Gear Reviews

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Watch the Birds! - One Archer's Opinion

Birds fly without conscious thought. They can make quick adjustments that affect their entire body in order to achieve their immediate goal. They can adjust to changing air conditions, switch back and forth to chase a target, raise and lower to land on something smaller than a pencil lead. Why can you not hit your target the first or at least the second time?

Think! Birds’ brains run in size from about a grain of sand up to maybe a lima bean. Yet, they can completely change their entire body conformation in fractions of a second to remain focused on a target (i.e. a bug, a rodent on the ground, a place to land, or another bird).

Do they stop when they fail and begin to assess their equipment? Do they analyze their technique? Do they go to catalogs and search for more and better equipment? Do they stop and ask their peers, “What did I do?” No, no, no, no. Birds make immediate adjustments to what they are doing and continue on.
Instinct guides them? I think not. Instinct tells them what is and is not food. Instinct tells them when to have sex. Instinct tells them when to move to a better climate. When birds are doing their daily survival thing, they are constantly making adjustments and learning from their mistakes. That is not instinctive but is instead reactive. When something is not working, they immediately adjust. They instantly discard what is not working. They do not examine they make adjustments.  Birds that cannot make these quick adjustments simply do not survive. Therein is a difference between birds and archers. A bird’s failure to make quick adjustments over its entire body to changing conditions means it will not survive – it will not have the next meal or food to take to its young. Focus to a bird is on the immediate task at hand and failure may be terminal.
Failure for a bird doesn’t lead the bird to analyze performance or technique and, certainly not, to look at new and better equipment. Failure for a bird leads instantly to changes in how it is using what it has available. The incentive for a bird is survival.
Archers seldom need to succeed in hitting a target to survive. Birds need to score frequently just to make up the day’s food quota. Eat like a bird? Birds that survive eat more than their body weight each day. Archers are driven by other incentives, have whole lot more time to make corrections, and ways to blame something other than themselves for failing.
Watch the birds and make do with what you have.  Shoot as if there ain’t no next time.