archery competition

I really want to BS you and tell you that as a brand new bow shooter, I entered a 3d competition featuring some of the best shooters in Arizona and beat them so bad, Mathews and Hoyt are now in a bidding war over me trying to narrow down who wants to spend more millions per year to have me wear their shirts and hats around, but unfortunately that is not the case.  What really happened is that I entered my first competition, didn’t spend as much time preparing as I should have, shot pretty well considering the course, beat at least one person, and had the time of my life!

Preparing For The Shoot

I spent a lot of time shooting known distances between 20 and 50 yards.  These were all on flat ground also, so I wasn’t ever shooting uphill or downhill.  Flat, straight, known distance shooting.  I thought this would help because I was able to get a good feel for each distance.  Finally I decided to take a stab at guessing yardage.  Less than a week before the shoot, I spend a total of an hour and a half learning how to judge distance.  This basically consisted of me picking a random distance from the target, shooting, and using the rangefinder after the shot to see how close I was.  I quickly learned that I’m not very good at judging distance.  I can get it within about 5 yards or so which I guess isn’t too bad.  But yeah, this was the only yardage guessing preparation I had prior to the shoot.

Game Day

It was a good thing I learned distance guessing on perfectly flat ground with no obstacles in the way because the first course I shot was anything but that.  Course 1 was absolutely insane.  Probably 80% of the shots were uphill at some ridiculous angle, some with trees and bushes blocking the majority of your target.  I quickly learned that a coyote, quartering away from you, up high on the side of a mountain, across from a ravine at 35 yards looks quite a bit different than the same coyote on flat ground, with the stars aligned and everything perfect at the same yardage.  Due to the fact that I love breaking arrows, I went into this with my last 5 arrows on me.  I definitely thought that I would be leaving the field that day with zero arrows left.  Luckily I only lost one arrow that day.  It was some dumb ram.  This thing looked to me that it was at least 40 yards away.  I put my 40 yard pin a little high, let my arrow fly, and watched it fly over the top of the ram.  All I saw was a nice size cloud of dirt/dust flying.  All kinds of colorful words were going through my head.  This arrow is no longer with us, as it exploded all over the wilderness.

Day two’s course was much nicer.  There were a couple of dirty shots but nothing near what they put us through the day before.  This day there were a lot of flatter shots which was great.

So, How Did It All End?

Each round was 20 targets.  A perfect score would be 200 (all 10’s) but there is always the possibility of shooting 12’s.

Day 1

  • I hit 18 out of the 20 targets
  • Final score – 154
  • I shot four 12’s (which happened to be more than the pro shooter that scored a 196…And Hiland, who shot 2!)
  • I only broke 1 arrow
  • Average score – 7.7

Day 2

  • I hit 19 out of 20 targets
  • Final score – 149
  • I shot two 12’s
  • Average score – 7.45


  • Final score – 303
  • Average score – 7.575

All-in-all it was an amazing weekend.  I met some cool guys and had a badass time shooting!  I definitely learned a lot from this shoot and cannot wait for the next one.

Lessons Learned

  • I definitely shot in the wrong class.  There were less equipment restrictions in the class I shot.  I was able to shoot this class, but I should have shot the other one.  More my league!
  • I need to practice a lot more before the next shoot.  I need to judge distance, at all different angles and just get more proficient.

So, that’s basically it for my first shoot.  The photo above is me shooting at a 3D bear from around 45 yards.  One of my crappy shots.  I hit it in the neck!