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Sunday, June 20, 2010

First Day of Archery for this Season

Today is my first day of archery for this season.

Last year I bought a longbow from Central Surplus on Yonge Street and today I am going to the archery range at the Ontario Science Centre (Toronto's only public range) to start my new season of training with the bow.

The only other major Toronto archery range is in the basement of Hart House at U of T.

So far my experience with this bow is that it tends to shoot to the left so I compensate by shooting a bit to the right and then I hit the target most of the time.

When I think back to last year when I first got this bow, my first day of trying archery I managed to get 1 bull's eye the entire time. My fingers were very sore, because I didn't have any finger gloves and my left arm was sore because the arm guard that came with the kit was so crappy I was better off not wearing anything.

My advice? Don't have an arm guard? Take an old THICK sock, cut the toes off of it, and then pull that over your arm. It will protect your arm nicely. Won't be too fancy, but it will work.

Since then I've made myself a leather arm guard using a piece of rawhide and then stringing it with a shoelace. It works wonderfully.

For your fingers I recommend finger gloves or a bone / ivory or wooden thumb release ring. It is trickier to use and you have to find the perfect size for your thumb, but thumb rings are a great alternative to finger gloves.

Some people like to swear by leather release tabs, but I hate those things and find them annoying.

I would use a release clicker before using a leather release tab. Release clickers are commonly used by hunters with compound bows, and they provide a smoother release.

The only trick with a release clicker is that they're very sensitive and you can accidentally bump the trigger when you aren't planning to. SO BE CAREFUL.

The last bit of advice I want to give here is to bring food and water with you. The archery range gets hot and its nice to take a break and drink / eat while doing archery.

Last summer I took a lot of Powerade with me and I will likely continue to do so in the future. I also recommend watermelon, peanut butter granola bars (preferably homemade), salads, sandwiches and fruits.

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