My brother and I wanted to get some more pre-season practice in shooting our bows and we had planned on going to a new 3D archery range we herd about on the forums, Thrill Of The Hunt. Someone had mentioned it on a thread a few times, but after visiting their website I was sold. Finally, last Saturday we got together drove out to Calverton, on Long Island where it was located. My first impression was WOW, this is the coolest thing since sliced bread. They had every single 3D target you can think of to shoot at, along with obstacles such as tree’s and bushes that you had to shoot around. I kicked myself for not bringing my good digital camera, so the photo’s and video’s below are from the cell phone and do not do this place justice.
When we arrived we were greeted by Art Binder, Art owns and runs the facility. I was confused on how everything worked (I’ve never shot 3D either), I figured it was just a few shooting lanes and you shot at a select few targets and that's it. I was totally wrong, what Art did here is setup a complete game. There are 5 main ground stations and two alternative stations, the alternative stations are shooting off a “tree stand” which is an elevated platform and also shooting out of a ground blind. The other five main stations are color coded, each station has 6 3D targets places all over the facility (color coded and numbered). You have one shot per each number/colored coded target you shoot at. The 3D target placement was great, some targets require you to shoot through an opening in a tree limb and some required you to get down on your knees to get a clear shot. You were given a clipboard and score card, every 3D target has a number of different area’s where you get points. They use the ASA scoring as following:
“The ASA uses a scoring system of 14, 12, 10, 8, 5 or 0 points per arrow. Scoring is based on zero points for a miss, 5 points earned for a hit anywhere in the body, 8 points for the largest scoring ring in the center of the animal, 10 points for the 4 to 5 inch center circle inside the 8-ring, and 12 points for the smaller ring offset to the bottom or top of the 10-ring. Another circle housed in the upper rear of the 8-ring is a 14-point ring. “
The only rule you had to follow is that some part of your body be it a knee, foot, whatever has to be touching the station pole (also where you keep your arrows) before you take your shot.
Don’t get me wrong, I love target shooting, but this took it to the next level. I’m addicted now, we ended up staying a bit longer and did two full rounds. The best part about it, for those that hunt, it really made you think about your shot and you only get one shot on that target. It really helped me judge distances and become a better shooter in the short time I was there. I can’t wait to go back, I can totally see having some frequent visits to this place will make me a better bow hunter all around.
Back to the 3D targets, as you can see (again sorry for the bad pictures) some of the targets are broadside, some are slightly turned, some are bed down, there are also slight elevation changes throughout the facility. You can also opt to shoot out of one of the alternative stations, for example we chose to shoot out of the tower stand both times. When shooting from the tower stand you shoot 6 specific targets marked for that station, similar to the way the other targets are marked for the stations.
I believe the range distance from the shooting line to the back wall is roughly 35 yards, however the farthest target may be as far as 37 or 38 yards as some shots are diagonally (rarely is a target setup to be directly in front of you).
As you can tell we had a blast out there, and I highly recommend you go and check it out! Over the winter I’m thinking of having a HuntingNY.com meet-up out there, it would be a lot of fun to have a friendly competition with some members. They also have a few 3D leagues, the summer league running now shoots every Friday. I’m sure they will have some more info on their site soon about the winter league. Also make sure you bring at least 6 arrows, I recommend more in case you break one or two!
Sorry for the crappy quick video, again, only had my cell phone...
Check them out at the web address below.
Thrill Of The Hunt
291 Deep Hole Road
Calverton, NY 11933
TU - FRI: 6 pm to 10 pm
SAT - SUN: 10 am to 5 pm