By Bruce Beal
The Archery Shack 3D tournaments are starting soon. So, no better time to talk 3D archery!
Some people describe 3D archery as “golf for bowhunters.” That’s because 3D archery takes the challenge — and frustration — of golf and combines it with the fun and excitement of shooting your bow in various true-to-life hunting situations. What’s not to love?
Not only is 3D archery fun and challenging, but I can’t think of a better way to spend a day outdoors with friends and family.
For those of you not familiar with 3D archery, it goes something like this: you follow a trail through the woods and/or fields, occasionally stopping to shoot at a foam, life-like animal target placed at an unknown distance. You get one shot at each target and receive a score based on where your arrow hits the target. Most shoots have 30 to 40 total targets ranging from bobcats to bears, to deer, elk, and everything in between.
After deer season, many bowhunters will put their bow away and not get it back out until a few weeks before the next deer season. They then shoot like crazy the next two or three weeks before they go straight into hunting mode. The problem with this method is you never end up shooting enough to develop good muscle memory or discover flaws in your form or shot execution.
On the flip side, if you are shooting 3D archery in the offseason, your time spent practicing increases significantly. Not only through participating in shoots but with the practice you will likely implement preparing for those shoots. That increased practice will keep your shooting muscles in shape and help you develop a consistent, reliable shot going into deer season. It will also give you time to correct any issues you may discover in your shooting form.
Another bonus of shooting 3D archery in the off-season is the ability to address any equipment issues that may have developed since deer season. Strings stretch. Sights get bumped. Equipment malfunctions. If you don’t pick up your bow until a week or two before the season, then you may not have time to address or even discover an equipment issue. No one wants to kick off deer season with their bow in the shop!
3D archery will also improve your confidence. The increased practice will build confidence in your ability and equipment, and judging target distances will build confidence in that area, as well. That confidence will pay dividends when the buck you’ve been after all season finally steps into your shooting lane. You will be much less likely to succumb to buck fever because the shot will be second nature.
For me, 3D archery gives me something to look forward to outside of the hunting season. It’s a great way to get outdoors, fellowship with other bowhunters, and sharpen my archery skills. And most importantly, you’ll be a better archer and better bowhunter because of 3D archery.
The South Plains Archery Club 3D tournaments start the third Saturday in February of 2021 (February 20th) and run every third Saturday through September. Archery Shack’s 3D tournaments run year round the 4th Saturday of each month. All events are held at the South Plains Archery Club located at 6596 Farm to Market Road 835, Lubbock – just outside Buffalo Springs Lake. The tournament course uses 36 acres of the 156 available acres of the Club.
It’s a REALLY fun day!
As a reminder, we have concessions available, a covered area to take a break, and Port-a-Potties available. Membership to the Club is $60 for a family and $40 for an individual. You get a discounted entry fee for the tournament by being a member; tournament fees are $10 for Club members and $15 for non-members.
Hope to see you there!
Submitted by Bruce Beal, owner of the Archery Shack, Lubbock, TX. For more information, visit us online at ArcheryShackTexas.com and follow us on Facebook at @ArcheryShackTexas