Archery 101

By: Ryan Hicks

I have found that Groupon is an interesting pathway to find new things to do. Take, for example, archery. Scanning through the local listings, there was a Groupon for an archery lesson for two at a location close to Kansas City, and then an hour of shooting practice.

The place was nestled in a nook; we passed by a severely guarded department of transportation compound, and then a child care center for autistic children, and then a Federal Aviation Administration office. Touche.

Inside, there were compound bows on the wall, pink cartridges of pepper spray in front of the front counter, and a nice woman who explained to us that 22 years ago, she told her husband he might enjoy shooting a bow and arrows.

The indoor range was set up with four targets, and we posted up at the 20 yard mark. Our lesson consisted of a few basic safety tips, the down and dirty about placing the arrow in the bow, nocking it, how to hold it, how to stand, and how to release.

I have never shot a compound bow before. It’s very relaxing.

Choose your arrow, find the odd colored feather, place the arrow inside the round hole with the bristles and in the right notch. One finger above, two fingers below. Stand perpendicular to your target. Keep your bow-holding arm bent slightly, bring your string back, finger barely touching the inside corner of your mouth, breathe, let your brain do the aiming, release without disturbing the natural path of physics, and --- snickt. Not so much hitting the target for the first 15 minutes, but slowly getting closer…

Talked to the owner and his wife after the gig, and they loaded us up with info on standards and accessories, places to go to shoot for free or for a small fee. The most interesting bit from all of it was that the owner said if you get a custom bow that is fitted for your draw length and general disposition, and you get it calibrated so the parts all fit together, within just a few sessions you’ll be hitting a small target very successfully.

Good to know, now that the Walking Dead Season 4 is on the horizon …