At this very moment I am sitting out on my deck wearing a flannel shirt. I have hot cup of coffee next to me, a cigar burning in the ashtray, and I can see my breath in the cool morning air. Fall is quickly approaching and when it arrives, change will sweep across the archery community here in Southeast Pennsylvania.
September marks the last month that Stowe Archers will host an Outdoor 3D Shoot before Spring. Many of the area clubs will do the same, if they haven’t already ended their activities. Hunting season has a dramatic effect on event attendance in this area.
Suspending events makes a lot of sense for a number of reasons. Attendance is typically lower than usual this time of year, help is difficult to find when your core group of volunteers are out hunting, and setup in snow can be very challenging.
I really do miss it though. I can remember months when it was a struggle for my Grandfather to get his Ford Bronco up the snowy driveway of Wapiti Archers. We would make our way through the course, my feet crunching through the snow as the arrows in my quiver clattered against my leg. I’d get stuck wearing a vintage 1970’s hand-me-down flannel shirt because my coat was too puffy to shoot in. When it was all done we’d sit in the clubhouse to get warm.
Archery has changed considerably in the past twenty years. I’ve been kicking an idea around for a while and I think it is finally time to make an attempt to get it off the ground. I’d like to do a throw-back, of sorts, to the old Paper Animal Shoots.
Keystone Federation Modified Animal Round
Back in the 80’s and 90’s there were a group of Archery Clubs that formed the Keystone Federation. This group consisted of Wapiti Archers of Pennsylvania, Milford Archers, Lower Providence Rod and Gun Club, and Frontier Archery Club.
These clubs would host a Modified Animal Round one Sunday of each month. Events and scoring were consistent among the clubs and they would work together to promote one another. Times were different back then and a slow turnout would be in the range of fifty shooters. On a busy shoot, hitting triple digits was not far-fetched.
As 3D Archery became popular and additional clubs began popping up, the Keystone Federation eventually dissolved and the Modified Animal Round became a thing of the past.
Rebuilding the Modified Animal Round
Over the past week I’ve been roughing out a concept for a Modified Animal Round at Stowe Archers. I’ve reached the point where I’d like it to be a point series that spans the ‘Dead Months’ in the club schedule – October, November, and December.
I’m going to call for 3 Shots per Target (14 Target Course) scoring 5, 3, 1 points. The maximum score using this system comes out to 210 points. The tricky part is that I want to breakdown each division into classifications. I’m having difficulty working that out as of now since I don’t have actual shooter data to look at.
Modified Animal Round Trial Run
Several weeks ago Stowe Archers hosted the PFATA State Championship which had an Animal Round as part of the tournament. That 14 Target course is currently still setup and I thought using it would give me an opportunity to give my Modified Animal Round a trial run.
I hit the course and used the designated shooting positions. I shot one arrow from each of the three marked positions (in the case of only one position, I fired all three of my arrows from one location) and scored them as outlined above.
The Modified Animal Round was fun, however, I immediately saw a a problem. In order to make my classification system work, I’m going to need to set different shooting locations for each division. This creates a considerable amount of work if I want to setup a 3 Shot Fan or Walk Up with five divisions (That would be 15 stakes on one target).
I’m also concerned about the breakdown for classification within each division. In theory, I shot what I would consider Freestyle locations with my Bowhunter setup. Being an average shooter, I don’t know if my resulting classification was a good indication of skill or if I made the breakdown too difficult. The only way I’ll know for sure is if I re-shoot the course using new Bowhunter locations.
Re-Shooting the Modified Animal Round
At this point I think the best thing that I could do would be to setup a small test group to shoot the course with me. I’ll have to get out ahead of time and setup the shooting locations. For ease of setup I’ll just set one location per division.
If I can get at least one shooter per division it should give me some solid data to look over before determining if my classification breakdown needs adjusting. Fortunately, the members at our club have scores for other events that I can cross reference. For example, if the person who often wins our Outdoor 3D Unlimited Shoots is falling short of making Expert Classification, I know I probably need to re-think my calculations.
Would you like to help?
At this point the Modified Animal Round is just a concept that I’d like to get off the ground. Nothing is set in stone and I’m not even sure if the club will approve hosting a point series. In the meantime any feedback or scores that I can get would be greatly help with moving this project forward.
I’ve embedded a couple of documents down below. The first is a score card that can be printed out and filled in if you have access to a 14 target Animal Round. The second document is a very rough outline of the rules / guidelines for the series.
I tried to build it from the ground up without ripping off too much from rule books of other organizations. I also tried to draft it in a way that it could be easily modified if the series works out and other clubs would like to join in on the series – much like the old Keystone Federation used to work.