Decided to spend the evening shooting at the 40 yard boss with a vague view towards doing the 252 challenge on it sometime. 

I still feel like I’m not shooting as well as I did before I slacked off the sessions a bit. Real life gets in the way. 

One of the club’s coaches offered some advice, saying I was shooting fine but for my release which was lazy, dropping, and not following through. We also had a discussion about tuning arrows again. Definitely something I’d like to do. It’d involve buying all the bits I need, and I’m not eager to spend more than I have to on archery at the moment, especially after forking out for some clothing. But, mostly, it’s a matter of time and opportunity.

Anyway, tonight the grass was a little longer than usual and much of my evening was spent with this view… I am an arrow hunter (someone who hunts for arrows, not hunts with them). I like to joke that I have two hobbies: archery and metal detecting. It’s unclear which is the dominant one.

Going back to my sloppy release, another comment my coach made was that he thought my 40lb bow could do with being a bit heavier now. I had noticed the symptoms myself. Just like the club’s 26lb recurve I’d used at first, I find myself standing at full draw and aiming for a while, until my draw length eventually starts to reduce, or I’ve wobbled out of all possible chance to aim properly (reminiscent of my beginner nickname: spag bol, because inner body strength of a wet noodle). Same problem. Different bow.

There was also some discussion about stance. As the bow is canted clockwise slightly, why not lean forward at the waist slightly and tilt your head that way too, so the bow and your body and head line up? Works for barebow shooters, but not so much for me trying it yesterday. Hence the metal detector. 

In other news, I got given a free club polo shirt, with the club logo on, by a fellow member. Pretty chuffed about this, as there’s a heritage shoot coming up and I want to be recognisably from my club. 

I also paid for a club hoodie and also a hoodie for the private shooting club I’m part of (see last blog post). It’s an inclusivity thing.

Also know now my first two 252 badges are on their way. Baby steps, eh? 


3 thoughts on “Session 12

  1. You seem to be receiving recommendations for fine tuning something that isn’t there yet. Beginners would do well to “keep it simple” and not try finer points for quite some time. For example, your release; if it is as “sloppy” as you indicate that is not a sign that there is something wrong with your release. It is a sign that there is something wrong leading up to the point of release. Either your body is in the wrong position or your execution is lacking. When all of the things around the release are performed correctly, the release happens exactly as described in the books, because nothing else can happen. What is a release of the string other than a a relaxation of the muscles in your forearm that crook your fingers? In fact, the release is not something you do, it is a consequence of your stopping doing something (the string leaves of its own accord, flicking the relaxed fingers out of the way).

    Casual recommendations to increase bow weight to improve one’s release are unlikely to bear fruit, more likely that will make things worse. The thinking is that the increased string tension will make the flicking of the fingers out of the way easier. This is true, up to a point, but misses the point because it is just a mask for what is really wrong. If your release is clean, it hardly matters what the bow’s draw weight is. When I have a student struggling to effect a clean release, I give him/her a 10-lb bow to shoot (yes, ten whole pounds of draw force). If the archer relaxes and does things correctly, then he/she will be able to “get off of the string.” If they try to muscle their way to loosing the arrow, the arrows will fly all over the place. This is good feedback. Masking your difficulties with equipment changes will not help.

    And, with regard to “tuning” your arrows, frankly you do not shoot well enough to be able to do that. Many people use the word “tune” incorrectly. It sounds as if what you need is arrows properly fit for your situation (the right arrow shaft, the right length, with the correct point and fletching. Tuning involves making very (very) small changes in such things and looking for improvements. If you are still missing the target butt often enough, it is not yet the time to do any tuning. If your arrows are ill fit, however, a great deal of “improvement” can be had by getting some that are correctly fit.

    Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That makes a lot of sense about the 10lb bow. No doubt it’s my execution that’s really at fault.

      It may also be that what I’m describing as tuning is really just making some better fitting arrows, rather than suffering cheap shop-bought ones that aren’t helping. The finer points of bare-shaft tuning probably weren’t really what he had in mind.

      I’m only about three months in and I’ve barely shot in a fortnight… I’m well aware where the real problem lies!

      But I look at myself as three months into a twenty year hobby, so plenty of time for improvement. (I have a young family so my evenings are rarely my own.)


  2. Tuning your arrows doesn’t need to be expensive, I seem to remember Grizzly Jim doing a YouTube video about it that’s really informative. Time is your big enemy in regards to tuning.

    If I was you I wouldn’t sink more money into a new heavier bow at the moment. If you get a new bow the issues you’re having will just follow and will probably be worse as you’ll be struggling with the draw weight as well.

    My advice is this. Next time you’re shooting put your boss at 20yrds. Don’t put a target on it just put a small sticker or pin on there to aim at. Now go back and shoot. Break you routine down into its sections and go slowly, work on the technique and just concentrate on hitting the pin/sticker.

    The next big thing to remember is to enjoy your shooting. If you can’t shoot often then it should be about relaxing when you are shooting. Enjoy the shots, even the bad ones as you learn from them all.

    My final piece of advice is, ironically, to take advice with a pinch of salt. Different things work for different people so try things out and either adopt, adapt or dismiss.

    Liked by 1 person

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