A STICK AND A STRING: The Mother

March 1 and 2, 2014, marked my inaugural attempt at competing in The Mother Of All Shoots in Red Deer, Alta. This is Canada’s largest, indoor, 3D shoot and comprises of three rounds – each round has nine stations and there are three targets per station.

Sounds easy, right?

No.

Saying I was nervous would be an understatement. I tend to talk a lot when I’m nervous, and my fellow archers were laughing at my inability to keep my mouth shut. I have shot in 3D competitions before – last summer I did a couple at the Parkland Bowbenders course and quite enjoyed them. But The Mother was a lot different than anything I’ve done before. First of all, there are no rangefinders allowed. Accurately judging distances is not my strong suit (at all) so that posed the first problem. The second problem was all mind over matter. You see, at the outdoor shoots I’ve done, it’s just you and two or three other people in a group, you shoot at one target and then move on. But The Mother sees many archers on the line at the same time, all shooting at their designated targets, and a crowd of people behind you to watch the action. This was nerve-wracking!

Now that I have the first Mother Of All Shoots under my belt, I think next year will be a lot easier. Sometimes the hardest part is just not knowing what to expect. I have a list of things to work on – the first being to learn how to judge distances. The second: keep calm under unknown pressures.

My total score for the weekend was 538, which is obviously not nearly as well as I would have liked to do in the competition, but it put me about middle of the pack in the women’s novice category. And that’s at least better than last place.

Pictured at the top: Dave Ohman, with Mathews, and Richard Hutniak, owner of Trophy Book Archery in Spruce Grove, Alta., take aim during The Mother.

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