Well-tuned equipment important part of archery accuracy
The number of active archers, including newcomers to the sport, has been on the rise for several months. More recently coronavirus restrictions has brought a number of new archers into the sport, eager to get outdoors rather than languish at home.
Chris Williams, archery pro shop manager at Outfitters in Minot, says there’s another reason for increased interest in archery too – the availability of deer gun tags in the state that had been on the decline for several years.
“That was one of the driving factors for a time and, this year, it was COVID that drove anything to do with being outside crazy,” said Williams. “I was out of stuff I never imagined I’d be out of. We’ve been pretty busy.”
The influx of new archers hasn’t just been adults, plenty of youngsters are discovering they enjoy archery too. A big thing starting out, says Williams, is not to allow young shooters to become discouraged with an inability to hit a target.
“When customers come in here and I set up the bow, I sight it in and let them shoot,” said Williams. “When they leave they are hitting a 3×3 square target so often they have confidence before they leave that they can do it.”
Many young shooters, said Williams, are shooting arrows that aren’t properly matched to their bow. That leads to bad shooting habits in an effort to overcome inaccuracy or even results in shooters giving up on archery.
“I spend a lot of time at the Souris Valley Bowmen range and have seen kids that can’t shoot past 20 yards,” said Williams. “Problem is, they weren’t shooting the right arrows. I fit them out with the right arrows and they can shoot 40 or 50 yards and then want to go shooting all the time.”
Williams says he tries to educate archers, both new and experienced, about the need for arrows matched to the shooter and to the bow. Arrow spine weight, length, and choice of tip all play a role in improving accuracy.
“Everybody is completely different,” remarked Williams. “It’s simple math. You want the right spine arrow, the right point up front with the right weight. Some guys can shoot 200 grains. Some 55. It’s a balance.”
Archers pulling a heavy draw weight may want more weight at the front of their arrows. Conversely, a youth pulling a 30 pound bow should be nocking lighter arrows. Of course, proper shooting form is desired too.
“A lot of people shoot for one week out of the year,” said Williams. “The most successful archer is the one that practices all the time. Good form. Good anchor point. Those who consistently shoot their equipment through the year are the most productive archers. I can take the cheapest bow in the store, shoot it for a couple of weeks, tune it correctly and outshoot the guy that has the best equipment but doesn’t shoot often. Very simple.”
Williams encourages archers that haven’t checked out the facilities of the Souris Valley Bowmen to do so. The SVB range located in Trestle Valley west of Minot boasts a field course, 3D animal course, and an indoor range.
“A lot of people in Minot have no idea that we have one of the greatest archery ranges in the country. It is an unreal resource for archery shooters to practice year round,” stated Williams.