I believe this week’s challenge could be most likely described as archery trick shooting. As impractical as it was, we shot arrows off of a steel ramp at 6 targets rotating around like a Texas star. It was quite unpredictable and proved to be difficult for most of us.
To prepare us in practice we all shot off of a ramp into a full sheet of plywood. I do not recommend playing with this in your backyard because 85% of the nocks would break as soon as they whipped into the ramp, so this hobby could be quite costly. The only thing we learned is that you have a very limited window of where the arrows will fly. It boiled down to having no controllable range of elevation and just windage adjustments by moving yourself sideways along the ramp. I also found to be a bit more consistent by lowering my stance, as if I were shooting more square to the bottom part. This was the most puzzling practice so far that didn’t shed much light onto what the challenge might be.
In the challenge each shooter could fire three arrows at the moving targets, but could only hit one target per firing session. I ended up missing 9/9. I got so distracted by the targets I kept focusing on them and aimed at the ramp with my peripheral vision – not good. I should have reversed it and focused on the ramp, and then timed the release with my peripheral vision. Some of the other guys figured this out faster and did much better than I. But even then, we hit a few targets twice, which might mean a lot of it was just chance. As much as I hated watching myself fail on television, at least my team was strong enough to beat red and we were safe from elimination.
Our victory leads me into a little drama in the house. Immediately after our victory Jake is all upset, cussing all over the place. Now yes, he always acts like this, but we just won! I find out later he was trying to throw the challenge to send some of us stronger shooters into elimination and he thought if he ended up there with us he could take us out. He had some very interesting and dishonorable tactics which also led to his “fight” with Mike Hughes. No punches were thrown, but boy was it close! At this time I had chosen to tune them out with my shooting muffs.
The elimination was a much more traditional challenge in which I would have found it much easier to excel. It consisted of variable speed moving targets in a head to head challenge, where you had to gain points by filling your colored targets with arrows. The targets with the most arrows wins, which also means you could accidentally give your opponent points. Cliff and Chris went head to head and Cliff fired his last shot this season. He will be missed, he was my last roommate since Jarrett and Mark left, so I do have a room to myself :)
Next week we finally get behind a rifle again. And what a rifle it is! The McMillan Tac 50 – an accurized 50BMG that runs $8,000. We will be firing at a moving target at 500 yards, fastest shot wins. The teams will dissolve into green jerseys and it will be every man for himself!
A short commentary and lesson on this episode