For most people archery deer season is over, so the question comes in what now in terms of shooting to stay consistent. You work all summer scouting and practice shooting, then you start getting great groups just as hunting season starts. You practice during hunting season to stay in practice, then season is over and now you what put the bow away? Not practicing so much anymore? Waiting for the spring season to come to start practicing again for turkeys?
Well you could join different leagues at local clubs, such as a spot league or an indoor 3d league. These are great ways, though I found something really interesting while at my local club. So I'm shooting my first 5-spot league and I'm practicing most nights at the 20-yards that we shoot. I'm using my standard Black Eagle Rampage Arrows that my bow is setup for, that I used for hunting. I notice that a few of the guys are shooting these arrows that are crazy large in diameter though extremely light. Now, shooting leagues is nothing new to me (I shot in leagues when I was younger, just not a 5-spot league) and competition has been part of my life since I can remember. So I'm looking at these arrows and so I ask as I do with most things that I'm intriged by.
Now, please hold for a second before I give the answer, Since I love competition, I'm practicing as much as possible so I can shoot that all elusive 300 round shot, meaning, I didn't miss the 5 ring for 60 straight shots. By the end of the league that is my goal and minus twice where I dropped my arm for some unknown reason the last league night, I have improved from 280 to 287, then if I didn't drop my arm, could have had a 297 round. So that 300 mark isn't out of the range of possibility.
Here comes the answer.. and I'm sure it is what you probably would expect..
Shooting the largest diameter arrow you can that is as light as possible gives you the best possible chance to get a higher score. Then I was told if you don't use these, you are at a huge disadvantage. So naturally, that started me thinking more. At my club there is a kid that shoots in the pro rankings and he's an unbelievable shot. His arrows aren't super large in diameter, they are only a littler larger than mine, but way lighter than mine. He rarely misses the "X" spot on the target. If having the larger diameter arrows are better all around, wouldn't he have them and use them? So that makes me even more beg the next question. If you shoot a standard hunting arrow, would your score be just as good or would you need to practice more? The guys at my club are awesome guys and very knowledgeable with shooting. So it just begs the question for me, why not practice more, then you won't need such large arrows?
So at this point, I'm getting off target of the original post. The point was for shooting in the off season to keep form, but what I found due to my competition side is that while I'm trying to keep form with shooting. I know that with most hunting, a clean an ethical kill is about shot placement and correct form. So at that point, wouldn't target shooting be the same thing? Challenging yourself to make yourself better, shouldn't you try to use the smallest diameter arrows you can get to make yourself a better shooter? Which at that point would translate into better scores for target competitions then when out hunting turn into better shots and more ethical kills.
So at the end of the day, shooting spots or any league during the off seasons is a great way to keep in form and shape for shooting. Though, through all this it appears, as there always is, the competition shooters and the hunters. Though a thought would be if a hunter can keep up with a competition shooter who is shooting larger diameter arrows and is considered at a disadvantage with shooting skinnier arrows, does that make the hunter a better shot than the competition shooter or does it all even out or does it at all even matter?