Get archery lessons in Toronto - Contact cardiotrek@gmail.com or visit CardioTrek.ca for archery lessons for both adults and children.

Learn more about archery in Toronto by visiting archerytoronto.ca, or the Toronto Public Archery Range Facebook page
or by joining the Canadian Toxophilite Society.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Traditional Archery - the perfect sport for summer + the zombie apocalypse

12 Reasons Why Traditional Archery is the Best for Beginners and more Advanced Archers

#1. Traditional Archery Gets You Outdoors

Unlike Archery Tag which is usually done indoors, or Olympic Archery (which is far too frequently practiced indoors), traditional archers love being outdoors.

There are plenty of archery clubs in Toronto that encourage you to play in outdoor spaces, and most of them use the Toronto Archery Range as their main place to have club meetings.

The Toronto Archery Club is just one of many clubs based in Toronto - there are also a variety of smaller clubs catering to more specific topics.

You can learn more about the Toronto Archery Club at http://www.meetup.com/The-Toronto-Archery-Club/

If you decide to take archery on as a hobby, there are plenty of tournaments that happen across the Ontario, close to Ontario and throughout the world.

#2. Traditional Archery is open to All levels of Fitness
You don’t need to be a gym bunny or a super athlete to shoot a traditional bow.

If you can lift your arms, you can shoot a bow, whether it is a traditional recurve, a longbow or even an horsebow (aka shortbow).

#3. Safety

Many archery clubs pride themselves on their level of safety. The Toronto Archery Range is no different.

The Toronto Archery Range has only ever had 1 incident causing injury in the last 50 years, which was determined to be the fault of two individuals (see the Galka / Stankiewicz incident from October 2000) who ignored the safety rules.


The Toronto Archery Range has a long list of archery safety rules people are supposed to follow and it is a $4,000 fine if they ignore the rules.

Tomfoolery is not prohibited because that is reckless endangerment and punishable with prison time and a huge fine. If other archers see people acting in a dangerous manner, they are quick to tell them to stop doing that nonsense.

With respect to traditional archery it is one of the safest forms of archery to do as the bows are typically significantly less powerful than compound bows (which store and release a lot more kinetic energy).

#4. Traditional Archery is the Easiest to Learn

Many archery instructors prefer to teach traditional archery before teaching other types of archery.

Typically a beginner learns traditional recurve first, and if they desire to learn a different style later on then it is easier for them to later learn longbow, horsebow, Olympic recurve or even compound bow.

It is strongly recommended people take a beginners’ course first, so everyone learns the basics properly from an experienced instructor. In Toronto the best archery instructors are listed on http://www.archerytoronto.ca/Archery-Lessons-in-Toronto.html

Many places around the world have a severe lack of experienced instructors, but Toronto is fortunate because it has some of the best instructors that can be found in all of Canada.

Hot Tip, if you are looking for the best instructor you can afford, try to get Charles Moffat. He is the most expensive, but he is also the best archery instructor in all of Ontario and teaches all five major styles of archery.

If you cannot find a tutor, you can also try to learn by reading websites or books, but ideally an instructor will be able to spot your mistakes and help you to prevent mistakes - and since broken arrows = lost money, it is wise to get an archery instructor as a cost savings measure.

#5. Traditional Archery is the Most Friendly

It is a known fact that Olympic archers tend to be snobs, compound archers tend to be anti-social, and traditional archers are the people having a party with their traditional recurves, longbows and horsebows.

As a whole many archers tend to be helpful and overall social, but it is the traditional archers who are the most open to just hanging out, relaxing and shooting. Many of them shoot recreationally, but a few also shoot in traditional competitions - and carpool in groups to go to such events.

#6. Competitions and Awards

There are more traditional competitions than there is any other style of archery competitions. While compounds and Olympic recurves seem more prestigious, 90% of archers shoot traditional bows and consequently the lion's share of competitions out there are actually traditional. Most compound shooters hunt, they don't bother to compete because their primary goal is to get a big buck or turkey. And even most Olympic recurve archers don't compete either, it is really only a tiny percentage of Olympic archers who actually compete.

Thus if you want to compete, the chances of you finding competitions that are near you is much improved if you get into competitive traditional.

And as explained above, traditional archery is very social and many trad archers like to carpool to competitions and socialize at those events.

#7. Traditional Archery is all about Skill

There are no gadgets in traditional archery. The person with the most expensive bow is not guaranteed to win. It is the most experienced and most skilled archers who typically are the best shots.

And because it is based on skill, not strength, men and women, young and old, able bodied or not, all people have their own skill level that is separate from their strength, endurance and mobility.

Which oddly enough means it is usually the elderly people at the archery range who are the best shots.

Regardless of your height, size, shape, age, gender are all equal.

Aage and experience shooting are certainly beneficial, however that doesn't mean you cannot get beat by a 15 year old who has been shooting since the age of 4 and has 11 years more experience than you do.

In contrast, compound archery and Olympic archery are all about the gadgets: Sights, stabilizers, clickers, mechanical releases, levels, peep sights, etc.

#8. Archery Etiquette and Politeness

Traditional archery is the most polite. (Especially in Canada, where people are generally very polite anyway.)

Olympic archery snobs have a tendency to be rude and compound shooters are just generally anti-social, so when it comes to people with social skills and understand etiquette and politeness it is the traditional archers who really understand it.

Hot Tip: It is a good idea to carry $10 in your wallet/purse just in case you step on someone's arrow and break it, this way you can just quickly hand them $10 as way of apology and you can stop having to say sorry a million times and feeling embarrassment for breaking their arrow. $10 won't break your budget, but it is typically more than enough to pay for a traditional arrow. (It can sometimes be more than that, but it certainly smooths things over faster regardless.)



#9. Traditional Archery is All Year

Olympic archers typically only practice during the summer.

Compound archers typically only practice before or during a particular hunting season.

In contrast there are quite a few traditional archers who practice Spring, Summer, Autumn - and even in the Winter. And in Toronto, that means going outside in the freezing cold to practice. (One might argue that "trad archers be crazy man", but the winter archers have some serious dedication to their sport.

#10. Traditional Archery Vs the Weather

Rain, snow or wind - traditional archers can still shoot in it because they love a challenge and learn how to adjust for the wind conditions.

There is an equipment issue as wooden bows can be damaged by water, but there is also a tradition of archers oiling their bows using a various oils / greases. eg. Local Toronto bowyer Mike Meusel typically coats his wooden bows in tung oil. (The even more traditional archers who are also into bowhunting sometimes use deer grease or bear grease, although that is not for everyone obviously.)

The oil or grease (regardless of what you use) soaks into the wood of the bow and protects it from water damage.

It is still possible to do traditional archery indoors where it is potentially warmer and/or air conditioned, but it is certainly not a necessity to do so.

#11. Traditional Bows usually have a Long Life Span

The great thing about a well-made bow is that it will typically last decades. There are archers out there using bows that were made in the 1960s and 1970s (or older!) and they still shoot great.

Thus buying a traditional bow is for life, not just one summer.

When you buy a bow you can expect to be shooting it for years or even decades to come. You might later get a better bow and sell your old bow, or you might decide to keep it. Or even collect bows as some archers do.

In addition to having long life spans, the resale value of used bows is typically quite good. As long as a person takes good care of their bow (no dry-firing, stringing it properly, not misusing or abusing it) then a bow will typically stay in very good condition and have a good resale value - often 70 to 90% of whatever a person originally paid for it. Some archers even tell stories of selling a bow for the same price or MORE than they paid for it.

In contrast the technology used in making compound bows / Olympic bows changes every year. As such the bows depreciate in value faster. This is especially true of compound bows which these days are so complicated that they start to fall apart after a few years and need regular repairs, and since nobody wants to buy an old used compound bow model from 2012 when they could get the latest 2017 model it becomes pretty clear that you can be sure people won't want to pay anywhere close to full price for an used compound bow.

Once you have a bow you rarely need to buy new things for it. You might buy new arrows, a new bowstring or a different glove once in awhile, but otherwise you don't need to buy new equipment regularly. That is part of the charm of traditional archery. It is so simple you really don't need much.

#12. Traditional Bows Vs the Zombie Apocalypse

Okay, so the chances of zombies rising up is nil, but it is still fun to think about.

So here is the thing...

Olympic arrows are useless for hunting. They are designed for speed and long distance accuracy, not for killing things.

Compound arrows are designed for killing things, but compound bows are notoriously easy to break because the cams are so fragile. *You would not want to club a zombie's brains in using a compound bow, that is a great way to break your cams.* And once broken, good luck trying to fix it. A few years after (or possibly sooner) the Apocalypse happens your compound bow would break down and be useless. Compound bows just cannot handle normal wear and tear like a traditional bow can because they have too many moving parts.

Thus when it comes to survivalism (whether it is zombies, a nuclear war, or societal collapse) the best type of bow to learn how to use is a traditional bow because they are so durable.

Unlike bullets, traditional arrows and arrowheads are relatively easy to make - which gives traditional archery a distinct advantage over firearms because people will very quickly run out of bullets.

People around the world still choose to hunt with bows - indeed there is an island off the coast of India which has never been visited by anthropologists because the locals there shoot anyone visiting their island with arrows - as in shoot them dead, and they are reputedly very good shots.


So if people still bowhunt, it is clear that should worst come to worst, you too could bowhunt - but you really should learn how first. And a true survivalist should really have archery lessons so that they learn how to do it properly.



BONUS!

Did I forget to mention that archery is great exercise for the upper body, especially the back and shoulder muscles?


Friday, March 31, 2017

Battle Sports expands to Montreal, opens Sports de Combat

When Battle Sports first appeared in Toronto back in 2015 they set out to become the best location in Toronto to do Archery Tag (or Dodge Archery, Battle Archery, Combat Archery, whatever you want to call it).

At the time there was quite a few competitors also appearing, saturating the Toronto market with archery tag / battle archery locations.

However by offering the best deals, the best archery equipment and the best value for dollar, Battle Sports quickly beat out its competitors.

So it should come as no surprise that they are now expanding to Montreal and have opened a new location called Sports de Combat.

Sports de Combat
5335 Avenue Casgrain, Montreal
(SW of Sir Wilfrid Laurier Park / Parc Sir Wilfrid Laurier)

Sports de Combat Offers the following...

Montreal's Largest Indoor Archery Range - $15 / hour if you have your own archery equipment. (If you don't have your own equipment, you can rent it for $10 per hour.)

Montreal Archery Lessons - $40 for a 90 minute group lesson.

Montreal Combat Archery - 30 minute beginner practice + 60 minutes of Battle Archery.

And for Francophones, archery lessons / combat archery are also available in French.

Honestly, we are impressed they managed to create the largest indoor archery range. That alone is a feat.

There are also rumours (unsubstantiated, but whatever - the key word is rumours) that Battle Sports is planning to open a 2nd location in Scarborough, expanding their operations in the GTA. Given their previous track record for business savvy, we would not be surprised if this happened.




ABOUT ARCHERY TAG

"Archery Tag" was invented in the United States by John Jackson in the summer of 2011.

Each player wears a mask protecting his face. Bows and arrows with foam tips specially designed for bow-fighting sport are used. In the generic game, there are two 5-point targets.

The sport is played both indoors or outdoors. The game area is decorated with different inflatable elements allowing players to hide themselves.

Archery Tag is a sporting activity similar to paintball, except with players being equipped with bow and arrow (with the foam end) instead of paintball guns.

Two teams compete to be the first to touch all the centers of the target of 5 spots of the opponent. While trying to hit other players with the arrows, the game ends in three different ways: all the members of an opposing team have been hit, the 5 spots of the target of one of the teams have been eliminated or the time allotted to one round has elapsed.



L'archery tag a été inventé aux États-Unis par John Jackson à l'été 2011.

Chaque joueur porte un masque protégeant son visage. Des arcs et des flèches avec des embouts en mousse spécialement conçus pour le sport de combat d'arc sont utilisés. Il y a deux cibles à 5 points.

Le sport se pratique en salle ou à l’extérieur. La zone de jeu est agrémentée de différents éléments gonflables permettant aux joueurs de se camoufler.

L'Archery tag est une activité sportive similaire au paintball, les joueurs étant équipés d'arc et de flèches (avec l’extrémité en mousse).

Deux équipes s'affrontent pour être la première à toucher tous les centres de la cible de 5 spots de l'adversaire. Tout en essayant de toucher d'autres joueurs avec les flèches, le jeu se termine de trois façons différentes : tous les membres d'une équipe adverse ont été touchés, les 5 spots de la cible de l’une des équipes ont été éliminés ou le temps imparti s'est écoulé.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Photographs of the Toronto Archery Range

Four recent photographs of the Toronto Archery Range, taken on: March 16th, 21st, 28th and 29th.

March 16th, a panorama of a snowy archery range.

March 21st, the garbage cans near the south end of the range overflowing from the winter.

March 28th, a view of the mud in front of the 30 yard targets.

March 29th, a view of the 30 and 20 yard targets.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

10 Archery Gambling Games

For Valentines ArcheryToronto.ca has released a list of 5 Archery Gambling Games on their website.

The Five Archery Games are:
However we think there is room for 5 more archery gambling-style games people can play for fun.

Like the ArcheryToronto.ca website, we encourage only gambling with tiny amounts like quarters. 25 cents is not a big deal and makes it clear the game is just for fun. (With the exception of the Iron Archery Competition, #10 below, which is more of a "pay to enter sporting competition with cash winnings".)

Please note we are not endorsing high stakes gambling. We recommend people pay for quarters, nickles, dimes, candy or similar treats. eg. "The loser pays for sushi."

#6. Aces are Wild

  • Similar to Poker, this game involves pinning the face cards and aces from a deck of cards on an archery target.
  • For fun we recommend arranging the cards and pinning them up like a X shape, but not with the aces in the middle - no, in order to make it harder, put the jacks in the middle, then the queens, then the kings, and then the aces at the outer edge. That way the aces are spread out and are the hardest to hit.
  • Your goal is to get 4 or 5 of a kind of Kings, Queens or Jacks (Aces are wild and can be used for any of the above 3.
  • Because there are only 4 aces, 4 kings, 4 queens, and 4 jacks you have to match them up. 
  • If you shoot the same card twice or more, only the first shot counts. All additional shots on the same card do not count. The goal is to make this an aiming exercise so people learn how to adjust their aim.
  • The person who gets the most of a kind, wins.
  • Kings beat Queens and Jacks, Queens beat Jacks.
  • If all your cards don't match you can also get a full house (set of 3, set of 2) or two pairs.

There are many variations on archery poker (as shown in the image on the right). Normal Poker games are rather unsuitable for archery games, so feel free to make up your own version of archery poker.

#7. Two Shot Cluster

  • Each archer gets two arrows.
  • Each archer, in their own time, shoots the two arrows one at a time and tries to get them in a tight cluster.
  • If necessary you may need a ruler or measuring tape to measure the size of the cluster.
  • The archer with the tightest cluster wins the round and the pot.
  • Archers should endeavour to try and hit their own arrow / Robin Hood it.

#8. The Rovers' I Betcha Game

One part gambling, one part drinking game, Roving is a tradition dating back to England of young men going out drinking and shooting at random things as they "rove" around the countryside. The following game recreates the act of Roving and turns into one part gambling game and one part drinking game.

As they rove / walk each archer takes turns saying things like "I betcha cannot hit that apple!"

If an archer accepted, they had to try and hit the apple. If they succeeded, they won several coins. If they missed, they lost several coins.

However they could also refuse to take the shot - to which they would then be forced to take a large gulp of strong alcohol. If they refuse regularly, they will be really drunk in a hurry - but at least they will still have their money. Or maybe they will get so drunk they agree to a hard shot, and completely miss because they are drunk.

The archer whose turn it was - whether they hit, missed or drank - then chooses a person and makes a new bet. Thus the game continues indefinitely, until all the arrows have been lost/broken, or all the alcohol is gone, or until one archer has all the money - whichever happens first.

#9. Black Jack

  • Similar to the Poker game mentioned above, Black Jack uses cards as targets.
  • In this scenario you need: 4 Jacks and 4 Aces.
  • Distribute the cards on the target board randomly, so they are spread out.
  • Jacks are worth 10 points and Aces are worth 11.
  • Each archer shoots two arrows.
  • The archer with the highest score wins (or ties) and collects / splits the winnings.

#10. The Iron Archery Competition

Inspired by the Iron Man Competition.

Each archer pays $10 to enter the competition. Ideally you want a cap of 300 archers in the competition. That means $3,000 in the pot.

  • Bicycle 5 kilometers.
  • Shoot 10 Arrows
  • Swim 200 meters.
  • Shoot 10 Arrows.
  • Sprint 200  meters.
  • Shoot 10 Arrows.
  • Sprint 200  meters again to cross a finishing line.

Each archer's score out of 300 (30 arrows x 10 points) is recorded.

The first archer who crosses the finishing line gets 300 points.
The second archer gets 299.
The third archer gets 298.
Etc.

Each archer's archery score out of 300 is then added to their score for crossing the finishing line.

The archer with the highest combined score wins half the pot, $1,500.

The second best archer gets $1000. The third best gets $500.

The organizers sell food and drinks and pocket the profits from food/drink sales.

If there is a smaller number of archers, simply divide the archery score, reduce the points for crossing the finishing line, and divide the winnings accordingly.

For example if you only have 30 people competing...

Divide the archery score by 10, so it is a score out of 30 instead.
Crossing the finishing line first only awards a maximum of 30 points.
Total winnings is $300. Winner gets $150, 2nd gets $100, 3rd gets $50.

Note - Such a competition is not so much gambling as it is a "pay to enter sport" with cash winnings.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Archery Craft Toronto

Archery Craft Toronto was a bow and arrow manufacturer based in Toronto, Ontario, which made archery equipment during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. The company stopped producing new bows in the 1970s.

The company made a whole range of bows, from wooden flat bows to solid fiberglass bows to full wood/glass recurves. By the 1970s they were also making wood/fiberglass takedown recurves, as well as full-fiberglass takedown recurves.

As a company the bows are very rare. Some people (especially Canadians) collect the bows, so they are more likely to be bought by Canadians on auction websites. National pride and all that.

The wooden bows and the recurves are the most valuable, whereas the fiberglass bows are comparable to other fiberglass bows built around the same time period.

If the bow is from the 1950s or 1960s the bow will be stamped with two numbers:
  • The first number is a product number.
  • The second number tells you the poundage of the bow.
Normally many companies round the poundage of a bow up or down to an even number, eg. 38 or 40. Archery Craft Toronto was unusual in that they were often much more precise, giving a bow's poundage as exactly 39 lbs for example. This then confuses modern collectors who look at the two numbers stamped on bow, because they are so used to seeing the length of the bow and the poundage measured in even numbers.

During the 1970s Archery Craft Toronto switched to a different system, a 4 digit number for the model of the bow. Thus if it has a 4 digit number on an Archery Craft Toronto bow, you can be sure it was built during the 1970s.

Dating the precise the year of an Archery Craft Toronto bow is very tricky. Ideally you would want to find old archery magazines or advertisements for the company, showing the bow in question and the year it was published. This would give you a better idea of how to date the bow, although often you may have to resort to "Circa 1972" or your closest estimate.

Vintage arrows from Archery Craft Toronto can also be found, although since arrows are more likely to break over time they are considerably more rare.


Above: Black Prince, circa 1960s, Archery Craft Toronto

Above: 36 lb Archery Craft Toronto "Model 1907" Recurve Bow, circa 1970s



Above: Takedown Fiberglass Recurve Bow, circa 1970s


:)

Monday, August 29, 2016

Crossbow murders are very rare, multiple homicides even more so

Crossbow murders are rare. A triple homicide with a crossbow is so rare they are practically unheard of. To learn more about this recent news development, see Triple Homicide with Crossbow in Scarborough.

The autopsy report for the incident was released today.

The female victim was strangled. Her two sons were stabbed with a crossbow bolt and the other was stabbed with an arrowhead, both wounds were to the neck. It is unclear whether the one son was shot in the neck with a crossbow bolt, or whether he was simply stabbed there using a crossbow bolt like a dagger. The other son was stabbed with an arrowhead, suggesting that they were indeed physically stabbed in such a manner.

The very rare nature of crossbow attacks makes them high-profile incidents, and the Scarborough triple homicide where a crossbow was located on the scene is once again pushing forward conversations on regulating the weapons. However the autopsy reports suggest that the crossbow bolt and arrowhead were merely used as "weapons of convenience", similar to if someone happened to leave an axe laying on a table and a would-be murderer simply picked it up because it was handy.

Though police have been deliberately avoiding confirming whether a crossbow was used in Thursday’s attack, which left three people dead, a crossbow was found nearby, and at the time reports released to the public stated that all three victims were struck by crossbow bolts. While the latter might still be true, the cause of death for one of the victims was still strangulation. And the son who was killed by being stabbed with an arrowhead, as opposed to being shot with a crossbow bolt, suggests that he might have suffered only a minor wound from being shot, and that it was the stabbing in the neck that actually killed him.

Brett Ryan, Suspected Murderer
On Friday, Brett Ryan, 35, was charged with three counts of first-degree murder. His next court appearance is Friday, Sept. 2nd.

There was also a witness to the murders, a fourth person who was stabbed but was later released from hospital. Their testimony will later be instrumental in proving whether the victims were shot or stabbed, who the crossbow was owned by, the motive for the attack, and what actually transpired on a quiet afternoon in sunny Scarborough on August 25th, 2016.

The event is one of only a handful of crossbow related murders in Canada's recent history, and though crossbow-involved attacks seldom occur, their unusual nature makes them high-profile cases, in the same way that "sword stabbing murders" are also quite rare and attract more media attention.

One notable previous case was the fatal crossbow shooting of an abusive father by his son in 2010 inside a Toronto Public Library. That incident involved both a crossbow and a hammer. Zhou Fang was found guilty of second-degree murder and received a mandatory life sentence. To learn more about that incident see Crossbow Murder in Toronto Library.

In 2007, a 26-year-old man was charged with murder and attempted murder after his mother was killed and father injured in a crossbow attack in St-Cesaire, Que.

In 1998, a man was shot in the head with a crossbow in his Hamilton home, but thankfully survived.

In 1991, Ottawa lawyer Patricia Allen was killed with a crossbow by her estranged husband.

Internationally, crossbow deaths have also made headlines, including a suicide in 2015 in England, and the case of Stephen Griffiths, a British man who lured, murdered and ate the flesh of several women in 2009 and 2010, later referring to himself as the "crossbow cannibal" in an attempt to win fame for himself.

In the wake of Thursday’s attack, local crossbow hunters and enthusiasts say they’re not happy the conversation is once again focused on the weapon. The autopsy however seems to suggest the hunting tool was merely conveniently there, and might not even belong to the murderer.

Many crossbow owners are hunters, and like the challenge of learning how to aim it accurately. The level of knowledge and the level skill to proficiently shoot and shoot well with it takes more work.

Though attacks on people with crossbows are considerably rare, they cause enough public discourse that owners will stay quiet about their crossbow ownership. Buying a typical crossbow doesn’t require a licence, but the person making the purchase must be over the age of 18.

"Firearm-like homicides" are very rare according to Statistics Canada, making up less than 0.2% of all murders in Canada. It should also be noted that the murder rate in Canada has been dropping rapidly since the 1990s.

On behalf of Toronto's archery community, we express our condolences to the victims and the families of the victims.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Bow Raffle to raise money for PWA

Hello friends and fellow archers!

My name is Michael Meusel, and I'm doing the 600km "Friends for life" Bike rally to raise money for PWA Toronto. PWA is the largest charity of it's kind that directly assists Men, Women and Children living with HIV/AIDS in Canada. You can read more here at: www.bikerally.org 

It's a great cause, and I need to hit a $2500 minimun in order to ride. To raise the funds, I've decided to raffle off one of the bows I make! I'll be starting the bow after the bike ride, but that will allow me to make it close to the specifications you want. It will be a Hickory-backed Osage Recurve, anywhere from 25#-50# at 25"-29". It will be similar to the bow pictured below. 






 I'll cover the shipping to anywhere in Canada or the Continental US. In order to take part, you have to make a donation to the website and email me with the name or handle you made the donation under. That way all the money goes directly to the charity. Donations can be made with paypal or credit card. 
 
Tickets will be 1 for $10, 3 for $25, and 8 for $50.

Step 1:
Go to www.bikerally.org

Click: Pledge on the Right hand side of the screen

Click: Pledge a 2016 6-Day Rider

First Name: Michael
Last Name: Meusel

Click my name, then click DONATE NOW

Fill out the form and make the Donation of either $10, $25 or $50 according to how many tickets you want. Make sure to remember your Display name. Make sure the boxes for “Display my donation amount” and “Display my name” are checked.

Step 2: Send an email to bowraffle2016@gmail.com with this information:

Subject: (Display Name used when making donation) – (Donation Amount)

Full Name
Mailing address

*Display name: (the name you enter to be displayed on the bike rally website when you make a donation – this can be a nickname or a handle)

Donation Amount: (either $10, $25, or $50)

You're done!

I'll cross reference your email to the donation on the bike rally website and send you an email confirming your entry. I'll draw the winning name on July 23rd, so entries will be open until then! If you win, I'll contact you via the email you used to enter and get your bow specifications.

Good Luck!

Michael Meusel

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Howard Hill and Ronald Reagan Bowfishing for Sharks

Below: Old short film of Howard Hill and Ronald Reagan Bowfishing for Sharks.


What is the difference between Instinctive Shooting and Gap Shooting?

There is a lot of confusion around the term "Instinctive Shooting" in archery communities, often due to people who spread misinformation about something they know very little about and often confusing what the different styles of archery are.

Instinctive Shooting encompasses:
  • Using no reference points to aim, and not really aiming in the normal sense of the word.
  • Not always using a full draw, but instead sometimes using 1/2 or 3/4 draw.
  • Not using a consistent anchor spot, and basically ignores the concept of anchor spot entirely.
  • Both eyes open. 
  • Accuracy is limited to shooting at anything point blank (15 yards or less). 
  • Feet anywhere they please.
  • People playing "Archery Tag" will typically be forced to use Instinctive Shooting or some variation of it because the face masks make it difficult to have a proper anchor spot. Complete beginners who have never done archery before are basically shooting instinctive because they have not mastered any other style of shooting and don't even know what an anchor spot is.

Gap Shooting encompasses:
  • Aiming using the gap between the target and the side of the bow, sometimes subconsciously.
  • Using a full draw.
  • Using a consistent anchor spot, typically the corner of the mouth under the dominant eye.
  • One eye open. In order for Gap Shooting to aim properly it is necessary to only use one eye. 
  • Accuracy has no limitations on distance. 
  • Feet is typically in either Relaxed Stance or Square Stance.
  • Gap Shooting can also be used during "Archery Tag", but it is trickier to find a consistent anchor spot. You can usually spot the person using the style because they have really good aim.

Traditional Shooting encompasses:
  • Aiming off the tip of the arrow.
  • Using a full draw.
  • Using a consistent anchor spot, typically the corner of the mouth under the dominant eye.
  • One eye or two eyes open. Most traditional archers prefer one eye open for added accuracy.
  • Accuracy has no limitations on distance. 
  • Feet is typically in either Relaxed Stance or Square Stance. 
  • Traditional Shooting can also be used during "Archery Tag, but again is trickier to find a consistent anchor spot. You can usually spot the person using the style because they have really good aim.

Instinctive Shooting therefore is marked by people like Lars Anderson who are the epitome of instinctive archery, and marked by pop culture icons like Green Arrow, Hawkeye, Legolas, etc.

However it is easy to see why so many people sometimes confuse Instinctive Shooting with Gap Shooting, because people who get really good at Gap Shooting will often be able to aim subconsciously - even though they are still technically Gap Shooting.

Thus an easy way to tell the difference between someone who is Instinctive Shooting and someone who is Gap Shooting is to look at whether they are pulling to an anchor spot and how many eyes they have open. Instinctive Shooting = Two eyes open and no anchor spot, Gap Shooting = One eye open and consistent anchor spot.

And then there are people who don't know how to shoot and haven't mastered a style yet. You can usually spot them out in the field searching for their arrows, or their arrows are all over the target with zero consistency.

And lastly, then there is the people who are complete newbs who have been watching too much TV, reading too many comic books, seeing too much artwork that isn't even remotely close to real archery and then thinks it is okay to do all sorts of things that they saw in pop culture - the sort of things experienced archers just shake their head at.

Take for example the art piece below. Yes, she is pulling back NEAR her mouth, but if her hand is in a slightly different position every time she shoots then there isn't much consistency. She is also shooting with both eyes open. Ergo, she is technically using the Instinctive Shooting style.


If you live in Toronto and want to learn more about Instinctive Shooting or Gap Shooting there is only two people we know of who teaches we know of who teaches those two styles.

The first is Charles Moffat from CardioTrek.ca and the 2nd is Matthew Weisman (who doesn't have a website currently). Moffat teaches all five major styles of archery, whereas Weisman only teaches traditional styles of archery (longbow, shortbow, traditional, gap or instinctive). If he does get a website in the future we will update this listing.

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