By: Bears Butt


Let’s talk about “playing field” for a minute.

When a couple of guys, or a couple of teams are competing against one another for whatever the prize, you want to make sure all the rules (the stinking rules) are going to make the contest even.  This is what I’m talking about when I say “playing field”….the same rules applying to each of the contestants.  The same everything so that when one guy or team doesn’t do as well as the other, at least they were competing with the same stuff to keep it equal.

Recently there was a couple of football teams competing for a very big prize….the championship for their league as it was and with the win, they would go on to play in the big boy game, the Super Bowl.  Well, it has come to light that the winning team of that game had done something “not quite right” by deflating the football a bit which supposedly gave them an advantage over the other team.  You see it was raining pretty good during that game, and not being a football player myself, I can see where a deflated football might just give the guy throwing the ball and the guy catching it a bit of an advantage in being able to grip the ball better.  I don’t know if that is true or not, but the fact remains, there were stinking rules to be followed, and the one team didn’t follow that rule exactly.  Well, they won the game and are going on to the Super Bowl, but not without a lot of fans (of the losing team) calling fowl and wanting them out of the game, calling them cheaters and chanting the age old saying “Cheaters never win”!

So, they altered the playing field.

Last night at bow practice, I was using my Christmas present bow, which is about a 10 pound draw weight bow and my hand fletched arrows to fling down range and try to hit the target.  I tried for the 20 yard mark, but every arrow fell unbelievably low and I think in order to make the arrows reach the 20 yard target I would have had to of aimed at the heater blower that is mounted to the ceiling in order for the arrows to even reach 20 yards.  At any rate, I moved the portable target up to 15 yards and placed my target on that.  Still not an easy thing to reach, but I was doing OK, for a guy who has only been shooting for 3 or 4 weeks with limited equipment.  After all, I have had 3 lessons.

After about 30 shots, Squirrel was ready for competition.  Much like that of last week, where he cleaned my plow and I had to buy the sodas.  He was uncertain about the playing field.  You see he graduated to the 20 yard line with his shooting expertise and I have to admit, he is pretty good.

So, let’s examine the “playing field”:

Squirrel:  Compound bow, with sights, arrows made to shoot straight and true for his bow and bow weight, a trigger release for the bow string, a full year of experience behind him and shooting out to 20 yards.  Age 9 years old.

Me:  10 pound draw recurve bow, instinct shooting without a sight, arrows altered by hand to try and make them shoot straight, a hand made 3 finger tab to assist in bow string release, 3 lessons behind me and shooting out at 10 yards.  Age 65.

Does this seem to be about an even playing field to you?

We have shot our first round of 3 shots each.  I have scored a solid 20, and Squirrel has netted a grand score of 17.  Now, in bow and arrow competition, 3 points is not a big lead and one poke of an arrow could yield a 10X.  X’s scores are the breakers of ties and every archer tries their best to score as many X’s as they can.  I felt good about my lead, however, I know the hazards of over confidence.

Enter the “big deal”, the “deflated ball” if you will.

Suddenly, without warning, a young shooter approached me and asked if we could move the target to a distance he could shoot….8 yards!

Of course we can move the target!  That is what bow shooters do…accommodate!

But, what is that going to do with the “playing field”?

I counseled with my competitor.  HMMMMM.  We will have to see.  Was his comment.  (At least he knew about the “deflated ball”).  I was confused at that but continued to shoot and rack up my score.  Weasel was kind enough to score my target as he went down range to his own.  I wrote my score on my target and Squirrel put his on his scoring paper.  At the end of the 30 shots I ran my score through my trusty calculator and Squirrel scored his using his trusty brain.

Bottom line:  Squirrel = 143, me = 188 with one X.

Well, it is obvious who won, but Squirrel did not have 50 cents with which to buy me a soda.  We agreed that “next time”, I will shoot fairly at the 20 yard mark with my trusty 10 pound bow.  He calmly said “I would have conquered you if I was shooting at 8 yards”.  And I have no doubt about that.

Bears Butt

January 23, 2015


Written on January 23rd, 2015 , Archery stuff

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Just some of my old stories, new stories, and in general what is going on in my life.