Last week I told you about the newly opened Alligator Season here in Florida and promised to bring you updates from the hunt. Unfortunately, I have no updates to offer at this time as I’m being plagued by marine gremlins attacking my boat’s motor. As I write this, I’m still waiting on parts to arrive…. sad times. But there is still a lot of season left and Lord knows that there are plenty gators, so I’ll keep my promise to offer updates, but they’ll be a while.
For now, as I wait on my boat repairs, I’m staying active with my bow. Archery season is right around the corner and I’m working hard to improve my distance judgements and instinctive style of shooting. Muscle memory is important as when that moment of harvest is upon me, I want to be able to draw, aim and fire accurately without hesitation. The more you practice, the more confidence you can carry with you into the woods.
That type of practice is why I so highly recommend events like the Florida Bowhunter’s Council, Bowhunter’s Jamboree, which is coming again to the Holder Mine campground of the Citrus Wildlife Management Area. Labor Day weekend, September 1st, 2nd and 3rd will be the 57th annual Jamboree, odd that the City of Inverness hasn’t embraced the bowhunting community as the Jamboree brings significant revenue to our community and has since 1961. Anyway, competitive classes will be restricted to the first 850 entries, but there will as well be a host of novelty shoots, including the popular running deer venue for all classes of archers.
The competition is comprised of two days of shooting on a walkthrough course, firing at life-sized paper targets placed at varying unmarked distances. The best part of it is that this competition began as a tune-up for hunting season and it remains so to this day, as all competitors are required to use hunting equipment and broadhead tipped arrows (except for the novelty shoots). I’ve shot the two ranges many times with my best finish landing me in second place many years ago.
The course is beautiful, the people and fellow competitors are always wonderful, and the event planners each year have been perfect hosts. And the lessons learned about your own readiness to hunt can be invaluable. Shooting known distances on a closed course is great, but a walk through unknown distance shoot, set up exactly how you will be entering the woods on opening morning, well that’s an opportunity I can’t encourage you enough to take advantage of.
There are a few other ranges in our area, run by archery clubs, which offer similar opportunities, such as the Drawn By Grace club hosting shoots at the Chinsegut Conservation Center on Lake Lindsey Rd just a short drive north of Brooksville every second Saturday of the month. As well, a short google search for 3D Archery tournaments turned up a ton of shooting opportunities. So join me out on the ranges and let’s prep your gear and take it on a test drive; I’d hate for you to have any unfortunate opening day surprises.
As always, feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] God bless and good hunting!