Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Shoot Happens!

First, sorry for the corny title. I've been thinking a lot about shooting my bow these days. As I think I said in an earlier post, it is ironic that I finally finished my bow just in time for cold weather when it is uncomfortable to practice shooting. That's what I get for procrastinating for so long. I was lucky enough, however, to get in one good session over Thanksgiving. My brother and I went on a roving practice session. Our parents live in an area where there is still some pseudo-wilderness area. There are some wooded patches, a river and some open grassland not yet developed. We each carried our bow and a quiver of arrows. Basically, we would pick some target and see who could shoot it or get closest to it. Being near civilization, there were lots of objects to shoot like trash and tennis balls. The fun of roving around is that you can try so many different shots. A few of the fun ones were:
  • a lob shot trying to hit a patch of grass 50 yds. away.
  • a western movie style shoot out where we were facing away from our target and had to spin around and shoot two arrows through it.
  • a long range shoot to test the max distance of our bows. Mine is ~190 yds.
  • a shot at an object protected by brush.
I'm dying to shoot like this again, but will have to wait till the weather is nicer. In the mean time I bought a target and put it in my basement. I know you're thinking this is dangerous, but it isn't. First, the shot is only 20 ft. which makes it pretty hard to miss. Second, as you can see from the picture, I have some protective cushioning surrounding the target.
I shoot 4-5 days a week because it is so fun even with the same 20 ft. shot everytime. To keep it interesting I usually play a game. I start with 12 arrows and my object is to get at least one in each of the four white spots. Of course it isn't that plain. I always make it into a movie moment with dialogue:

Dr. Evil: "Ok Mr. Bond, you have 12 arrows with which to save your family. Each spot you hit will release one of your family members. Good Luck, Mr. Bond".

Bond: (Sean Connery accent) "I'll play your game Dr. Evil and when I'm done I'll save my last arrow for you!"

So far I've only saved my family once, but I'm getting better.

I was just thinking about how much fun it would be if there was a way to have a non-lethal bow fight. It would be like paintball, except you would use bows. There'd need to be some kind of arrow or arrow tip that is padded. I probably wouldn't go as far as using paint. The trick would be making an arrow that would fly true but not hurt. If it were a cartoon, it would be an arrow with a boxing glove on the tip. Does anyone have any ideas?


fooiemcgoo said...

suction cup arrows?

when i was little, one of my friend's dad worked for nerf. and he brought over an entire garbage bad of nerf arrows and a couple nerf bows. this was pretty awesome b/c those arrows were like a dollar a peice at the store, but i bet we had like 100.

him and i would play against my brother and we would make forts with bases in the basement.

I made my own nerf bow from sassafras.

unanimous said...

Thanks for saving my life, agent 007.

I too have pondered the question of how to shoot your friends and family without inflicting lethal blows.

The answer came to me as I struggled with another question, which was - How can I practice my Mongolian horseback archery shooting, as I have no horse, no asiatic compostie bow, and no Steppe People to drive into Europe?

Eureka! The answer: Make a light draw-weight bow, soft tipped arrows, gather like minded/armed friends and set about to 'raid'[read:shoot] each other as we parade about on bicycles.

Limited rules would include
1. no face shots
2. no 1/2 inch oak dowel 'spoke-buster' arrows

Sassmouth said...

The problem is that you have to have one hand on the handlebars unlike a horse who won't fall over. I'll have to get workin on a light weight bow.

sten said...

i'm glad you called it a 'Sean Connery accent' 'coz even in scotland no one else sounds like him!