Pro-Shooter Spotlight: Jeff Heeg
Pro-Shooter Spotlight: Jeff HeegApril 17, 2008 - Joel
How many years have you been competing in archery?
How did you get into the sport of archery? When did you make the decision to go pro?
I initially got into the sport of archery through bow hunting. This was a form of stress relief for me and allowed me to spend more time in the woods. I later started competing in some local shoots and joined some local leagues. The competitive interest intrigued me and I started participating in more state, sectional, and national events. This mainly pertained to NFAA indoor and outdoor known yardage events. Additionally, some of my friends and I would travel throughout the state to various 3-D events. The challenge of having to guess the yardage and make a clean shot added to the camaraderie of group shooting. I can honestly say that I am probably a better shot than I am at guessing yardage. In 2002 I began competing at a professional level. This at times can be challenging as far as scores, but I believe that I have gained so much knowledge in the competitive end of the sport. I enjoy shooting with my fellow competitors and this has strengthened my game, as well as the admiration towards the sport and the industry behind it.
What class do you compete in?
The class that you would normally see me shoot in is the men's pro freestyle. In this class pretty much anything goes as far as equipment.
What is your equipment set up?
My indoor setups:
Mathews Apex 7 set at 50 pounds with a limb driver rest, 4 power Specialty scope, an Easton stabilizer, and Easton X7 2613 /2315 arrows.
Mathews Conquest 4 set at 50 pounds with a Trophy Taker rest, 4 power Specialty scope, Specialty Elite stabilizer, and Easton X7 2712 arrows.
Outdoor field and 3-D:
Mathews Conquest 4 set at 56 pounds with a Trophy Taker rest, 4 power Specialty scope, Doinker stabilizer, and Easton Pro Tour X10 arrows.
My 3-D setups:
Mathews Apex 7 set at 62 pounds with a Trophy Taker drop away rest, 4 power Specialty scope, Specialty Elite stabilizer, and Easton Fat Boy arrows.
Mathews Prestige set at 62pounds with a Trophy Taker drop away rest, 4 power Specialty Super D scope, Specialty Elite stabilizer, and Easton Fat Boy arrows.
Describe your most memorable archery moment.
I've always had a lot of good memories, mainly the big smiles from kids as well as adults who were able to excel beyond their expectations in archery. To me this means more than anything. If I had to describe a moment that I would always cherish or remember, it would be at the 2007 Mathews Invitational during the 3-D shoot off. For me it was really cool to be standing on the line in the shoot off and realizing that all the people that were cheering, were cheering for me and my team. I can still remember the final round, when missing the 12 ring by about ¼" at around 47 yards and hitting steel, hearing Ginger Moorehead yell out "awesome shot Jeff"! This truly shows that we are very supportive of each other even though we are very competitive. That was my moment.
Do you have any pre tournament rituals? What are they?
I mainly try to continue my normal diet and get plenty of rest prior to an event.
What do you do to keep focused while competing?
I think keeping focused on your objective while competing at a tournament is a big factor on how you are going to finish on that given day. It seems through the years we tend to go through different stages of how we prepare our self to stay focused. Sometimes you can tell yourself that you need to try to communicate, loosen up, and joke around with your fellow competitors. This normally helps you relax, but at times it can cause you to lose your concentration by getting too social. I try to stay focused by believing in myself and enjoying the sport of archery for what it is. I know I can shoot awesome scores at home, so when I get on the line at a major event, I focus on believing in myself and my shot. Having confidence in yourself and believing in it is the key to shooting well under pressure.
Who has made the biggest impact on your archery career?
A very close friend of mine, Ted Schoenherr, who very recently passed away, has made the biggest impact on my archery career. He has taught me to hold my head high and believe in myself, and to pursue my dreams. He allowed me the opportunity to do what I love most, and that's to be a representative of the sport of archery and the industry behind it.
Thank you Ted.
Describe your practice routine.
My practice routine consists of various factors. Most often it pertains to what game I am trying to prepare for. Usually when I set up for the indoor tournaments I try to shoot a couple games a week. Some weeks are more, some weeks are less, but for the most part, I will take time to just focus on how well the release is going off. On another night I will work on a different step in my routine, such as timing and so forth. While doing all this, I am building my endurance to shoot a whole game without any fatigue. When summer comes around here in Central Wisconsin, I focus on shooting a lot of outdoor field rounds. I like to practice in all the various types of weather, from calm days to days where it is windy and damp. Practicing in different weather conditions, be it the temperature or the wind, prepares me to be able to shoot comfortably while competing in these types of conditions at a tournament. The best preparation for 3-D is to walk around with a range finder and practice guessing yardages. Also practicing or competing on as many different courses as possible helps to improve my distance judging skills.
What is the next goal you would like to accomplish in your archery career?
I have accomplished a lot through the years in my archery career, but right now my main goal is to finish toward the top of my class and be able to enjoy the camaraderie of my fellow competitors.
What do you do in your spare time and when you are competing?
When I am away from work and not competing, I spend a lot of time working with youth groups as well as individuals teaching archery. I enjoy getting out in the woods and bow hunting in the fall. This time allows me to sit, relax and think a lot. Usually when I find myself at the point of nothing to do, I grab my bow and start shooting either inside or outdoors. When competing, one of the biggest lessons I learned from my daughter Jessica is that a person really needs to enjoy the event to the fullest. When we are done competing, we try to take advantage of the time, and visit with the vendors and also do some sight seeing. There are so many neat things to do and see to enjoy the event to the fullest at the many different tournament locations.
What is your home town and where do you currently reside?
My hometown is Marshfield, Wisconsin. I am very lucky to live in the country with enough room to go outside and shoot archery whenever I want to. When the weather gets bad I am able to go in my archery room in the house which is set up with a 20 yard range. This makes it nice for practicing or working on equipment without having to leave home.
Do you have any nicknames?
No major nicknames. A few know me by JDX–
Favorites: Food, Movie, Ice Cream Flavor, TV Show, Restaurant, book
I enjoy action movies with lots of special effects. Being from Wisconsin, we will shoot archery for ice cream and my favorite is Coldstones "Gotta Have It" Cheese Cake Fantasy. My favorite TV programs are those on the outdoor channel. My favorite restaurant in Marshfield is El Mezcal. I also enjoy a good steakhouse and Buffalo Wild Wings. Archery and bow hunting magazines are my favorite reading material.