Archery problem solved!

February 2, 2012

Faith Outdoors

Going back to late October, I have had accuracy issues with my compound bow. In about mid October, I went to Schaffer Performance Archery in Burnsville to get a new arrow rest developed by the shop owner, John Schaffer. It’s called the Opposition rest and it’s supposed to increase accuracy by minimizing the amount of contact with the arrow after at the string is released.

It seemed to work fine initially, but my accuracy started getting worse and worse, especially within the last month or so. Then, it hit rock bottom on Sunday when one of my arrows hit 4 feet left of the mark and 2 feet down at only 20 yards. Needless to say, I was freaked out.

So, yesterday afternoon, it was off to Schaffer Archery I went to look for answers. Surely, I hadn’t regressed in my shooting skills, I thought, rookie though I may be.

Thankfully, it took John a matter of seconds to diagnose the problem — a loose string dampening rod. It’s basically a plastic rod with a rubber piece on the end that is tightened down by screwing it into the back side of the bow. When the string is released, it eventually hits the dampening rod, which stops the string as the arrow leaves it. I hadn’t bothered to check the tightness in a while, and John discovered that it was very loose. That causes the rubber piece to turn and move which, in turn, causes erratic arrow flight like I had experienced.

John tightened the rod down and shot three arrows himself before handing the bow to me. Here’s the amazing part — John normally shoots left-handed, but he got a tighter group shooting right-handed with my bow at 20 yards than I ever had. In fact, two of the arrows he shot were touching.

Then, it was my turn. My three-shot groups weren’t as tight as his, but they were far better than I had been getting. On one series, I got a 2-inch group, with two of the arrows touching.

Hallelujah! “Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about,” I said to myself as I pulled the arrows out of the backstop. Now, here’s perhaps the best part of all — it only cost $10. John diagnosed the problem, tightened the rod and even adjusted my sight when we discovered that my arrows were hitting an inch or two to the right. I only had to pay a $10 range fee for shooting, which, in my opinion, was a small price for solving this aggravating problem.

I anticipate lots of better shooting ahead. Can’t wait to get out there with my newly repaired bow. Meanwhile, I couldn’t help but reflect upon the experience and wonder if there are any loose string dampening rods in my spiritual life that are making my efforts to follow the Lord miss the mark. Perhaps, I can give that more thought when Lent begins on Feb. 22.


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About Dave Hrbacek

Staff photographer and writer for The Catholic Spirit. Also, avid outdoors enthusiast with a passion for hunting, fishing and photography. Married to Julie and have four children, three boys and a girl.

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