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.

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.

NFAA Traditional takes a 12 inch stab

I havent confirmed this with the NFAA but the word on the street is that the NFAA  will be allowing a 12 inch stabilizer in the Traditional class, my understanding is that this will come into effect in June of this year.

12 inch stabilizerI have heard some mixed views on this rule change:

Some say it’s about time since archers were using weighted quivers on their bows to provide the same/similar effect as a stabilizer and if that was allowed that there was some hypocrisy in not allowing a short stabilizer.

There are the ardent traditionalists to which the essence of the trad class was that it was a simple bow with nothing on it and a this is more like a 12 inch stab in the heart.

There is the World Archery/FITA crowd who like the FITA barebow rule that a bow unstrung must pass through a 12.2 cm circle and as long as it does that you can do whatever you please and are frustrated with different rules from different organizations which make you have to own 16 bows all set up differently to meet whatever the latest code is.

There are also the folks that just want to shoot their arrows and don’t  need to get into a big brouhaha over it. “Just tell me the new rule so I can make the changes and shoot the lights out”.  Seems to be the path of acceptance.

As for me I’m middle of the road with liking the FITA rules and wishing the NFAA was closer to their barebow class and accepting whatever comes. I live in NFAA land, so will just adapt but I really dig the freedom I see in the FITA rules.

Let me know if you have an opinion on this subject.

Indoor target scoring in archery

I sometimes post scores and different target system info assuming that everyone knows what I’m talking about, of course that is not the case.

Below find the definitions to two words you should know (end and round) and an explanation of NFAA indoor round scoring as well as the NFAA version of the Vegas Round. These are both indoor rounds which is what I’m buried to the hilt in now.

Keep in mind that there are many, many, many different types of rounds with different scoring, this only touches upon some of the more popular indoor rounds.

End – A set number of arrows that are shot before going to the target to score and retrieve your arrows. (usually 3 or 5 for indoor competition).

e.g.    We shot six ends before taking a break then shot six more, scoring after each end

e. g.    Let’s get there a bit early and shoot 4 or 5 ends to warm up before the round begins.

Round – The shooting of a definite number of arrows at specified target faces from set

e.g.    We shot a Vegas round this morning, next weekend we will shoot a NFAA indoor 300 round.

e.g.    An indoor NFAA 300 round consists of twelve 5 arrow ends at 20 yards, for a total of 60 arrows.

NFAA Indoor target

Ok, here it is, I’ve numbered the target with red numbers to clarify it. Anything in the white circle is awarded a 5 to include the inner X ring. X’s are used as tiebreakers, so if you shoot a score of 250 with 10 x’s and the guy next to you shoots 250 with 11 x’s they win.

An NFAA 300 round consists of 12 ends shot at 20 yards distance. That means you’re up at bat 12 times. Each end consists of 5 arrows, so you will step up to the line shoot 5 arrows, score them, retrieve them and then do it again, 12 times.

Here is the math part, each arrow has the potential of 5 points, so in each end you have the potential of scoring 25 points. 5 arrows shot x 5 points = 25 points.

There are 12 ends so if you shoot a perfect 25 in each end you will score 300 points.  12 x 25 = 300

Archers have 4 minutes to shoot 5 arrows. Capiche?

NFAA Indoor 5 spot

The first thing to know about this target is who it is meant for and why.

This target is for very accurate shooters but is mostly shot by very good compound bow shooters. Archers using this target are confident of not shooting anything lower than a 4, the reason the target is partitioned into 5 small targets or spots is so an archer can have the option to shoot one arrow per target. The reason they want to do that is so they don’t Robin Hood (shooting an arrow into the back of another)  arrows which gets expensive and annoying after a while, you also destroy the paper less since you’re shooting five different locations instead of a single paper location, making it easier to define scores.

For very good compound shooters this is really an X game. A perfect 300 score is a given so the person with the most X’s wins. There are compound shooters who score 300 points and 60 x’s which is perfection indeed.

The rest is scored the same as the single face target. 12 ends, 5 arrows per end. 5 possible points per arrow. 60 arrows. 300 points.

The indoor 5 spot can be shot in any order and the archer can shoot any number of arrows into any spot as the shooter wants not to exceed their 5 arrows of course.

As in the single face competitors have 4 minutes to shoot 5 arrows.

Now to Vegas… as in what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, as least 3 times per end that is.

Vegas target – numbers are just for illustration.

In a Vegas round there are 10 ends. You shoot 3 arrows per end for a possible 10 points per arrow, or 30 possible points per end. 10 ends x 30 possible points = 300 possible points. The smallest inner X circle is 10 points as well as the next greater yellow circle. Your X count will go towards deciding tiebreakers. Competitors have 2 1/2 minutes to shoot 3 arrows.

There are variations of the Vegas round  like a 450 and 600 round instead of the above 300. A 450 round will have15 ends and a 600 round will have 20 ends, 3 arrows per end 10 possible points per arrow.

There are also variations with the X ring, which will be found with different archery organizations and locally, in this example I am addressing NFAA rules.

Lastly, there is the Vegas 3 spot.

Vegas 3 spot

The 3 spot like the NFAA blue face 5 spot is meant for more accurate shooters, who know they won’t shoot less than a 6. NFAA rules state that you can shoot the Vegas 3 spot target in any order but you must shoot just one arrow per spot.

One last important thing to know of all NFAA rounds and targets. If your arrow is touching the line of a higher scoring zone you are given the higher score. For example if you are shooting a blue face and your arrow is in the 4 ring but you are touching the 5 white ring, you are awarded the higher 5 point value.

This picture shows a typical shoot with a mixture of the NFAA indoor single face and the 5 spot depending on the competitor’s choice. This was taken at Central Maine Archery in Auburn, Maine.

The above covers the basics there are more rules and specifics about these rounds, If you’d like to know more click on the following link for the NFAA’s rulebook.

2012 – 2013 NFAA Constituiton and Bylaws

My first 25!

I shot my first 25 in practice today! Which means 5 arrows all in the white, each worth 5 points at 20 yards. This is with a recurve bow at 20 yards and no sights. Woo hoo!

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!


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!

My intro to Field Archery

Archery took a hold on me from the very first arrow nocked, the first draw of the string, the first arrow loosed.

I started with a recurve but was quickly seduced by the speed and accuracy of compound bows, I was able to get pretty good with the compound relatively quickly, then I received my  father’s old traditional bows and found myself shooting them more and more, sucked in by the challenge of shooting a recurve bow well.

I have steadily been practicing for months and months now, working on my form, reading, getting advice, and starting to see it pay off. Five weeks ago I purchased  a good entry level ILF rig (Hoyt Horizon, Sebastien Flute limbs) and been beyond pleased with this bow. I could own another ten, it has been a very good and flexible platform for me to take this archery habit up a notch.

When I first started, my father, mentioned that Field Archery was a great way to practice and have fun with the sport. This has been lodged in the back of my mind and with work having let off a bit, I thought it was time to find out what it was all about.

I made inquiries at Lakeside Archery (Yarmouth, Maine) and found out that the state Field Archery championship would be on Sunday the 19th.

The state championship is probably not the best way to start but I thought what the hell. It will give me a great goal and I’ll focus all my practice time on it. I was also comforted with the fact that I would be shooting, what I am assuming, will be the smaller Traditional class and If I bombed it, I bombed it, I will still have learned and experienced.

The event will be governed under National Field Archery Association rules by the state of Maine Archery Association. I looked up rules and information and although not everything is clear to me yet, I knew that I would have to practice shooting out to eighty yards, so I measured out and staked my lawn every 5 yards out to 80 and started shooting the different distances. I can say that this has already paid off, I am far more comfortable and confident now shooting at various distances than I was just a couple of weeks ago. Am I shooting perfect groups and bullseyes at 80 yards? No way, am I seeing improvement nearly everyday? Absolutely.

If I can get off work a bit early today, I will drive down to Lakeside Archery and shoot the course. I can then find out in short order what I need to practice up on or If someone needs to knock on my head some and give me a reality check!

I’ll let you know the outcome.

Best, C.

Reedy’s and X’s

Two good, great, and gratifying things happened to me this week:

1. While in Middleboro, Massachusetts I discovered Reedy’s Archery, great shop, great guys. Once you spend a little time there it’s easy to see why.

Reedy's is very well stocked with bows.

I walked in asked to shoot at the range the whole time I could hear the steady lighthearted banter between the staff, lots of laughter amidst the work, although these guys weren’t just laughing, the whole time they were setting up bows, helping customers in the range, fletching arrows, checking shipments in, there was a lot going on.

Some of the shop space at Reedy's

The shop is owned by Chris Reedy, I had a chance to talk with him a bit while he was serving a string for a young girl’s longbow.

Chris Reedy owner of Reedy Archery

Can you see the slight smirk in his face, an air of mischievousness, if you can you’re dead on. Chris is a bigger than life guy with a big personality and although I didn’t spend a ton of time there I walked away impressed. He seemed to always have time to have a word with his customers, stop by and see how your shooting was going, offer advice, share a laugh with you, take some interest in you. I mean really what else would you want from a business owner? The other thing I noticed is that these guys are fast, good at what they do. Chris spent a little time helping me out with a twisting peep and a couple items on my bow. He did high quality work quickly, the whole time telling me bear hunting stories, motorcycle adventures and the such.

I also met Mark there who told me that he’d worked with Chris for 18 months but had hung out at the shop for 20 years. You see a lot of that attitude Reedy’s.

Should you find yourself in Middleboro, Mass check them out at 31 Center street. Tel 508.947.4653

2. The other good, great and gratifying thing that happened to me is I found that I’ve improved a bit recently and shot my highest score so far at 20 yards while at Reedy’s.

I was shooting at a NFAA (National Field Archery Association) five point blue target under NFAA indoor rules. (I hope I have this right) This is shot at 20 yards and is scored as follows:

Usually you shoot one arrow per each small target, this is to avoid shooting Robin Hoods (when you shoot an arrow into the end of another) and ruining arrows.

A perfect score for a round is 300 points with 60 X’s. A round is 12 ends of 5 arrows each. So that means that you shoot 5 arrows, walk up to the target, score and pull your arrows. You’ve just shot one end of arrows. Maximum score for per end is 25 points. 12 ends of 25 will give you 300 points.

More than that the X’s are also noted, so if you are in competition and you shoot a perfect 300 score with 57 X’s and one of your competitors shoots 300 with 58 X’s they win. An X is shot when you hit anywhere on the smallest circle, to include the line.

I’ve been scoring myself during practice to help me gauge improvement, my recent scored practices are as follows:

3.5. 12                   270         22 x’s

3.6.12                    271         27 x’s

3.9.12                    290         23 x’s

3.13.12                  289         23 x’s

3.19.12                  285         23 x’s

3.19.12                  294         30 x’s

3.20.12                 295          33 x’s

My goal of course is 300 with 60 x’s. My immediate goal is 300 with any number of x’s.

Shooting the 295 at Reedy’s with 33 X’s has me pretty happy and I’m looking forward to being in front of a target again to see how I do.

Shoot straight! C.