I have very recently added to my archery repertoire by purchasing a Hoyt Helix recurve for the specific purpose of participating in FITA-like events. Up until then, I was strictly a traditional archer, and proud of it. I’d like to think that I’m still mostly a traditional archer, with some target archery influences.
On Thursday nights, I was participating in a league that does a half FITA-18, and during this league I switched from a wooden Martin Hatfield recurve – my Naked Wooden Bow – to the Hoyt Helix. For several weeks, my average dropped, and I was slowly able to bring my skill with the Hoyt up to the point where it was comparable to my skill with the Martin. The biggest hurdle was learning to shoot with a clicker. It was messin’ with my head.
The final night of the league came after a weekend that was heavy with traditional archery. After spending so much time learning the Hoyt, it was a joy to be back to the basics of archery – just me and the bow and some handmade cedar arrows. No stabilizers, no sights, no plunger, and no clicker. So perhaps it was entirely Freudian that when I started warming up on League Night with the Hoyt, I completely forgot about the clicker. And was amazed at the results.
“Day-um!” I exclaimed. “I hope I can shoot this well when the competition starts!” Then I remembered the clicker. “Oh yeah, huh?” I made the decision at that time to do the competition without it.
And scored a Personal Best.
This does not mean that I think clickers are worthless. I’m sure that when I start shooting seriously from 50 meters and beyond, I’ll see the advantage go the other way (assuming I can ever learn to use the damn things correctly.) However, I suspect that up to 30 meters I can get away with not using them.