Igniting a fire for archery

Bows and arrows are one of the oldest and most traditional forms of hunting and shooting. In recent years, television and movies have generated lots of interest in picking up the stick and string. But just what do you do if you or a family member decides to take up the sport? Today, there are more ways than ever to get started in archery: through local clubs and organizations, family members or friends, or even sporting goods stores and retailers. But there are a few things you should know before you go down to the local bait 'n' tackle and buy a relic to get started.

I always suggest that any intro to archery should keep things simple. There are seven muscles in your body that are only used when drawing a bow back. I once witnessed a gorilla-huge body builder struggle to pull back a 60lb compound. He had never used those muscles before and his pride was hurt a bit! Many adults who shoot compounds and even recurves are over-bowed. So don’t try to push too much. If a 25lb recurve is comfortable to start with, then stay with it until you master it.

When it comes to shooting instinctive, everyone has their own style. Folks who watch me say I have the craziest style ever, but if I hit the mark that I’m aiming for, why change. The key is to work on improving every day. Blind Bail shooting is a good way to do this. It's just you and a target that's 10-15 feet away. Concentrate on the target and as you draw, close your eyes and keep your mind on where the target was. Anchor and shoot. Repeat.

I keep it fun for the little ones. Try playing games like tic-tac-toe or incorporate balloons filled with water or baby powder. As they get more skilled, try putting up some floating targets by using Ping-Pong balls, PVC, and a shockvac set on blow. Take them to local archery shoots where they can interact with other kids and have fun. As the novice shooter progresses, builds form, and gains confidence, he or she can move on to the compounds with sights and gadgets that will be a whole new ballgame! This should give you some idea on how to get started and what to shop for. Remember to shoot straight and shoot often. Perfect practice makes perfect!

Thanks for reading, Hippie Chris