It’s not too early, now’s the time to start to think about Vegas! For those of you unfamiliar with this shoot it is generally regarded as one of the biggest and most prestigious of all shoots. This tournament has been around forever and seems to break attendance records nearly every year. The governing body is the National Field Archers Association or (NFAA) and they do a heck of a good job at it too. The tournament is well organized and runs surprisingly smoothly. In conjunction with the shoot there is also an archery trade show where many of the top manufacturers show off their cool new stuff and yes there are some good deals too. The shoot is traditionally in February and that is the case for this year too. Oh and here is the best part everyone is invited to participate, kids, armatures and professionals, everyone is encouraged to be part of the fun. So those are the particulars now I just need to convince you to go.

On my first trip to Vegas I expected it to be a once in a life time experience. I just wanted to be able to say “I shot Vegas” I wasn’t that good a shot but what the heck, based on the scores posted for previous tournaments, it looked Like I should be able to finish at least in the lower middle of the pack. So I decided to bite the bullet and go. One thing I didn’t take into consideration is that for 96% percent of the participants winning is not the goal. Most of the participants are there just to have fun, enjoy Vegas and soak up the Archery spectacle. Vegas is a great vacation destination and even if you’re not a gambler there are a lot of shows and sites to see so, if you can afford it, plan a couple of extra days while you are there and soak in the sights. I had so much fun and learned so much that it became perfectly clear to me that this was something I wasn’t going to be doing just once.

One of the things that I found quite entertaining was the total immersion into the archery world. When you get to the Riviera hotel it is a sea of people all walking around with bows over their shoulders and people are talking archery where ever you look. All the Top Professional archers are there and they are very approachable. I shoot freestyle limited (Fingers) and at one point I was shooting right next to the guys that finished 1, 2 and 3 in the professional division. They were a lot of fun to talk to and extremely friendly. Everyone is extremely helpful so if you’re interested in improving your shooting, there is no end to the expertise that is there and more than willing to help. The trade show had all sorts of information and lots of equipment to try. Nearly everyone associated with the archery industry is there hawking their wares. I met a lot of great people and befriended many. Overall it was a very entertaining and enlightening experience.

If you are worried about the logistics like when you shoot, where you need to be, and how you’re supposed to act, don’t be. Once you register the NFAA sends you a packet with all the schedules and rules, read through it and you’ll learn 95% of what you need to know. In addition once you arrive, there is a status board that the NFAA uses to post schedule changes and Tournament status. It really couldn’t be simpler. It’s all really well organized and clearly communicated.

Now let’s talk about getting you signed up. The best way to do it is through the NFAA web site (http://www.nfaa-archery.org) you register right there online. There is a link to the Riviera hotel on the site and they offer a great rate of 119.00 per night which for Vegas is a really really competitive. Book your plane flights early and you’ll save big bucks. You should be able to book all three registration, hotel, and flights for around $1000.00. Yes it may seem like a lot of money to attend a shoot but in this case it’s much much more than just a shoot. I hope this intro has at least elevated your interest. Please give it some serious thought. I expect if I’ve convinced you to go, you’ll wish you had done it a long time ago and will return year after year like I plan too.

Good luck and shoot straight!