3D – How to Shoot Better Scores

Posted: 12/29/2012 in Archery, Gable Sporting Goods, News, Real Avid, Tech, Tips and Tricks
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From Bowhunting.com

By: Bowhunting.com Staff | 1/3/2009
Most die hard bowhunters have shot an occasional 3D course, however we often hear questions about what it takes to get better than the average Joe. 3D archery can be shot for many reasons by different people, from preparing for the woods all the way to the extreme of attempting to compete successfully at the state, regional, and national level. What if you want to take 3D archery to the next step, where it really becomes a different pursuit than simply preparing you for the field? The article is intended to be a road map to help those interested in becoming more competitive in 3D archery.

Classes and Rules

To start, you will need to determine what class you intend to compete in, and what rules will be enforced in the events you plan to attend. Typically, you will see local events split into two separate classes; Bowhunter and Open.

Bowhunter classes are typically shooting from distances of 35-40 yards and closer. They will usually be restricted to some sort of pin sight that is not movable without the use of tools. Sometimes there will be rules on the number of pins allowed on the sight, most commonly restricting you to four of fewer pins, and you will normally not be allowed to use magnifying lenses on the sight. Bowhunter class shooters will normally be restricted to stabilizers twelve inches or less, and will need to use arrows with screw in field points, and 4” or longer vanes or feathers on their arrows.

(NOTE: I have never, ever seen a requirement that bowhunter class, in any league, use screw in field points or 4″ or longer vanes or feathers. – Niko)

So what kind of equipment does it take to be successful in 3D archery? The first thing to consider is that a lot of the features that are an advantage when in a treestand, may not necessarily give you an advantage on the 3D course. Once you know what class you want to compete in, you can then begin to build a list of the equipment that fits your needs and will give you the most competitive advantage within those rules.

For Bowhunter class 3D, speed really becomes much less critical than Open classes that shoot out past 40 yards. When you look at the scores at the state, regional, and national level in Bowhunter classes, you will see that the best shooters will rarely shoot any 8’s on a course at all, usually hitting all 10’s and roughly half of the X rings available. Mistakes and dropped points in this class usually occur due to poor shot execution, not because of distance judging errors. At 40 yards and less, your margin for error on most targets will be +/- three to four yards. Knowing this, set your Bowhunter class rig up for consistency and forgiveness. Top shooters in this class will typically shoot longer axle to axle bows in the 37” to 40” range, with forgiving brace heights of 7.5”+, and arrows going 280-290fps. Because the top several places in most Bowhunter classes will only be separated by the number of X’s shot, give yourself an advantage and shoot the widest shaft that you can get to fly well and at an acceptable speed out of your bow. Those wide shafts won’t be affected by the wind at the closer distances you will see in this class. They will also help you grab some of those X ring lines that you normally would be just out on with a skinny hunting shaft.

Read more at Bowhunter.com
(Note: This seems to be written from an IBO point of view, since in the ASA there is a definite speed limit, and it’s MORE important for bowhunter classes to be at that limit than, say, Known 45 or Known 50 class, where using a rangefinder is the standard. – Niko)

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