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I'm just getting back into archery after having taken 15+ years off from it. I shot a simple 40# recurve bow from about age 9 to 17 and by the end could bullseye easily and had tight groupings nearly every time. Now it's like I never picked up a bow in my life - after 20 years off and 13 years of health problems I am having to start completely over with a 20# bow, and my aiming is a joke. Oh well, it's still fun anyway.

Unfortunately there's no real adult archery clubs in my area that are accessible to me and I've not had any luck finding coaches, but I've been lucky enough to find an SCA group that has weekly archery practice. Needless to say the people there are wonderful and helpful, but I don't know if any of them really qualify as actual coaches, and I don't think they pay that close attention to me to tell me if I am doing something wrong. So I'm trying to research things online and learn as I go, hoping that muscle memory will still kick in after this long and I will get better.

However I'm also Deaf, and while it never stopped me as a kid/teen, I also never did it in a group. I always always shooting solo and learned from an adult in my life that was an expert at traditional/primitive bows. Naturally, I can't remember anything he said now. I just remember that I was mostly an instinctive shooter back then and that's about it.

So I'm wondering if there's anything I need to be aware of as a Deaf archer, both in my personal technique while solo shooting and in groups. Is there anything technique-wise that requires hearing that I may need to compensate for? When I was a kid it wasn't a big deal, but I'd like to get serious with archery again so maybe that changes things. I don't really see how hearing is really necessary other than if I were to hunt someday, knowing if my bow is too loud - I don't anticipate hunting though.

I know that it does help to hear the "thunk" on a target when figuring out one's technique and fine tuning it, and I find myself a bit frustrated that I don't have this "check", especially since I seem to still be an instinctive shooter. Even more frustrating is that in a group practice, I can't see where my arrow went or if I even hit the target at all until time to go retrieve the arrows (since the arrows in the target could be anyone else's and not mine, it's hard to tell from a distance). So it's really hard to self correct. Unfortunately, I no longer have a place I can safely solo-practice, so I'm kinda stuck with the group practice for now.

I'm nervous about the group archery practice aspect, but I do have my significant other practicing with me and he's more than willing to stay by my side and let me know when the retrieval call is sounded and the emergency stop is sounded and all of that. And should I ever have to attend practice without him I plan to be especially observant or perhaps ask a fellow archer if they would be willing to hit me on the arm during an emergency stop call, but it still makes me nervous and wonder if I should just sit it out when my SO can't come with me, which honestly would suck. But safety is more important. Especially since there are sometimes kids on the range. I would just like to see if I can't figure out a way to compensate for the lack of hearing on my own without needing a "hearing alert human" at my side, lol.

Anyway, I guess I was just hoping I could share some concerns rolling around in my head with this seemingly active forum of archers and see if anyone had any great ideas or responses I hadn't thought of. Thanks. :D

- Lily
 

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I'm just getting back into archery after having taken 15+ years off from it. I shot a simple 40# recurve bow from about age 9 to 17 and by the end could bullseye easily and had tight groupings nearly every time. Now it's like I never picked up a bow in my life - after 20 years off and 13 years of health problems I am having to start completely over with a 20# bow, and my aiming is a joke. Oh well, it's still fun anyway.

Unfortunately there's no real adult archery clubs in my area that are accessible to me and I've not had any luck finding coaches, but I've been lucky enough to find an SCA group that has weekly archery practice. Needless to say the people there are wonderful and helpful, but I don't know if any of them really qualify as actual coaches, and I don't think they pay that close attention to me to tell me if I am doing something wrong. So I'm trying to research things online and learn as I go, hoping that muscle memory will still kick in after this long and I will get better.

However I'm also Deaf, and while it never stopped me as a kid/teen, I also never did it in a group. I always always shooting solo and learned from an adult in my life that was an expert at traditional/primitive bows. Naturally, I can't remember anything he said now. I just remember that I was mostly an instinctive shooter back then and that's about it.

So I'm wondering if there's anything I need to be aware of as a Deaf archer, both in my personal technique while solo shooting and in groups. Is there anything technique-wise that requires hearing that I may need to compensate for? When I was a kid it wasn't a big deal, but I'd like to get serious with archery again so maybe that changes things. I don't really see how hearing is really necessary other than if I were to hunt someday, knowing if my bow is too loud - I don't anticipate hunting though.

I know that it does help to hear the "thunk" on a target when figuring out one's technique and fine tuning it, and I find myself a bit frustrated that I don't have this "check", especially since I seem to still be an instinctive shooter. Even more frustrating is that in a group practice, I can't see where my arrow went or if I even hit the target at all until time to go retrieve the arrows (since the arrows in the target could be anyone else's and not mine, it's hard to tell from a distance). So it's really hard to self correct. Unfortunately, I no longer have a place I can safely solo-practice, so I'm kinda stuck with the group practice for now.

I'm nervous about the group archery practice aspect, but I do have my significant other practicing with me and he's more than willing to stay by my side and let me know when the retrieval call is sounded and the emergency stop is sounded and all of that. And should I ever have to attend practice without him I plan to be especially observant or perhaps ask a fellow archer if they would be willing to hit me on the arm during an emergency stop call, but it still makes me nervous and wonder if I should just sit it out when my SO can't come with me, which honestly would suck. But safety is more important. Especially since there are sometimes kids on the range. I would just like to see if I can't figure out a way to compensate for the lack of hearing on my own without needing a "hearing alert human" at my side, lol.

Anyway, I guess I was just hoping I could share some concerns rolling around in my head with this seemingly active forum of archers and see if anyone had any great ideas or responses I hadn't thought of. Thanks. :D

- Lily
I grew up with a deaf friend. Didn't do any archery or stuff like that, but we did play ball. I was astounded as to his perception of things. He didn't hear, but he sensed and any vibration... kept him from getting tackled more than once is the only thing I could ever figure....... :grin: So in my opinion, you will be able to figure out how you're shooting by your own sensibilities. You might invest in a video camera though to give you a visual feed back that might be helpful.

Good to see you getting back into it....

Aloha... :cool::beer:
 

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20# is a good weight to start with.

The first step would be making sure that you've got equipment which will work for you and not be a frustration:
A decent tab
A decent arm guard
A stringer
Arrows which will fly properly from your bow.

The first and last items are the most important and also the most likely to need to be ordered online. For a good tab I recommend a Black Widow, cheap and nicely padded.
For arrows I am huge fan of the Carbon Impact Super Club. Assuming you have a 27-28" draw length the 10/20 spine will likely work well for you. You may need to get the plastic fletches replaced with feathers if you are shooting off the shelf.

Next is getting a decent grounding in technique. For that I would heartily recommend looking up Jimmy Blackmon on youtube. His videos are the absolute best.
If you were my student I would start you off with a 3 under hold and an anchor somewhere on the upper jaw or cheek. I would have you get your eye over top of the arrow so you can sight along it.
I would also have you shoot no further than 10 yards until you were confident that you can keep the arrows inside a fairly tight group. Don't worry about spotting your hits or trying to adjust, we are looking for a grouping; not necessarily one in the middle (that is a tuning issue and we would worry about it later).

Then we would look at moving you back a little at a time, but only as far as your are confident you can make good hits.

As for being deaf: I'd just ask someone to tap you when the all clear is signaled. I don't know any archers who wouldn't be willing to help someone, we are pretty awesome people.

-Grant
 

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Some thoughts I had on reading the opening post:

As you're down a sense others will be more active, a lot of archers get feedback by 'feel'.
This is something you might try to develop quickly. It's how the bow jumps in your hand, if it twists, if it vibrates and how the whole shot went.

I use the sound of the nock clicking onto the string to warn me of damaged nocks (as well as checking at the bale the arrows than have landed together).
It's proven useful to me and it's something you won't have- just be aware and perhaps you will develop a 'feel' for that too.


Arrows not visible.... try big feathers or Norway Zeon Fusion vanes... easier to see in flight. Use a binoculars/monoculars.
 

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Welcome back to archery!

I'm not sure where you are located, but this "coach locator" might help:

http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Archery/Programs/Coaching/Coach-Locator.aspx

A good book for beginners is this one, $20 well spent in my opinion...http://www.lancasterarchery.com/shooting-the-stickbow-book-2nd-edition-by-anthony-camera.html

I'm not sure how well videos work for you but here's a few good ones on basic shooting made by a member of this forum...http://www.youtube.com/user/TheMoebow1

I couldn't begin to offer any advice as far as being a deaf shooter, I haven't known any. There could be some safety issues at a public range but you seem to be well aware of them already.
 

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Lily -

Equipment and re-training will be the same as for any new or returning shooter
That has been discussed at length elsewhere.

Being deaf does pose a different number of issues.
The good part is that you have the advantage of not being distracted by ambient sound. That can actually be a real plus.
The down side is a lessening of situational awareness. That's exacerbated as you increase the focus on your shot.
The latter can be quite problematic while shooting at a range or even by yourself.
The best solution would be the buddy system.
Shooting with a friend who can alert you to range commands or hazardous situations should solve the problem.
Happily most archers are pretty decent people and there will usually be someone around will to lend an ear - so to speak.

Once you get started, we can go into more details.

Welcome back!

Viper1 out.
 

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Lily:

I can't specifically help you but I can say that I actually think you might be at an advantage in terms of archery advice.

Let me explain.

Over decades of shooting a bow, I have found that it might be wise to believe about half of what you read, and none of what you hear.

:wink:

On a more serious note, have you thought of talking to the folks running your group practice sessions and asking them to accommodate you with a flag or some other visual cue for arrow retrieval or emergency stop? How about a simple red/green/yellow light would suffice. You can get a simple one on e-bay for about 50 bucks.

mpuVrRNSV0UZ--kyAks6-ig.jpg

Green light-shoot/yellow light-retrieve/red light-stop

Our local archery shop/range uses one for certain 5-spot tournaments.

I can't imagine anyone having a problem with it or not doing what they can to accommodate you.

KPC
 

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All the good advice above intact, on the seeing your arrows in the bale, that's the way it is in most FITA based events too. You have 4 shooters per bale shooting up to 6 arrows each and at distance. That's why we use spotter scopes. One per bale is used (best one brought of the group, usually) and set up on a tripod between the shooters. After each shot, just peek through the scope and look for your fletch and nocks.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just wanted to say thank you to everyone that responded in this thread! :D

I've decided to just not shoot at a range unless I have someone that is dedicated to stay by my side and alert me to any emergency stop calls.

As for relearning my technique without having to wait until I can go to a range with a buddy, I've decided to set up a small practice area in my empty 2 car garage, going from corner to corner diagonally and starting as close as I safely can to the target until I have good, consistent groupings at that distance, be it instinctive or aiming (I realize that my technique may be different than it once was, but I am hoping I am still instinctive). That way I can see the arrow and without the distraction of weather or other people I can have a faster way to check if I did well or not, and it will be easier to focus on learning the feel of my bow as well.

The bow I plan to get will only be 25 pounds since I've been in poor health, and mostly just want to focus on my form right now, so I think it should be weak enough to not cause too much damage if I line the walls behind the target with thick plywood and rubber mats. The target will most likely be a large foam target block elevated and secured somehow. I would go for a hay bale but my husband is worried spiders will take up residence in it.

What is the closest I can get to the target and still be safe with a 25# bow using wooden arrows? I was told 10 feet, but that seems too close to me.
 

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I shoot in my garage from five to seven yards. I also shoot wooden arrows. I have 3/4" plywood as a backstop and that will stop errant arrows from doing any damage should I miss the target. I leaned two 4' x 8' sheets side-by-side with a bit of overlap in the middle against the wall behind my target bags and secured them at the top so they couldn't tip over. Probably overkill, but I don't sweat, either. No need for rubber if you've got the plywood.

I don't like standing closer than five yards because sometimes an arrow can bounce back out of a target bag if it hits an oddball wad of the cotton material (don't know how a foam target behaves as to bounce-outs). Wooden arrows with their thicker point profiles are more prone to this than aluminum or carbons. Outdoors I've had arrows take an odd bounce off of the bag and fly back four yards in the air before hitting the ground ... and that from distances further away than seven yard shooting.

Another thing to watch out for is how you hang your targets upon the bag. Stay away from bungee cords or hard, plasticky rope to secure the targets, for a woody will take a bad bounce backwards if it strikes those materials. I use two cheap pieces of twine tied around the bag and slip targets mounted on thin cardboard under the twine to secure them. If an arrow hits the twine it will simply go through the strands and on into the bag, usually not damaging the twine at all.

The garage makes a great practice range that you can use 24/7 as you desire. If the overhead light irks you, you can mount a spotlight rig to highlight the target and avoid glare in your eyes ... your own "archery theater", if you will.

Good luck.
 

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If you do decide to get into hunting, my brother is good friends with a man who is deaf and an awesome bowhunter, he even hunts turkey and calls them in. My brother taught him how to get the sound just right by feel from a box and push botton call. He takes at least one really nice buck every year. If you ever decide to take up hunting and want to talk to him about the unique challenges of bowhunting when deaf - just let me know and I will get his email to you in a pm.
 

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Just wanted to say thank you to everyone that responded in this thread! :D

I've decided to just not shoot at a range unless I have someone that is dedicated to stay by my side and alert me to any emergency stop calls.

As for relearning my technique without having to wait until I can go to a range with a buddy, I've decided to set up a small practice area in my empty 2 car garage, going from corner to corner diagonally and starting as close as I safely can to the target until I have good, consistent groupings at that distance, be it instinctive or aiming (I realize that my technique may be different than it once was, but I am hoping I am still instinctive). That way I can see the arrow and without the distraction of weather or other people I can have a faster way to check if I did well or not, and it will be easier to focus on learning the feel of my bow as well.

The bow I plan to get will only be 25 pounds since I've been in poor health, and mostly just want to focus on my form right now, so I think it should be weak enough to not cause too much damage if I line the walls behind the target with thick plywood and rubber mats. The target will most likely be a large foam target block elevated and secured somehow. I would go for a hay bale but my husband is worried spiders will take up residence in it.

What is the closest I can get to the target and still be safe with a 25# bow using wooden arrows? I was told 10 feet, but that seems too close to me.
Your husband might be right, although I get mice in the straw bales. And straw/hay bales are not that good anyway. At least the standard cheap variety you can get here. One bale is not big enough. A stack has slight spaces between the bales that an arrow will pass through quite easily. I built a compression mechanism so they work for me, but it is not what you want. Besides, my bow was 38 lb before my short draw, and at 30 ft, 10 yds, it will shoot through a straw bale.

I have missed my bale stack and put arrows into my backstop. I started with half inch OSB, a sort of chip board, and it is pretty easy to shoot through. Especially if you hit the same spot twice it will rip the feathers off as the arrow goes through. 1/2 inch plywood seems to stop the arrow every time but the arrows are miserable to get out.

I started using a couple layers of cardboard in front of the plywood since it is cheap and remarkably tough. It works even better if it is hung in front of the plywood or kept a few inches away so that it will flex and move when the arrow hits it. I have had arrows just bounce off of the cardboard. Or you can buy flexible sheets of stuff from places like 3Rivers that you hang like a curtain behind the target and it will catch the arrows.

Or I suppose, not miss, but I miss a lot, more if it is critical that I don't.

And just a thought, but why not open the garage door? Then you could get a bit farther away.

Have fun.
 

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Hi friend,
Well, I have no idea where you are located, and it's probably a one in a million chance that you are anywhere close to me, but I live in SoCal. I am hearing, but my grandparents were deaf, so I grew up signing. And believe it or not, I love archery too! Ha! Anyway, if you are in my neck of the woods, I'd love to go sling some arrows with you and your hubby! Enjoy your new, found again, sport!
 
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