Wind burn on Saturday…..Sun burn on Sunday. Very different days and different conditions, but still the same awesome 3D archery shoot! If I may say so myself!
Putting on a shoot like this is a time consuming process and takes a great deal of hard work and dedication. No-one at the KTSA knows this more than long-standing KTSA member and recent compund-longbow convert, Myles Tuba. Myles is the man who takes on the responsibility of this shoot every year. As if having a young family and running his own brand new business isn’t enough pressure in one person’s life. But Myles runs a tight ship and whips us all into shape!
So weeks and weeks of preparation came together on the weekend of April 12th & 13th 2104 when the Kamloops 3D shoot got underway! “It’s always windy in Kamloops” they said. Well on Saturday, they were right. It was SO WINDY we couldn’t believe it! Never mind the archery, it made registration difficult, it made organising & putting door prizes out difficult, Kamloops Lions Club struggled with their tarp, Outsyder Archery products were flying all over the shop. And then there was the archery! No matter what you’re shooting, the wind is a big factor. Whether your hand holding your compound bow or your traditional arrows in flight are getting blown all over, it can still have the same affect – less accuracy!
Around 7.30am on Saturday, people began milling around, wanting to register and get underway. Shortly after, registration was open and 40 participants had registered in the first 50 minutes, which seemed promising. You see last year, we had around 120 archers attend for the shoot. And all I knew was, I wanted to beat that number! KTSA club members Val, Kendra and Ken did a sterling job at the registration table, putting up with the cold wind like real troopers. The location of registration like last year, was under the canopy of the short range which in effect acts as one massive wind tunnel. It didn’t take too long for the table to get moved out of the shade and into the sun & the open, which I believe drastically improved the health & well-being of our wonderful volunteers 🙂
The course is separated into 2 x 20 target courses, comprised of mainly Rinehart 3D targets. We are VERY lucky to have a plentiful supply of such wonderful targets. And they are wonderful, particularly pulling your arrows from them – especially after they’ve had a little time to warm up in the sun – is dreamy! Although admittedly, I am usually scoring, but I can see that the boys are having an easy time pulling them, ha ha.
Now i’m not sure what time we ventured out on the course, but as part of the organisational team, it’s good to know everything is going well before you get out and put your shooting-head on instead of your organising head. It takes a little time to focus on the task in hand, but you hope it doesn’t take too long.
The order of the day for the first half – Course A for our group, brothers Martin & Myles Tuba, Terry and Marc – was definitely a warm coat scenario. The wind was blowing so hard, it sent a chill through me, sometimes even with the coat on! All that wind seems so unfair, why on earth does this have to happen now of all times, you wonder? However once you remember that it’s the same for everyone, you just get on with it. This course started off at the entrance to a gully just to the right of the road where we found a deer, a cougar, a cobra and a bedded sheep. Lots of brush and trees threatening to get in your way if you weren’t careful, or if the wind blew at the wrong time for you! Once out of the gully, you find yourself exposed and shooting at a wolf and an antelope amongst other 3D lovelies.
There is always an attempt to put the targets in as realistic a setting as possible, so where someone might find that animal in the wild. Our terrain down at the range – sand, sagebrush, rocks, dead trees, hills, a tree hollow and one solitary swamp allows for a number of different and cool target placements.
After crossing over the road, the next target involved sitting on a stump and shooting through a blind at one of two turkey’s, depending on which class you were in. We were glad to see that the wind hadn’t brought the camo netting down that was our blind! Then onto target 10 which was sponsored by “yours truly!” Outsyder Archery! The Hare and Owl targets here were donated by us and we were keen to see how this shot went down with the guests. Namely because the Bearpaw Longlife targets involved probably hadn’t been seen by many people before and also, the Bearpaw Owl – available for a bonus 15 points – in a tree hollow could potentially have been a bit of arrow suicide, because of the woody back-drop! So, with this in mind, we placed our Bearpaw Longlife Hare on the ground next to the bottom of the tree, available for regular points. I think it’s fair to say that the Hare showed little evidence of being spiked by any arrows, yet the Owl, which is a fairly small target, was becoming more obviously shot out as the weekend went on, having probably taken the impact of 100’s of arrows!
Once over the brow of the hill, we meandered down the steep hill side and shot a bedded Elk under a tree, the stump Bear, a Black Panther on a dead tree, a mountain goat on the edge of an open backdrop, amongst other targets. Target 18 was the life-size Moose that really, is just an awesome beast! Despite his size, to me he was a little deceiving. I think my mind tells me that it’s so big, how can I miss and I don’t necessarily judge properly the actual distance he is away from me and my stake. This is what 3D is about, judging distances and sizes and shooting accordingly and taking into account all of the things that can play tricks on you! Like target size versus distance, terrain, obstructions and what not. This is why i’ll never make a hunter!! Plus i’m soft. ha ha
Two more targets and course A was complete! Then back to 3D HQ to check everything was going OK, get the door prizes ready and grab a bite to eat from the Kamloops Lions Club who once again, did a sterling job of doing food for everyone. Hot dogs and burgers with all the trimmings, were the order of the day!
The only problem with trying to get stuff out and ready for the afternoon was that wind. Everything got blown all over, it was starting to get a bit tedious! We at Outsyder had a little stall with some of our archery bits on it and everything had to be weighted down by rocks!
The second half of the day was equally challenging with that same blustery wind. But, it was the same for everyone so it just had to be done! Off we went on Course B, down the road and off to the right as in previous years. Up hill and down dale is pretty much how the first 9 targets on this course go. Some challenging shots across gullies, a “must sit” on a dead tree shot and compound shooters having to stand up high on a tree stump in order to be able to touch the red peg sticking out of the top of yet another toppled tree. Mr Haines was responsible for this one, I might add!
Then across the road for targets 10-20. First up was a pair of standing small bears, on their own. These targets are often paired with a Mummy Bear, but on this occasion, Mummy Bear was nowhere to be seen. But where was she? The last thing you want to do is get between mummy and babies, unless you’re armed with a bow, that is!
My shooting companions, husband Marc, Terry & our friends, brothers Myles & Martin and I, were having a great time, no matter who was hitting (or missing) what. It was Martin’s first 3D shoot, having recently picked up an awesome Black Forest Longbow (branded Kustom King but looking remarkably like a Bodnik Raven) – what an awesome bow for the money. Myself, well I didn’t feel I was doing too bad with my Hoyt Dorado, however I always think I should be doing better unless I get it in at least the 10! I know that more practice will bring my 5’s up to 8’s and 8’s up to 10’s….so long as I can remember to take my binoculars so I can actually see the kill zone.
This in fact was my first 3D course shooting with my new Black Widow 3-under Hair tab, instead of my trusty Bearpaw glove that is old and hole-y. I actually found it to be quite a revelation. I just could not believe how smooth the release was. Apart from a few kack-handed releases – of which there’s always a few in the day! – it was SUPER SMOOTH. Admittedly, a tab is not as convenient for when you’re not shooting and need to score and such like, but I have come to the conclusion that it is worth the extra hassle, as small as that hassle is. Marc keeps telling me that it has tightened up my form and release and I tend to believe him. Now just gotta work on those 3D distances and that uppy-downy crap!
Some more challenging shots were placed along the way to the end of the course. In and amongst the two courses was the spot shoot for the traditional shooters (yellow spot) and the compounds (red spot). The idea of the Spot Shoot is that you pay $10 at registration and shoot at your allocated spot when you come across it on the courses. If you hit it, you write your name and that of a witness on the record sheet that is with the target and you are entered into the shoot-off at the end of the day to win a cash prize. We did see that some people shooting compounds got a tad confused and wrote their name when they hit the Trad spot – clever clogs! We soon scuppered their hopes of winning some cash by scrubbing their names off the list [evil laugh] but did promise not to mock for their confusion, ha ha.
Following the last target which was the mystical Jackalope being stalked by two Foxes, we headed back to HQ to oversee door prizes, the silent auction and most importantly, the novelty shoots! Myles had everything well organised and under control. He had planned a distance shot, the flying pig, the small rat shot and a seated Lazy Boy shot. All were great fun and there were some awesome prizes up for grabs, Gift Cards for True Outdoors, Tim’s GC’s courtesy of Valerie (thank-you!), a deer target from the Lazy Boy shot, donated by the Lazy Boy store in Kamloops (thank-you!) and some Mora bushcraft knives donated by yours truly, Outsyder Adventures! A good crowd turned up to take part and spectate which was awesome!
The long day ended with fireside wine, beer and BBQ with the company of some great friends & family. We are so very lucky to have such great people in our lives, we really mean it. Cheers, you lot! Apart from I was having such a nice time I forgot myself and drunk more than I should have done. Oooops.
Fortunately I didn’t feel to bad in the morning and got off to a steady start at 7.30. And what a beautiful day it turned out to be. I mean beautiful, warm and sunny, it was just fantastic and such a contrast to the day before. We got going to a shotgun start at 8.30am – the aim being to get everyone back a reasonable hour.
This time it was just Marc, Myles & Martin and if we’re going to stick to all “M’s”….Me. We started out on Course B this time and for me, i’d think that with the conditions being much more perfect – still, warm and sunny, i’d shoot better. But alas! My head was down after missing 3 targets out of the first 9. What the heck was I doing? My psychological state was all over the place, just terrible. Fortunately I pulled things around and came out after we had crossed over the road, scoring 8’s and 10’s. Phew! Marc was also not feeling it and wasn’t doing as well as he did on Saturday in the Force 10 gale! Too much alcohol and not enough sleep? Yep!
But we were enjoying ourselves very much, walking round a fantastic 3D course in brilliant weather. We found that the bonus 20-points apple shot on the deer was destroyed…so we had to take down the sign and decided that anyone shooting it beforehand, in order to be fair to anyone coming after, would have to have their score brought down to a regular 11 point, particularly if they were in the running for a prize!
A quick break for brunch and then back out onto our final leg of the weekend, Course A. Much more enjoyable than the previous day, due to the weather! As the shooting was drawing to a close, I knew that I wanted to do my best as I always make a point of not keeping an eye on my competition, so my absolute best is my only option. I don’t attempt to try and find out who else in my category and what their score is. I just feel too pressured that way! There’s never a huge number of women shooting anyway and to get more than a handful in my category is remarkable, but still…..!
It was good news for me as I managed a score of 502 over both days, leaving me in first place in Womens Recurve! Yay! Marc also did a brilliant job and scored 559 in Men’s Longbow, winning his category too, woo hoo!
I wanted to take the opportunity to say a big THANK-YOU to all of those who helped make our shoot a success, in no particular order…..Myles & Martin Tuba, Valerie Koshure, Kevin Kansky, Anthony & Alan Jacobs, Terry Haines, Eric Moore, Clint Gaspard, Kendra Cox, Lorne & Alex Wood, Paul & James!
And also well done to the KTSA members who shot in their first outdoor 3D! Val, Kendra, Jenny, Brennan, Trevor, Sean, Iain & Charlene, Jeff, Barry & Reid, Jeremy & Vanessa