mount albert archery

Kia ora MGAC members! Meri Kirihimete (Merry Christmas) to you and your whānau!

Summer holidays usually bring nice weather and some time off work. Hopefully you are keen to get some shooting in during the holiday break and in the coming months.

Accessing the outdoor range

At this time of year, we don’t have many scheduled events happening which mean the range is open for casual shooting. Our Saturday club shoot time from 1-3pm each week is a great opportunity to shoot when you know the outdoor range will be open for your use. Please make use of this time as it’s here for you to get used to shooting at the outdoor range and to meet with like-minded archers.

There will definitely be times over the next week (26-31 Dec) when the outdoor range will be opened by keyholders. We can’t predict when this will happen so please keep an eye on the MGAC Outdoor Range Availability Announcements group on Messenger for notifications. The group is a courtesy we hope helps everyone get to the range when they can.

If you are a keyholder, please remember you can access the range during the license times on our website. In particular, public holidays on Monday 26 and Tues 27 December, and Monday 2 and Tuesday 3 January, are accessible 9am-5pm. We have LOTS of other members without range keys who want to shoot during this period too, so please post in the MGAC Outdoor Range Availability Announcements group on Messenger when you are intending to open the range and how long you will stay.

If you have been a member in good standing for at least 6 months, you can apply to the club committee for an outdoor range key. Details are on our website.

The indoor range is always accessible to you as members, and it’s nice and cool in there!

Coming up at the club and more widely throughout January

  • Monday 26 Dec to Saturday 31 Dec – casual shooting only by arrangement with keyholders
  • Saturday 31 December 1pm-3pm – weekly club shoot at the outdoor range (thanks to keyholder Paul Brislen!)
  • Sunday 1 January to Saturday 7 January – Archery NZ National Outdoor Championships (Field, Clout, Target) – in the Hamilton area
    • Note there will be fewer keyholders around the outdoor range this week but it’s likely some casual shooting will be advertised on Messenger
  • Saturday 7 January 1pm-3pm – weekly club shoot at the outdoor range (thanks to keyholder Warren Hatcher!)
  • Wednesday 11 January 5pm-7pm – casual shooting will definitely be available
  • Saturday 14 January anytime during the day – Interclub Challenge shoot – ALL WELCOME; we need at least 9 people to shoot this round. All ages and stages can do this! See below for more info.
  • Saturday 14 January 1pm-3pm – weekly club shoot at the outdoor range (I’ll be there doing the Interclub Challenge and I want you to join me!)
  • Wednesday 18 January 3:30pm-7pm – casual shooting will definitely be available. Secondary school practice for College Sport starts this day as well.
  • Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 January – there’s a field archery competition at Lakeview Archers near Tirau (the Don Finnegan Memorial Classic); heaps of fun if you like field or want to try it. Several MGAC archers are already planning to go so there is potential for carpools and knowledge sharing
  • Wednesday 25 January 3:30pm-7pm – casual shooting will definitely be available. Secondary school practice for College Sport as well.
  • Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 January – the Auckland District Archery Association (ADAA) Target Championships, an annual event held on Auckland Anniversary Weekend. Auckland Archery Club is hosting this year. Get your entries in FAST if you want to shoot in this one. Enter at

What is the Interclub Challenge?

Every month from October to April, our club picks a date to shoot the round for the Archery NZ Interclub Challenge (called the Teams Postal League in the past). On this date we need at least 9 members to shoot the round anytime during the day, with scores witnessed by another adult member. YOU CAN shoot this round no matter how experienced you are at archery, or how badly you think you shoot. This is a time when the club needs you to participate! There’s a complex system of divisions and draws and matches and results, but in essence, the more people who shoot and the higher our aggregate scores, the more chance we have of winning our divisions at the end of the year, and earning back the Interclub Shield. What matters even more to me, though, is that more of you are interested in shooting this great round and getting together each month to give it a go.

When I started shooting, I couldn’t reliably hit the target at 55 meters and even getting through 90 arrows was a big struggle. I kept on with it and can see how my scores at each of the 3 distances have changed over the last several years. It’s been a great development experience for me and I want you to have this experience too.

The round is 90 arrows across 3 different distances, which change based on your age/bow type.

Come to the next Interclub Challenge shoot on Saturday 14 January, and there will be food and spot prizes!!

Tech and equipment tips

I can recommend a couple of great apps for your practice and tournament use.

Archery Sight Mark by Tucana Designs – an Android-only app that takes three sight references and plots a graph you can use to get your sight marks for in-between distances, and for elevation angle changes. It’s a really simple concept and this app works amazingly well. I’ve never found anything like this for iOS so if you have an iPhone, please let me know if an app like this exists. This sight calculation capability is absolutely essential for any sighted recurve or compound archer, and it has a free version – no reason not to try it.

The Pro version is about $6 to purchase and adds the ability to create sight tapes, which are customised sight markings in meters (or yards) which you can print and tape to the side of your sight. They are _essential_ for good field archery and I’ve tried many, many websites and apps for sight tapes. This is the best one I’ve ever found. Well worth $6!

Everyone at every level needs a good scoring/logging app for your practice or competition rounds. Most of these apps are not cross-platform but ArcherySuccess is, and does the job pretty well. (It’s $15.99 to purchase for Android; similar cost for iOS.) It also contains all of the rounds from the Archery NZ Shooting Rules already in addition to World Archery and IFAA rounds, so next time you’re keen on a Burton or a Canadian 900 round, you can find it in here without needing to create a custom entry yourself. I’ve tried lots of other archery scoring/logging apps but keep coming back to this one so I can work with the iOS users in my household. The archer score (based on research by Australian coach Dr Jim Park) is a great metric to see yourself improving across different rounds and distances.

Free similar apps for Android include MyTargets and Artemis, both of which are also excellent.

Finally, summer is a great time to make sure you have a bow square tool (for checking your recurve/barebow brace height and making sure it’s consistent) and an arrow puller (for all bow types) so you can be prepared for anything!

Enjoy the holidays. Thanks for being an MGAC member and for everything you do to support archery.