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or by joining the Canadian Toxophilite Society.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Lara Croft, shooting 3 fingers under?

Is Lara Croft shooting with 3 fingers under the arrow? Or is it just really bad CGI? The arrow seems to be lined up in an odd way.

Attention Tomb Raider producers...

While we are excited to see more archery oriented films being made, what we don't need is more bad CGI of actors who apparently don't know how to shoot.

Below is the movie trailer... Hopefully they do a decent job, but the above image makes you wonder if it will be horribly inaccurate.

Movie Trailer for "Alpha", where Archer meets Wolf

Looking forward to seeing this archery* oriented survival film about a young man who befriends a wolf? We are.

* Well, archery and spears. Both. It is all good. :)

Movie Poster for Alpha

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Traditional Archery - the perfect sport for summer + the zombie apocalypse

12 Reasons Why Traditional Archery is the Best for Beginners and more Advanced Archers

#1. Traditional Archery Gets You Outdoors

Unlike Archery Tag which is usually done indoors, or Olympic Archery (which is far too frequently practiced indoors), traditional archers love being outdoors.

There are plenty of archery clubs in Toronto that encourage you to play in outdoor spaces, and most of them use the Toronto Archery Range as their main place to have club meetings.

The Toronto Archery Club is just one of many clubs based in Toronto - there are also a variety of smaller clubs catering to more specific topics.

You can learn more about the Toronto Archery Club at

If you decide to take archery on as a hobby, there are plenty of tournaments that happen across the Ontario, close to Ontario and throughout the world.

#2. Traditional Archery is open to All levels of Fitness
You don’t need to be a gym bunny or a super athlete to shoot a traditional bow.

If you can lift your arms, you can shoot a bow, whether it is a traditional recurve, a longbow or even an horsebow (aka shortbow).

#3. Safety

Many archery clubs pride themselves on their level of safety. The Toronto Archery Range is no different.

The Toronto Archery Range has only ever had 1 incident causing injury in the last 50 years, which was determined to be the fault of two individuals (see the Galka / Stankiewicz incident from October 2000) who ignored the safety rules.

The Toronto Archery Range has a long list of archery safety rules people are supposed to follow and it is a $4,000 fine if they ignore the rules.

Tomfoolery is not prohibited because that is reckless endangerment and punishable with prison time and a huge fine. If other archers see people acting in a dangerous manner, they are quick to tell them to stop doing that nonsense.

With respect to traditional archery it is one of the safest forms of archery to do as the bows are typically significantly less powerful than compound bows (which store and release a lot more kinetic energy).

#4. Traditional Archery is the Easiest to Learn

Many archery instructors prefer to teach traditional archery before teaching other types of archery.

Typically a beginner learns traditional recurve first, and if they desire to learn a different style later on then it is easier for them to later learn longbow, horsebow, Olympic recurve or even compound bow.

It is strongly recommended people take a beginners’ course first, so everyone learns the basics properly from an experienced instructor. In Toronto the best archery instructors are listed on

Many places around the world have a severe lack of experienced instructors, but Toronto is fortunate because it has some of the best instructors that can be found in all of Canada.

Hot Tip, if you are looking for the best instructor you can afford, try to get Charles Moffat. He is the most expensive, but he is also the best archery instructor in all of Ontario and teaches all five major styles of archery.

If you cannot find a tutor, you can also try to learn by reading websites or books, but ideally an instructor will be able to spot your mistakes and help you to prevent mistakes - and since broken arrows = lost money, it is wise to get an archery instructor as a cost savings measure.

#5. Traditional Archery is the Most Friendly

It is a known fact that Olympic archers tend to be snobs, compound archers tend to be anti-social, and traditional archers are the people having a party with their traditional recurves, longbows and horsebows.

As a whole many archers tend to be helpful and overall social, but it is the traditional archers who are the most open to just hanging out, relaxing and shooting. Many of them shoot recreationally, but a few also shoot in traditional competitions - and carpool in groups to go to such events.

#6. Competitions and Awards

There are more traditional competitions than there is any other style of archery competitions. While compounds and Olympic recurves seem more prestigious, 90% of archers shoot traditional bows and consequently the lion's share of competitions out there are actually traditional. Most compound shooters hunt, they don't bother to compete because their primary goal is to get a big buck or turkey. And even most Olympic recurve archers don't compete either, it is really only a tiny percentage of Olympic archers who actually compete.

Thus if you want to compete, the chances of you finding competitions that are near you is much improved if you get into competitive traditional.

And as explained above, traditional archery is very social and many trad archers like to carpool to competitions and socialize at those events.

#7. Traditional Archery is all about Skill

There are no gadgets in traditional archery. The person with the most expensive bow is not guaranteed to win. It is the most experienced and most skilled archers who typically are the best shots.

And because it is based on skill, not strength, men and women, young and old, able bodied or not, all people have their own skill level that is separate from their strength, endurance and mobility.

Which oddly enough means it is usually the elderly people at the archery range who are the best shots.

Regardless of your height, size, shape, age, gender are all equal.

Aage and experience shooting are certainly beneficial, however that doesn't mean you cannot get beat by a 15 year old who has been shooting since the age of 4 and has 11 years more experience than you do.

In contrast, compound archery and Olympic archery are all about the gadgets: Sights, stabilizers, clickers, mechanical releases, levels, peep sights, etc.

#8. Archery Etiquette and Politeness

Traditional archery is the most polite. (Especially in Canada, where people are generally very polite anyway.)

Olympic archery snobs have a tendency to be rude and compound shooters are just generally anti-social, so when it comes to people with social skills and understand etiquette and politeness it is the traditional archers who really understand it.

Hot Tip: It is a good idea to carry $10 in your wallet/purse just in case you step on someone's arrow and break it, this way you can just quickly hand them $10 as way of apology and you can stop having to say sorry a million times and feeling embarrassment for breaking their arrow. $10 won't break your budget, but it is typically more than enough to pay for a traditional arrow. (It can sometimes be more than that, but it certainly smooths things over faster regardless.)

#9. Traditional Archery is All Year

Olympic archers typically only practice during the summer.

Compound archers typically only practice before or during a particular hunting season.

In contrast there are quite a few traditional archers who practice Spring, Summer, Autumn - and even in the Winter. And in Toronto, that means going outside in the freezing cold to practice. (One might argue that "trad archers be crazy man", but the winter archers have some serious dedication to their sport.

#10. Traditional Archery Vs the Weather

Rain, snow or wind - traditional archers can still shoot in it because they love a challenge and learn how to adjust for the wind conditions.

There is an equipment issue as wooden bows can be damaged by water, but there is also a tradition of archers oiling their bows using a various oils / greases. eg. Local Toronto bowyer Mike Meusel typically coats his wooden bows in tung oil. (The even more traditional archers who are also into bowhunting sometimes use deer grease or bear grease, although that is not for everyone obviously.)

The oil or grease (regardless of what you use) soaks into the wood of the bow and protects it from water damage.

It is still possible to do traditional archery indoors where it is potentially warmer and/or air conditioned, but it is certainly not a necessity to do so.

#11. Traditional Bows usually have a Long Life Span

The great thing about a well-made bow is that it will typically last decades. There are archers out there using bows that were made in the 1960s and 1970s (or older!) and they still shoot great.

Thus buying a traditional bow is for life, not just one summer.

When you buy a bow you can expect to be shooting it for years or even decades to come. You might later get a better bow and sell your old bow, or you might decide to keep it. Or even collect bows as some archers do.

In addition to having long life spans, the resale value of used bows is typically quite good. As long as a person takes good care of their bow (no dry-firing, stringing it properly, not misusing or abusing it) then a bow will typically stay in very good condition and have a good resale value - often 70 to 90% of whatever a person originally paid for it. Some archers even tell stories of selling a bow for the same price or MORE than they paid for it.

In contrast the technology used in making compound bows / Olympic bows changes every year. As such the bows depreciate in value faster. This is especially true of compound bows which these days are so complicated that they start to fall apart after a few years and need regular repairs, and since nobody wants to buy an old used compound bow model from 2012 when they could get the latest 2017 model it becomes pretty clear that you can be sure people won't want to pay anywhere close to full price for an used compound bow.

Once you have a bow you rarely need to buy new things for it. You might buy new arrows, a new bowstring or a different glove once in awhile, but otherwise you don't need to buy new equipment regularly. That is part of the charm of traditional archery. It is so simple you really don't need much.

#12. Traditional Bows Vs the Zombie Apocalypse

Okay, so the chances of zombies rising up is nil, but it is still fun to think about.

So here is the thing...

Olympic arrows are useless for hunting. They are designed for speed and long distance accuracy, not for killing things.

Compound arrows are designed for killing things, but compound bows are notoriously easy to break because the cams are so fragile. *You would not want to club a zombie's brains in using a compound bow, that is a great way to break your cams.* And once broken, good luck trying to fix it. A few years after (or possibly sooner) the Apocalypse happens your compound bow would break down and be useless. Compound bows just cannot handle normal wear and tear like a traditional bow can because they have too many moving parts.

Thus when it comes to survivalism (whether it is zombies, a nuclear war, or societal collapse) the best type of bow to learn how to use is a traditional bow because they are so durable.

Unlike bullets, traditional arrows and arrowheads are relatively easy to make - which gives traditional archery a distinct advantage over firearms because people will very quickly run out of bullets.

People around the world still choose to hunt with bows - indeed there is an island off the coast of India which has never been visited by anthropologists because the locals there shoot anyone visiting their island with arrows - as in shoot them dead, and they are reputedly very good shots.

So if people still bowhunt, it is clear that should worst come to worst, you too could bowhunt - but you really should learn how first. And a true survivalist should really have archery lessons so that they learn how to do it properly.


Did I forget to mention that archery is great exercise for the upper body, especially the back and shoulder muscles?

Friday, March 31, 2017

Battle Sports expands to Montreal, opens Sports de Combat

When Battle Sports first appeared in Toronto back in 2015 they set out to become the best location in Toronto to do Archery Tag (or Dodge Archery, Battle Archery, Combat Archery, whatever you want to call it).

At the time there was quite a few competitors also appearing, saturating the Toronto market with archery tag / battle archery locations.

However by offering the best deals, the best archery equipment and the best value for dollar, Battle Sports quickly beat out its competitors.

So it should come as no surprise that they are now expanding to Montreal and have opened a new location called Sports de Combat.

Sports de Combat
5335 Avenue Casgrain, Montreal
(SW of Sir Wilfrid Laurier Park / Parc Sir Wilfrid Laurier)

Sports de Combat Offers the following...

Montreal's Largest Indoor Archery Range - $15 / hour if you have your own archery equipment. (If you don't have your own equipment, you can rent it for $10 per hour.)

Montreal Archery Lessons - $40 for a 90 minute group lesson.

Montreal Combat Archery - 30 minute beginner practice + 60 minutes of Battle Archery.

And for Francophones, archery lessons / combat archery are also available in French.

Honestly, we are impressed they managed to create the largest indoor archery range. That alone is a feat.

There are also rumours (unsubstantiated, but whatever - the key word is rumours) that Battle Sports is planning to open a 2nd location in Scarborough, expanding their operations in the GTA. Given their previous track record for business savvy, we would not be surprised if this happened.


"Archery Tag" was invented in the United States by John Jackson in the summer of 2011.

Each player wears a mask protecting his face. Bows and arrows with foam tips specially designed for bow-fighting sport are used. In the generic game, there are two 5-point targets.

The sport is played both indoors or outdoors. The game area is decorated with different inflatable elements allowing players to hide themselves.

Archery Tag is a sporting activity similar to paintball, except with players being equipped with bow and arrow (with the foam end) instead of paintball guns.

Two teams compete to be the first to touch all the centers of the target of 5 spots of the opponent. While trying to hit other players with the arrows, the game ends in three different ways: all the members of an opposing team have been hit, the 5 spots of the target of one of the teams have been eliminated or the time allotted to one round has elapsed.

L'archery tag a été inventé aux États-Unis par John Jackson à l'été 2011.

Chaque joueur porte un masque protégeant son visage. Des arcs et des flèches avec des embouts en mousse spécialement conçus pour le sport de combat d'arc sont utilisés. Il y a deux cibles à 5 points.

Le sport se pratique en salle ou à l’extérieur. La zone de jeu est agrémentée de différents éléments gonflables permettant aux joueurs de se camoufler.

L'Archery tag est une activité sportive similaire au paintball, les joueurs étant équipés d'arc et de flèches (avec l’extrémité en mousse).

Deux équipes s'affrontent pour être la première à toucher tous les centres de la cible de 5 spots de l'adversaire. Tout en essayant de toucher d'autres joueurs avec les flèches, le jeu se termine de trois façons différentes : tous les membres d'une équipe adverse ont été touchés, les 5 spots de la cible de l’une des équipes ont été éliminés ou le temps imparti s'est écoulé.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Photographs of the Toronto Archery Range

Four recent photographs of the Toronto Archery Range, taken on: March 16th, 21st, 28th and 29th.

March 16th, a panorama of a snowy archery range.

March 21st, the garbage cans near the south end of the range overflowing from the winter.

March 28th, a view of the mud in front of the 30 yard targets.

March 29th, a view of the 30 and 20 yard targets.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

10 Archery Gambling Games

For Valentines has released a list of 5 Archery Gambling Games on their website.

The Five Archery Games are:
However we think there is room for 5 more archery gambling-style games people can play for fun.

Like the website, we encourage only gambling with tiny amounts like quarters. 25 cents is not a big deal and makes it clear the game is just for fun. (With the exception of the Iron Archery Competition, #10 below, which is more of a "pay to enter sporting competition with cash winnings".)

Please note we are not endorsing high stakes gambling. We recommend people pay for quarters, nickles, dimes, candy or similar treats. eg. "The loser pays for sushi."

#6. Aces are Wild

  • Similar to Poker, this game involves pinning the face cards and aces from a deck of cards on an archery target.
  • For fun we recommend arranging the cards and pinning them up like a X shape, but not with the aces in the middle - no, in order to make it harder, put the jacks in the middle, then the queens, then the kings, and then the aces at the outer edge. That way the aces are spread out and are the hardest to hit.
  • Your goal is to get 4 or 5 of a kind of Kings, Queens or Jacks (Aces are wild and can be used for any of the above 3.
  • Because there are only 4 aces, 4 kings, 4 queens, and 4 jacks you have to match them up. 
  • If you shoot the same card twice or more, only the first shot counts. All additional shots on the same card do not count. The goal is to make this an aiming exercise so people learn how to adjust their aim.
  • The person who gets the most of a kind, wins.
  • Kings beat Queens and Jacks, Queens beat Jacks.
  • If all your cards don't match you can also get a full house (set of 3, set of 2) or two pairs.

There are many variations on archery poker (as shown in the image on the right). Normal Poker games are rather unsuitable for archery games, so feel free to make up your own version of archery poker.

#7. Two Shot Cluster

  • Each archer gets two arrows.
  • Each archer, in their own time, shoots the two arrows one at a time and tries to get them in a tight cluster.
  • If necessary you may need a ruler or measuring tape to measure the size of the cluster.
  • The archer with the tightest cluster wins the round and the pot.
  • Archers should endeavour to try and hit their own arrow / Robin Hood it.

#8. The Rovers' I Betcha Game

One part gambling, one part drinking game, Roving is a tradition dating back to England of young men going out drinking and shooting at random things as they "rove" around the countryside. The following game recreates the act of Roving and turns into one part gambling game and one part drinking game.

As they rove / walk each archer takes turns saying things like "I betcha cannot hit that apple!"

If an archer accepted, they had to try and hit the apple. If they succeeded, they won several coins. If they missed, they lost several coins.

However they could also refuse to take the shot - to which they would then be forced to take a large gulp of strong alcohol. If they refuse regularly, they will be really drunk in a hurry - but at least they will still have their money. Or maybe they will get so drunk they agree to a hard shot, and completely miss because they are drunk.

The archer whose turn it was - whether they hit, missed or drank - then chooses a person and makes a new bet. Thus the game continues indefinitely, until all the arrows have been lost/broken, or all the alcohol is gone, or until one archer has all the money - whichever happens first.

#9. Black Jack

  • Similar to the Poker game mentioned above, Black Jack uses cards as targets.
  • In this scenario you need: 4 Jacks and 4 Aces.
  • Distribute the cards on the target board randomly, so they are spread out.
  • Jacks are worth 10 points and Aces are worth 11.
  • Each archer shoots two arrows.
  • The archer with the highest score wins (or ties) and collects / splits the winnings.

#10. The Iron Archery Competition

Inspired by the Iron Man Competition.

Each archer pays $10 to enter the competition. Ideally you want a cap of 300 archers in the competition. That means $3,000 in the pot.

  • Bicycle 5 kilometers.
  • Shoot 10 Arrows
  • Swim 200 meters.
  • Shoot 10 Arrows.
  • Sprint 200  meters.
  • Shoot 10 Arrows.
  • Sprint 200  meters again to cross a finishing line.

Each archer's score out of 300 (30 arrows x 10 points) is recorded.

The first archer who crosses the finishing line gets 300 points.
The second archer gets 299.
The third archer gets 298.

Each archer's archery score out of 300 is then added to their score for crossing the finishing line.

The archer with the highest combined score wins half the pot, $1,500.

The second best archer gets $1000. The third best gets $500.

The organizers sell food and drinks and pocket the profits from food/drink sales.

If there is a smaller number of archers, simply divide the archery score, reduce the points for crossing the finishing line, and divide the winnings accordingly.

For example if you only have 30 people competing...

Divide the archery score by 10, so it is a score out of 30 instead.
Crossing the finishing line first only awards a maximum of 30 points.
Total winnings is $300. Winner gets $150, 2nd gets $100, 3rd gets $50.

Note - Such a competition is not so much gambling as it is a "pay to enter sport" with cash winnings.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017