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Thread: Bow proficiency test

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    Default Bow proficiency test

    Taking proficiencies next Sat. at Elks camp near Palmer. Wondering what to expect.
    Paul

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    Member AK NIMROD's Avatar
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    4 targets , 2 shots at each , 10-30 yards, shooting from standing and kneeling at each target. Must get 1 kill on each of the 4 targets and 5 kills to pass. that is how i used to set it up anyway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK NIMROD View Post
    4 targets , 2 shots at each , 10-30 yards, shooting from standing and kneeling at each target. Must get 1 kill on each of the 4 targets and 5 kills to pass. that is how i used to set it up anyway.
    well i would hope they are all standard now..

    but here your only allowed to miss 2 shots.. and they can not be on the same target... and it is 10 shots taken here.... a miss is a hit that is NOT a kill shot even if you hit the targets
    or a clean miss

    you can normally take a range finder you are not allowed to share it with others. or tell them the ranges.

    if our have practiced out doors you will do fine. A lot of folks that shoot between two trees for the first time really screw it up.. take your time focus on ONE spot on the target and forget the woods are there. they are not really difficult shots. just realistic shots that hundreds of folks have made before you got there.
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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Well Vince, if that's the way they are currently doing it..it is wrong. You can contact Jerry at (907) 267-2196, he is in charge of the hunter safety program, and complain if it's an issue.

    Just like Nimrod said.. 4 targets, one shot kneeling and one shot standing at each target. You must record a minimum of 5 kill shots, which means on one of the animals you will kill it twice. One of the targets will be on a fairly steep downhill or off a platform. At the Elks Camp it will be a steep downhill.

    I have taught three classes out at the Elks Camp now. I have had only ONE guy fail to pass the first time around. Time allowing we will allow a shooter to re-shoot the course. That individual was super nervous and the second time around he scored eight kills. The shots for the proficiency test are easy and there is no reason to be nervous. Dress appropriately and wear good boots. Make sure you practice in the clothes you will wear at the test.
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    Member Bearclaw67's Avatar
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    Where is the Elks camp?
    Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    Well Vince, if that's the way they are currently doing it..it is wrong. You can contact Jerry at (907) 267-2196, he is in charge of the hunter safety program, and complain if it's an issue.

    Just like Nimrod said.. 4 targets, one shot kneeling and one shot standing at each target. You must record a minimum of 5 kill shots, which means on one of the animals you will kill it twice. One of the targets will be on a fairly steep downhill or off a platform. At the Elks Camp it will be a steep downhill.

    I have taught three classes out at the Elks Camp now. I have had only ONE guy fail to pass the first time around. Time allowing we will allow a shooter to re-shoot the course. That individual was super nervous and the second time around he scored eight kills. The shots for the proficiency test are easy and there is no reason to be nervous. Dress appropriately and wear good boots. Make sure you practice in the clothes you will wear at the test.
    Good information. Also should add to practice with the same setup you plan to hunt with, down to having a quiver on the bow if you hunt that way and wearing things like binoculars/range finders if you are going to use them hunting. Things that don't get in the way of rifle hunting can be an obstacle for bow hunting. Knowing whether your rangefinder around your neck is going to possibly swing into the bow while at draw is good information since you never know for sure what position you might be shooting from.

    One trick I use when practicing is to throw arrows by hand from about 15-20 yards away from the area I will be shooting from. Then, walk up and take the shot from wherever the arrow landed. Helps to practice dealing with different body positions, footing, etc...

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    Where is the Elks camp?
    Way out in the sticks Here is a link to the directions http://www.alaskastateelks.org/camp-map.htm
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    I will also be taking the proficiency test in the next few weeks (at the Rabbit Creek range) and was unclear about what exactly it entails. I understand the distances and the number of required # of kill shots, but what type of targets do you shoot at? Deer 3D targets? Other 3D targets?

    Thanks!
    Chris

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccs View Post
    I will also be taking the proficiency test in the next few weeks (at the Rabbit Creek range) and was unclear about what exactly it entails. I understand the distances and the number of required # of kill shots, but what type of targets do you shoot at? Deer 3D targets? Other 3D targets?

    Thanks!
    Chris
    When I took the test at the Rabbit Creek range, we had 3D targets of deer, black bear, sheep, and I think a caribou but I can't recall for sure on that last one. I know the first thing that came to mind was that they seemed to pick all the smaller "big game" animals for the test, no moose.

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    We discussed that in my last class. The reason for no moose is simply cost. A 3-D moose costs twice as much to buy, to ship, and to replace as the smaller critters. I'm pretty sure that the goal for ADF&G is to have the same animals at every test location eventually.

    The Elks course has a black bear, a deer, a caribou, and a goat foam 3D targets. If you can get to a bow shop before Saturday a good idea would be to go buy some arrow lube. Makes pulling the arrows from the target much easier. A bar of Ivory soap will work also. Just lube up the first 3" of the arrow.
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    Great, thanks guys!

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    At Rabbit Creek you have one shot off of a platform, the rest are from the ground. As mentioned, 1 kneeling and 1 standing at each target. We had a guy in our group who lost a couple of arrows after hitting trees. Make sure you practice as it could end up being expensive! In his case, he had his draw weight up much higher than it should have been and had a hard time holding his draw steady.

    The shots are not difficult and I can confirm that they are all 3-D targets (bear, deer, sheep, goat). Good luck!

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    Not to send the thread off on a tangent, but for several years (since 2003), I've been bowhunting in AK (meaning I've taken a bow in the woods for the last week of August before grabbing my rifle) with a bowhunter certificate from Texas (based on passing an IBEF course). In 2003, I was told that certificate was all I needed.

    Is that still correct? Now that I'm back in AK, I'll be in the field quite a bit more next season and, hopefully, will get the chance to draw on an animal.

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    Your IBEF card from another state is all you need.
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    I took this class just a few weeks ago. Great class, even for someone who has been shooting and hunting for a long time, the shooting proficiency is nothing that you shouldn't be able to do if you are actually intending to go out and go hunting. Longest shot will be around 30 yards, keep wind in mind on that one if it's in the open.

    All the shots were well within an ethical distance, practice shooting from your knee(s) before so you understand the balance and etc. required to do this. Also, check out each flag before you shoot as you need to do one standing and one kneeling, and there may be a best location for each.

    Personally, I had been shooting A LOT all summer and had even taken a moose just a month before taking this certification class. I had no problem making all kills and really think that the required 5 kills is not enough to ensure proficiency, especially at those close ranges, and even more so when they are trying to assess the hunters' preparedness for actual hunting conditions. If you are only getting one kill at less than thirty yards on targets no smaller than a deer, I don't want to be in your camp, cuz I'll spend all day or night tracking your animal.

    I loved the class, and it was great to meet other bowhunters out here in the sticks. A lot of that class is ethics and accountability and that's a great thing, but I also think that the proficiency test should mirror all that stress on ethics in that if you are not ready to hit nearly all your shots at a piece of foam, in a controlled environment, and with all the time in the world (relatively) to take the shot, you should not be representing archery in the field. I can tolerate a cruddy shot at the range, I do not want him in my hunting group.

    Everyone makes mistakes, but if you are using a foam block target and losing arrows in the backyard....you better keep practicing before you hit the field for anything more than grouse or bunnies.

    ps, we didn't have this issue (small group), but our isntructor said many times that shooters will get all nervous about there being an audience while you shoot, My advice, don't worry about the other guys, focus as if you are in teh woods and that critter were real and as said, everyone makes mistakes, just go there prepared and ready to do what needs done. AND, if you squeak by on this, get your butt to the range, or get a foam target and shoot all kinds of distances and angles in your backyard or wherever you can. Nothing is more important to our sport than taking the right shot with the right equipment, and then of course knowing how to retrieve an animal that was not blown clean off it's feet by a large bore rifle.

    pss, if you need a rangefinder, practice more...seriously.

    my earnest .02

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    Good advice...except for the rangefinder thing. I used to think the same thing until I missed a couple shots that I thought were slam dunks due to distance errors. This was when I was competing regularly in archery competitions and could judge distance just fine on foam. Even the top pro archers in 3D use range finders in the field.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    Good advice...except for the rangefinder thing. I used to think the same thing until I missed a couple shots that I thought were slam dunks due to distance errors. This was when I was competing regularly in archery competitions and could judge distance just fine on foam. Even the top pro archers in 3D use range finders in the field.

    I respectfully disagree on the need to use them, and here's why. If we were going for the absolute most efficient way of taking an animal, we'd all use rifles. Just as discussed in that class (and as I was raised) knowing your functional effective range negates any need for a rangefinder. If you can hit your target in the kill zone 90 percent of the time at 40 yards and under (at a mix of yardages) that is how close you must be to take a shot. My bow only shoots 200 fps and I know that I am good up to 40 very confidently. If it's more than that I don't draw and get closer, or appreciate the animal and try again tomorrow.

    Now with the wonderbows of today's technology, guys think they should be able to shoot 60+ yards at game....this was unheard of more than 10 years ago for the common archer....and probably should be today. I'm no purist, I shoot a compound, and use sights. But I carry a bow so that I can get up tight and personal with the game I am after. The good buddy that backed me up this year had been in on 20+ dead moose with a rifle, and he said he'd never seen anything like what he saw with my bull thrashin brush at 8 yards before finally presenting a shot at 15. It's akin to carrying a range finder so you can take a 250 yard poke with your 45-70 when you have it sighted in and practiced for 100-150. I'd rather you just carry a 300 win mag and get it done, or get it to within the range of your weapon.

    And I don't give a pound of bat poop if the best 3-d shooters are using them. That just means that it is a decisive advantage to use them at the yardages that "used to" separate the men from the boys. My cousin has shot for matthews for 12+ years and is a national champ in his division a few times over. I don't know if he uses a rangefinder these days or not, but when he first started shooting in the bigtime stuff, he'd go out with our family hunts and pooch a shot on a buck just as well as anyone. SO, within this is the difference between rangetime and practicing real shooting situations, and hunting more than 1 animal for 1 week a year. It means pegging squirrels off your birdfeeder if you are so inclined, or chasing grouse and bunnies, or as when i grew up, shooting several deer a year if one was so lucky. This way you get lots of looks at real time target acquisition, and know how to get the bow back, how an animal is going to react, and if you are at the point you should draw, or if it will get closer to make it a true slam dunk. Everybody gets buck fever and I've pooched shots that were so close a rangefinder would have been embarassing to use, but I've also drawn down on lots more animals that didn't make that last five yards to get into my true comfort zone.

    This topic is more about discipline than keeping up with the Jones's.

    I guess this doesn't sound so respectful after all (and I'm sorry for that,but this is a big one to me), but I have been actively shooting for more than 25 years (and I'm 34), and have stood on the line with men who can click shafts at 60 yards the way I could only hope to at 30. BUT, I don't have any less successful hunting stories than they do. There is a huge difference between the range and the field, that seems to be a forgotten point these days.

    I appreciate any person that decides to take up archery in the field, but it's these core issues and standards that need to be understood if you start now with all the technology that is out there. It's still just a stick and a string, and technology will never trump practice and good decisions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch It View Post
    I respectfully disagree on the need to use them, and here's why. If we were going for the absolute most efficient way of taking an animal, we'd all use rifles. .

    well i only got that far... and immediately thought... theres a ton of bow hunters that "legally" are not allowed to....
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch It View Post
    I respectfully disagree on the need to use them, and here's why. If we were going for the absolute most efficient way of taking an animal, we'd all use rifles. Just as discussed in that class (and as I was raised) knowing your functional effective range negates any need for a rangefinder. If you can hit your target in the kill zone 90 percent of the time at 40 yards and under (at a mix of yardages) that is how close you must be to take a shot. My bow only shoots 200 fps and I know that I am good up to 40 very confidently. If it's more than that I don't draw and get closer, or appreciate the animal and try again tomorrow.

    Now with the wonderbows of today's technology, guys think they should be able to shoot 60+ yards at game....this was unheard of more than 10 years ago for the common archer....and probably should be today. I'm no purist, I shoot a compound, and use sights. But I carry a bow so that I can get up tight and personal with the game I am after. The good buddy that backed me up this year had been in on 20+ dead moose with a rifle, and he said he'd never seen anything like what he saw with my bull thrashin brush at 8 yards before finally presenting a shot at 15. It's akin to carrying a range finder so you can take a 250 yard poke with your 45-70 when you have it sighted in and practiced for 100-150. I'd rather you just carry a 300 win mag and get it done, or get it to within the range of your weapon.

    And I don't give a pound of bat poop if the best 3-d shooters are using them. That just means that it is a decisive advantage to use them at the yardages that "used to" separate the men from the boys. My cousin has shot for matthews for 12+ years and is a national champ in his division a few times over. I don't know if he uses a rangefinder these days or not, but when he first started shooting in the bigtime stuff, he'd go out with our family hunts and pooch a shot on a buck just as well as anyone. SO, within this is the difference between rangetime and practicing real shooting situations, and hunting more than 1 animal for 1 week a year. It means pegging squirrels off your birdfeeder if you are so inclined, or chasing grouse and bunnies, or as when i grew up, shooting several deer a year if one was so lucky. This way you get lots of looks at real time target acquisition, and know how to get the bow back, how an animal is going to react, and if you are at the point you should draw, or if it will get closer to make it a true slam dunk. Everybody gets buck fever and I've pooched shots that were so close a rangefinder would have been embarassing to use, but I've also drawn down on lots more animals that didn't make that last five yards to get into my true comfort zone.

    This topic is more about discipline than keeping up with the Jones's.

    I guess this doesn't sound so respectful after all (and I'm sorry for that,but this is a big one to me), but I have been actively shooting for more than 25 years (and I'm 34), and have stood on the line with men who can click shafts at 60 yards the way I could only hope to at 30. BUT, I don't have any less successful hunting stories than they do. There is a huge difference between the range and the field, that seems to be a forgotten point these days.

    I appreciate any person that decides to take up archery in the field, but it's these core issues and standards that need to be understood if you start now with all the technology that is out there. It's still just a stick and a string, and technology will never trump practice and good decisions.
    I will admit to not having nearly as much experience with a bow as probably most on here, but given that....

    My plan when I am archery hunting is to make sure I make the most responsible decision about when to shoot and to make sure my shot is the best possible shot I can take. Having taking two moose and an elk with the bow, I can say that I did not use a rangefinder for any of them. They ended up being close enough that the rangefinder was not necessary (30, 10, and 15 yards approximately). I also don't think I would have had the chance to get a reading if I needed one without losing the clear shot. I did, however, use the rangefinder extensively during those and other hunts. I use it all the time to verify my distance judgement. I will see a tree or rock or stump and guess the distance, than check it with the rangefinder. I will take readings from a blind or spotting location to key landmarks around me to know what is within my shooting range ahead of time. That way, when something wanders by, I can already be prepared.

    I think the biggest thing to remember is that we all need to make sure we are doing whatever we can to insure the best shot is taken. I am not going to demean anyone for using a rangefinder if that helps them to increase their efficiency. I use one and, given the chance and/or need, will use it when the animal is there to make sure my gut feeling is correct. No matter how much I practice at home or at some range judging distance, things look different when in the field. Animals vary in size (a big moose will look closer than they actually are compared to a small moose, etc...). Different tree sizes. All sorts of things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    well i only got that far... and immediately thought... theres a ton of bow hunters that "legally" are not allowed to....
    Then you should read the rest, it has nothing to do with legality...

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