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Tips and Pointers

Here is list of tips and pointers we have accumulated. There is so much to remember especially at your first event, we thought posting them might be useful to new members. Additions are welcome from experienced members to help make our next evening of shooting even better.

Safety first. Safety always. Don't do anything that could endanger yourself or your fellow archers. Think 'common sense' and when it doubt, err on the side of caution and ask.

At the firing line:
1) Never step past the firing line. If you drop an arrow beyond arm's reach, it stays there until the end (3 arrows per person) is complete and we have permission from the range master to cross the firing line.
2) Before loading your arrow, your feet must straddle the firing line.
3) Do not point a strung bow toward a person; point it toward the target or closest wall only.
4) Keep bows in an upright position especially when loading and carrying them; the tips are small and can easily hit someone in the face
5) Do not 'dry fire' a bow; releasing the string without an arrow. It will transfer all that energy back to the bow and CAN cause the limbs or the riser to explode into dangerous fragments. If you don't believe us, ask Ron.

Loading the bow:
1) Load the arrow with the odd coloured 'feather' away from your body. This allows the fletching to pass the bow without stripping the two matching 'feathers.'
2) NEVER aim a loaded bow anywhere but at the target. Make sure no one is between you and the target.
3) Take your time. Don't hold your breath when you aim. If you do, your muscles will begin to shake. Breathe out slowly just before you fire.

After firing:
1) After firing your 3 arrows, put your bow back in the cradle.
2) You can lay the bow down by holding the limbs, riser or string when putting it in the cradle. Do not grab it near the tips.
3) At the end of each end, always verify any unshot arrows in the quivers are not going to be shot.
4) Do NOT cross the firing line until you hear the range master call "Clear" and confirmation comes from the group.
5) NO running.
6) Pick up any arrows off the floor first. Remove any 'decorative' shots from ceiling, baffle or butt edges.
7) When approaching the butt, be careful: some arrows are longer than others. Be careful not to walk into them.
8) Look to see no one is standing directly behind you before you pull you arrows.
9) Grab each arrow at the base where it entered the butt and near the fletching. Pull straight out. Don't twist or torque arrows; use the non-slip pads hanging on top of the butt for extra grip.
10) If your arrow is imbedded in the frame or other hard object, ask someone with an arrow puller or knife to help pull it out.
11) Once you have your arrows, carry them vertically to avoid poking anyone with the tips.
12) Put arrows in the quiver as soon as you reach the firing line.

Stance tips:
1) Always use the same anchor point on your face; fingertip at the corner of your mouth, thumb on chin, whatever works for you to achieve a full draw.
2) Use your toes to create a straight line to the target, straddling the firing line in a comfortable stance.
3) Keep your frame in a nice vertical line; do not lean into or away from your bow. Keep your body square and in line with the target.
4) Women: do NOT let the string cross your bossom. Change your stance slightly if this is a concern.
5) Do not tip your head when sighting the target or tip the bow sideways allowing your arrow to fall off the rest; try to stay vertical.
6) Hold the bow lightly. Just rest the bow between your thumb and forefinger and wrap your fingers around the front to stop it from falling out of your hand. You do not need to grip it tightly.
7) Don't pinch the arrow; the notch will hold it onto the string. Your fingers are there just to pull the string back.
8) Use the first joint on your fingers to pull the string back. Flex just your fingertips to release the string.
9) For people with muscular forearms; rotate your forearm muscle so the released string doesn't strike your arm. Pretend to hold up a stop sign when you grasp your bow. That should keep your muscle out of the way. Use an arm guard if the string is striking your arm and recheck your stance.
11) If your fingers feel 'burned' by the string after a few shots, use a finger tab or batting gloves with leather fingers.

There is no one singular 'right' way to do archery except where safety is concerned. Every person needs to learn the basic safety rules first. Once you know the rules, keep your eyes open and be alert always. If you see a problem, say something to the range master or one of the event organizers.

Another thing that helps keep a grouping tight is to not move your feet once you start shooting. Make sure you can grab your arrows without moving out of position. Having both feet remain in exactly the same spots means you have one thing less to think about while trying to improve your grouping.

Stance is personal; try a few modifications until you find what works for you. Once you can fire three arrows into a small grouping consistently without fatigue, you have found what works for you. Move your group around the target without being overly concerned about hitting the bullseye. We aren't keeping score so your only competition is with yourself. Improvement is what you are after and it comes with practice, muscle memory and a positive attitude. If you are getting tired or frustrated, take a breather. Some days you hit the target, some days you hit the butt.

Indoor events:
We are limited to 14 people at indoor events: 2 rows of 7 archers on the firing line. We move fairly quickly without rushing for 2 hours minimum. If you wish to bring a friend, they must sign up, post their real first name and provide a photo of themselves. Without it, we can't admit them to The Lanes for safety reasons. Everyone over the age of 19 is welcome to join the group. There is no smoking in the Lanes.

We do not allow children at our events. If you wish inquire about kids' archery lessons, please contact The Lanes. Their Youth Programs start at age 12, dependent on strength, endurance and attention span.

If you sign up for an event, we expect you to show up. Anyone who is a No-show 3 times can expect their next Yes to be changed to a No and they will be contacted by an organizer. We will replace anyone who RSVPs Yes to an event but does not post a photo with someone from the Waiting List who has posted a photo. Safety is our main concern.

Outdoor events:
Outdoor events at the Burnaby Range require individuals to use their own equipment and purchase a Membership which you can buy upstairs from The Lanes at Boorman Archery for $60/per year. January is the optimal time to buy as there are a few days in winter, when the weather cooperates, that are nice enough to shoot outdoors. We don't recommend using the outdoor range following heavy rain unless you have waterproof boots and like mud. The outdoor range is unlit so shooting is limited to daylight hours only. You will get a key to open the frames but you will need to provide your own targets. Members can take a guest, once only, to the outdoor range.

There is one public butt at the far left of the row. You need the key from the arena manager to open it. Make sure you leave it in the same condition you find it.

Respect the rules posted at the range and be a good ambassador for the Vancouver Archery Group.

Be safe, enjoy yourself and tell others about what you achieved. This ancient sport survives in many forms but above all it's fun. Come out and have fun with us.

After you shoot
We learned last week that it's considered good etiquette to be aware of the bowsman on either side of you when standing on the firing line.
Once you are finished your end (3 arrows) you should observe the bowsman on either side of you and if either has an arrow notched and is about to fire, wait until they have shot their arrow before moving off the firing line.
Reasoning: ANY movement in their peripheral vision is distracting and can cause unwanted results.
Let's all try to practice good sportsmanship when we shoot at The Lanes or outdoors and we'll be welcome guests (or competitors) at any event anywhere.

Table of Contents

Page title Most recent update Last edited by
Safety December 22, 2009 2:15 PM Daryl
Scoring December 21, 2009 7:54 PM Daryl
Video December 24, 2009 2:30 PM Daryl
Tips and Pointers December 21, 2009 5:06 PM Daryl
Our Events December 21, 2009 5:00 PM Daryl
About The Vancouver Archery Meetup Group October 17, 2010 11:46 AM Daryl

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