What you see is what you hit?

First view from Red peg

First view from Red peg

In the NFAS archers are not allowed to use any spotting scopes or binoculars before or after they have shot. Some classes are allowed sights on their bows but no binoculars or spotting scopes.
In the upcoming AGM this is going to be discussed as there is a proposal for sighted classes to be allowed to use binos but lose the option of target cards (small book showing target faces which they allowed to review prior to shooting).
The topic is being hotly debated in club houses, forums and on the Facebook site by some so I thought it worth putting a few views across and invite readers thoughts.

Firstly some brief history

To my knowledge binoculars have never been allowed as an aid to the archer. Marshalls have used them when assisting on a course but not the archers.
A few years ago there had been a similar proposal put forward to the membership to allow binos for all classes. The membership voted against this following some very vocal and active negative campaigning run by some members who opposed the idea. I was one of the cosigners on this proposal as I believed the issue had been discussed and argued so many times I thought it fair for the membership to decide.
Now it has been proposed for only the sighted archers classes (crossbow compound limited, unlimited and freestyle) Only those that shoot these classes can vote on the proposal as it affects their style and it is therefore a style rule change and not a general rule change. So it’s not an open vote for all members this time.

Back to the main topic of this post. I’m going to try and give a positive and negative perspective for each argument so here goes. Jump in and have your say by all means.

Why do some not want binos?

Concerns about their use slowing down the day as there is a belief by some that archers will want to check each arrow and spend time analysing it before taking their next shot.
The counter argument to this could be that it might speed the day as archers wouldn’t have to shoot a second or third arrow if they could identify they were in with an earlier arrow.

Range finding

There have been comments on how binos can be used for range finding. In the NFAS archers shoot over unmarked distances with any use of range finding technology being against the rules.
An archer I know uses his thumb to judge distances to target hopefully they won’t want to chop his thumb off ☺(yes that is an attempt at humour)

Know your target

There is an argument that archers should learn the faces and 3ds, memorising the scoring zones of each.
Well there are a lot of faces on the market with more appearing constantly with some clubs drawing on or highlighting specific ones. This means what might be used in one shoot could be different on the next, especially a factor when it comes to repaired 3D targets.

This is the target face from the earlier picture.

JVD Boar

JVD Boar

Animals in the wild don’t have scoring zones

Some say that animals don’t have scoring zones on when hunting so why should they be easily identified for archery targets ?
Archers would traditionally have to have learned where to aim and yes that might be true but wouldn’t these same newbie hunters be taught by experienced archers and told where to aim?

Just for fun

Some say they shoot for fun and don’t need to know where the 24s are, fair enough.
I’ve heard others say that because they shoot traditional or wooden arrows it doesn’t matter. Well I shoot traditional with wooden arrows and I still like to know what I’m shooting at and where to aim for on the target and know others who feel the same.

As it is this proposal is only for sighted classes so wouldn’t affect me.

So let’s hear what you think?
Thanks for reading.

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11 comments on “What you see is what you hit?

  1. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I have had experience in the EFAA where binoculars are allowed and it DOES slow things up considerably, especially if you have 4 people in a group, each using bins before each shot! Although, in the EFAA you shoot 4 arrows at a target whether the other arrows count or not, unlike NFAS where in theory you might only need to shoot one arrow. I personally think you should learn where the ‘kill’ area is whether you are sighted or not, whether you manage to hit it or not is a different matter. Just my own opinion, that’s all, no doubt others will not agree.

    • Thanks for the comment and perspective.
      As you say in EFAA you are shooting 4 arrows each and if you check after each I can see that would slow the day down.
      I agree with you that there is some grounds to learning target scoring zones on faces, however there are times especially on long shots where you may know the target face but due to the distance can’t make out where the arrow has hit and it is here I believe binoculars could help.
      Thanks for the input and views.

  2. I shoot many 3D courses in the States, where many people, other than traditional shooters, use all types of optics. Yes it does slow down the shooting, but cuts down on the time people spend behind the target looking for lost arrows. So maybe the answer is range finders/ Binoculars allowed for sighted classes and Binoculars for the Traditional classes.

  3. I’ve probably been a little too vocal on the web board in supporting bins even though i won’t be able to use them. But, I still honestly don’t see what harm it would do to allow the sighted archers (esp. newbies) to see where they’re supposed to be aiming, as they are allowed pics anyway. With the amount of targets out there now – I’ve regularly heard of target files on smartphones running to 900 – 1000 images – is it not slower trawling a database every peg? The old rule regarding cards/pics is becoming increasingly outmoded and expensive. Far from bringing complexity into the game it would bring the simplicity of everyone knows rather than the guy with the best i phone and database.
    Finally, I doubt that the majority would analyse every single arrow shot and at any rate this could be avoided by saying have a look then shoot until you hit.

  4. Our club hosted this years Dutch National Championship 3D, I also shot at last years. The NHB (Nederlands Handboog Bond – Dutch Archery Association)) allow binoculars but they have to be checked by a NHB referee that they are not range finders. It was mostly compound shooters that used them, and watching them check the target once or twice, take the shot, then check the shot with binos started narking my instinctive archery , bowhunter recurve mind hahaha 🙂 I got impatient watching them, when I wasn’t even shooting myself.

  5. Reblogged this on @CluthaDubh and commented:
    As I said in the original blogs comments section…
    Our club hosted this years Dutch National Championship 3D, I also shot at last years. The NHB (Nederlands Handboog Bond – Dutch Archery Association)) allow binoculars but they have to be checked by a NHB referee that they are not range finders. It was mostly compound shooters that used them, and watching them check the target once or twice, take the shot, then check the shot with binos started narking my instinctive archery , bowhunter recurve mind hahaha 🙂 I got impatient watching them, when I wasn’t even shooting myself.

  6. Pingback: Responses and feedback on binoculars in archery | My Archery Experiences

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