Roger Henrie Wing Shooter
We, it seems, are one of the lucky ones as the Roger Henrie target thrower is no longer available to buy ready made. Don't fret though because he is selling the plans which will allow you to build your own. At just $20 the plans are a steal as there can hardly be an archer in the world who wouldn't want to try his luck at an aerial target.
In reality the thrower is dead simple and when you see it for the first time you will say " I could make one of those in a couple of hours" and it's true, with his plans you could. It also works out cheaper than having a bulky parcel sent through the post.
The one we have ready made by Roger himself came with a dvd which explains the various permutations you can use to set up the thrower. In addition to having "birds" thrown vertically it will hurl them away from you, towards you or even flat across you with a few simple adjustments.
It was also supplied with 2 foam discs and a mini football, in fact it will throw virtually anything. the trigger device is straightforward and you can set it off yourself by using the foot loop that is built into the trip wire, one swift tug with the foot and the target is airbourne.
Although the supplied length of trip wire (string) is about 18 yards, you could add more if you started getting really good. the discs themselves will be thrown 25 foot in the air or more if you just use one, the real beauty is that every shot is different, you need fast reaction, good instincts and not a little skill, we have been practising when the opportunity allows and even when the target gets hit it still feels like we got lucky. Be warned though, you can lose an afternoon with this launcher, not to mention all your arrows if you don't invest in some Flu Flu's.
The one we are using was made with red oak, you can see from the photos that it consists of a few lengths of wood, a few steel rods and a big spring, all of the parts would be easily obtainable from a local diy shop and the spring can be found easily online. Despite it's deceptively simple design Roger has spent some time perfecting the little touches that make this such an enjoyable thrower to use. It is in essence two "A" frames joined together to support a throwing arm much like a trebuchet power by a spring.
The whole machine is fixed to the ground using a screw in ground anchor which will stop the whole thing bouncing about when it launches. In operation it is simple to use, just cock back the throwing arm, set the trip wire and move back. A quick tug on the trip will send your target up, when you see some folk on the net who have videoed themselves shooting discs they make it look easy. The first time we ever used this we had 50 people each with 6 arrows from a distance of just 20 yards, that's a total of 300 arrows over six throws.. I am ashamed to admit we had just one hit between us all.
Either buy the plans and make one for yourself or persuade your club that it needs a target thrower, to be honest I don't think too much persuasion will be needed as this little machine is just total fun.
Features & Design
Rogers wing shooter is a classic case of form following function, he has designed the machine to throw foam targets in to the air as a speed and tempo which allows the archer a good chance at hitting it if he is good enough. Excellent size, shape and with enough power for the job - 5 Star thrower.
Couldn't fault the thrower at all, wether you shoot it from close or far it presents a wonderful target. The bonus is that with a few adjustments the thrower will throw straight up or hrizontal or even away from you.
Value for Money
With the plans available for just $20 this is a project you cannot pass up.
Superb !! get the plans - you know you want to !!