Monday, July 6, 2015

Beginner's Luck

Awhile back I mentioned that I was interested in pursuing a rather different discipline with Quest. I haven't said too much about it since then as I ran into a couple logistical issues that brought my scheming and machinations to a screeching halt. I'm all about safety when doing inherently dangerous hobbies (I think archery lands solidly in this camp) so I wasn't about to go out and buy a bow and arrows and start shooting at things without getting any formal instruction.

Yes there is indeed a bullseye
I googled around and was pleasantly surprised to find a lesson location that was only five minutes away BUT they specialized in Olympic compound bows only and did not provide instruction on traditional recurve bows which are used in mounted archery. Finding adequate practice space was also another issue- I couldn't quite set up an indoor archery range for the winter months that would be safe and unobtrusive. So archery was put on the wayyy back burner until I could figure something out.

A few months ago I was catching up with my friend S and happened to mention about how I was interested in getting into archery. Well apparently S has been shooting since he was a kid and said that he would be more than happy to teach me the basics! He also had a few other friends that were interested in learning as well and so plans were made.

Life happens though and it wasn't until this past weekend that we were able to fit in a quick archery 101. The group lesson turned into a private lesson which was just fine with me. S took his instructor duties very seriously and had everything ready when I got there. He even picked up new equipment- six carbon arrows with practice field tips and a foam target for me to practice with. We used his wooden longbow with a 35lb draw weight. I'm an extremely visual learner so I asked him to demonstrate as he instructed me on safety and proper stance.

Attentive students
S fired off six arrows, showed me the safe way to remove them from the target, and handed the bow to me. My first round arrows felt like they took forever to nock and fire but going slow as fine since my main goal was safety, maintaining stance, and....okay, maybe at least hitting the target once would be nice too. The first five arrows buried themselves nicely into the dirt and grass...hmm...well at least they flew forward and straight! As I got more familiar with the action though, I was able to focus on other aspects to adjust my aim and sight. The little corrections made all the difference and the sixth arrow was a solid hit in the target. A little low but a legit target hit.

Elated by my tiny success, I walked down the range to pick up my arrows and set up for another round. "Repetition is the key to conditioning" and my second round showed huge improvement- 4 of the 6 arrows on target AND my very first bullseye! Even S was impressed. I decided to end on that good note and honestly my arms were also quite tired from using a bow that was a bit too heavy for me. S gifted me the arrows and the target as part of the lesson "fee" so all I have left to do is find a bow that fits me to practice with!

9 comments:

  1. lol that cat is hilarious - paying such close attention! sounds like an awesome lesson too. archery is way harder than it looks (i tried (and failed) once in high school) but sounds like you're on the right track!

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    1. Salem was very curious to what we were doing and kept wanting to play with the arrow fletching so I called him over to me to keep him safe while S was shooting. My only other experience with archery was middle school gym class when my teacher was like "here- arrows, bow, target- go have fun, kids." I have no idea how no one managed to get hurt lol

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  2. I too thought the kitty in the pic is awesome!

    Fantastic archery session and big congrats on the bullseye and getting 4 out of 6 arrows on target!

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    1. Salem is so awesome and has excellent recall...for a cat! Which was good since we had to make sure he stayed OFF the range while it was live. And thanks! I'm excited to keep practicing once I pick out my bow.

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  3. That's seriously cool! Good for you!

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  4. I'll be honest, mounted archery scares the sh*t out of me lol! You are a brave, brave soul ;) (Seriously though, that's so cool!)

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  5. mounted archery sounds amazing. i recently found out about the sport and was actually looking it up too! (my original plan was to learn to swing a sword or shoot an arrow from horseback anyway...) there are not many places that do it and it's kind of a very niche sport... but i am sure you're going to find something that works :)

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