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10 Tips for Night Archery - How to Shoot in the Dark

Note - Hunting after dark is illegal in many provinces and states. But practicing after dark can be quite fun, especially during the summer months as the temperatures are nicer in the evening as opposed to the scalding heat of summer days.

So if you want to do night shooting, what should you be doing? Well here are 10 tips for doing some night archery.

#1. Use lighted LED nocks. If you miss the target they will be easier to find. They also look pretty awesome so that is a nice bonus.

#2. You will find it is tricky not being able to see what you are aiming at. I recommend using glowsticks, like the kind below. There are other kinds of glowing items (like bracelets), but I find they don't work quite as well because they are not as bright. I also don't recommend shooting at candles, so don't bother.

#3. Learn how to Gap Shoot. Gap Shooting is a different style of aiming, but it is handy for shooting at moving targets and also handy for night shooting. If you live in Toronto and want to learn how to Gap Shoot, I recommend signing up for archery lessons and ask to learn the Gap Shooting method of aiming.

#4. If you are using a sight for aiming, you may want to get a lighted sight that uses a LED and fibre optics to light up the individual sight pins. If you don't have one you can also find a way to add light to your sight, possibly by having a glowstick handy or even making your own homemade sight that has glow in the dark paint on it.

#5. The laser pointer target. As opposed to attaching a paper target to the target butt you are aiming at, an alternative to this is to set up a laser pointer and have it pointed at the target butt so you are basically shooting at the red dot. (If you put a piece of white paper on the target butt it will make it a bit easier to see the red dot from a distance.)

Cat laser pointers sometimes come with alternate settings for different shapes that the laser makes, so that can be fun too.

#6. Bring bug spray. Mosquitoes will be murderous late at night. Mosquito repellent will be very handy to keep the bugs away late at night. Citronella candles are also handy for keeping the bugs at bay, and also provide a bonus light source. Citronella Tea Lights plus a metal lantern would be good too.

#7. Bring a flashlight. Not necessarily to use all the time, but more for emergencies. Lets pretend you drop something on the ground and cannot see it to find it. A flashlight will be handy for such an occurrence, and also useful for finding the bathroom, preventing you from stumbling around in the dark while searching for lost arrows, etc.

A good Maglight flashlight or something similar would thus be handy. Accidents happen.

#8. Bring a Friend. Shooting by yourself is a bit boring. Having a friend to talk to is nice when night shooting. Make sure you observe safety protocol, calling live when about to shoot and clear when ready to collect your arrows. It would be bad mojo if you accidentally shot your friend or got shot while doing night shooting and you were ignoring the potential for danger, so please observe safety protocols.

#9. Dress for the temperature. Having a hoodie or similar clothing will be handy if it turns out to be chilly at night. Also handy for keeping the bugs off in case you didn't bring enough bug spray.

I thought this one was pretty awesome.
This one was amusing too.

#10. For extra fun, save your old broken arrows for the future and use them for night shooting at a lake. Bring marshmallows (optionally, you can soak them in fondue oil for a brighter flame). Stick the marshmallows on the tips of the old broken arrows, nock the arrow but only partially draw the bow - then light the marshmallow on fire and immediately shoot it up and across the lake.

Because they are old broken arrows you won't really care that you are burning them / losing them in the lake. But they will make for some fantastic fun shooting over the lake and seeing the reflection of the fire on the water.

Happy Night Shooting!

What are the best times of day to do archery?


"What are the best times of day to do archery?"


Obviously shooting during the day is good so you can see the targets better. Speaking for myself, I find the early mornings are tricky because the sun is sometimes in your eyes. As such I prefer to do archery between 10 AM and 6 PM.

I also have a fondness for doing some night shooting in the hours after sunset - in which case it is useful to have lighted LED nocks, like the ones shown below. I also recommend bug spray, as depending on the time of year there will be lots of mosquitoes after dark.

Lighted LED Nocks for Night Shooting

Some people also prefer to shoot on weekdays, when there are less people at the local archery range, while others might prefer weekends or the "after 5 PM crowd" because they like to socialize with their fellow archers. Archery can be a very social activity. Not everyone is into socializing, so it really depends on your personal preferences.

Some people really like shooting in the early wee hours (5 AM to 7 AM) so they can get some shooting in before going to work. Not my thing personally. I like sleeping.

Regarding time of year...

My favourite time of year for archery is September and October, because the weather is so nice. Winter is cold and if you are a bad shot you could lose arrows in the snow. Spring is very muddy and rains often. Summer is too hot. Thus late summer / early autumn is a great time of year, weather wise.

Depending where you live in the world the seasons may vary dramatically, such as rainy seasons / dry seasons, and so forth. Whether you like shooting in the rain is a whole different topic.

Happy Shooting!

See Also

How to do Archery in the Wind and Rain, Part 1

How to do Archery in the Wind and Rain, Part 2

Sunrise, Sunset and Daily Weather Forecasts

Three Ways to Combine Archery with Swimming

For those people who love finding something fun to do in the summer - and for those people who are fanatics about both archery and swimming - here are 3 ways to have fun while combining the two.

#1. Snorkeling + Target Practice. Truly for those who love snorkeling and a challenge. Balloons that are weighted down make for good targets.

#2. Archery Diving - tricky to do, but something that will be a real challenge. Not a lot of people have attempted archery trick shots like this since the 1950s.

#3. Bowfishing while Wading in a River. Not really swimming, but still something fun to do. Just need a fishing license and a bowfishing reel. Only legal during carp bowfishing season, which in Ontario is May to July.


#4, #5, #6. Archery Surfing, Archery Kayaking, Archery Windsurfing, etc. Just because nobody has ever done it before does not mean it is not possible to try it. For safety purposes I recommend using blunt tipped arrowheads when doing archery trick shots while doing water sports!

Happy Shooting and Swimming!

Archery, huh, yeah, what is it good for?

If you said "Absolutely nothing." you would be repeating the song lyrics, but sadly mistaken.

The mental benefits of archery are listed as follows:
  • Increased memory function.
  • Better sensory awareness.
  • Higher observational skills.
  • Increased logic skills.
  • Increased problem solving skills.
  • Increased concentration skills.
  • Increased pattern recognition skills.
  • Increased mathematical skills and numerical aptitude.
  • Spatial awareness skills.
  • Better understanding of yourself (intrapersonal skills).
  • More complex thinking strategies (eg. being able to think about multiple things simultaneously).
  • Decreased chances of developing Alzheimer's Disease and similar diseases.
  • Higher order reasoning skills.
= Archery effectively raises your IQ over the long term. With a side benefit of reducing the symptoms of senility and similar mental problems.

The physical benefits of archery are listed as follows:
  • Increased fat loss.
  • Increased strength / muscle mass.
  • Increased endurance.
  • Improved cardiovascular system.
  • Increased hand-eye coordination.
  • Increased balance.
  • Improved overall health (including your immune system).
= Archery, like many forms of exercise, has a long list of health benefits from regular exercise. Everything from a stronger heart and an improved immune system.

And lastly, the social benefits of archery - since archery tends to be a rather social activity - are listed as follows:
  • Increased linguistic and verbal skills.
  • Increased understanding of body language and non-verbal communication.
  • Interpersonal skills.
  • Increased empathy. 
  • Better emotional processing.
= Archery will cause you to make more friends. That is really what it comes down to. Any person who is remotely social will end up making new friends when hanging out at the archery range. You would have to be completely anti-social and deliberately avoiding meeting new people to not be accidentally making new friends doing this sport. It is an extremely social sport and complete strangers will often build friendships in the span of a few hours.


Archery will make you Smarter, Stronger and more Social. What it is good for? Lots.

Naysayers of this might also point out that bowhunting, bowfishing, competing in archery competitions are also potentially useful, but frankly those are things that limited in their application. You would have to go out of your way to deliberately hunt, fish, or compete. In contrast, the mental, physical and social benefits will effect your life on a regular (if not constant) basis, especially if you become a regular at your local archery range.

Oh and one last benefit. Archery is FUN! What other reason do you need???

The photo below was taken when myself and two friends all brought our antique Browning bows to the archery range and we lined them up to compare them. :)

Saddened to hear Muhammad Ali is dead, boxing legend, age 74

I don't normally talk about obituaries on here, but nevertheless I was saddened to hear that boxing legend Muhammad Ali has died. He was 74. The cause of death was septic shock. He had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for over 30 years.

Muhammad Ali, sometimes referred to by his birth name of Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., was three time world heavyweight boxing champion. His moral behaviour represented many of the things I admire about the sport of boxing - in the context that it is a gentleman's sport because it follows rules and a code of honour.

There is a stereotype that heavyweight boxers are huge lumbering brutes. Muhammad Ali was none of these things. He combined speed, agility and power into a fighting style rarely seen in large boxers. He was light on his feet and lightning fast with his jabs. Other boxers were often worn down by exhaustion over time by Ali's endurance. He won 56 fights over a 21 year professional career and only lost 5.

He had a sometimes brash personality, but it was combined with magnetism and personal convictions that made him stand up for his beliefs. When asked to go fight in Vietnam, Ali responded.

"Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No, I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality. If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years." - Muhammad Ali.
Born January 17th, 1942. Died June 3rd, 2016.

Muhammad Ali's boxing career started young (age 12), and by the age of 18 he won the gold medal at the 1960 Olympics in Rome, Italy.

Returning to the USA after his win he became frustrated with prejudice and discrimination and according to rumour threw his gold medal into a river. He would eventually sign a 6 year contract in Lousville, where he would also be introduced to the "Black Muslim Movement" in the USA and be given the name "Muhammad Ali" by the leader of the movement, Elijah Muhammad.

By 1963 he had won 15 professional fights and was still only 21. He appeared on the cover of Time Magazine and set to fight heavy hitting slugger Sonny Liston, who he mocked as a "big ugly bear" and issued his now famous quote: "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, rumble, young man, rumble."

The heavyweight champion, Liston was expected to win that fight easily, the odds were placed as 7 to 1. But in the opening rounds of the fight it became pretty clear who had the upper hand. At 210 lbs and 6'3" tall, Muhammad Ali would dance away from Liston's clumsy punches and pepper him with jabs. By the end of the 7th round, Liston gave up. He had torn muscles swinging uselessly at Muhammad Ali. He was tired and broken.

Sonny Liston swinging uselessly at Muhammad Ali.
 In 1965 Liston would be given a rematch, but Muhammad Ali took him out in the first round with what became known as the "Phantom Punch". Many speculate that Liston took a dive and bet against himself.

After refusing to fight in Vietnam, Ali was stripped of his title, but fought attempts to send him to prison. He would not be allowed to fight again until he was 28 years old, losing 3.5 years of his athletic prime. His draft avoidance case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and during that time he worked on a film, appeared in a Broadway musical, and endorsed a burger chain called Champburger.

When finally allowed to fight again it was Oct. 26, 1970, a minor fight before he would be allowed to go up against the new champion Joe Frazier on March 8th 1971. Frazier would win the 15 round match on points, but the fight was seriously damaging to both boxers and was a close decision.

Meanwhile Muhammad Ali was winning in the courts. The United States Supreme Court looked favourably on Ali and on June 28th, 1971, it unanimously reversed a lower court decision and granted Ali his conscientious-objector status.

After losing to Frazier on points, people began thinking Muhammad Ali was done. That he should perhaps retire. But that never happened. Over the next few years he would fight in 14 matches and win 13 of them, eventually getting a rematch with Frazier and winning, and also beating George Foreman who had become the new heavyweight champion.

The Foreman fight was unusual. It took place in Zaire, on October 30th 1974 and was billed as "The Rumble in the Jungle". Near the beginning of the fight Foreman hammered Ali with blows to the chest and shoulders that hit like sledgehammers, but as the fight wore on Foreman wavered and got tired. Ali just seemed to get faster and faster and by the 8th round Ali knocked out Foreman with a blurry series of lightning punches. He took back the heavyweight title.

Ali would fight Frazier again in 1975, in a match called the "Thrilla in Manila". Unlike their 2nd match, this one lasted 14 rounds, but Ali still won by knock out.

In 1978 Ali lost a fight to Leon Spinks but would regain his title during a rematch.

Ali’s longtime ring doctor, Ferdie Pacheco, urged him to quit, noting the slowing of his reflexes and the slurring of his speech as symptoms of brain damage. Ali refused. In 1980, he lost to Larry Holmes. A year later, his last fight, Ali lost to Trevor Berbick in the Bahamas.

It was time to hang up the gloves.

Ali would later be diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Some would claim it was caused by exposure to chemicals at his training camp, but as the years went by and more boxers / football players / etc became victims of mental illnesses, it became pretty clear that the symptoms were due to head trauma.

Even after his retirement Muhammad Ali would continue to speak out on issues that concerned him. Not all of his comments were welcomed or admired, but he would speak his mind regardless. As the years went by he began to lose his ability to speak and had a loss in mobility.

More Quotes from Muhammad Ali:

"I ain’t got nothing against them Vietcong."

"I know where I'm going and I know the truth, and I don't have to be what you want me to be. I'm free to be what I want."

"I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.' "

"I done wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale; handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail; only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalised a brick; I'm so mean I make medicine sick."

"He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life."

"If you even dream of beating me you'd better wake up and apologize."

"I've made my share of mistakes along the way, but if I have changed even one life for the better, I haven't lived in vain."

"The word 'Islam' means 'peace.' The word 'Muslim' means 'one who surrenders to God.' But the press makes us seem like haters."

"If they can make penicillin out of mouldy bread, they can sure make something out of you."

"Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even."

"I am an ordinary man who worked hard to develop the talent I was given. I believed in myself, and I believe in the goodness of others."

"It's the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen."

"The man who has no imagination has no wings."

"My trainer don't tell me nothing between rounds. I don't allow him to. I fight the fight. All I want to know is did I win the round. It's too late for advice."

"Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are."

"Cassius Clay is a name that white people gave to my slave master. Now that I am free, that I don't belong anymore to anyone, that I'm not a slave anymore, I gave back their white name, and I chose a beautiful African one."

"It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe."

"I don't have to be what you want me to be."

Muhammad Ali will never be forgotten.
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