What to do during winter months

First of all, Happy New year to all readers.

Okay, so the winter months are here, short days and long nights with not much chance of shooting.

If you are a gardener you could be reading seed catalogues for the next growing year, if you are a warm weather lover you could be looking at holiday brochures, but if you are an archer what do you do?

Well you could be practising indoors if you have the option and facilities.

or

You might be cross referencing the latest catalogues and internet sites to work out the best combination of carbon arrows for the bow (think this is the closest we get to checking seed catalogues). I know this is something Sharon is doing at present in her quest to find some carbon arrows for next season.

or

Something you might find useful to do is review targets?

What do I mean? Don’t they all look the same? After all a circular target is the same day in day out. Well yes, if you are shooting at a circular target.  But in the field archery I shoot you aren’t shooting circular targets. I’m shooting either 3D animal targets or animal paper faces.

How is it scored?

Well if you hit with your first arrow you can score 20 points for a kill shot and 16 points for wound (if you get an inner kit you score 24 points)

If you miss with your first arrow you are allowed to take another shot from the second peg.  If you hit, you can score 14 points for a kill shot and 10 points for wound (if you get an inner kit you score 14 points i.e. no difference now as the bonus points are only if you hit with first arrow).

If you miss with your second arrow you can take a third and final shot from the last peg. From there you can score 8 points for a kill shot and 4 points for wound (if you get an inner kit you score 8 points)

JVD Boar

JVD Boar

The image above shows clearly the 3 scoring zones. The outer most line is the wound line. The next in is the kill line and the smallest is the inner kill.

As you can see not all the animal scores on paper faces so if you hit a leg, you don’t get anything.

There are now hundreds of animal faces and 3D targets on the market (JVD, Martin, Delta and Maple Leaf to name a few)  and if a course is laid well you should never be faced with the same target face on a shoot.  Also new target faces are always arriving on the market,  Merlin Archery in the UK have recently produced some fantastic quality paper target faces.

Target face - merlin boar

Merlin Boar

Another good target they produce is their ram.

target face - merlin ram

Merlin Ram

The only downside I have found with these faces, is they tend to reflect light so be careful course layers and try to avoid putting them in direct sunlight. Think they are changing this in next batch.

The problem with having all these faces, is trying to remember them all and know where the key high scoring areas are. In the NFAS only a few bow classes can use memory aids  such as booklets of targets faces or phone apps. For the rest of us we have to try and remember.

I’ve lost track of how many different boar or deer faces are on the market at present. All slightly different in size and shape. Some are life size others are reduced.

Likewise there are hundreds of different 3D targets out there too.

3d javalina

3d Javalina

A good tip I have been given is to aim for the leg line when shooting a 3D target, as if you drop low you are still in the leg. Downside of this means you aren’t in the highest scoring areas, but at least you don’t blank the target.

3d Turkey

3d Turkey

Anyway it is something to do, whilst we wait for the longer days and the season to start

As always thanks for reading and good luck for 2013.

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