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Archery Tips

The Art of Stabilization

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One of the most overlooked accessories in archery is the stabilizer. When it comes to hunting stabilizers many archers say they don’t notice a difference in their shooting when they have a stabilizer on or have a stabilizer off – when in reality they don’t understand the true function of a stabilizer and have never used the correct one. In addition, many of today’s manufactures make stabilizers that serve as shock absorbers rather than stabilizers. To understand the purpose of a stabilizer we must take a look at some basic physics.

When you draw your bow back there are directional forces pulling on the bow in several directions – your sight, arrow rest, quiver, stabilizer and you pulling the string back all create forces on the bow’s riser. All of these directional forces have an effect on pin movement. If you draw your bow back and you’re pin is floating in big circles or a figure eight around the bulls eye on your target then you most likely do not have the right type of stabilizer for your bow. While it won’t be possible to eliminate all of that movement, it is possible to decrease it significantly which will help you hold your bow steadier and increase the tightness of your groups at longer yardages.

First, lets go over what a true stabilizer should accomplish. A stabilizer should be rigid all the way through without vibration dampening material in the middle of the stabilizer. Any vibration dampening material in place of a rigid bar stabilizer will allow the stabilizer to flex, reducing the stabilizers ability to resist movement (a stabilizer with a flexible end will still balance a bow, but it will never be able to effectively resist movement). Another feature you want to look for in a good stabilizer is a stack weight system at the end of the stabilizer. To effectively stabilize a bow the weight of the stabilizer should be as far in front of the bow’s riser as possible (hence why 3D archers use 30″ stabilizers with the weights at the end of the rod). The stack weight system allows the archer to use various weight combinations until the perfect resistence is found for the particular bow/shooter combination.

Newton’s first law of motion states that objects at rest tend to stay at rest. Unless the object is acted upon by an outside force, the object will remain at rest. We can use this theory to understand how a stabilizer helps reduce pin movement. Pin movement can be resisted by reducing the leverage your bow hand has on moving the weight at the end of your stabilizer. A longer stabilizer will have a greater effect on reducing the leverage your bow hand will have on moving the weight at the end of the stabilizer, thus making it harder for you pins to move off target. With the correct stabilizer screwed onto your bow’s riser sudden deliberet movements become difficult, which means subtle, unintentional movements are resisted and your pins remain steadier.

I went from using a 4.5″ SIMS S-Coil stabilizer weighing 4.7 ounces to a rigid Posten Woodsman 8″ stabilizer weighing around 9.5 ounces and instantly noticed a difference in both the weight of my bow and how much steadier I was able to hold the pins on my target. I didn’t want to go longer because this stabilizer is going to be used in hunting situations and I didn’t want it to get in the way, but I would go up to 10″ or 12″ to keep the stabilizer lighter – I needed to use heavier weights on my 8″ stabilizer to achieve the feel I would have been able to get from a 10″ stabilizer using lighter weights. The thing to remember here when trying to choose a stabilizer is that you can’t shorten a stabilizer that is too long, but you can add weight to a stabilizer that is too short to give you the feel of a longer stabilizer.

For more indepth information on stabilizers visit Jim Posten’s web site here. Jim also makes custom stabilizers and does a great job communicating with archers to help build them the perfect system to fit their needs.

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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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