PODCAST: Dan and Emily McCarthy

Podcast Dan and Emily

Dan and Emily McCarthy are one of 3-D archery’s power couples. Both shoot for Mathews, and both are usually in the mix at any tournament they enter.



The 2017 season was especially good for Dan, who won the IBO World Championship and finished second in both the ASA Shooter of the Year and IBO National Triple Crown races.

We sat down with the McCarthys during the 2017 Organization of Professional Archery (OPA) tournament in southwest Pennsylvania to talk about – among other topics – what it’s like to be a married couple in the world of professional, competitive archery.

In this podcast, you will learn:

  • How the McCarthys push each other in training.
  • Why Dan insists on driving a Toyota Prius to tournaments.
  • How archery quenches Emily’s thirst for competition.
  • What it means to both of them to be held up as role models for up-and-coming archers.
  • How Emily decided to make archery her career.

EMILY: I actually saw a poster of Dan McCarthy on the wall of the archery shop, and that’s when I discovered there were professional archers.

DAN (leaning in to microphone): Boom.

(RELATED CONTENT: Dan McCarthy on using a thumb button release and Dan talks about building killer 3-D arrows.)

Dan McCarthy on Social Media




Emily McCarthy on Social Media




Podcast: Jesse Broadwater, 2017 OPA Champion

In the world of professional, competitive compound archery, Jesse Broadwater is Mr. Consistency. He always seems to be at or near the top of the leader board.


After shooting for Hoyt Archery for many years, Broadwater in 2017 switched to shooting for Mathews Inc. – a move that surprised many in the archery community. Eager to prove that he could win with a Mathews bow in his hand, Broadwater was victorious at a World Cup indoor competition in Las Vegas in February, but then struggled to ascend the podium at tournaments over the following five months.

That set the stage for the 2017 Organization of Professional Archery (OPA) tournament in late July. Broadwater finished second there in 2016, narrowly losing in a thrilling shoot-off to Chance Beaubouef.

In this podcast, we talk to Broadwater the day before he won the 2017 OPA tournament. He talks about the technical issues he wrestled with in switching from Hoyt to Mathews bows, his drive to win with his new bow and the pain he felt after finishing second at the 2016 OPA.

In this podcast, you will learn:

  • How a Mathews bow feels different to Broadwater than a Hoyt.
  • What his favorite archery game is, and why he likes it.
  • How he approaches social media so his messages don’t seem forced on his fans.
  • How he develops a strategy for a two-day competition like OPA to put himself in a position to win.
  • What he thinks of the state of professional archery today, and how fast he sees prize money rising.

“Us as shooters, we know we have to be 100% confident. We know what we need to train for. We know what we need to be shooting. We know what kind of money is out there.”


Archers should not shoot bows with stands – bow pods – attached

An archer considering shooting a compound bow with a stand – bow pod – attached to the bottom limb should think again.

Don’t do it.


The temptation is strong to just pick up your bow and shoot it, without removing and reattaching the stand before and after each shot. Ground-blind bowhunters watching a big buck sneaking into range don’t necessarily want the extra movement needed to reach down to the bottom limb, unclamp the bow stand and then raise the bow to draw.

But you should remove it. Every time. For the sake of your bow, your safety and for accuracy.

“Adding weight and moving parts to the limb, in varying and/or inconsistent areas, can lead to trouble,” said Mike Collins of G5 Outdoors – maker of Prime and Quest bows. “This trouble may be both structurally with the limb, and/or the end result – accuracy of the shot.”


When you draw back the string on a compound bow, you are loading a lot of energy into the limbs. That energy is all unleashed when the string is released.

Bow stands are made to attach and be removed easily from a bow limb. Therefore, they are not secure. So the stand is going to vibrate at the shot. At the very least, that’s going to make the bow loud. If there’s a structural deficiency in the stand, it could break as a result of that vibration. And as the stand is vibrating, it could damage the bow limb. Limb damage can lead to limb failure.

That’s when someone gets hurt.

Many compound bow limbs vary in thickness from end to end. So a bow stand can be affixed tightly in a thick area, but it could then slide off that spot to a thinner part of the limb. If the stand is sliding, it’s possible for it to enter the path of the rotating cam. Obviously, that would be disastrous.


Notice how the limb thickness varies.

The potential for danger is why Jerry Tepps of Pine Ridge Archery – makers of the popular Kwik Stand bow stand – said his company recommends archers remove the stand before they shoot.

“We know people who shoot with them on without any problems, but we don’t recommend it,” Tepps said.

If all of those possibilities aren’t enough to convince you not to shoot with your bow stand attached, we ran a little accuracy test.

WARNING: Do not try this at home! At Lancaster Archery Supply, we have expert staff on hand at all times to monitor shooting experiments, and we would never recommend anyone try this on their own.

We started with a bow that was perfectly sighted in without a stand attached, and shot an arrow into a target. We then attached a bow stand and shot another arrow that hit the target 3 inches below the aiming point. That difference surely would grow as the shot distance increased. So you can’t count on being accurate if you’re switching back and forth between shooting with the stand on and off.


Top arrow shot at 20 yards without bow stand attached. Bottom arrow shot with bow stand attached. In both cases, the sight pin was placed in the center of the target.

Arrow grouping was worse with the stand on than it was with it off. Most likely, that’s because the stand can shift from shot to shot, which means the weight placement changes. In that situation, consistent accuracy is sure to suffer.

At 30 yards, our arrow grouping was much tighter without the stand on the bow than it was with it attached. What would the grouping look like at 50 yards? 60? 70? Poor arrow grouping at short distances only gets worse the farther away you shoot.


Arrows shot with bow stand attached.


Arrows shot without bow stand attached.

Veteran professional archer Jesse Broadwater said the safety issues alone keep him from shooting a bow with his stand attached. But if that wasn’t enough, he said he still would never shoot with a stand attached because of the accuracy issues he would expect.

“It will change impact point depending on where it is on the limb,” he said. “There is a whole list of reasons why it’s just better to take 3 seconds and take the bow stand off before you shoot.”

Mathews is one bow manufacturer that makes its own bow stand designed specifically for its bows. The Mathews Limb Legs twists on and off split-limb bows, such as the Halon series. Even though this stand is made for its own bows, Mathews recommends taking the Limb Legs off before shooting the bow, according to Becky Thomas, Mathews sales specialist.

Bow stands are handy, valuable tools for keeping your bow upright, and protecting your limbs and cams from ground debris. If you go to a professional tournament where bow hangers are not provided, you’re going to see most – if not all – compound archers using bow stands. But if you watch those archers compete, you’re also going to see every one of them remove their stands before they shoot.

And we recommend you do the same.

Binoculars Accessories you’ve got to have for archery competitions

Every tournament archer needs a good set of binoculars. Whether you’re shooting indoors or out, 3-Ds or spots, you need to know exactly where your arrows are hitting the target.

To have binoculars handy at all times on the line, and to use them in varying weather conditions, you’re going to need some accessories.


Following is our list of recommended binoculars accessories for tournament archery.

SLING: You need a handy way to carry your binoculars so they are readily accessible, but don’t interfere with your shooting. Slings will help you do just that.

Binoculars slings come in a few varieties. You’ve got basic shoulder slings, which keep binoculars on your hip. Most compound archers loop the sling over their bow shoulder, so the binoculars sit on their opposite hip. After a shot, you hold your bow in front of your body, grab the binoculars with your release hand, and set them on top of your cam for support as you look at the target. Long slings made of paracord are popular because they are solid, lightweight and they don’t stretch, which means they don’t bounce when you walk.


A harness system goes over both shoulders and holds the binoculars against your chest. The straps are usually elastic, so you can lift the binoculars to your face as the straps stretch. This is probably not a good choice for recurve archers, because you could encounter string interference. Compound bows have a steeper string angle, so it’s usually not a problem for them.


Another option is to get a short loop that will allow you to hook your binoculars to a clip on your quiver belt. The loop connects to the two rings on either side of the top of the binoculars, leaving just a bit of slack so you can slide it into an open hook, carabiner or some other connection point on your quiver belt.


CLEANER: Mud, dust, water and other debris are sure to find their way onto your lenses during an archery tournament. You need to keep the glass clean so you can see your arrows clearly. Always have a lens cloth or lens pen and some cleaning solution to take care of your glass. It’s not a bad idea to have some anti-fog treatment as well, if you’re going to be shooting in rainy or humid conditions.


ANTI GLARE: The way we look through binoculars, light from the sides can impede our sight picture. Outside, sun glare can be so strong from the side that it blurs what we’re trying to see down range. A glare blocker will take care of that. It keeps light from getting into the sight picture from the sides of your eyes.


MAGNIFICATION BOOST: Maybe you don’t have the most powerful binoculars on the market. Or, maybe sometimes you just want a quick boost in magnification to get a better look at your arrows in the target from the shooting line. There are magnification boosters which will double the power of one side of your binoculars. Just snap it on one lens, and go from 10-power to 20-power in an instant.


Curtis Broadnax and T.J. Strychalski: Two young archers on parallel courses to the top of the sport

On two successive weekends in the spring of 2017, two young men in their teens took on the big guns in archery and finished at the top of the heap.

Curtis Broadnax, 17, of Georgia, won first place in the Compound Senior Male Division at the 2017 Gator Cup May 27. In head-to-head matches he beat well-known, veteran archers Tim Gillingham, Paul Tedford, Jacob Marlow and Braden Gellenthien en route to the gold medal.

Curtis Podium

Curtis Broadnax stands atop the podium as winner of the Compound Senior Male division at the 2017 Gator Cup.

Just a week later, in London, Ky., T.J. Strychalski, 17, of Pennsylvania, finished in third place in the Known Pro Division at the 2017 Archery Shooters Association (ASA) TRU Ball/Axcel Pro-Am Championship. In doing so, he shot better than a long list of world-class archers, including Jesse Broadwater, David Houser, Chris Brackett and Donnie Thacker – to name a few.


T.J. Strychalski, far right, holds his third-place awards at the 2017 TRU Ball/Axcel ASA tournament in London, Ky.

Broadnax and Strychalski. Both 17, and both on top of their games.

And both said they were ready for their prime-time finishes thanks at least in part to the experience they gained in a match against each other in Las Vegas just a year-and-a-half earlier.

“Oh I definitely felt the pressure,” Broadnax said of the Vegas competition. “That’s the most nervous I’ve ever been in an archery tournament.”

“I had never been in a situation like that before,” Strychalski said. “But I can see that the more I’m out there like that, the easier it will become – hopefully.”

The match, which was the Vegas Shoot 2016 Freestyle Young Adult Championship, is visible on YouTube, and has been watched more than 10,000 times since it was posted in February, 2016.

Broadnax and Strychalski – both 16 at the time – shot on center stage at the tournament because they had finished their three rounds of competition with the same score – 898 out of a perfect 900. Normally, the young adults don’t shoot on the finals stage at Las Vegas, since the podium finishers in that division are determined simply by their scores over the three days of competition.

Due to the tie scores, Broadnax and Strychalski had to shoot head to head, with the World Archery cameras rolling, under the spotlights in front of a packed competition arena. Both said they’d never shot in a situation like that before, but it’s something they acknowledged they will have to get used to if they plan to continue competing as professionals.

curtis and TJ1

T.J. Strychalski, left, and Curtis Broadnax compete at the Vegas Shoot in 2016.

“I knew the cameras were in my face, and I knew everybody was watching,” Broadnax said. “My heart was definitely pounding pretty hard in my chest.”

If the pressure was bearing down on these two archers, it didn’t show in the first end of three arrows. They matched each other arrow for arrow, and had to shoot a second end. There, Broadnax emerged victorious.

The match gave both a boost in confidence competing at a high level – not to mention attention from industry manufacturers – and both started competing as professionals for Elite Archery by 2017.

They competed in the 2017 Vegas Shoot, Lancaster Archery Classic and at Archery Shooters Association (ASA) 3-D tournaments – all in the pro class.

At the 2017 Gator Cup, Broadnax competed in the Junior Division, due to his age. He’s trying to make the USA Archery Junior Team that will compete in world championships.

But when it comes to crowning the Gator Cup champions, there is no age division between juniors and seniors. The best shooters advance from qualifying, and Broadnax shot well enough to enter the head-to-head brackets in the 16th position out of 64 archers.

He won all of his matches to earn the right to face Gellenthien for the gold medal. Broadnax won that match 140-137 – his first major tournament victory. His experience shooting against Strychalski on center stage at the 2016 Vegas Shoot helped him, he said, at least in the sense that this wasn’t his first time in the spotlight.

“Honestly, through my matches, I was just worried about getting food, because I knew I needed to eat,” he said. “Other than that, I felt really good.”

A week later, Strychalski found himself in the fifth and final position for the Known-Pro shootdown, after two days of competition at the London ASA tournament. He was back on a finals stage, but he was in last place among the five. How did he respond? He came out swinging, with a 14 on his first arrow, followed by three successive 12s, and then two 10s to finish.

“I didn’t have anything to lose, so I just went for it,” he said.

With cameras rolling and a huge crowd watching, Strychalski shot his way past Donnie Thacker and Tyler Marlow to take third place – his first podium as an ASA pro.

Strychalski and Broadnax both have a year of high school left to complete, and both said they plan to go to college. They both also said they’d like to earn livings as professional archers.

And it looks like they both have bright futures ahead.

Lancaster Archery’s T.J. Strychalski makes his first ASA pro-class podium

At just 17 years of age, Lancaster Archery Supply Pro Shop TechXpert Ted “T.J.” Strychalski finished third in the Men’s Known-Pro Class at the 2017 Archery Shooters Association (ASA) TRU Ball/Axcel Pro-Am Championship in London, Ky., June 2-4.


ASA London, Ky., winners in the Known-Pro Class, from left, Chance Beaubouef – second place – Nathan Brooks – first place – T.J Strychalski – third place.

It’s the first pro-class podium finish at an ASA 3-D tournament for Strychalski, of Elizabethtown, Pa. Strychalski is a staff shooter for Elite.

Belying his young age and lack of finals experience, Strychalski showed tremendous grittiness in fighting his way to the third-place finish, behind long-time pros Nathan Brooks and Chance Beaubouef.

After two days of shooting Saturday and Sunday, Strychalski earned the fifth and final spot in the finals shootdown. He was six points behind the leader – Brooks – and four points behind the three others shootdown qualifiers, who all were tied.

In the shootdown, the five finalists each shot six arrows on a pressure-packed field in front of a large crowd. Strychalski’s first arrow was a 14, which he followed up with three straight 12s, before finishing off with two 10s.

Shooting at a 14 is a high risk, high reward endeavor in 3-D archery. It’s the most points on a target, but it’s a small scoring ring, and a miss results in either an 8 or a 5.

The son of Dave and Michelle Strychalski, T.J. has been a competitive archer for several years, getting his start as a member of the Lancaster Archery Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD) Team.


T.J. Strychalski, center, competes in the 2017 Lancaster Archery Classic in the Men’s Open Pro Class.

Besides training for his archery competitions and going to high school, Strychalski has worked part-time in the LAS Pro Shop since 2014. There, he assists customers in choosing archery gear, setting up that equipment, providing basic shooting instruction and performing all the other duties associated with working in an archery pro shop.


Podcast: Levi Morgan

Levi Morgan is an icon in the archery world. He’s arguably the most accomplished, competitive 3-D archer in history; he and his wife, Samantha, have a successful TV hunting show; and he’s a marketing machine. People want to know what he’s doing, what he’s wearing, what he’s shooting and where he’s going.

Levi recently took time out from his hectic schedule to sit down with LAS podcast host P.J. Reilly to talk about the 2017 3-D season, his upcoming OPA tournament and lots of other interesting facets of his life and career.

In this podcast, you will learn:

– What it’s been like for Levi and Samantha this year after their highly-publicized switch from Elite Archery back to Mathews.

– How it felt to get his first win of the season with his Mathews bow, and what he did to make it happen.

– How he and Samantha plan to adjust their schedules with Samantha expecting the couple’s second child in early November – right at the peak of hunting season.

– How he got involved with the Bow Life brand, and what it means to him and Samantha.

– What’s new and improved for the Organization of Professional Archery’s (OPA) tournament this summer, and what it was like for him last year when rain and heavy fog nearly scuttled the critical last day of competition.

“What I didn’t have a grasp on was how much stress and pressure is on you….,” he said. “On Sunday last year, when we had that bad weather, I thought I might have to call the event…People don’t understand. You’re not trying to get out easy. You don’t want to make those decisions, but you’re the guy that’s standing there, and everybody’s looking at you going, ‘What are we going to do today?'”

If you have any questions or comments for Lancaster Archery about this podcast, please email us at [email protected]

How to stay dry at a 3-D tournament

Except for lightning or some other dangerous situation, nothing stops a 3-D archery tournament. Those competitors shoot in all weather conditions.

Perhaps nothing is as vexing to a 3-D archer as rain. Water can cause all kinds of problems with archery gear. Besides rusting any steel parts, it can blur sight lenses, soak strings and cables, foul peep sights – you name it.


So what can you do to keep you and your equipment as dry as possible at a 3-D tournament? Keeping you dry is the easy part. Get yourself the best rain suit you can afford. Make sure it’s one that allows you to comfortably shoot your bow.

Every 3-D archery needs to carry a good umbrella – whether it’s raining or not. Obviously, the umbrella will shield you and your bow from falling rain. You can have a fellow competitor hold it over your head while you’re on the line to give you the best opportunity possible of getting off a good shot.


Ironically, you can use that umbrella even when it’s not raining. They’re great for shielding you from wind and harsh sunlight or stadium lights in the shootdown area.

You can keep your hand-held release aid in a pocket, along with your rangefinder – assuming you’re shooting in a known-distance class. Binoculars can be tucked inside your rain coat.

Now, what about your bow? There are a lot of things to protect from the elements on that bow.

Let’s start with the string. Always be sure to wax your string on a wet day. The wax will repel water, keeping your string from becoming waterlogged. Should that happen, count on your sight tape being off.


There are several peep-sight covers on the market. Those of you who have any kind of glass in your peep will definitely want a peep cover for rainy days. A single drop of rain in your peep can really foul your view of the target.


Same goes for your scope. You have to protect that glass, and so a scope cover is a must. Truth be told, they’re also good on very dry days to keep the dust off your lens.


A bow stand is a pretty important piece of gear regardless of the weather, but it’s especially vital on rainy days. You don’t want to set your cam in a mud puddle, or on some other wet surface where it can pick up grit and water.


The ultimate in rain protection for your bow is a bow cover. It’s essentially a rain coat. Slide it over your bow while you’re waiting to shoot, and then pull it off when it’s your turn on the line.


A guide to bow stands for 3-D archery

The 3-D archery course can be a rough place. Mud, rocks, grass, pavement, greenbriers – you never what you’ll have to deal with.

Encounter any of these conditions and you’ll wonder, “Where can I put my compound bow?” The thing you don’t want to do is set your bottom cam and/or limb down on anything that might affect your string, the limb or the cam itself.

Fortunately, there are portable bow stands to fit just about any bow, that you can carry in your quiver or shooting stool. But you have to pick the right one to fit your bow and your equipment setup.


The style that’s arguably the most popular is a folding stand that clamps to your bow limb. These stands hold onto the bow pretty well, and you can pick up your bow without worrying about the stand falling off.


Limbs come in all different sizes, so be sure you choose a stand that is made to fit the limbs on your bow. For example, the Mathews Halon 32 has a much wider limb system than the Diamond Infinite Edge Pro. The same stand would not fit both bows – unless it’s an adjustable stand.

The Pine Ridge Kwik Stand introduced for 2017 has adjustable jaws to make it fit just about any compound bow limb. The legs also are adjustable, so you can customize how your bow stands up.

Another common type of stand slides onto the limb from the side. Some models fold up when not in use. Others don’t.


Typically, these slide-on stands fit nearly any bow, so you can use one with several different bows.

Depending on the shape of your limb and the way your bow balances, you’ll connect your bow stand up near the riser or back by the cam and then rest the bow on its stabilizer.


This system will work on any compound with a stabilizer 12 inches or longer. If you’re shooting in a hunter class, and your stabilizer is shorter than 12 inches, this rigging might not work.

In that case, try clamping the stand to your top limb. The stand and your stabilizer should support the bow and keep all other parts off the ground. If your sight bar is longer than your stabilizer, however, it won’t work.


Recurve 3-D archers don’t often carry bow stands with them. They usually lean their bows up against a tree or they have hooks on their belts to hold their bows.

But there are stands made for their bows, and some archers do use them. The recurve stands are nearly all the same, with minor variations in construction. They feature legs, a center upright post and a padded, U-shaped rest where the bow handle sits.


Don’t set your precious bow in the mud, sand, snow, etc., and risk damaging it or throwing something out of line which could cost you the tournament. Get a bow stand for your next 3-D shoot.

You can check out all of the bow stands available for this season by clicking here.

What do the numbers on binoculars mean?

Ever wonder what the numbers on a set of binoculars mean? You see pairs stamped with 8×25, 10×42, 12×50, etc. It’s important to understand those numbers when you’re picking out a pair of binoculars for target archery, hunting, watching sports, etc.

Take a walk through the field of competitors at a 3-D tournament and you’ll see basically every archer carrying a set of binoculars. They’re critical for 3-D archery because the scoring rings on the animal targets are not easily seen from the shooting line with the naked eye. If you want to find the black 12-ring on a black javelina target from 30 yards away, you’ve got to have the right binoculars.


So let’s say you are looking through a set of binoculars that have “10×56” stamped on them. The “10” refers to the magnification. That is, those binoculars magnify images 10 times greater than what your naked eye sees. Another way of thinking about that is to say the binoculars make objects appear 10 times closer to your eye.


If you’re using 10-power binoculars to look at a target that’s 40 yards away, the optics will make it seem as if the target is 4 yards away – 40 divided by 10. Obviously, you can see a lot more detail on a target that’s 4 yards away, as compared to 40.

Common magnification powers for binoculars are 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 15 and 20 – with 8, 10 and 12 arguably being the most popular.

The second number on our “10×56” binoculars refers to the diameter in millimeters of the objective lenses. The objective lenses are those on the back side of the binoculars, which are farthest from your eyes. The term “objective” comes from the fact that these lenses are closest to the object being viewed through the binoculars.


So our 10×56 binoculars have objective lenses that are 56mm in diameter. The bigger the objective lenses, the more light they will transmit to your eye, making them better for viewing in low light situations. However, the bigger the objective lenses are, the heavier your binoculars will be due to the increased size of the housing.

Also, assuming the magnification stays the same, the bigger the objective lenses are, the wider your field of view will be. That is, you will see more area around your target through a pair of 10×50 binoculars at a given distance than you will with a pair of 10×42 binoculars.


Binculars with 50mm objective lenses at left; 42mm at right.

So what’s best for 3-D archery? A pair of binoculars that allows you to clearly see what you want to see on the targets at all shooting distances, which allow enough light to reach you eye, which you can comfortably carry with you all day long.

Those variables are going to differ from archer to archer.


The 8×42 binoculars at left weigh 20 ounces, as opposed to the 28-ounce weight of the 15×50 bioculars at right.