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    Archery for Beginners – Complete Guide

    Archery is increasingly growing in popularity due to its fun, challenging and competitive nature. Archery is basically the act of accurately propelling an arrow from a bow, thus the coined term bow and arrow.  Archery has been in existence ever since the beginning of time and has been evolving ever since into what it is today.

    Archery for Beginners can be a bit overwhelming as there is a lot of information, techniques, and different types of archery equipment that is associated with the sport of archery.  The purpose of this article is to give archery beginners a basic understanding of what archery is and how to get started in the sport.

    What is Archery?

    Archery can be defined as “the art or practice of propelling arrows with the use of a bow”.  Archery has been around since the beginning of time and was used to hunt and as a means to fight in wars.  Archery today has evolved quite a bit since the invention of it long ago.  Today there are many bow types, models and accessories.

    Common Archery Terms

    Arrow:  A wooden, aluminum or carbon based projectile with a head and feathers on the back for     stability

    Quiver: A container for holding arrows.

    Broadhead: An arrow head configured with razor blades that is used for hunting

    Rest: A stand type archery accessory used to hold the arrow shaft

    Draw Weight: The weight equivalent it takes to draw a bow to full draw.

    Draw Length: The total length of the string when at full draw. Measured from the tip of your              fingers to the center area of your throat.

    String Loop: An addition to the bowstring for attaching your release to. Used to prolong the          life of your bowstring.

    Limbs: The part of the bow that is compressed when the bow is drawn back.

    Nock: A plastic piece that affixes to the back of an arrow so that it can be locked onto the       bow string.

    Release: A mechanical device with a trigger that you attach the the bow string. Used to help      you draw the bow.

    Sight: A bow accessory that contains pins that can be adjusted. Used for aiming at the target.

    Types of Archery Bows

    There are basically 4 types of bows that you can choose from when beginning archery. The following is a list of the 4 types of bows and a description of each:

    Compound – A bow that has cams and/or wheels that the string uses instead of just attaching to the bow limbs. A compound bow is a new type of bow and one of the more popular types and can have added advantages such as let-off, increased speed, smoother draw cycles and the availability of adding more accessories.

    CrossBow – This is gun type of a regular bow.  The crossbow features a stock and trigger just like a gun, but instead of a barrel has a shelf where the arrow sits on top of and is propelled by the bow string.  This is another very popular option and also comes with the ability to add accessories.

    Traditional Bow – This is the original type bow so to speak.  It is basically just a piece of wood or other type of material with notches cut into the tip of the limps where the string attaches to.  There is no let-off and does not allow for the addition of accessories.  This type of bow is slowly gaining in popularity as it is more of a challenge to shoot and master.

    Recurve Bow – A recurve bow is essentially the same concept as the traditional type bow, however the limbs are curved back a bit.

    Things to Avoid doing in Archery

    1. Never Fire a bow without an Arrow, this can destroy the bow and injure you.

    2. Make sure that you are gripping the bow properly in order to avoid being hit with the       bowstring.

    3. Keep your index finger behind the trigger of the release.  This will help keep a tight grip    on the string and will also help you to avoid accidental release which could leave you with    a black eye and or a bloody nose.

    4. Avoid buying your first bow from Ebay or a Pawn shop as most of the time they are not the      proper draw weight or draw length for you.  They are also usually overpriced.

    5. Don’t try to draw too much weight.  Draw weight can be deceiving, it utilizes muscles that     are not often used in normal everyday life.  Pulling too much weight can destroy your rotator cuff and can ruin your ability to shoot in the future.

    Buying your First Bow

    Archery for Beginners can be quite expensive at first until you have your basic equipment.  As with any sport there are expensive lines of archery equipment and there are cheaper lines of archery equipment.  The expensive equipment is not always better than the cheaper equipment, like any other equipment you are paying for the name and popularity of the item as well.  The best thing to do is to try before you buy.  You may find that you like how the cheaper model of bow shoots better than the more expensive one.

    When buying your first bow it is also essential that you buy a bow that fits you perfectly.  This can be done by [determining your draw length] and then buying a bow with that particular draw length.  One of the biggest problems with buying a bow that does not fit you is the inconsistency of your shooting which will just end up frustrating you beyond belief.

    One of the best places to buy your first bow is from a smaller archery shop.  The smaller shops usually have lower overhead(cheaper prices), and more personable staff that can spend more time with you, teaching and informing you of general archery shooting.  If you do not have any smaller shops around then you can go to a larger archery shop.  The biggest thing to remember is to try different bows before you buy one.

    Where to practice?

    Once you have purchased your bow and the rest of your archery equipment you will need a place to shoot.  More often than not you can buy and setup a target in your backyard, however if you live in city limits you will need to do some research to find some local archery clubs that you can go and shoot at.  These clubs are great for learning more and for picking other archers brains about archery related information.

    Archery is a great sport and is a whole lot of fun once you get into it. You should have a pretty good general idea about archery and if it sounds like something you want to do then I encourage you to get out there and get into it.

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    Archery Rules – The Rules You Need To Know

    Archery is a great sport that is a lot of fun and offers a challenge both physically and mentally.  As with any sport there are general archery rules or guidelines that must be followed in order to promote safety, fairness, and a good challenge.  In the sport of archery there are many different variations of rules depending on the type of shooting you are doing. Types of shoots include: Compettitive, 3D archery, Tournaments, Club shoots etc.

    There are however, general archery rules that stay the same no matter where you go or what type of shoot you are participating in.  These rules focus around the safety aspect of archery and must be followed in order to prevent injury to both yourself and others.  The following is a list of common archery rules:

    Never Dry-Fire a Bow

    This is a very important rule that if not followed could result in serious injury to yourself and to your bow equipment.  The act of dry firing a bow is shooting your bow without an arrow.  This may seem strange but the arrow provides the bow just enough resistance to keep it from overloading the limbs, cams/wheels, bow string and other components.  It is not uncommon for th bow string to snap, and limbs to break or crack when a dry-fire occurs.

    Never Fire a Bow when People are Area of Target

    This is an obvious rule that if not followed could end up in serious injury and even death.  One of the potential scenarios of archery is arrow deflection.  This happens when the arrow grazes or barely hits the target or other objects in its path.  The arrow can be deflected left, right, up or down.  This can make for a disaster should there be a person in the near vicinity of the target.

    Never Release an Arrow into the Sky (Sky Firing)

    Although this type of practice is seen in movies such as the lord of the Rings, this practice is not okay and should never be done.  Shooting an arrow into the sky can be very dangerous as it is unknown as to where the arrow will land or what or who it will hit.  Arrows are very light and can be carried by the wind off its course which adds to the dangerous aspect of this type of practice.

    Check Your Arrows after a Bad Shot

    The most common type of arrow used in archery today are carbon, the reason for this is due to their strength, resilience to damage and bending, and the increased straightness. It is important to make sure that if you miss the target or animal and your arrow hits or scrapes along the ground or other hard object or if you get a deflection off of an object that you check your arrow for missing pieces, stress cracks, chips or any other type of damage to your arrow.  The reason for this is that because the arrows are made of carbon fibers, they have the potential to shatter into a million pieces upon firing if there is damage to its structure.  This can cause massive injury to your face, arms and hands.

    Check your Bow String before Shooting

    Your bow string holds a lot of weight and is put under a ton of stress every time it is pulled back.  This along with age and outdoor elements causes your bow string to break down and degrade.  It is important that every time before you begin a shoot that you check your bow string for frayed, broken, separated or damaged strands.  Failure to catch any of these can result in your bow string snapping while at full draw causing damage to your equipment and possible serious injury to yourself and other standing near by.

    These are just a few of the general archery rules that if followed will help to greatly reduce the chances of injury to yourself or others and will also reduce the chances of damage to your archery equipment.

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    Archery How To – Staying Safe in a Tree stand

    One of the most common ways to bowhunt is in a tree stand due to the need to get closer to animals in order to take a shot.  Tree stands can bring a lot of successful hunts but can also be very dangerous if not handled properly. Every year bowhunters are injured and even killed while setting up, moving around on or getting onto their tree stands. Common injuries include bruises, cuts, broken bones, strains, concussions and more.  Here are some common guidelines on how to stay safe this hunting season so you can see the next.

    Read the Instructions

    I know that as men we don’t like reading instructions, or directions or anything else that may help to speed up the process of doing something (I am definitely guilty as charged).  However, when it comes to tree stand safety it is absolutely imperative that you know the ins and outs of your tree stand before you try putting it up.  The upside to this is that these days a lot of products come with videos so you only have to watch and learn.

    Choose the Right Tree

    This sounds like it would be an obvious point however, it is not uncommon for you to get lost in the moment of finding that “great hunting spot” and decide on using a tree that is a bit less sturdy because it gives a better shot area.  The tree you use should not only be able to hold your weight it should also be sturdy enough that it does not excessively rock or sway when it is windy.  If you notice that a good portion of the tree is dead or dying this could be an indication that the roots are dying and the tree could look and seem stable but could come down in a strong wind.

    Use a harness

    This is an absolute must.  Most if not all deaths are due to falling out of your tree stand. You need to wear a harness when setting up, climbing onto, on your tree stand and when you get down from your tree stand.  It is a bit annoying and can get in the way sometimes however, it can save your life should you suddenly lose your footing and fall.

    Use a Rope to Bring up Equipment

    Getting up into a tree stand can be a chore in itself, let alone trying to carry your equipment up at the same time.  One of the best ways to keep yourself from getting hurt is to tie your equipment to a rope that is tied to your tree stand.  Once you are in your tree stand and have a solid footing start pulling your equipment up to you.  This will help to curb accidental falls, equipment hitting you or getting snagged on branches.

    Apply Grip Tape to Stand and Steps

    Some of tree stands do come with anti slip material on the stand and steps however, if your tree stand does not have any type of non slip material, it is definitely something you should think about.  Many times out hunting there will be rain, snow or dew that can greatly increase the chances of slipping.  Grip tape is not very expensive and can help to keep you safe and alive to see the next hunting season.

    Tree stands are a great tool and asset when it comes to bowhunting and can really help to improve your chances of success in the field.  It is just very important that you treat them with respect and that you don’t take any unnecessary risks as they can become harmful very quickly.

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    5 Archery Tips for Maximizing the Life of your Bow String

    The bow string is a very critical part of your archery setup. Obviously without your bow string it would be impossible to shoot arrows from your bow.  It is because of the critical nature that you make sure that you are taking care of your bow string and ensuring that it is in good condition each and every time you shoot.  Eventually however your bow string will need to be replaced due to wear, dry rot, or damage.  Replacing the bow string is a normal part of archery however there are things you can do in order to maximize the life of the string and cables on your bow so that you can go longer in between replacement periods. Here are some archery tips that will help you to maximize your bow string.

    1.Wax your String

    This tip here is one of the best ways to keep you bow string in tip top shape longer.  The purpose of the wax is to put a coating over your string to keep it soft, flexible and dry.  It also helps against fraying of the string.  You should wax your bow string fairly often and really work it in so that it can penetrate into the strands of the bow string.

    2.Use a String Loop

    A string loop mainly helps against destroying your serving, which in turn will destroy your bow string.  A string loop is a small piece of cord that is tied to the bow string around where the arrow nock is attached.  The release is then placed on the loop instead of the bow string serving which greatly reduces the damage to the serving.

    3.Don’t Dry fire your Bow

    The fastest way to destroy your bow string is to dry fire your bow.  The act of dry firing a bow is basically just drawing and releasing the bow string without an arrow.  Dry firing a bow in most cases will snap your bow string, possibly your cables and has a good chance of cracking your bow limbs.  This is obviously a very costly mistake and one that should be avoided at all costs.

    4.Store your Bow away from Sharp objects

    A lot of  archers store their bows in hard cases along with a lot of their bow accessories and other items that they use while out on a course, or in the field.  It is important that if you are going to do this that you store any sharp objects such as tools or broadheads in hard plastic containers or separate from your bow altogether.  It is common for items to move around and become entangled with your bow string, this could cause cutting, scraping or creasing of your bow string which will reduce its life.

    5.Clean the Cams and Wheels

    If you are a bowhunter or you shoot competitively on a course where there are trees and shrubs all around it is important that you check your bow over for any twigs, small stones, dirt or other debris that could have found its way into the cam or wheel tract where the string lies.  This debris can over time wear down your bow string and can cause it to snap or wear out long before it should.

    Your bow string can last you a good long time if you are willing to take care of it, and take the necessary precautions to ensure that it does not become damaged through carelessness.

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    Archery Tips – 3 Tips to Easily Pull an Arrow from a Target

    Anybody who has ever shot an arrow into an archery target whether it be a regular square target or a 3D animal has more than likely experienced a situation where it is a struggle to pull the arrow from the target.  This is especially true for newer targets.  Instead of pulling muscles and wrenching your back there are easier ways of getting your arrow out of the target without having to get hurt.  Here are 3 tips that will help you to easily pull your arrow from targets in this situation.

    1. Use Arrow Lube

    Arrow lube works wonders and is a great preventative measure that you can take to help reduce the chances of your arrow becoming bound up and stuck in the target.  It is important that you only place the lube on the first 4 inches or so otherwise will cause too much of the arrow to become slippery making it hard to get a good grip on it.

    2. Twist then Pull

    This is actually a great way to remove an arrow that has become stuck in a target with ease.  The key is to twist to break the “seal” and then pull on the arrow. When using this technique it is important that you have a good grip on your arrow and that you are twisting and pulling the arrow without bending it.

    3. Use an arrow puller

    One of the major keys to the above technique or to pulling an arrow from a target in general is to have a good solid grip on the arrow.  There are plenty of “arrow pullers” out there that you can buy that work very well, however if you’re like me and want a cheap arrow puller use that rubberized foam matting that you would place under objects to keep them from moving.

    Pulling an arrow from a target should not be and doesn’t have to be a strenuous task.  If you use the above tips it will make pulling your arrows from targets a whole lot easier and faster.

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    Archery Tips – 5 Tips to Better Accuracy

    In the world of archery the primary goal to being a great archer is accuracy. It goes without saying that the more accurately you can shoot your bow the better you will score in a competition, or the more kill shots you will deliver while hunting. Improving your archery shot accuracy comes down to three main factors – Proper form, Consistency and Practice.  The more you improve at any of these 3 factors the more accurately you will be able to shoot and the better Archer you will become.  Here are 5 archery tips that you can use to greatly improve your archery shot accuracy.

    1. Use 2 anchor points instead of one

    An anchor point is a point usually on your face where you can consistently place the bowstring or a part of your hand so that you know that you are pulling the bow back to the exact same point every time.  Commonly archers will use touching the bowstring to their nose, or placing the knuckle of their index finger in front of their ear lobe, or they may have a kisser button that hits the corner of their mouth.  Using an anchor point produces consistency and will therefore help to increase the overall accuracy of your shot.  By using two different anchor points it further solidifies this consistency and narrows the chances of slight differences in the placement of your first anchor points.

    2. Tune your Bow

    Tuning your bow can greatly increase your archery shot consistency.  Tuning your bow and the equipment on it will ensure that the arrow is being launched as straight as possible out of the bow.  It will also stop or greatly reduce the amount of arrow fletching contact on your bow accessories which can cause inconsistent and erratic flight of your arrow.  The best way to tune your bow is to use the [paper tuning method].

    3. Don’t punch the Trigger

    Punching or pulling the trigger on a release when you fire the bow can cause bow torque, flinching and inconsistent shot patterns.  When releasing your bow string it is important that you concentrate on aiming at the target and while doing this slowly start squeezing the release until it suddenly lets go of the string.  It should almost be a surprise to you when it releases the string.  In doing this it will allow for a more calm and smooth release which means more shot consistency and accuracy.

    4. Follow your Shot Through

    A lot of archers including myself have been guilty of not following through when the arrow has been released.  This is the same idea as golf and keeping your head down.  After releasing the bow many archers will drop the bow and look to see where their arrow went.  This can cause the arrow to drop, or can cause the arrow to hit equipment causing very erratic behavior in the flight pattern and consistency of your arrow.  It is very important that you keep your shot form, and the bow up until after your arrow has hit the target.  This will ensure that the arrow is making it out of the bow before you start bringing it down.

    5. Shoot a Comfortable Draw Weight

    Shooting a bow can be very tiring especially when you are pulling back more weight than you are used to.  If you are struggling to draw your bow then you will end up tiring out your muscles before you even start trying to steady and aim your bow. This will obviously cause you to start shaking or wavering and will cause inconsistent shots.  Try reducing the amount of weight you are pulling and increasing that weight slowly as you build up muscle and stamina.

    Archery is definitely a sport of skill and patience and will become more fun the better you begin to shoot.  Improving your archery accuracy will take time and dedication but if you adopt the above tips you will begin to notice your shooting accuracy improve.

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    Increase your Accuracy by Shooting without a Peep Sight

    archery peep sight

    Peep sights have been and are being used by most of the archers out there today, however what many archers don’t know is that by ditching that peep sight and learning how to shoot your bow without its use you can dramatically improve not only the accuracy but also the consistency of your shots. For any of you who are currently using a peep sight or who have used one in the past there are a few negatives about them.

    1. Twisting – Peep Sights are notorious for twisting and shifting position on the string. This is a huge problem when you are at full draw and you are unable to see through your peep sight.

    2. Hole Blocked – With a peep sight you may notice that after traveling through the bush or maybe during a light rain that the hold can become blocked by drops of rain, dirt, sticks and whatever else you may encounter while hunting. This can leave you fighting to see your target or spending time trying to clear away the blockage.

    3. Reduced visibility – Due to the small hole, and design of most peeps it can really restrict the amount of light that is allowed through the peep sight thus greatly reducing your visibility especially in the early morning or evening when the sun is less bright.

    These are just a few of the more common problems that archers normally experience with a peep sight, however shooting without a peep sight takes all of these disadvantages away and once you have learned how to shoot without it, you will notice that your accuracy and consistency will have improved.

    How to shoot without a Peep Sight

    Shooting your bow without the use of a peep sight can take some getting used to however, the concept is very simple. The biggest key to shooting without the use of a peep sight is your anchor point(s). Usually its best to have 2 anchor points that you can hit every time you draw your bow. This is literally the biggest most crucial part of shooting your bow without a peep.

    Next when you draw the bow you will notice that the string will be in your line of sight, this is completely normal so what you have to do is simple tilt your head a bit to the right or left so that you can just see your pins on the left or right side of the string.

    That is really all there is to shooting without a peep sight. As long as you sight your bow in and shoot your bow with the exact same anchor points each and every time, and looking to the same side of the string each and every time, you will be able to shoot without a peep sight.

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    What Is Archery? – Everything you Need to Know

    What is Archery?

    Overview
    Simply put archery is the process or skill of shooting or launching a long straight wooden, aluminum or carbon shaft called an arrow from a bow, hence the popular term “bow and arrow”. The word “archery” is derived from the latin word “arcus”, and was originally used as a means of both hunting and combat. A person who practices archery is referred to as an archer and one who is an expert at the art of archery is considered to be a “toxophilite”.

    History
    The invention of the bow and arrow is not exactly clear but through artifacts, drawings and other historical evidence it is believed they were invented around 10,000 – 9000 BC. The arrows were made of pine and consisted of 2 parts, the mainshaft and foreshaft. The mainshaft made up most of the arrow with the foreshaft being about 6-8 inches long and had a flint or rock type tip fastened to it.

    Bows and arrows have been present and have been being used in war by many known civilizations such as:
    -Assyrians
    -Persians
    -Parthians
    -Indians
    -Chinese
    -Japanese

    Although archery became a well practiced art in many civiliazations it was the Asian civilizations that really developed the art of archery and became very well known for their regiments of highly skilled archers. Once the domestication of the horse had set in the asians and the indians began practicing the art of archery on horseback which helped to gain mobility within war and hunting situations. Later on when the invention and guns came into play archery became an obsolete as a war or even hunting method as guns delivered more accuracy, range and effectiveness against game and foes.

    Today
    In terms of technology archery has come an incredibly long way since the art was invented. Archery is now becoming popular again as a way of hunting as well as for recreational sport. The Bow and arrows are nothing like they used to be, consisting of carbon, aluminum, graphite, metals and many other materials that have made it possible for the invention of new designs, increased accuracy and stability.

    Today arrows are made of one single shaft with a knock at the back and a tip at the front. The shafts are most commonly made of aluminum or carbon and the tips have been re-invented to include field tips, broadheads and blunt tips all consisting of hardened steel or hard plastic.

    Archery today is enjoyed by many including men, women and children who participate in the art for hunting and for competitive sport. Archery as a competitive sport has really become popular over the last few years and includes tournaments, olympics and variations of competitive target events such as 3D archery.

    Whether you are young or old archery is a very fun and exciting sport and is well worth getting into.

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    Deer Hunter BlackBerry Theme

    A few days ago I was looking for some cool hunting related things for my BlackBerry and I realized that there isn’t a whole lot out there for archery or hunting in general, but I ended up coming across this BlackBerry theme that I thought was really impressive compared to a lot of others I had seen. I downloaded it and have had it for a few days now and I think it’s one of the nicest deer hunting themes out there for BlackBerrys and so I thought it was worth a mention for all those who like hunting related themes for your BlackBerrys.

    Here are a few screenshots I got from the theme page:

    Ultimate Deer Hunter's Theme Main Screen  Ultimate Deer Hunter's Theme icon screenUltimate Deer Hunter's Theme Call Screen  Ultimate Deer Hunter's Theme Incoming Call

    Well I’m not going to go on about it forever if you are interested in getting this theme for yourself to get you into the hunting spirit you can get it from one of the links below:

    For those of you running 5.0 Software you can download this theme from here:

    http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/14987?lang=en

    For those of you running 6.0 Software you can download this theme from here:

    http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/34945?lang=en

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    Archery Accident Lessons- Carbon Arrow Shattering During Shot

    This topic has been talked about before but because of the seriousness and decent potential possibility of this issue happening I would like to re-post an article on the dangers of not properly checking your carbon arrows before shooting them. This article is not meant to scare you simply to bring awareness to a danger you can avoid.

    Carbon arrows are made from strands of carbon fibers and therefore have the possibility of sharttering if the arrow structure is compromised and the arrow is shot from a bow. The video below gives you an idea of how much stress the arrow receives when shot from a bow.

    One of the most important things to remember when shooting carbon arrows is that they need to be checked frequently for fractures, splintered areas, gouges and other possible structural compromises.  Too many archers and bowhunters alike simply pick up their arrows, or pull them from the target, place them in their quiver and continue withrout checking their arrows.

    Below are 2 videos the first depicting an arrow shattering during a shot and then second showing what can happen if the arrow shatters during your shot.  The second video is very graphic and if you are easily offended by graphic content don’t watch the second video, the front picture of it will give you a good enough idea of what can happen.

    The above video depicts only one scenario of what could happen if your arrow shatters. There are other scenarios can include the arrow hitting you in the face, your bow string breaking and causing your limbs to shatter and the arrow breaking being deflected and the tip hitting another part of your body.

    Aside from frequent random checks of your arrow which include bending and flexing the arrow to see any potential splintered areas or stress cracks there are a few situations in which you will want to check the arrow right after shooting it.  These situations include:

    - Arrow hitting the ground.
    - Hitting a tree or other hard object.
    - Any kind of deflection shot.
    - After shooting an animal.
    - If arrow is accidentally stepped on or flexed improperly.
    - Taking them out of storage

    These situations are just a few of the most likely situations however any situation where the arrow receives a greater unatural amount of stress than they were made for they should be given the flex and bend test and carefully looked over for any kind of structural compromise.

    Checking your arrows only takes a minute or tw0 and can most save you from getting badly hurt.  Let’s do what we can to keep safe and have a great hunting season.

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