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William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge Oregon Great hunting opportunities are available at many of the State and Federal Refuges.   In Oregon we are very fortunate to have many of both.   The O.D.F.W. has setup the opportunity of applying for a tag for a specific hunt and refuge, such as Hart Mountain.   As I am […]
It may be hard to believe, but throughout the United States, it happens all the time… You must go into the Known or Unknown,  prepared or face the worst… Recently there was an article published in Field & Stream (October 2017) about a father and son hunting and getting lost in the rugged Siskiyou Mountains […]
Nolan had contacted Bwana Bubba in the spring time of 2017, asking if I knew a place in central Oregon, that he might have chance to harvest a elk during the archery season.   I had an old haunt that, my partners and I had hunted with great success.  I was willing to share, but I […]
2018 Oregon Big Game Hunting Plus a few other western states 2018 Big Game Hunting in Oregon is in full swing with Elk coming up soon.  Western deer hunting and special hunts still going on. Using onX HUNT is the best way to research a unit! The following bucks have not shown up during the […]
TrophyStickers I find great pleasure in finding new companies that have innovation and a dream, proving that entrepreneurs can make a difference…   TrophyStickers is an outstanding example! How many times have you gone into a Sporting Goods Store and noticed decals or stickers that were of Elk, Deer, Pronghorn and other big game?   They are very […]
A release is a release is a release....sometimes. Two of the biggest name in archery releases, Carter and TRU-Ball. High quality precision and both very reliable. I have seen many people shooting both brands and shooting them well.

Then you have Scott releases. These are also very good too. Just comparing these companies they are all very similar, yet many subtle differences abound. Buckle straps forward trigger backswept triggers, sear triggers for super crisp releases and no trigger travel.

It seems the choices are almost endless. Buckle straps, velcro straps, camo black and on and on. Good leather straps are great and wear a long time. They don't squawk when you draw them back like velcro does on occasion.

Most releases have trigger travel. They can be set to less or more travel depending on your tastes. Others operate off of trigger tension or more or less pressure before they fire. I prefer the latter myself. Just something about feeling a trigger move before it fires messes with my head.

Definitely try any release out before you buy one. Because there are so many different styles. Ask friends, read the forums. There is a ton of information out there. Heck, you can probably search youtube.com for videos showing and explaining the very aspects of releases, fit style and disciplines.

Here is a neat item for you hunters. Keep your game cool and protected from the elements with the Trophy Kooler Bag. Perfect for those times times when you have to transport game. Keep your game covered and protected from flies, dirt and heat.

I am from Oklahoma and it is cool to find something made in Oklahoma as cool as this product is. The Kooler looks pretty good with a Mossy Oak finish. The inside is insulated and has a Foil type liner to keep fluids inside and acts an an extra insulator to keep your game cooler faster and longer.

Keeping your game cleaner and cooler certainly enhances the flavor by keeping your game at a proper temperature and by keeping it cleaner helps stifle the growth of bacteria allowing the game to be fresher when you process it.

Hopefully by using a product like this we can keep our trophy protected and make some better eating for us and our family. Delicious jerky, sausage and more to share with friends and family for a special treat and now you have become a hero to all.

Form follows function it would seem. A lot of people don't like the Hoyt riser. It is ugly they say. Well maybe but they are strong. Hoyt has also come out with a new bow with a carbon riser called The Carbon Matrix. Carbon is supposed to be stronger and stiffer than aluminum, so to me form follows function in this application.

Mathews newest offerings has a wider and stronger riser with it's newest bow the Z7. Form following function. With waffled appearance this bows riser is wider and stronger than what Mathews riser designs have been in the past. Pretty? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder I say.

I am amazed at how much, smoother, quieter, and better bows shoot than they did just a few years ago. Look at PSE's Omen. It is faster than the X-Force. Just amazing what the engineer's are coming up with.

As archer's and hunters they are sure making our job easier. Consider that you can shoot a bow at 50 pounds of draw weight and produce more kinetic energy than bows that you used to have to shoot 80 pounds. We live in a time that archery equipment actually can help us be more accurate and better do the task at hand. Whether it be hunting for an animal or placing the arrow in the middle on a target over and over.

Do you like working and tinkering on your bow? I know I do. I have been shopping around looking at the many tools you can purchase to tinker until your limbs fall off. The list of things are almost endless and money is the only limitation as to what you can own.
One of the first things I would buy would be a bow press. I have a friend that owns a Last Chance Archery EZ Press. It is no the cheapest unit out there, but the simplest to use and works on pretty much any bow. You can get one that is manual or electric. For most of us the manual crank would be plenty. If you were working a high volume shop, I would no doubt opt for the electric powered unit. You can see these at Last Chance Archery.

Next would be a bow vise. Wow you can find really basic pieces and top of the line 3rd axis adjusting ones for the level of shooting you would like to achieve. Starting with the Apple Bow Vise and going all the way up to a HTM Bow Vise you can see the difference depending on what you want to accomplish with your vise.

Well, the list can go on and on, but these are a great start. If you want to learn to fix your own equipment and have the satisfaction of tuning and fixing your own gear hopefully these tools will help you get off to a great start.
Customized.... That connotes expensive. Well it does not have to be. In today's economic strife, most of us are having a hard time buying new bows or are doing so reluctantly. Here is an idea. Customize.

Have some custom strings made to enhance your bows finish. My wife has a pink bow with lots of black trim so we had some custom strings made in pink and black. Wow! That little bow pops now. The limbs are carbon fiber looking so we looked around and found a stabilizer in the same pattern. Even better. Bowjax makes custom colors in their dampening products, bling! Pink to match and even better.

If you are really bored you can even have your bow re dipped. Sweet! Different camo, wood grain on a compound? Aw yes! Something like this can run around $150.00. Way cheaper than a new bow.

What next? Arrow bling...Matching fletching colors. Custom arrow wraps and matching nocks are another inexpensive thing to set your rig apart and look cooler than cool. Did you know you can even get a stabilizer wrap? Yep, neat huh. One of the younger guys has his stabilizer with camo flames which I think looks really cool and no one else does so he stands out.

So does this make you shoot better? Doubtful but hey at least you look good, and at least you have fun fixing up your rig.



Now that the indoor archery season is mostly over, the outdoor venues are coming around. FITA, ASA, IBO and so on. So it is time to switch things around on our bow setups and practice a little differently to achieve our goals.

How does the wind effect your shooting? What of uphill and downhill shooting? All these factor into good shooting if we follow through and maintain form. Even how your bow is tuned to be level with your sight can effect the outcome of your shot in these scenarios.

Experience goes a long way in these situations. I prefer to shoot with more experienced archers so that I may ask questions and learn and in turn advance my shooting. It will pay dividends for a person to shoot with better and more experienced shooters. Many lessons can be learned and advice given freely if we just listen and watch at times.

This year I would like to shoot less eights and more tens. How will I do this? Diligence and lots of practice. Careful tuning and arrow selection.
What goals have you set for yourself? This will also help you advance your archery skills. Setting goals. We have all heard that right? Well, it is true.

Get out there , ask questions, observe, and even enlist the help of friends, pro-shops and the internet or magazines. There is a ton of information right at your fingertips for the taking if you look and ask.





















It is that time of year again. Where manufacturers try to entice us into buying new gear for our archery addictions. Mathews, Hoyt, PSE and Bowtech along with Martin Archery among others.
Quieter faster and smoother are the words best used to described what the archery companies use to tell us what we want to hear.

One of the newer bows creating buzz this year is from Hoyt and called the Alphamax. This bow comes in two configurations. A shorter 32 inch axle to axle version and a 35 inch axle to axle version. There are some noticable and major riser improvements. These bows are lighter and stiffer with the newer manufacturing techniques used on them.

Thinner in some areas, thicker in others. More trussing and more of an I-beam look to the riser which allows the riser to be stronger and lighter at the same time. The limb pockets are significantly longer and should be more stable and stronger. This should also keep the limbs from shifting which helps a bow to be more accurate.

So I ventured down to a local pro shop to photograph these new bows and post them here for you to see. As usual there are more new bows out there and if you like post a comment on what ones you are interested in and maybe a description to share with us.
Cheap Arrows

Cheap as in less expensive, or just poorly made? There is a difference between an arrow that is on sale and something that is just cheaply made, obviously. Most folks can't afford 100.00 a dozen, so the market for arrows tolerates less expensive arrows.

Most of the time these arrows are just not quite as tight on the manufacturing tolerances. Straightness, weight matching and so on. What are you using the arrows for? Competition, hunting? that usually makes a difference for how most people buy arrows.

Hunters are generally of the mind that for hunting accuracy you don't need the most expensive arrows on the market. At 20 yards or less trying to hit a 4 inch spot isn't that hard to do with less expensive arrows. Hence the reasoning behind that theory.

Now let's stretch that out to 60 yards and you are trying to hit a 2 inch circle , suddenly things become much more critical. yes weight differences and straightness tolerances can and do show up more at longer distances.

There are lots of good middle of the road arrows that will satisfy most archers and back yard plunkers with out breaking the bank. So figure out what your goals are and then you can decide what you want as far as arrows go.

There certainly are some great arrows for just a little over a hundred bucks a dozen too. Easton ACC's for example. Arguably one of the best arrows made for consistency and tight tolerances for sure. These arrows won't break the bank, but they are also not the cheapest arrows out there either. Good luck in your decision and try to be responsible in your shooting.
Hot summer weather will make inferior strings stretch and move.

It is very important to install a set of non stretch strings on your bow. Hot days like we are about to start seeing will make strings stretch and move. Sometimes a great deal. This can affect your accuracy.

When your cables stretch your cam or cams will rotate and or become out of sync. Your nock point can change. Your draw length can change. All of this affects your accuracy. I learned several years ago to get a good set of custom cables and strings and fore go all the headaches of fighting string stretch.

There are several good custom string makers out there, just choose one and get your bow tuning to stay where you tuned it. Ahhh...that is better already huh. I don't like the idea of being in a tournament and all of a sudden my bow starts shooting lower or to the left for no apparent reason. Then you get home and start looking and lo and behold string stretch has reared it's ugly head.

Worse yet, you have not shot your bow in a month or so and time to go hunting rolls around, and making a bad shot on a trophy animal is very upsetting to say the least, because your strings have stretched from the heat in your garage where you stored your bow. Arrrggggg....

Try to get ahead of the game and save the frustrations with a great set of custom strings, and you can even bling your bow a little with custom colors, along with setting your bow apart from the crowd or even making the camo bow easier to find with say some orange or yellow on your strings so when you set your bow down it is easier to find.

Anyway, custom strings are worth every penny you will pay for them. So don't be lazy start now while there is plenty of time to get everything ordered, installed, and tuned before hunting season rolls around.
Longer days mean more time for practicing.

Well, that is the better intentions we all probably have. Practice and more practice.
That is what seems to separate many of the better shooters from those of us that don't practice except for right before deer season.

I have talked with many shooters about practice routines. This is a very detailed subject, but I won't go into every little detail about everything. What are the best ways to practice? How often? How much?

Those seem to be the most asked questions that I hear. Several better shooters recommended shooting daily. Even if you can only manage five shots, do it.
Don't just fling the arrows though. Practice with purpose. Like it is the final arrow of the biggest tournament ever.

Blank bailing and just practicing your release is a great way to train. Hey wait, I just said train... like an athlete! We should train. We should exercise for cardio, and we should eat right. Healthier bodies make stronger muscles, and clearer minds which in turn makes us better archers.

I remember reading about some pro archers that shoot 200 or so times daily! That takes a lot of mental focus to make perfect shots that many times. I know most of us do not have that kind of time, so again try to follow the old adage, perfect practice makes perfect. Making utterly perfect releases, or making sure your form is top notch are so important. Even just learning to aim better and longer can be practiced.

Nevertheless, just get out and enjoy releasing some arrows with your friends, at home or at the local archery store or at your local archery club.



Pro Archers

There are some fantastic archers out there that bare the nomenclature of pro.
I was lucky enough to go to Paris, TX this past month and witness the pro shootdown. That was an awesome sight to behold.

These people were hitting a spot about the size of a quarter at probably close to 50 yards. In the wind, with sun glare, in front of several hundred people. Talk about pressure. Amazingly enough they performed well under this presure.

Practice? Nerves of steel? Both I would think. I am amazed at the shooting ability of these folks. Take Dave Cousins winning The World Archery festival in Las Vegas.
His paycheck in contigincies and winnings was well over $40,000! That would be enough to make most of us choke.

Interrestingly enough, they make shot after shot. Perfect practice seems to be a better way to practice for what you are wanting to attain. Are they really that much better than the average joe? Yes, but they also work much harder at shooting archery than the average joe.

Anyway hard work definitely pays off. So congratulations to the guys that put the time in to acheive their goals. That should be a lesson to us average joe archers, in that we should strive hard to achieve our goals too. Knowing that hard work will pay off if given the chance.
Accuracy in archery.

Let's replace accuracy with stable. I think stable is a better word. Look at the two words. Accuracy is the result of something. Stability is the inherent nature of what we seek in archery. Consistent is another great word to use instead of accuracy.

I love the idea of my equipment being consistently stable even better. So let's analyze some of these traits. Start with strings. If you have a lousy set that is always stretching and changing, it seems to me to be impossible to attain consistency or stability.

Cam timing changes, nock points change, anchor points change all causing inconsistencies. The road to stability should start with great strings and cables that do not twist, stretch or rotate never reacting the same from shot to shot.

The next part of the puzzle should be arrows. We should shoot the arrows that have the most consistent reaction from shot to shot. Yes, even if they are expensive.
What do the pros shoot? The cheapest arrows they can find? Nope. They tend to shoot the straightest and best flying arrows they can get.

This blog entry could go on for a good long while about this subject, but let's keep it simple for now. If you want your bow to better than take some of these tidbits and try them for yourself and see if they don't help you a bit in being consistently better in archery.
The Future of Archery.

What is to become of the future of archery? It has been around for a long time.
Can it survive the future? Can it survive animal rights groups? If we as archers make an effort to grow our sport I believe archery can survive.

Let us start with our own children. Kids learn by example primarily, so as stewards of our kids future endeavors if we include them in the sport more than likely they will grow up to love archery as much as we do.

We can enroll our kids in JOAD, or a 4H type of event and even try to get archery in schools through the NASP program which is a remarkable tool. Kids stay more attentive in school, attendance has went up and student behavior overall is just better. Seems like a good thing to me.

Ok, say you don't have kids. You can volunteer at local levels wit local clubs and events or even join a national organization like ASA. No matter what their is something that just about anyone can do to further the sport of archery.

I would love to encourage you to take an active roll in our sport, and get involved with kids or neighbors and take them to an archery event. Give them your old equipment to get them started. I have met so many good people through archery, that I am very proud to be involved in this great sport. Now get out and go fling some arrows.
Archery release, what is better?

Boy this is a big argument. I would advise to do what the better shooters are doing.
What works the best for them. Some pros use a thumb trigger, some use a hinge head release, and a couple use a caliper release.

More guys punch a trigger with a caliper release than you can shake a stick at. Why? Target panic? Bad habits? both are probably highly suspect. I read a magazine article and the author talked about learning to make a proper release before ever making a shot that involved aiming.

I never heard that before, because when we first start learning to shoot archery, we want to hit the bulls eye! With a vengeance! It would probably be a very smart thing and start backwards and learn to draw and release a bow before we start aiming.

Take baseball, we learn to catch before we throw. Catching is usually less complicated than throwing accurately. Same with archery. there are aspects or fundamentals that are taught less, but more important. We as archers would probably be gray hairs ahead and less bouts of anger management deserving levels of fits of rage.

Dr. Randy Ulmer is a great archer and has his own web site of archery tips to better shooting. Michael Braden also has a cool web site with many tips also. Coaches or pro shops can also help with making a proper release too. It would be to our advantage to take a little time and learn the basics of proper form and technique to be better archers in the long run than slamming our way through this elegant sport of ours.

Start small and think big I say. Baby steps and learning to walk before you run and all that stuff. Take it slow and easy with the right attitude and willingness to work hard, you will be at the head of the pack one of these days.
Draw Weight

A lesson learned here. Too much draw weight is not a good thing. Accuracy suffers, and you can form bad habits. Target panic can even creep in. Set a bow's draw weight to where you can easily or comfortably draw a bow. You should not have to lift the bow or wrench your shoulders or grimace to get a bow drawn back.

If those are signs of your draw then it is time to rethink your draw weight. Don't let ego get in the way of a comfortable draw weight. Remember the name of the game with archery is being accurate.

One of the benefits of a lower draw weight is being able to hold the bow longer.
Another is being able to hold the bow steadier. When your muscles fatigue, you tend to shoot before you have gotten your bow aimed like you should, or rushing your shot.

I watched a lot of archers through the years at tournaments sky drawing and just in general struggling to draw the bow. It looks so awkward and uncomfortable. Hopefully this will get you in the area you need to be to become more accurate and not feel so rushed in your shot.

Just relax and have fun, which is a lot easier if you are not getting too heavy of a draw weight and fighting every inch of the draw, struggling to hold the bow steady and so forth. Have a great weekend and be safe.
One very simple change for accuracy.

Peep sight. Yep that easy. Find a peep sight that fits the outer edges of your sight when you are at full draw. That will help ensure that you are anchoring the same and act more like a rifle sight. Maintaining the same repetitive form over and over is a great way to achieve better accuracy.

I started buying sights that have a round sight pin housing and fitting the peep to it and my score went up for 3D competitions.
So i told a few others about it and theirs did too. So i said yep it works and how easy was that? Too easy I thought. I enjoy shooting more when i have an easier time being more accurate. The sport of archery is not quite as frustrating to me.

Before you get to thinking that I think I came up with the idea, I did not, otherwise I might have been able to quit my day job and manufacture peep sights for a living. I advise archers to read about and study better shooters to achieve higher levels of accuracy too.

Hopefully this tip will help somebody, because in archery you really do need to buy something new and better once in awhile. Just like the wife needs some extra shoes to go with that one dress.
High or low let-off?

Many hunters really like the higher let-off of 80%. Many target shooters like the lower let-off of 65%. What is the difference? Holding weight pure and simple.
Most hunters shoot heavier draw weights like 65-70 pounds or so. Most target shooters draw 60 pounds or less. The less weight you are holding, generally the longer you can hold and aim.

I think it mostly boils down to comfort. Everyone has different strengths and shooting styles. Some people get on the target and bam the shot is gone. Others aim and aim and aim. A lot of people claim to get a crisper release with lower let-offs especially at lower draw weight. I think you get the idea.

I know many archers that i have spoken to or read about prefer a certain amount of holding weight. They use whatever let-off to get there. Again I think it is mostly a comfort thing. If you are only having to make one shot it does not matter as much, but when you have to shoot hundreds of times like at the World Archery Festival in Las Vegas, lower draw weights and higher let-offs seem to make more sense.

I suggest visiting with a pro, or going to a local bow shop and visiting with them about your shooting. Then try out some different let-offs and holding weights to see what you like the best. Because as I stated I really believe it is about being comfortable.
How long has archery been around?

Centuries. Archery has been a means of surviving for hunting food. War weapons to ward off enemies and protect ourselves. Archery can and has been a very primitive weapon.

Look at some of the Amazon tribes. They still use a bow and arrow to hunt everyday for survival. The bows they use are extremely primitive by todays standards, but very effective.

Todays modern bows offer so much more power and have added a greater distance to the effective range at which they can be used and it amazing. I love to watch archery videos on YouTube. you can find many different aspects of archery on there. Things like Fred Bear and Howard Hill for one.

Another site is Archeryhistory.com. has many tibits of information about the history of archery and photos and videos.
Range set up day!

Today is the day we usually set up the range and prepare for the upcoming 3d tournament.
This one will be an ASA qualifier so we will only set up 20 targets. It is always a challenge to set up new shots or something that is thought provoking. It is good to challenge ourselves as archers, but again not make a shot so difficult that a beginner can't have fun too.

Not being left handed you tend to not think that way. We set up a great shot one time...for right handers. My friend is left handed, and during the tournament we came to this shot and he stated I can't make this one. Huh? I says. So I look at it from his perspective and walla.. there is a big tree right in the arrows path. So then on we started learning to make shots for short, tall right and left handers.

Anyway, the 3D course can be a fun place. Safety first though. Gotta have good lanes and clear paths. Marked and numbered targets and trails, and lastly colored stakes so everyone knows where to shoot from so the competition is fair for each class.


Off to the range so we don't have to work till dark thirty.
Archery is fun!

Yes it really is. Archery can be shot by anyone. Men, women, children and so on.
I love to read on ArcheryTalk.com and have even seen a guy without an arm shooting a bow and it took some thinking, but he was doing it by using a release triggered by his mouth and a strap around his shoulder to anchor the string. Kudos to that guy.

There are many types of archery, 3D, field and indoor are the main ones that come to mind. There are so many different equipment variables that it is almost mind boggling. ArcheryTalk.com is a great place to start learning about archery in general along with pse-archery.com forums too.

If you are looking for a family oriented sport, archery is great. Loads of walking, sportsmanship can be learned, and strengthening from pulling a bow. Kids can learn archery in school with either a 4H club or the NASP program which is largely sponsored by Mathews Archery and their Genesis bows.

Get the family out and go shoot some arrows this weekend, I hear the weather is supposed to be great!
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