Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bowcast at the Bird 2011

For those who know me well, know that I love archery (thanks CJ for getting me hooked). One of my favorite Nikon-sponsored event is Bowcast at the Bird. This extreme 3D shoot is unlike any other in the country. This high elevation, high-octane shoot is not for the leisure shooter. Targets are difficult, 50-yards is considered a close shot and angles are realistic to a backcountry hunt.

What makes it even more fun is the people and the overall laid back atmosphere. You don’t have to keep score. In fact, my score was either the "thunk" sound of foam, or me mumbling expletives because lost my arrow over a cliff. This shoot also pushes you and your gear to the limits.

The first day I tackled the FMP and Elite courses with my friend Kelly and Rick Hanson (Bowcast & Bowhunting.net contributor). The target average was 70-yards on these courses and required a gondola ride to the top of the mountain at 11,000 feet.

Shooting that high up, in the snow and in July was one of the coolest experiences I have ever had. It took us four hours to navigate through deep snow, incredible canyons and shoot 20 extremely difficult targets.

I never really knew the importance of an angle compensating rangefinder until I shot these courses. I had guessed an uphill mule deer target to be about 60-yards. When I ranged it with my Nikon RifleHunter 1000, it read 40-yards exactly. I didn’t want to believe it, but I trusted my gear and placed my 40-yard pin on the deer’s vitals and watched as my arrow went exactly where I wanted it.

The next day was the ladies social shoot hosted by Carrie Z. Women from all over the country took over one of the many courses for an afternoon. I had the pleasure of shooting with Michelle Brantley from Realtree.com, my friend Kelly and Katy from California. It was really neat to see all of the enthusiastic women conquer one of the toughest 3D courses in the country.

I may have lost and broken more arrows than I wanted, but my shooting confidence is at an all-time high and I can’t wait for fall to get here!