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New York Bowhunters, Inc. Donates for NASP Archery Equipment

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Canandaigua NY — The National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) continues to sweep across the country and has been extremely successful in New York since officially being launched by the New York State Department Environmental Conservation (DEC) in July of 2007.

Adam Ziccardi a Math/Computer Science teacher from Orchard Park High School (OPHS), located in DEC region 9, has been running an after school archery club for grades 9 – 12 for the last four years. When field trip buses to Gander Mountain were cut from the school budget the kids had nowhere to shoot and no gear whatsoever. The club started selling chocolate bars and Ziccardi, a member of West Falls Conservation Society started soliciting funds from local sportsman’s clubs and organizations. The local community responded and donations began to come in with the largest single donation coming from New York Bowhunters, Inc. (NYB). A check in the amount of $1,000.00 was presented to Ziccardi at Orchard Park High School by NYB Region 9 Director Jim Eichinger.

Ziccardi’s archery club raised over $3200.00 for equipment which is the typical cost of a NASP equipment kit. Each kit includes a dozen Genesis bows, 5 Rinehart targets, Easton Arrows, and BCY backstop netting. “Not one penny came from the school district”, states Ziccardi. “All participants in the program are required to take a safety course before they can shoot. At the first safety class, there were 34 students with more being added as the class grows in popularity. OPHS Physical Education teacher, Bridget Callahan, has been very important in helping schedule the gym time and has been helping the kids learn proper form.”

A Christmas tournament was held last December and in March the entire physical education staff of OPHS was NASP trained and certified. Once staff members saw the equipment and learned of the program, the whole department wanted to get involved. Ziccardi hopes all of OPHS 1400+ students can learn about archery through the NASP program.

When asked of the archery program at school, Ziccardi said “It’s all about making the shot that counts. Golf, bowling, basketball, curling, field hockey, and any other sport where the player launches a projectile all have an archery mindset. When a student plays an instrument solo, spells a word to win the Bee, or is faced with public speaking or performing, archery confidence applies there, too. It’s about recognizing the timing of getting one chance to put it in the metaphorical 10-ring. That mentality builds confidence, self-esteem, self-respect, and earns respect. These are lifelong skills that can’t be easily achieved. We’re all still striving to hit that “10-ring”. I’m grateful to all the clubs, including New York Bowhunters but especially to West Falls, Conservation Society who’ve donated time and the finances to get us rolling.”

NYB has been a supporter & advocate of the NASP program since its very beginnings. They have purchased over $6,000.00 worth of NASP equipment for use in schools across NYS, helped sponsor a trip to the national tournament for the 2009 NYS Boys and Girls NASP Tournament champions, and helped sponsor the 2010 NYS NASP tournament. At their annual banquet this past April, the NYS NASP tournament champions were presented their awards by Melissa Bailey, NASP Coordinator for the NYSDEC.

NYB President Gary Socola likes what he sees with the progression of the NASP program across the state. Recently he heard from a NASP representative that it is projected within two years that there will be more participants in the NASP program then those playing in little league baseball. “Kids love to shoot bows and arrows, what kid didn’t make their own bow and arrow out of baling twine and saplings while growing up in rural New York” Socola stated. “I just don’t understand why we can’t get the DEC and the New York State Conservation Council behind lowering the age of junior archery hunters, like they did when promoting a reduction in age for the junior big game firearms hunters? NY’s junior archers continue to endure the most stringent archery age requirements in the United States all the while the NASP program continues to grow.”

New York Bowhunters, Inc. was formed in 1991 to promote bowhunting, educate hunters and non-hunters, and to fight anti-hunting legislation. NYB is currently working to establish a southern zone early archery season which will start annually on October 1st.

NYB can be contacted at P.O. Box 1157, Canandaigua, NY 14424 or by phone at 585-905-0961 or email at nyboffice@newyorkbowhunters.com. To learn more about NYB or to become a member, please go to their website at http://www.newyorkbowhunters.com/

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How to Shoot a Compound Bow Properly – Ultimate Guide

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Shooting a compound bow might seem as simple as picking up the bow, drawing the string with an arrow, and releasing it. If that’s how you think it works, then you’re dead wrong. It takes a world of knowledge and practice to learn how to properly shoot a compound bow. Luckily for you, we’re going to teach you how to do it with this compound bow shooting tutorial.

Preparing the Bow

Your compound bow should use high-quality strings that aren’t worn or heavily used. Your bow should be in good shape and properly maintained. You should be aware of how much draw pressure your bow can handle. If possible, use a compound bow that you’ve used before and that you’re familiar with, or use a compound bow that an expert archer has provided. Ideally, you should learn how to shoot a compound bow from someone who has a lot of experience shooting such a bow successfully.

Stance

You should face the target at about a 45-degree angle. Your feet should be parallel to one another and about 17-25 inches apart. Your toes should be directly facing the target. If you use such a stance you’ll have a much easier time drawing your bow and you’ll have a better chance of hitting your target dead-on.

Grip

Use a firm but relaxed grip with your bow-holding hand. If your grip is too tight on the bow then you won’t have as much accuracy on your shot. Try using a wrist sling if you are unable to master the art of a firm yet comfortable grip. Don’t be ashamed because the main point is accuracy and whatever you can do to attain the perfect shot is fine. Never, and I repeat NEVER, shoot with an open hand. You don’t ever want to grab the bow with your drawing hand during a shot – this is undoubtedly the worst mistake you can make when shooting a compound bow because it can lead to fatal errors.

Anchor

When you draw the string, you should be locking your string hand against the side of your face. This is what’s known as the “anchor” position. The string and your hand will be on the right side of your face, and vice versa if you are left-handed. You can achieve the highest level of archery accuracy by anchoring the string at the corner of your mouth – or under your chin.

Draw

You should extend your bow arm directly toward your target with the string gripped firmly between your fingers… or by using a mechanical release device, if you prefer. Point the bow at the target and pull the string smoothly and firmly. Extend the bow all the way, pull the string back to its maximum point of a full draw, and resist the urge to move the compound bow forward. Make sure that you use a bow that is suited for you because a bow with a draw that is too heavy will destroy your accuracy.

Aim

If you’re using a bow that is equipped with a sight then aiming will be easier, but it still won’t be perfect. Bow sights are good for average shooters, especially if a laser sight is involved. The key to natural aiming is practice. The best archers usually aim slightly above the target (depending on wind conditions) so they can aim while still looking directly at the target.

Release

Your release can determine whether or not your shot hits the mark. You need a smooth release, and you need to relax all of your fingers completely before you release the string for the shot. Even the slightest amount of finger tension can disrupt your aim. If you have a mechanical release aid the shot will be easier because all you have to do is draw, aim, and pull the release trigger for the compound bow. This type of mechanism can fail you, however… if you slap the trigger then the arrow will go astray.

Follow-Through

Just as in golf, the follow-through is extremely important in archery. Why? The arrow has already been released, right? You need to keep aiming until your arrow hits the target. The follow-through is largely a mental thing. You need to see your arrow hitting the target while you are steadily holding your bow. Never lower your bow after the arrow has been released. Stay in formation and hold your position until the arrow hits the target.

Practice

If you want to become an expert at shooting a compound bow then you need to practice. The saying “practice makes perfect” isn’t really true. You need to invoke the saying of “perfect practice makes perfect” because practicing something the wrong way will get you nowhere. When your target of choice is out of season then you shouldn’t lay back and watch TV until it’s time to hunt again. Set up targets and keep a compound bow in your hands as much as you can.

Conclusion

After reading this article there’s no excuse for becoming an expert compound bow shooter. From choosing the right equipment to shooting correctly there is an equation to correctly shooting a compound bow. Do you have any tips on shooting a compound bow? If so, we’d love to hear from you in the Comments section below.

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NYS DEC Misses the Mark with New Regulations

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New changes are heading our way for the 2015 deer season in New York. For those of us hunting in Westchester County and a few other WMUs that have historically had an overpopulation of deer we now have a newly created 2-week long antlerless-only season – the only problem is that it’s the first 2-weeks of bow season.

For some, that’s not an issue, but to others, it just crushed their chances of killing that buck they’ve been patterning since the season ended in 2014. Why? Because those first 2-weeks also happen to be the last few days you can catch a buck on its summer pattern.

The DEC says that management goals are not being met in these WMUs which is why we need the antlerless-only season. Well, I can tell you changing the first two weeks to antlerless-only is going to have a minimal impact, if any, on the antlerless harvest. The guys that want to shoot bucks will be spending their time in NJ or CT and the rest of us, well, we kill does all season long so it’s business as usual for us.

If the DEC really wanted to increase the antlerless harvest we could have looked to our neighbors over in CT and simply extended the hunting season for another month by starting in September, extending into January or both.

We also are still a 2-buck state (1 Regular Season buck tag, 1 Either Sex archery tag). If we dropped one of the tags, like most of the ‘big-buck’ states, and became a 1-buck state I think you’d also see the antlerless harvest go up…not to mention we’d probably have a few more decent bucks running around.

Time will tell how these new regulations end up working, but I think we already know, this isn’t going to work.

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Bowhunting News

NYS DEC Misses the Mark with New Regulations

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First meeting of 2014 for the WCBA

The Westchester County Bowhunters Association will hold its winter meeting on January 21,2014 at 7:00 p.m. at the Teatown Lake Reservation Ossining, NY.

One of the hot topics for discussion I’m sure will be the plans that Teatown has for using sharpshooters to cull 75 deer from the reservation property. Why Teatown isn’t using a free resource like Westchester County’s own bowhunters and is choosing to use taxpayer money to hire sharp shooters is beyond me. Hopefully, we get some answers on this Tuesday night.

About the WCBA: Since 1979, the Westchester County Bowhunters Association has worked at expanding the knowledge of local non-hunters in order that they understand the importance of sound wildlife conservation, and by that we mean effectively controlling Westchester County’s deer populations through Bow hunting.

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