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Archery Tips

Building Your Own Hunting Arrows

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In this world there are those who hunt and those who fish. Within those groups there is a cult like following of those who take that passion to the next level – these are the bowhunters and fly fishermen. Bowhunters and fly fishermen live and breath their quarry and think know everything there is to know about their beloved whitetail or rainbow trout. Similar to how the fly fishermen takes price in tying that perfect fly to catch that trout of a lifetime, the archer takes price in the arrows he builds to take that buck of a lifetime.

Bowhunter’s are a different breed. As a bowhunter I am overly obsessed with my bow and everything that goes into it. I shoot my bow everyday, I perform work on my bow whenever possible, I make sure my bow is tuned to perfection, and I use what I feel are the best accessories for my style of hunting. When it comes to shooting accurately and consistently it only makes sense to build your own arrows. I take pride in my work and enjoy building the most consistent arrow possible. Here is the four step process I go through to build my “perfect” arrow:

  1. My arrows start as a bare shaft. I have my local archery shop cut my Easton Axis 400s at 28.5″, which leaves one inch of arrow in front of my rest at full draw. I don’t have them install the HIT inserts, I do that on my own. I do believe the HIT inserts greatly improve broadhead alignment and significantly reduce any broadhead wobble that could occur from a standard insert if it was installed crooked.
  2. The next thing I do to my bare shaft is remove the nocks from them and run each end of the shaft through a G5 A.S.D. Tool. ASD stands for arrow squaring device, and that is exactly what this little device does. You simply rotate the end of the arrow shaft against a diamond stone to ensure that each end of your arrow shaft is perfectly square which will help your arrows fly more consistent. I then use some alcohol on a paper towel to wipe off the remaining carbon residue on the ends of the shaft.
  3. Next I firmly press the nock into one end of the shaft and use a Bitzenburger jig to fletch three Blazer vanes with a right helical, spaced at 120 degrees. I prep the shaft by using 200 grit sandpaper to lightly sand the end of the shaft where the fletching will be glued. Next, I use a paper towel with alcohol to clean the carbon dust off of the shaft and remove all grease and oils so the vane will adhere properly. I place the vane as far back into my Bitzenburger jig as possible leaving the vane approximately 1/2″ away from the nock which improves arrow stability. I prefer using the Bitzenburger jig because it makes refletching a single vane a quick and simple job without having to refletch the entire arrow.
  4. After the arrows have had enough time for the vanes to set I begin installing my inserts. Following the directions provided by Easton I use the provided epoxy and HIT tool to insert the nocks. Here is where I get a little crazy. At this point I like to take the fixed blade broadheads I will be hunting with and screw them into the arrow while the glue has not yet set. I then rotate the broadhead to align with the vanes. Many people argue that this will no have an effect on arrow flight and they may be right, but I like to know that every arrow I pull from my quiver will sit exactly the same on my arrow rest. It just eliminates one more factor that could lead to a stray arrow.

Once my arrows are complete I let them all sit overnight to completely cure before firing them. At this point I weigh the arrows and pull out any that are more than 5 grains over or under the rest of the group. These arrows become target arrows. With the remaining arrows that have been weighed for consistency I then number the arrows with a marker on one of the vanes. Now it’s time to shoot the broadheads into a target (this is after you have tuned your bow and you have your broadheads hitting as close to your field points as you can get). You want to shoot all the arrows into the target and pull out any of the numbered arrows that consistently hit outside of the group. You might have to sacrifice two or three arrows out of a dozen or maybe they all are flying true. Before you make these arrows target arrows try turning the nock on them 1/4 turn – sometimes this is all it takes to make a straggler come back into the group.

Your patience will pay off at this point and you will have a group of arrows that you know will all hit the mark every time you release that arrow. I make my own arrows because I have control of the entire process from start to finish. My arrows are all as close to one another as I can possibly make them and I never have to wonder if it was a bad arrow I shot at a deer because I know if I make a bad shot it was user error, not a mechanical malfunction.

If you don’t currently make your own arrows you might want to give it a shot. I will warn you, however, it takes lots of time, especially if you’re fletching one arrow at a time, one vane at a time. The results are worth the effort, but don’t expect to become a pro over night. It takes time to learn and master your fletching jig and produce a top quality finished product, but when you take that first deer with an arrow you assembled yourself it makes it all worth it.

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Archery Tips

Keep Your Bowhunting Skills Sharp with 3D Shooting

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Over the last few weekends we’ve been headed over to Blue Mountain Sportsman Center to shoot 3D. The course has been a lot of fun to shoot. There’s several targets to shoot at including deer, turkey, bear, and fox. The terrain makes it very realistic practice for hunting with shots at inclines and declines to simulate actual hunting scenarios.

One thing I like to do is shoot from the furthest stakes and guess the yardage. Then after we all shoot we range the target to see how close we were to guessing the distance. This really helps me to learn how to judge distance in the field and is a valuable tool for when an animal catches you off guard in the field. Shooting from the furthest stakes also make the closer shots seem easier.

If you haven’t been out shooting 3D this summer then you better hurry up and get out there because hunting season will be here before you know it. Blue Mountain Sportsman Center is open Thursday – Sunday and holidays. Shooting a round of 3D costs $12 with a county park pass and is $15 without a park pass.

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Archery Tips

Indoor Archery Leagues at Extreme Archery

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Team NYB will be joining the Hunter League at Extreme Archery set to begin on September 3rd. The Hunter League will be held on Fridays for 6 weeks and feature various animal targets.

We’re looking forward to participating in the league and sharpening our skills for the upcoming season. The indoor league is a great way to meet fellow archers and practice shooting under a little bit of pressure!

Here are the details on the Indoor Archery Leagues at Extreme Archery:

Kids League ($70, 8 weeks)
– begins Saturday, September 4th @ 10:00am

300 Target League ($90, 7 weeks)
– begins Wednesday, September 1st @ 6:30pm

Hunter League ($90, 6 weeks)
– begins Friday, September 3rd @ 6:30pm

Traditional League (TBD)
– call to find out more

To sign up for any of the Indoor Archery Leagues call Extreme Archery at 914-777-7500.

Extreme Archery is located at 801 East Boston Post Rd, Mamaroneck, NY 10543.

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Archery Tips

How to Set the Perfect Treestand

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This is something new I’m adding to my arsenal of tricks this season to help me set the perfect stand (works for trail cams too)! It’s called the Photographer’s Ephemeris, a tool designed to help landscape photographers take the perfect picture at sunrise or sunset.

The tool allows you to pick a location, date and time to see exactly where the sun and moon will be. This allows you to follow the path of the sun and moon on any given date and at any given time.

So how does this help the hunter? Simple. It allows the hunter to find a stand location on the map and then see how the sun will rise and set during the hunting season so that the sun is never in the hunter’s eyes.

I entered the location of our lease in the program and changed the date to opening day. Where we have our stands situated is in the perfect spot with the sun rising to our right and circling behind us before setting to our left. That means if the deer are out in the hunting plot where we hope to shoot them we will have the sun behind us which will make it much harder for the deer to pick us out of the tree.

This is a great tool I will be playing around with more and more this season as I hang some tree stands over the next few weeks. Below is a video on how it works:

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