Q: I am a compound shooter with no experience of shooting field, what do I need to do to prepare?


The first thing that you need to do is to look at the draw length. If you don’t had access to a field course to practice go and shoot the longest distance that you would normally shoot (90m gents, 70m female) and compare how the draw length feels at this long distance as opposed to 20 metres. If the bow feels unstable and the aim is worse at the long distance then you need to shorten the draw length by 1/8in at a time until 20 metres and the long distance feel the same. The reason for doing this is that the “wrong” draw length will cause you difficulty shooting up and down hills.

The next step is to “select” a peep sight height. You do this by shooting 40 metres (45 yards for IFAA field) and get a sight mark with the peep sight comfortably circling the scope. This means that at your longest distance you will not be lifting your head up to see through the peep and that you can shoot the shorter distances comfortably.

Now you need to get sight marks. It is worthwhile investing in one of the many sight tape programmes for shooting field as this will remove the need to get 5 metre/yard interval sight marks and allows you to easily set your sight on distances between 5 and zero without having to do some maths. These programmes require a little bit of experimenting with in order to make work and are wholly dependent on the accuracy of the details inputted. Pick the longest distance that you can shoot a 5in group at and spend some time getting a good sight mark, then get a 20metre/yard sight mark and use these as your inputted data. Once you have produced a sight tape, check it by shooting the longest distance for the round and 20 yards/metres and pick a slower or faster tape until these two marks are accurate.

Whether you are shooting FITA or IFAA field you will need a set of “short” marks and it is best to get these as separate sight marks as the tape will be inaccurate for these for all but the most experienced users of sight tape technology.

There is not space here to discuss the range estimating “systems” that are used for FITA field unmarked but there are plenty of online resources that will help you with this and you have now set up a bow to allow you to begin to enjoy the field experience.

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