The ultimate 3D archery experience, the Total Archery Challenge, and why you need to shoot in it.
It's summertime and there are several things to look forward to. You have your annual turkey hunt with the guys. Your fourth of July family weekend at the lake house. Tons of fishing trips and fish fry cookouts. But best of all, you have the Total Archery Challenge course you entered this year.
This year was my first experience in the Total Archery Challenge and I have only one regret: I didn't shoot all three days. Myself and some of the guys from Top Pin Outdoors made our way to 7 Springs, Pennsylvania for our first Total Archery Challenge experience.
We thought at first, this was going to be just another 3D archery shoot with a big hype around it. Truth is, it was much more than that. We took a great deal of experience from the shoot but learned there are several reasons we will never miss another one in our area.
1. It gets you shooting your bow.
Let's face it, sometimes you get complacent. You may not get your bow out until a week or two before opening day and ultimately that doesn't help you much. The Total Archery Challenge is a great way to kick start your mind into hunting mode and gets you out shooting your bow probably earlier than you are used to.
2. It enhances your archery skills.
There are several different courses at the Total Archery Challenge but no matter how difficult or easy, they all give you practice. Many archers have a basic target, like The Block, that they shoot at behind their house. These targets are great for honing in on your accuracy and continued practice. The 3D courses, however, really challenge your skills by giving you a lifelike target to shoot at. Often times a bear, deer, turkey and many more, all of the targets challenge you to find the vitals, judging the distance and taking the shot.
3. It's fun for the whole family.
The Total Archery Challenge has a course available for everyone, even children. In 7 Springs, there was a children's course that featured 10 different targets. The target shoot featured targets that ranged from dinosaurs to zombies. A great way to introduce or keep the "fun" involved with archery instilled in your children.
4. Free education.
If you are new to archery world or a novice, the Total Archery Challenge offers free education to everyone. Knowledge is shared to ensure you understand archery to the fullest and can help you learn some new tricks and strategies you may not already know.
5. Build your confidence.
There's no better way to get yourself ready for hunting season than challenging yourself with this course. It's not just a simple, target at 35 yards, take the shot, walk and get your arrow. It challenges you, hence the name. Sometimes only the vitals are exposed. Maybe you have a limb in the way and you need to know your arrow flight path. The huge decline or incline of the shot can affect your course of flight as well. All of these challenges, with the added fatigue you put on your body, is the reason the course is called the TOTAL Archery Challenge.
6. Meet new people.
Archery is growing more than ever before. Today, more woman are involved in archery than ever before and it's quite noticeable at these events. A great way to meet new people and share stories. There are several people who are involved in the industry that attend these shows who are always welcoming and enjoy meeting their fans as much as their fans enjoy meeting them.
7. Expose yourself to some new products and companies.
There are several sponsors at these events, including the biggest sponsors Prime, MTN OPs and Sitka. Sitka was there in full fledge attracting many eyes to their new Whitetail line as well as their new Subalpine line, but it was great to see some new and upcoming companies that you may never heard of before. The outdoor industry is full of people who share a passion for the outdoors, so much they begin their own company. Companies like the Exodus trail cameras. A company that has quality trail cameras for a competitive price. Other companies include Skeleton Optics, Yeti Coolers, Traeger grills, Kong 3D targets and many more.
8. Win Prizes.
We have a ton of giveaways this year from all of our amazing sponsors. A whole lot of peeps will be getting hooked up. Register early and you get even more chances. @primearcheryg5 bows, @mtnops product, @sitkagear jackets and tees, @yeti product, @victoryarrows, @vortexoptics rangefinder and binos, @stealthcamproven cameras, @bohningarchery products, @slumberjackgear gear, @eastmanshuntingjournals subscription and swag, @vaportrailarchery rests and a whole lot more. Register today
We went with a group of seven and by the end of the course 3 or 4 of the guys had received a text message that told them they had won something. Whether it was a hat or a pair of Skeleton Optics sunglasses, it's always great to win something.
We also did the Broken Arrow Challenge and the 150 yard Caribou shoot to win a truck. Now we didn't win a truck but we sure did win some Yeti Colsters and lowballs. I also took a shot at the Caribou, not to try to win the truck which is next to impossible, but to see how well I could do. The speed of the Xpedition Xplorer SS had a lot to do with the fact that I hit the target, but ultimately I have to give credit to the new bow sight I am using. I put on the Spot Hogg Fast Eddie XL and because of it's double pin pointer, I was able to estimate where 150 yards was without the sight being so low to obstruct my arrow path.
While we were there I watched on guy shoot at least 10 times at the target and never hit it, while we watched about 20 other arrows fly up there as well. I'm not bragging, but I was the only one I know that hit it, and we believe I hit it three times as we could hear the arrow but not see it. When we walked up there, the second time, completely out of breath, one arrow was stuck in the Caribou, and the others had ricochetted off. I may not have one a truck, but I did receive 40% of my next bow string from Vapor Trail. A real cool way to end our weekend at the Total Archery Challenge.
9. Get great exercise.
If you are not following MTN OPs yet, you are may be missing out on some of the biggest group activities for hunters and hunter athletes throughout the country. They have been making their way to every Total Archery Challenge offering a variety of group exercise programs, and they have all been free.
In 7 Springs, PA the MTN OPs guys came out with Gritty Bowmen for a Total Archery Challenge, backpack #GrittyHike. A fun two mile hike that turned into something a little closer to four miles.
Even if you don't join for the group exercise, just walking and shooting is great exercise in itself. Of course there is a ski lift to get your up to the top of the mountain, but once you're up there, it's all walking. I had the luxury of carrying everyone's water and MTN OPs in my backpack cooler, not knowing they had Yeti coolers along the way full of water for everyone to enjoy. So just a tip, if you want added difficulty, add some water in your backpack, otherwise, you won't need it.
10. What else are you going to do?
Let's face it, it's one weekend out of your 52 that you have, why NOT join the Total Archery Challenge. There are far more than just 10 reasons to attend, but even this one should have you there. Now I understand if you have a wedding, a spring bear hunt, or even a Kansas turkey hunt already booked. But if you have nothing going on, or something you can put off, you should make this trip.
They have courses available from the East Coast to the West Coast and everywhere in between. We spoke with several people who traveled as far away as Maine and New Hampshire for them was a 10+ hour drive. We only had a three to four hour drive but it was worth every mile.
Get off the couch, get your bow in your hand and get out to the Total Archery Challenge. You will not be disappointed and hey you may learn a thing or two. The worst thing that could happen is you prepare yourself for opening day when you draw back on a whitetail.