A Discussion with Alan Eagleton

Jimmy – “First off, Alan, congratulations on a wonderful 2012 season.”

World Championships Fita Field Gold Medal Ceremony
FranceAlan – “Thank you very much, but it is not over yet!”

Alan – “Thank you very much, but it is not over yet!”

Jimmy – “That’s right you’re headed to Argentina for the IFAA World Field Championships.  Best of luck there.”

Alan – “Thanks.”

Jimmy- Tell us how you got started shooting archery.

Alan – “Well, when I was 18-years-old I went to work for my uncle Tom Daley, for a couple of years.  I would listen to him and his family talk about archery tournaments and hunts that they went to so after a couple of years of listening with interest I asked him to help me get set up with a bow. I started out shooting a Bear compound with sights. I shot bowhunter freestyle for about 5 years until my second son was born and then I just did not have the time anymore.”

Jimmy – “What led you to barebow?”

Alan – “My kids never wanted to shoot a bow so I gave it up until my youngest was 17. That was a 16 year break from archery. Then my wife and I started shooting again. It was a lot of fun, but I was always fascinated with the guys that shot without sights.  Every shoot that we went to I would bug the barebow and bowhunter guys, asking them how they aimed. After a couple of years of this my wife told me to just take my sights off the bow and shoot. So that Christmas she bought me my first recurve, a Quinn Stingray. If I liked archery while shooting a compound, I loved archery after shooting a recurve for the first time. I could not get enough.”

Jimmy – “Do you hunt?”

Alan – “I like to hunt and do so occasionally, but my first love is punching holes in paper and with limited spare time available I don’t hunt very much; maybe when and if I get to retire.”

Jimmy – “You said you shot compound for a while.  Did you compete?” I did compete (I love the competition) I was OK but not what I would call a real competitor

Jimmy – “Why stringwalking now?  What equipment did you use in France?”

Alan – “I have played with stringwalking a few times in the past but could never make it work. After the NFAA Indoor Nationals I decided to give it one more try. I had just received a set of Border Hex 6 limbs #46 and a new Spigarelli Club 650 along with Easton ACC 440 arrows with 125 grain tip for some reason this combo worked perfectly for me and the mystery of stringwalking was solved (well almost).

Jimmy – “When you shot bowhunter and TRAD class at NFAA Nationals you were gapping.  Where did you like your point on range to be?  How did you deal with the huge gaps up close?  Did you use pick a point on some of them?  Did you use a combination of pick a point and gap?”

Alan – “When I am shooting Trad I try to get my point on down to about 45 yards. Because I use the pick a point system the top targets up close are not a problem but with the lower targets sometimes I am aiming in the dirt. It seems that there is always something for me to aim at weather it be a leaf, rock, or the lower target. The real challenge for me is when I shoot 3-d because with my set up I am always aiming in the dirt.”

Jimmy – “Tell us about your setup for Indoor Nationals.”

Alan – “For the indoor nationals I was planning to shoot my outdoor setup, but 3 weeks before the shoot my MK1440 limbs cracked so I had to change the plan. I ended up shooting my Spigarelli VBS 2001 riser with Hoyt G3 limbs 42# @ 28” At my draw length it was 45# I used Easton 2314 arrows with 125gr tips. My point on was about 6″ under the target.”

Jimmy – “So were you using pick a point or gapping at indoor nationals?  If pick a point what were you aiming at exactly?”

Alan – “When I am shooting “trad” I use a gap-pick a point system so my first shot at a target I am gapping and trying to find a spot on the target or bale or dirt to aim at. After the first shot I am using  pick a point. At the indoor nationals, when I was on the top target, I was aiming about half way between the top of the spot and the top of the target below. When on the bottom target I was a couple of inches above the bottom of the bale.”

Jimmy – “You hold a long time at anchor.  Are you aiming that entire time?  Can you talk us through your shot from the time you get to the stake until the shot is gone.  Please take us inside Alan’s head.”

Alan – “[Laughing]  I am not sure you really want to go there!!! After I get to the target I think about the yardage and if I am stringwalking where my fingers will be on the string. If shooting pick a point I think about where I will be aiming. Next, I load an arrow and place my fingers on the string and put some pressure on them. After that I look at the target and then start my draw. I do not pre-aim or worry where my arrow is while I am drawing my bow. After the tip comes into view I start aiming. While I am bringing my tip to the position that I want, I am also running through a mental checklist, is back tension there, does hand position on riser feel right, does the finger pressure on the string feel right, and then when everything feels right (and sometimes before) my fingers release. If everything is perfect I do not even think about the release it just happens.”

Jimmy – “Tell us about the U.S. Fita Field Nationals.”

Team event with Dave Swatsenburg at Nevada county sportsmen
Alan is very proud of this buckle

Alan – “That course was great. They did a wonderful job setting up some very difficult shots. There were two 15 meter targets that I had to actually shoot for 5 meters [due to steepness of the shot].  I think that the best thing about that shoot was the friends that I made including Matt Potter and Ty Pelfrey. And then to come from behind and actually win the Nationals was a bonus.”

Jimmy – “Tell us about France and the World Championships.”

Alan – “The whole international experience was great. I have been to a few National tournaments but this was so different. It seems to me that archery is a lot bigger sport in Europe than it is here in the U.S. I met a lot of great people. It was nice being a part of a U.S. team that did so well. The people that I met and friends that were made from around the country made the whole experience wonderful.”

Jimmy – “Who has inspired you most?”

Alan – “My uncle, Tom Daley, has always been my mentor and someone that I could always count on. Tom has taught me almost everything that I know about archery, other than bits and pieces that I have taken from either watching other people or listening to constructive criticism.”

Jimmy- “Your wife shoots.  Do you train together?”

Alan – “Yes we do.  Although sometimes she gets sick of how much I love to shoot. During the week we roll out of bed at 4:30 a.m. and either go to the gym or my shop – we can shoot up to 18 yards indoors. On the weekend we can step out of our back door and shoot up to 80 yards. She does not enjoy archery as much as I do but puts up with it so that we can spend time together. She probably goes to half of the tournaments that I go to.”

Alan and his wife…and his World medals

Jimmy – “What was the highlight of your year?”

Alan – “There are two moments that stand out for me. First, at the Nevada County Sportsmen’s World Bowhunter Team Event, which is a team event that is open to anyone shooting a compound or recurve without sights. My team, both of us shooting recurves, was tied for first place so we had a shoot off.  In the shoot off you had to shoot a 70-yard target and I pin-wheeled the spot. The second was in the elimination round in France when I beat Guiseppi Seimandi to make it to the gold medal match.”

Jimmy – “So clearly you knew Seimandi before going.  Did you feel confident facing him?”

Alan with friend, Ty Pelfrey, in the back checking out a local rock. Ty was part of the U.S. Barebow Team and walked the course with Alan for his Gold Medal bid.

Alan – “I never had the pleasure of meeting Seimandi before this tournament, but I watched every video clip of him that I could find prior to the shoot and no I did not feel confident facing him. I was more nervous going into that match than I was for the gold medal match. Ty Pelfrey walked with me for that match and did more to boost my confidence than I ever thought possible.”

Jimmy – “What are your plans for 2013?”

Alan – “The NFAA Nationals are in Darrington, WA this year so I will be going to that. I plan to shoot Vegas and the Fita Field Nationals, depending on where they are held. Other than that, we will have to see what my sponsor (wife) will fund.” Laughing.

Jimmy – “What will your setup be in Argentina?  Are you shooting barebow or bowhunter?”

Alan – “I am going to be shooting the same set up as I did in France. I will shoot in the barebow division. The only thing that I might change is I am playing with a long stabilizer since that will be legal in Argentina, but am not sure yet.”

Jimmy – “Any desire to shoot 3D with us in the future?”

Alan scoring arrows with Italian barebow and former World Champion, Seimandi.

Alan – “I would love to although unmarked is by far my weak point.  I hear talk of an IBO shoot here in California this year.  If we can make that happen maybe I will be hooked.”

Authors Note: Since the interview Alan won the California Field 900 State Champs.  He missed his old record by 5 points. He shot 814.

Alan’s Accomplishments since 2010

2010

NAA STATE INDOOR 1ST

NAA NATIONAL INDOOR 1ST + NATIONAL RECORD

Pac Coast Championships 1st four state records and three national records

NFAA Finishes

VEGAS 4TH AGAINST COMPOUNDS

STATE FIELD 1ST + RECORDS

STATE INDOOR 1ST

NATIONAL 3-D MARKED 1ST

NATIONAL FIELD 1ST + RECORDS

REDDING TEAM SHOOT AGAINST COMPOUNDS 1ST

NEVADA COUNTY TEAM SHOOT AGAINST COMPOUNDS 2ND

REGIONAL UNMARKED 1ST

State 900 round 1st

Southwest Indoor Sectional 1st

Local Finishes

THESE ARE ALL FIRST PLACE FINISHES

LODI

MT MADONNA

REDWOOD

DIABLO

REDDING

NEVADA COUNTY

HORSESHOE BEND

EUREKA SEA HUNT

YAHI

2011

NAA

State indoor 1st in barebow 2nd in recurve

NFAA

State Indoor 1st + new state record

State field 1st + 2 records

State 900 round 1st + record

Vegas 3rd in barebow shooting trad

2012

NFAA

Indoor nationals 1st

Nevada county bowmen world bowhunter team 1st in team and 2nd in individual

STATE FIELD 2ND PLACE IN BAREBOW (shooting against compounds)

NAA

FITA FIELD Nationals 1st in barebow

FITA FIELD WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2ND INDIVIDUAL 1ST TEAM

5 responses to “A Discussion with Alan Eagleton

  1. Another great interview Jimmy. Saw Allens scores for NFAA a few years back & impressed me. Allen shoots regularily with FITA BB gal pal Julie Robinson. Congrats to Allen for great shooting. Look forward to maybe mixing some arrows at IBO trads in IN next year.:).

  2. Magnificent goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you’re just extremely excellent.
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