of distances.

Laird’s neat compound shooting on the right and my not as neat shooting on the left.

After the shoot everyone tallied their scores and Steve from Lakeside gave out awards.

This is what the award looks like:

NFAA medal, sticker and patch

I had a great day walking and shooting in good company, had a terrific introduction to field archery and I had a win, even if it was just me. I am also thankful to the organizers Pam Gallant, Brenda Cousins and Steve Dunsmoor from Lakeside Archery for putting it all together.

Can’t wait to do it again!