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PSE’s Frank Pearson Talks about the Myth of Target Panic


PSE’s Frank Pearson

PSE’s Frank Pearson

Editor’s Note: Frank Pearson, owner and operator of the Frank Pearson School of Archery and the personal archery coach for Pete Shepley, founder and owner of PSE Archery, has seen the evolution of the bow from the longbow when he first started shooting and competed with up to today’s modern bows and most technical PSE equipment. If anyone knows archery, and how to help an archer shoot better, you can rely on Pearson. This week Frank Pierson will give us practical tips on how to shoot better, whether you are a tournament archer or a bowhunter.

Question: Frank, how do you solve the problem of target panic?

Never use the words, target panic again. The real problem is distance panic. The way we solve this problem is I have the archer stand 3 yards from the target, put a 3 inch spot on that target, have the archer pull the bow back, line up the target in the rear sight, put his front sight in the middle of that dot and go through his shot routine with a long follow through after the shot. When he or she releases the arrow, I want the archer to stand in position like an archery mannequin. If you remain in the same position after the shot as you’ve been in before the shot, an animal never will see you move, and you’ll have a clean follow through. But, if you let your release arm fly around after the shot, and an animal spots you, sometimes it can duck the shot. Then you’ll have to add another 100 yards to your tracking before you find your animal, because it saw you move. The first night of practice before bow season should be at 3 yards. The next night, move the target back to 4 yards from where you’re shooting. The next night, move the target out to 5 yards. Continue to move the target at 1 yard increments, and adjust your sights until you are shooting 45 yards accurately. Use this system every night, until you have your target at 45 yards. Then you’ll realize there’s no such thing as target panic or buck fever. You can’t get rid of target panic by trying to shoot a 60 yard target. If you have target panic at 60 yards and continue to shoot 60 yards, you’ll have target panic forever. But if you start off shooting at 3 yards with your 60 yard pin and then sight in at 4 yards to hit the target in the center every time at 4 yards, you consistently move that target back 1 yard per day, and you consistently sight in and shoot each day accurately, then you’ll see that you can shoot accurately at any distance that you want to take a shot. You show me an archer that has target panic, and I‘ll show you an archer who refuses to use this system to eliminate target panic. They may think they’re too good as shooters to start off shooting at 3 yards and move the target 1 yard every day. Or, perhaps they’re too lazy to put this much time and effort into solving the problem.

Question: Frank, why have you stayed in archery as long as you have?

My wife says it’s because I like it, and I guess that’s true. We have 14 fields set up here at my house for shooting archery. They are much like a golf course, so that the students can shoot from 10 yards to 8 yards from 14 different stations. My play room in my house is 3,000 feet with 10 foot ceilings, so I can shoot 30 yards indoors. My play room is also set up, so that I can open my side door, stand inside and shoot outside up to 50 yards if there’s rain, or the weather’s too hot to go outside. I guess I am eaten up with the sport of archery. And I don’t think that is a bad thing.

For more information go to http://www.frankpearson.com

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and hunting accessories, click here.


PSE’s Frank Pearson Tells What You Learn at Archery School


PSE’s Frank Pearson

PSE’s Frank Pearson

Editor’s Note: Frank Pearson, owner and operator of the Frank Pearson School of Archery and the personal archery coach for Pete Shepley, founder and owner of PSE Archery, has seen the evolution of the bow from the longbow when he first started shooting and competed with up to today’s modern bows and most technical PSE equipment. If anyone knows archery, and how to help an archer shoot better, you can rely on Pearson. This week Frank Pierson will give us practical tips on how to shoot better, whether you are a tournament archer or a bowhunter.

Question: Frank, how long does your archery school last?

The school lasts for 2 days, and most of my students either work in the archery department of large sporting goods stores, or they are owners of bow shops that they are about to open. These people must know how to fit their customers with the right weight bow and the right draw length. They also come to learn how to teach people how to shoot their bows accurately. They also need to know how to fletch arrows and make bow strings and cables. I also coach tournament archers who have won world championships. Tim Gillingham, who works with Gold Tip Arrows has been one of my students.

Question: Frank, you and your wife still compete in archery don’t you? How long do you think you can continue to be a competitive shooter?

Yes, my wife and I still compete. And, I think I can continue to shoot competitive archery as long as my body holds up. My body feels better this year than it has in the last 5 years. About 2 years ago I had to have stents put in my arteries, because they were clogged up with cholesterol. I had to take some medicine, and when the doctors took me off the medicine, I decided the medicine was messing up my archery. I began to feel better and shoot better. I am 72 years, old, I’m starting to get my strength back, and I’m shooting better.

Question: Frank, how big of a role does your mental attitude play in your ability to shoot accurately?

If you have a bow that fits you pretty good, you haven’t taken any lessons on shooting the bow, you’ve bought a handful of arrows and a target, and every night when you’ve come home from work, you shoot 10 or 15 arrows in the back yard, then after a few months, you’ll be a pretty good shot. After you reach that point, then the rest of the sport of archery and shooting accurately and consistently is mental. You need the strength to pull a bow back, and you need to make sure that somebody hasn’t sold you a 70 pound bow, and you only have a 50 pound bow body. With the new PSE bows. I’m shooting 51 pounds, and my arrows are traveling at 300 feet per second, so everything else is mental. The most critical part of your mental attitude to shoot accurately is what you’re thinking about when you pull the bow back.

Question: What should you be thinking about when you first start your draw, and what should you be thinking about all the way through drawing the bow?

When you pull the bow back, if you’re concerned about taking a big game animal or hitting a target, instead of being concerned about going correctly through your shot routine, then you’re in trouble. If you have a shot routine and go through the four steps of your shot routine just as you start to draw the bow and all the way through your follow through, you’ll be much more successful and shoot more accurately than if you’re thinking about the target. Here are the four things I recommend that you do in your shot routine, depending on the equipment you’re using:

  • Make sure your arrow is on the string properly.
  • Be certain your arrow is on the rest properly.
  • Make sure you’re looking through the peep sight and that the pin you’re using to aim with is in the center of the peep sight, when you draw the bow.
  • Follow through with your shot when you release the arrow.

If the bowhunter who comes home every day after work and shoots 10 or 15 arrows in the back yard, goes through this shot routine every time he prepares to shoot an arrow, then he drastically improves his chance for success on every hunt. Most of the time when the hunter or the target archer misses, he or she hasn’t gone through the shot routine before the shot or have misjudged the distance to the target.

Question: Frank, how should the arrow sit on the string?

Most archers today use a d-loop on their bow strings, and they attach a mechanical release to the d-loop, instead of to the string. Most of the time there is a little more space in the d-loop than is required for the nock of the arrow. The reason for that space is because when you get the bow back to full draw, the angle of the string changes. So, you have to make sure your arrow fits tight on the string. I always put my nock at the top of the d-loop and then slide the nock up and snap it on.

Question: How does the arrow need to sit on the rest?

If you are using a drop away rest, you have to make sure that the arrow is sitting on the drop away and not sitting on the shelf. If you get all excited because there is a great big elk in front of you, and you put the arrow on the shelf and not the drop away, then when you draw the arrow back, it still will be sitting on the shelf and not the drop away, and you’ll miss the shot. There is a certain way that the arrow needs to sit on each type of rest, and if you don’t make sure the arrow is sitting where it’s supposed to on the rest you’re shooting before you take the shot, you won’t shoot accurately. Some people shoot with a launcher blade that has the stem sitting up and a V in the top of the stem. If you put the cock vein up on the rest, you will shoot accurately. But if you put the arrow on the string with the cock vein down, the arrow will come out of the bow, the cock vein will hit the rest, and you will miss the shot. Therefore, depending on the type of rest you’re using, you have to make sure before you take the shot that the arrow is in the proper position for the kind of rest you have before you draw the bow.

Question: The third part of the shot routine that you mentioned was to make sure you’re looking though your peep site before you take the shot. Then make sure the pin that you’re aiming with on the front of the bow is in the center of the peep site. Is that correct?

Absolutely. If the front pin is not right in the center of the peep site before you release the arrow, you won’t shoot as accurately as you can.

Question: The fourth step of the shot routine is follow through. Why is that so important?

When you have the bow at full draw, and you’re preparing to take the shot, you want to make sure you have the equal amount of pressure with the hand you’re using to hold the bow and an equal amount of pressure of the hand you’re using to draw the string. If you don’t feel the same amount of pressure on your bow hand that you feel on the hand that has the release in it, you won’t get a good shot. I recommend that you have 2 pounds of pressure push on the bow hand and 2 pounds of pressure on the release hand. If you don’t have equal pressure on both hands before you take the shot, you can’t have a good follow through, and the follow through is critical for a good shot.

For more information go to http://www.frankpearson.com.

Tomorrow: PSE’s Frank Pearson Talks about the Myth of Target Panic

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and hunting accessories, click here.


Take Care of Your Bowhunting Equipment to Shoot Accurately with PSE’s Frank Pearson


PSE's Frank Pearson

PSE’s Frank Pearson

Editor’s Note: Frank Pearson, owner and operator of the Frank Pearson School of Archery and the personal archery coach for Pete Shepley, founder and owner of PSE Archery, has seen the evolution of the bow from the longbow when he first started shooting and competed with up to today’s modern bows and most technical PSE equipment. If anyone knows archery, and how to help an archer shoot better, you can rely on Pearson. This week Frank Pierson will give us practical tips on how to shoot better, whether you are a tournament archer or a bowhunter.

Question: Frank, what is another problem that you see that target archers and hunters have that causes them to not shoot as accurately as they can.

They don’t take care of their equipment properly. Their strings and cables have to stay constantly waxed. You’ve got to keep your bow out of the heat. If you put your bow in a bow case and put that bow case in the trunk, and the sun is beating down on the trunk for several hours or maybe all day, the strings and the cables on your bow will stretch. Then when you arrive at the tournament or the hunt, your cam is out of time, and the bow doesn’t fit you the way it has before you’ve put it in the trunk. If your string stretches, your draw length gets longer, and your arrow goes faster than it did before you put the bow in the trunk. If the cable stretches, just the opposite happens. Your draw becomes shorter, the bow doesn’t weigh as much when you pull it back, and the arrow goes slower than it did when you put the bow in the trunk. Many times the reason archers don’t shoot accurately at tournaments or when hunting is because they haven’t cared properly for their bows on the way to the hunt or the tournament. You solve this problem by placing the bow in its case inside your car not in the trunk. If the weather is really hot, leave your windows down. Many times when people call bow manufacturers and complain about the performance of their bows, the problem is not the bow, but rather the way the shooter did not take care of the bow. Today’s modern bows are very finely tuned instruments. If you are a surveyor, you know that your transit is a very finely tuned instrument that has to be cared for and kept out of the elements as much as possible. If you don’t give your bow that same type of special attention that a surveyor gives to his transit, you shouldn’t expect peak performance from that bow, when you’re shooting the last round of a archery tournament or a buck of a lifetime steps out in front of you within range.

For more information go to http://www.frankpearson.com.

Tomorrow: PSE’s Frank Pearson Tells What You Learn at Archery School
To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and hunting accessories, click here.


PSE’s Frank Pearson Says to Always Have Your Bow Tuned


PSE’s Frank Pearson

PSE’s Frank Pearson

Editor’s Note: Frank Pearson, owner and operator of the Frank Pearson School of Archery and the personal archery coach for Pete Shepley, founder and owner of PSE Archery, has seen the evolution of the bow from the longbow when he first started shooting and competed with up to today’s modern bows and most technical PSE equipment. If anyone knows archery, and how to help an archer shoot better, you can rely on Pearson. This week Frank Pierson will give us practical tips on how to shoot better, whether you are a tournament archer or a bowhunter.

Question: What is another often overlooked aspect of shooting the bow that creates problems for tournament archers and bowhunters?

Not having their bows tuned. One of the first things I teach at my archery school is how to correctly tune a bow.

Question: What is the most important part of tuning a bow?

All the points of tuning a bow are important. The most common problem I see is not having the cams on your bow in time. The second most important thing is that a compound bow is much like a pair of shoes. The bow has to be set up to fit the shooter. If you buy a pair of shoes that don’t fit, you’re going to consistently have problems with those shoes, because they don’t fit you. The same is true of a bow. Each bow has to be set up to fit each individual shooter. A lot of people think that they need to shoot an extra long draw length, because they believe that extra long draw length delivers more speed to the arrow. But extra long won’t deliver the accuracy that you need, if the bow doesn’t fit you. The way your bow fits you plays a major role in how accurately you shoot, just like the right size shoe is the deciding factor in how comfortably you walk and stand. If your bow doesn’t fit you right, there’s no way you can shoot consistently and accurately.

Another factor that plays a major role in shooting accurately is the weight of the bow that you choose to shoot. If the bow is too heavy for you to draw comfortably, you may not shoot accurately, and there’s a good chance you’ll hurt yourself. I believe that any hunter who’s only going to hunt with a bow about 3 months out of the year doesn’t need a bow with a heavier draw weight than 60 pounds. There is no big game animal in the United States that you can’t take with a 60 pound bow, especially with the PSE bows. Ten years ago you probably needed a 75 pound bow to get the same type of performance that you can produce with a 60 pound PSE bow today. The reason that this statement is true is the technology that is being used today in bow designs has increased the performance of the bows that much in 10 years. PSE has engineers on the company’s research and development staff that many other bow companies wish they had. These engineers are really, really good at what they do, and they are consistently learning how to build more performance and speed into bows and allow the archers to pull less weight.

For more information go to http://www.frankpearson.com

Tomorrow: Take Care of Your Bowhunting Equipment to Shoot Accurately with PSE’s Frank Pearson

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and hunting accessories, click here.


Learn How to Judge Distance with PSE’s Frank Pearson


PSE’s Frank Pearson

PSE’s Frank Pearson

Editor’s Note: Frank Pearson, owner and operator of the Frank Pearson School of Archery and the personal archery coach for Pete Shepley, founder and owner of PSE Archery, has seen the evolution of the bow from the longbow when he first started shooting and competed with up to today’s modern bows and most technical PSE equipment. If anyone knows archery, and how to help an archer shoot better, you can rely on Pearson. This week Frank Pierson will give us practical tips on how to shoot better, whether you are a tournament archer or a bowhunter.

Question: Frank what is the number one question most archers want to know the answer to that will enable them to shoot better?

One of the biggest problems in archery today is judging distance. This problem was created when archers put sights on their bows. When we were shooting longbows and recurves, we shot instinctively. We looked at the targets we wanted to hit and mentally calculated the arcs of the arrows as they flew from the bows to the targets. We never had to judge distance in terms of yardage. However, to shoot accurately today with sights, fast bows, and high tech equipment, judging distance may be the number one factor that determines whether or not you make a successful shot on target, after you’ve successfully set up a shot routine (read last week’s series of articles to gain more information on your shot routine). When students come to my bowhunting school, especially target archers, they think there’s some trick to estimating distance. One of the terms that they use is to gap their targets with their sights (guesstimate the exact distance between sight pins set at specific ranges). They also think that the archers who consistently win archery tournaments and successfully take deer each season have some kind of devices on their bows that help them better judge distance. But this isn’t what the successful archers are doing. The secret to estimating distance is so old that many people have forgotten how to do it. The way you learn to judge distance to the target is to practice judging distance and then actually measure that distance. Successful tournament archers and bowhunters spend more time practicing judging distance than they do practicing shooting their bows. What I usually tell a person who is just getting started in 3D archery is, “If you want to be a good shooter, carry a range finder with you at all times during the day. Keep looking at objects that you believe to be 30 yards away and guessing that distance. Then take your range finder, look at the target, get the exact distance and see how far off you are from the actual distance to the target. Once they learn what 30-yards looks like, they won’t have to guess at that distance any more.

Question: OK, once you learn what 30-yards from you to a target looks like, how do you learn the other ranges that 3D archers or bowhunters have to know to shoot accurately?

The reason for learning what 30 yards looks like is because most 3D targets are set up no farther away than 45 yards. Once you know what 30 yards look like, then you can much more easily determine the distance out to 45 yards or back in to zero. Then you need to next learn to determine 40 yards. If you don’t spend the time to learn those two distances, you may as well not shoot 3D archery. Then you can begin to determine the other distances you need to know to shoot accurately. The real secret to shooting tournament archery or to consistently becoming a successful bowhunter is to spend more time judging distance than you do shooting the bow. In this day and age, and with the equipment we have today, I don’t think a bowhunter should be permitted to hunt unless he carries a range finder with him on the hunt.

Question: Frank, why do you feel this way?

Most bowhunters only shoot their bow 3 months out of the year. They pick up their bows the month before hunting season starts and try to get their muscles in shape and their shooting form perfected. However, they’re not going to be proficient in guessing yardage. Using range finders is legal for archers in every state, and I’d much rather see a hunter have a range finder, use it and be proficient with it, than have a hunter not use a range finder, arrow a deer and not be able to recover it.

For more information, go to http://www.frankpearson.com.

Tomorrow: PSE’s Frank Pearson Says to Always Have Your Bow Tuned

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and hunting accessories, click here.


PSE’s Frank Pearson Says that Even with a Peep Sight You Still Can Miss a Target


PSE's Frank Pearson

PSE’s Frank Pearson



Editor’s Note:
If you don’t understand the relationship of a peep sight to a bow sight, you can drastically miss the target, even if you can see the bow sight through the peep sight. This is a common mistake that both bowhunters and target archers make, and it’s a problem that Frank Pearson will teach us to overcome today.

Pearson explains, “You have to remember that a peep sight isn’t just a device to enable the archer to look through the string on the bow. Instead, it functions exactly like the rear sight of a rifle. To shoot accurately, you have to make sure that the front pin that you’re aiming with is lined up exactly in the center of the peep sight. Many bowhunters and tournament archers look through the hole in the peep sight. When they see the pin, they want to use it to aim with in that peep sight and release the arrow. Many times, a shooter doesn’t look to see if that front sight is lined up perfectly in the center of the peep sight. The front sight may appear to be at the top of the peep sight, at the bottom of the peep sight or more to the left or the right of the peep sight. Often shooters don’t take the time required to make sure that that front sight is in the very center of the peep sight.

“For instance, if the front sight is at the top of your peep sight instead of dead center, you’ll miss as badly as you will miss if the front sight on your rifle is at the very top of the rifle sight. Many bowhunters, when they miss the buck or the elk of a lifetime, don’t even see it through the peep sight. Instead they see that big animal and put the pin they want to use on the spot they want to hit and forget about looking through the peep sight. So, even though they put the pin on the spot they want to hit, if they forget to look through the peep sight, they’ll miss the animal. At the Frank Pearson School of Archery, I drill into my students the idea of having a shot routine, where you always take the shot by the numbers you’ve written out and walk you through making the perfect shot. Lining up the front sight and the peep sight is one of the steps of your shot routine. Then, regardless of the target or the distance, you have the best chance of making the most accurate shot you can make.

“Here’s a drill you can try at home. Aim at the center ring of the target you’re going to shoot, put the front sight at the very top of your peep sight, and then release the arrow. With your next arrow, aim at the center of the target, put the front sight at the bottom of your peep sight and release the arrow. Follow the same drill, by putting the front sight on the left and then the right side of your peep sight. Then with your final shot, put the front sight dead center on your peep sight, and release the arrow. If you repeat this same drill at different distances, you’ll quickly see and understand how important lining up the front sight in the center of the peep sight every time you take a shot is and how that process increases your accuracy.

Next week, Frank Pearson will give us some more shooting tips and explain why there’s no such term as, “target panic,” one of the most feared diseases of both bowhunters and target archers. Pearson will give you the remedy.

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and hunting accessories, click here.


PSE’s Frank Pearson Says When You’re at the Top Why Go Back to the Bottom


PSE's Frank Pearson

PSE’s Frank Pearson

Editor’s Note: Frank and Becky Pearson had climbed to the top of the competitive archery world and shot and worked for several archery companies. They were more or less retired. Although Frank Pearson was burned out on professional archery, he still enjoyed attending tournaments and shooting with and helping amateurs learn how to shoot better.

Frank Pearson says, “When Pete Shepley asked Becky and me to start shooting PSE bows competitively again, I said, ‘I’ll only return to competitive archery, if you’ll let me shoot with the people who buy bows, not the ones to whom manufacturers give bows. I believe we can help PSE more by shooting in the non-pro division of archery, because the people we’re shooting with and against will be the people who actually buy PSE bows. I feel that by being a representative for PSE, my wife and I can serve PSE customers better by learning the problems they have at the tournaments we attend. When we were shooting with the pros every week, mostly what we heard were the professionals whining about the companies they represented. They hardly ever talked about how the equipment might need to be modified to make it shoot better or easier. But, when we shoot with the amateurs, we learn about the problems they have in shooting their bows.

“Too, many of them have the same problem that the president of PSE Pete Shepley had when I met with him and coached him on how to shoot better. I can help those amateurs learn how to shoot better, and I really like the feeling I get when I help people solve archery problems and shoot their bows better than they were shooting when they met me. Pete’s problem, which is the same problem many archers have, was that he’d pull the bow back and not give himself time to collect his thoughts before he released the arrow. I believe that one of the most important elements to shooting accurately, whether you’re a bowhunter, a target archer or just enjoy shooting the bow in the backyard, is to develop a shot routine.”

Pearson believes that developing a good shot routine is one of the most critical elements to shooting accurately. But, the way you learn, practice and develop your shot routine is even more important than having a shot routine. As Pearson explains, “For instance, if you’re going to go to the store to buy four or five items, you’ve numbered each one of those items and written each item down beside the number, and then when you reach the store, you’ve forgotten your list, you probably can remember five or so of the items, if you had eight items on your original list, because you’d numbered those items. However, if you haven’t made a list, then when you get to the store, you may not remember any of the items that you’ve planned to buy or perhaps very few. So, I believe that writing down each step on a piece of paper that you have to complete before you release the arrow is the best way to learn a shot routine and to imprint that shot routine into your brain. Then you’ll know exactly what to do when the time comes to take the shot.”

Although writing down your shot routine may seem to be over simplistic, this technique helped Pete Shepley shoot accurately when he faced dangerous game. This routine has helped bowhunters deliver the arrow to the spot on the animal where they’re aiming, and it’s helped target archers shoot their best scores.

Tomorrow: PSE’s Frank Pearson Says that Even with a Peep Sight You Still Can Miss a Target

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and hunting accessories, click here.


The Phone Call from PSE That Brought Frank Pearson Back into Archery


PSE's Frank Pearson

PSE’s Frank Pearson

Editor’s Note: There are many reasons for shooting archery, and the reasons often change, the longer you’re in the sport. For some, archery offers an opportunity to have a longer hunting season and be able to take more game than the hunters who use a gun can take. Others like the competitive aspect that the sport offers, through a wide variety of various types of competition. Some outdoorsmen enjoy the continuing challenge of being able to hold their bows straight, using the proper form and developing the muscle memory to shoot accurately every time they pull their bows. For the more mechanical minded, archery offers the tools to continue to refine every piece of archery equipment, so that when the sportsman releases the arrow, he or she knows the exact spot in the center ring or on the animal he’s hunting that the arrow will hit. Others want to learn enough about the sport of archery and the equipment to help someone who never has shot a bow before or only has limited experience with a bow to become all they can be in archery. Frank Pierson has found that his ultimate love of archery comes from being able to teach archery teachers and coach some of the best archers in the world.

Pearson explains, “I was sitting outside the house one day, and the phone rang. On the other end of the line was Pete Shepley. He was having some problems with shooting his bow and was preparing to go to Africa, to hunt one of those animals that could kill him. He asked if I would come down to his place and see if I could help him solve his shooting problems. After we got his shooting problem solved, Pete asked, ‘Have you tried out any of our new bows?’ I confessed and told him that I hadn’t, but that if he would give me a decent deal, I’d try one of them. Pete took me into the engineering department of PSE and introduced me to everyone in there. I explained to Pete that I wanted a new bow for me and one for my wife, and the next thing I knew, I was back shooting for PSE again. I never did find out exactly what Pete was going to Africa to hunt, but that was some years ago. Today, my wife and I shoot for PSE, and I go down and play around in PSE’s engineering department a couple of times a week. I don’t work for the engineering department, but I just sort of hang out there and am a kind of a pain in the butt to them.”

After coaching Shepley, Pearson realized that the real love of his life was teaching archery and created the Frank Pearson School of Archery (www.frankpearson.com) in St. David, Arizona, which is close to Tombstone and about 55 miles from Tucson. Today he’s taught archery all across the U.S. and many countries in the world. “I taught my wife how to shoot the bow in 1979, and she’s been ranked as the number 1 female pro in the country about 15 times. Since we’ve started back shooting in the amateur division, she’s won Shooter of the Year for the last 3 years. Right now, she and I both are shooting the Supra.”

Tomorrow: PSE’s Frank Pearson Says When You’re at the Top, Why Go Back to the Bottom

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and hunting accessories, click here.


PSE’s Frank Pearson Became an Archery Pro in 1966


PSE's Frank Pearson

PSE’s Frank Pearson

Editor’s Note: Through a strange quirk of fate, Frank Pearson became an archery pro in 1966. He would have liked to compete in the Olympic Games, but becoming a winner foiled that opportunity.

Pearson explains, “I became a professional archer in 1966. That’s when I bought an archery sight and started shooting a recurve bow with a sight on it. The sight worked out pretty good for me. I won the first national event in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, at the NAA (National Archery Association) Indoor Nationals. Back in the 1960s, I had a drag racing car and won some money racing my car, which eliminated any chance I might have had of competing in archery in the Olympic Games. When I learned that the money I’d won in drag racing prevented me from being an amateur athlete in the Olympics, I decided to join the Professional Archery Association. I shot numbers of indoor tournaments to start with, and then in 1968 and 1969, I started shooting outdoor tournaments. I felt that the outdoor tournaments were more challenging, because you had to learn to deal with the wind and other elements outdoors, that you didn’t have to deal with indoors. At that time, I was shooting a Wing recurve bow.”

Somewhere between 1974 and 1975, the Wing Bow Company developed a compound bow. So, Pearson decided to start trying to shoot this device but didn’t like it very much. He got hurt several times when the bow came apart. Pearson recalls, “In those early days, the Wing compound bow had four wheels on it and an idler wheel on the limb of the bow, about halfway down the bow. When that bow malfunctioned, the wheel came down and hit me in the wrist. Then I couldn’t shoot my bow for a long time. When I finally came back and started shooting competitively again, I changed bow companies. I started shooting a Damon Howatt bow. The company at that time made recurve bows and hunting bows. I was shooting a Damon Howatt recurve against archers who were shooting compound bows, and I had a couple of major wins. I think that the major reason that I was able to win was because I didn’t really believe that the fellow shooting the compound bow could beat me. And, as most archers know, confidence is the key ingredient necessary to good shooting. I’ve also learned that when you’re younger, you’re much more cocky than you are when you’re older. Being cocky and full of self-confidence, you can get away with stuff that you can’t when you get older.

“Then in 1975, I won a tournament in Watkins Glen, New York, shooting my Damon Howatt Recurve, against the newer compound bows. Shortly after that, a new company out of Tucson, Arizona, named Precision Archery Equipment (PSE) approached me. Pete Shepley, the creator of PSE, had gotten word that I’d beaten the compound bow shooters with my old recurve bow. He asked me if I’d be interested in shooting one of those new compound bows. I said I would, and they sent me one.” Two months after Pearson received his new compound bow, he took the new bow, competed in the outdoor nationals and placed third with his new PSE bow. According to Pearson, “This PSE bow was also a four wheel bow, but it didn’t come apart like the first four wheel bow I’d had did. So, I decided this PSE compound was a pretty good bow. To be honest, one of the reasons I started shooting the compound bow instead of staying with the recurve was that the compound bow manufacturers were the ones who invested money in tournament shooters. I needed the money to get to tournaments and return home. Back then, I was a welder by profession. I was helping to build armored cars in Philadelphia, and I didn’t make enough money to pay my way to archery tournaments. I shot for PSE for a pretty good while.

“But, then I got a job with a company that today is called Outers that makes gun cleaning supplies. Outers bought Astro Archery Company and hired me to run their limb production company in Wisconsin. I worked for there from 1976 to 1977, before Outers sold out the archery department to a company in Canada. I didn’t want to move to Canada. Pete Shepley offered me a job working in Illinois, where I worked for PSE for about 6 months. Then Pete asked me if I’d like to have the job of running the limb department for PSE archery in Tucson, Arizona. I drove to Tucson, checked the place out, told Pete I’d love to have the job and started working for PSE in the limb department in 1978. I worked for PSE for 8 years, then I left the company and went to work for a couple of other archery companies for the next 20 years or so. My wife and I got fed up with professional archery and more or less retired from competition shooting.”

From the work history of Frank Pearson, you can see how much knowledge he’s acquired from working with so many different bow companies and so many professional archers over such a long time. He was in research and development and building limbs, shooting competitively and doing public relations. Pearson saw the evolution of the bow from the longbow all the way up to today’s modern bows. He’d been so involved in the world of competitive archery that he was more or less burned out and decided to only participate in fun shoots on the weekends. But, then, the phone rang one day.

Tomorrow: The Phone Call from PSE That Brought Frank Pearson Back into Archery

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and hunting accessories, click here.


PSE’s Frank Pearson’s Archery Teaching Career and he has Learned


PSE's Frank Pearson

PSE’s Frank Pearson

Editor’s Note: When we asked Frank Pearson of Vail, Arizona, what he did for PSE, he said, “I’m a pain for the engineering department at PSE and Pete Shepley’s archery coach.” When we asked Pearson how he got to be Pete Shepley’s archery coach, Pearson explained, “Pete was going out to Africa to try and kill one of those things that could kill him. He asked me to coach him on his bow shooting technique, so he could be as accurate as possible when he had to face that critter that could kill him.” Pearson has lived through and competed in the Golden Age of Archery – starting to shoot archery in 1949 with his first bow, a longbow.

Throughout the years, 71 year old Frank Pearson has been a critical part of the research and development for many of the new and modern PSE bows we’re shooting today. But, he’s also competed in and won some of the most prestigious archery programs in the nation, shooting at the highest level of archery. After becoming the pro of the archery pros, Pearson decided to step back and shoot on the amateur level, not because he had to, but because that’s what he chose. Today he owns and operates the Frank Pearson School of Archery (www.frankpearson.com), and has trained thousands of bow shop owners and the heads of bow departments in major sporting good stores all over the country how to set up bows and teach archery to their clients who come in to buy archery equipment.

As Pearson explains, “I started off shooting a York longbow and wooden arrows that my neighbor gave me and taught me how to use them. I hunted with that longbow.” Back in those days, Pearson’s longbow was used primarily for food gathering and he even took a deer in New Jersey at about 8 yards. “Back then, we didn’t have sights, and I think that the sight is the worst thing that’s ever happened to archery,” Pearson explains. “I equate bowhunters using sights to the PGA (Professional Golf Association) allowing golfers to use balls that easily can be hit 400 yards. If golfers had balls that would travel 400 yards, then many nice golf courses would be obsolete. When the sight was added to the bow, just about every form of archery competition at that time was eliminated.”

According to Pearson, because the sight eliminated the archer’s need to accurately and instinctively calculate the flight of the arrow to the target, all the skill set that was required to be an accurate archer at that time was eliminated. With the longbow, there was a marriage between the archer and the bow and their ability to work together as one unit. But, when a sight was put on the bow, all the muscle memory and the instant calculation of distance and arrow flight that took place in an archer’s mind, was no longer necessary. “When outdoorsmen only had the longbow, I saw some really great archers in competition shooting,” Pearson recalls. “One of the most amazing archers back then was Howard Hill. If you go back and read about him or look at some of his archery videos, I think you’ll be just as impressed today as I was back then. During my youth, I’d shoot 100 arrows a day, just like Howard Hill, Fred Bear and Ben Pearson.”

Frank Pearson hunted mostly rabbits and deer, but he also duck hunted and pheasant hunted with his bow, and no, he didn’t ground pound (shoot the pheasants on the ground or shoot ducks sitting on the water). Pearson remembers that, “I often shot one or two ducks on my way to school. Back then, the most dominant duck where I lived was the black duck. The school nurse would let me put the ducks in her refrigerator until school ended for the day. Then I’d take the ducks home and clean them. If you could shoot a black duck when he jumped off the water, you could shoot a pheasant just as easily, because they had the same flight pattern. When a duck jumps off the water or a pheasant jumps into the air, they usually jump about 8 feet high, before they start to fly. Generally they’ll almost stall out for about 2 or 3 seconds, (stop in mid air) before they start to fly in a certain direction. I’ve watched movies of Fred Bear shooting pheasants out of the air with a longbow. He always took the shot at about 8 feet off the ground, when the pheasant changed direction, from going straight up, to flying parallel with the ground. That’s the same technique I used to shoot pheasants and ducks as a boy. I didn’t know anybody else in my group of friends who hunted this way, because they all had shotguns. But, I just loved to shoot arrows, and I practiced constantly.” Pearson explained that as long as he didn’t have a sight on his bow he could shoot accurately at almost any distance. “With a sight, you have to know the exact distance you are from the target. When you shoot the longbow, you just pull the bow back, visualize the projection of the arrow and turn the bow loose. I got pretty proficient with my longbow out to 50 and 60 yards. Back then, I was using a Bear Razorhead broadhead.”

But, as changes to the archery industry came about, Frank Pearson didn’t fight the changes; he embraced them and became a part of the evolving archery industry.

Tomorrow: PSE’s Frank Pearson Became an Archery Pro in 1966

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and hunting accessories, click here.


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