In my 20+ years of experience, many of the archery ranges I’ve been on have had a wand shoot. The wand shoot is a very simple shoot; basically it is just sticking a quarterstaff in the ground and shooting at it till someone knocks it over. As simple as is sounds, it is one of the most fun and popular shoots around. This article will explain how to implement a wand shoot in order to add that special magic to any boring old range.
Today, to make the wand shoot easier and safer, the marshal takes some duct tape and puts it on a piece of cardboard. I prefer woodgrain duct tape; it serves very well. If a marshal has a less experienced group of archers, he’ll put additional strips of duct tape on each side and score the near misses.
Next, I made a flat target with three different wands. You’ll note that the first wand on the left is thicker and taller than the wand in the middle. The wand on the far right, you’ll note, is at the very top of the grass so it looks like it’s way off in the distance. Even though this target is placed at 20 yards, it provides an optical illusion that the wands are further down range. You will also note that I put a black dot on the biggest wind. This is meant to be a nest for an animal, and also makes a perfect bull’s eye for a tiebreaker.
Lastly, I took a pool noodle and put some bends in it so it looks like a tree branch (remember, nothing in nature is perfectly straight or perfectly round). I added a little vine work from the $1 store and it looks like an average, everyday tree branch, once again using the wood grain duct tape.
Now you know how to make the magic yourself, but if you’d rather come experience the magic without having to build the wand yourself, then I want you to know that I’ll be running the novelty range at the Archery Muster being held at the castle of Their Excellencies, Earl Byron and Countess Ariella, on April 9. Can’t make that one? A shame, but you’ll have one more chance. For the first time, I will be marshaling archery at Blackstone Raid at the end of April. And you won’t want to miss that shoot because the first prize at Blackstone will be a complete beginner’s set up bow, arrows, quiver, arm guard, and glove.
This month’s safety tip is a repeat: these will be novelty ranges, you’ll be shooting at things you’ve never seen before, so be aware of all safety precautions and don’t be afraid to ask questions of the marshals.
‘Til next month,
THL Deryk Archer