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Total Archery Challenge Delivers a Proper Kill Shot in Texas

On April 29, the second round of the Total Archery Challenge (TAC) kicked off in spectacular fashion at Natural Bridge Caverns in San Antonio, Texas.

TAC events feature more than 100 3D targets that challenge shooters to adjust for distance, angles, and natural obstacles. The result is an unforgettable three-day experience at each event for shooters of all skill levels.

An impressive list of national sponsors, including Black Rifle Coffee Company, Sitka, and Prime, offered challenging courses to master. These courses each featured 25 targets that were placed anywhere from 25 to 100 yards away from the shooter and featured steep angles and uneven terrain. Many targets required skillful shot placement. There was even a popular kid's course with 10 to 12 targets ranging from 5 to 20 yards in distance.


2022 TAC San Antonio
Photo by Kelly Getzelman/BRCC Blog. 


We received our custom BRCC x PSE Embark x Nock On Edition Bow about 10 days before the event. We immediately started building our bow with the aid of the Bow and Arrow Shop in Lakeside, California. Owner Bruce Marshall and his team worked their magic and had our bow ready for the event in no time at all.

From there, it was time to get the reps in before the event. Luckily for us, we were also attending BRCC's third annual Veteran Adaptive Athlete Shoot prior to TAC. This provided an excellent way for us to sling arrows with fellow veterans and get comfortable with our gear. Many of the competitors at the VAAS shoot also joined us at the TAC event.


2022 TAC San Antonio
Photo by Kelly Getzelman/BRCC Blog. 


The day after the VAAS, it was time to experience TAC San Antonio. Because this was our first actual 3D target event, we decided to focus most of our time on the 3D Leupold course. This course featured 25 targets at distances ranging from 15 to 60 yards. Our nock time (or tee time) was set for 11 a.m., and we arrived about an hour early to hit the practice range before attempting the course.

Several practice targets at varying distances were available, allowing you to dial in your yardages accurately.

The practice range was a great confidence boost; the instant feedback, or "thwack," of accurately hitting a 3D target at those closer ranges made all the difference.


2022 TAC San Antonio
Photo by Kelly Getzelman/BRCC Blog. 


After our brief range confirmation, we headed over to the vendor's area. BRCC had a large tent set up all weekend with an endless supply of complimentary hot and iced ready-to-drink coffee. The latest apparel and gear was available for attendees to purchase, and 100% of the profits went directly to the BRCC Fund.


2022 TAC San Antonio
Photo by Kelly Getzelman/BRCC Blog. 


At approximately 10:45 a.m., it was time to start making our way to the Leupold Course, which required a short five-minute walk through the main attraction area of Natural Bridge Caverns.

It was a surreal experience walking through the park with a compound bow alongside guests who were there to take in the sights that day.

But when we reached the start of our 25-target course, the excitement really set in. The 3D targets were a fun mixture of various animals you might encounter on a real-life hunt. A variety of deer, elk, bears, raccoons, and more were placed at each shooting station.


2022 TAC San Antonio
Photo by Kelly Getzelman/BRCC Blog. 


The majority of the targets featured either natural concealment or challenging angles to test your archery skills. Because none of the target stations provided any known distances, handheld rangefinders are highly encouraged to make each shot accurately.

This was probably the most satisfying part of the event and gave both new and professional archers the primal sense that it’s just you and the animal you are stalking. And when you miss a shot, making that walk of shame to try to recover your arrow is a stark reminder to take your time on each shot.


2022 TAC San Antonio
Photo by Kelly Getzelman/BRCC Blog.


Of course, TAC is a fun event for those of all ages and archery skill levels, so if you were not completely comfortable with the recommended shot distance or obstacle presenting itself, there is nothing that states you can't move in a bit closer to ensure success.

We also enjoyed that there were a couple of shorter novelty shots spread out along the course to keep it fun, including a large swinging bat in a tree and a pesky skunk that everyone seemed to stick right in the ass.

The course's halfway point featured a water station to rehydrate and reset. We completed the entire 25-target course in under three hours at a leisurely pace to document the event, and we reached the final target with plenty of water, snacks, and even arrows to spare. But like most first-timers on the course, we did manage to sacrifice a few precious carbon fiber arrows to the TAC course gods, never to be seen again.


2022 TAC San Antonio
Photo by Kelly Getzelman/BRCC Blog. 


After we’d completed the course, we had just enough time to explore the entire venue area further and make our way up to the Black Rifle Coffee Company After Party.

The following day, we set out to witness some of the more challenging courses, sling arrows on some very tough shots, and finish two full days of shooting back on our original course to get some payback on the targets we failed to hit that first day.


2022 TAC San Antonio
Photo by Kelly Getzelman/BRCC Blog. 


The Total Archery Challenge in San Antonio, Texas, did not disappoint. As new archers, we left the event with a greater understanding of just how challenging and addicting this sport can be.

Additional TAC events will be held in some of the most scenic venues across the United States this year, including at the top of the Wasatch Mountains in Utah, the Black Hills of South Dakota, and the northern woods of Michigan.

For the complete list of 2022 events, head to the Total Archery Challenge website for details and registration.