How to get hooked on Archery
A few years ago Bud, a good friend of mine, tried for a long time to
get me interested in archery. He would explain how archery equipment had improved over the years. In fact, he mentioned it often;
but I kept assuring him that my shooting interest was strictly in rifles, pistols, and sometimes a shotgun. I could tell that he was practicing with his bow,
and he wanted to find some competition. However, my interest in shooting includes ONLY the "most effective" firearms. I just had no time or
interest in shooting anything that delivered less performance than a modern firearm. He was convinced that sooner or later I'd get interested in
He had a nice backyard archery range setup that really was a great
looking place to shoot. It reminded me of a place where I used to shoot arrows when I was a teenager (over 40 years ago).
Back then, I used to shoot a recurve bow, and I was pretty good with it. However, that was a very long time ago, and I figured that any archery skill I once
had surely must be a bit rusty.
Imagine a modern bow with peep sights, a 30" sight radius, and a 4 ounce hair trigger arrow release strapped to your wrist. This is a very impressive evolution in archery. My old recurve bow convinced me to finally abandon archery for decades, but modern compound bows now have the technology to shoot 2" groups at over 50 yards. Bud was right about the many improvements in archery, and it's now well worth the time and money to get back into the sport.
The single most noticable improvement in archery is the cams that lighten the pull of your bow. Once you get halfway to full draw, you'll notice the bow string becomes very easy to pull, and even easier to hold. At full draw it requires very little strength allowing you to hold steady for a good shot. This feature gives the average archer the chance to shoot a much more powerful bow. The arrows are faster, and they have a much flatter trajectory. It becomes easy to take your time and hold your aim longer.
I recently decided on a top quality front sight made by HHA Sports. They make a jillion different variations of this sight, so you can order the EXACT features you want. This particular sight has a single front sight pin (.019' diameter). It's a bright green fiber optic pin with adjustable brightness, and the elevation is easily adjusted by dialing the distance marked on the scale at the rear. This particular sight has a large 2" ring around the sight, and you can adjust the windage with a "micro click" adjustment just like on a target rifle. Most rifle shooters know how accurate peep sights are, and this front sight is used with a peep sight that's mounted on the string. Now . . . . just imagine a bow with peep sights having a 30" sight radius and a crisp hair trigger.
I remember watching Fred Bear on TV, back in the 1960s.
He performed some of the most remarkable archery shooting I've ever seen. Decades later while returning from a deer hunt, we visited the Bear Archery
factory in Gainesville, Florida. They had a huge museum located on the second floor of the complex that overlooked their entire manufacturing facility.
At that time it was the largest privately held collection of archery artifacts in the world.
By the way . . . . if you're even just a little interested in
archery when you visit the Bear factory, you'll be seriously hooked before you leave. Bud convinced me that this would be a good chance to get a
better bow and give the "older model" away to a new shooter. The bow technicians there are highly skilled and capable of making the ultimate bow
while you wait. How cool is that? I had them put together a short hunting bow with a straight riser, and it looked awesome. They fitted it
with spectacular sights and said to give it a try - right outside the building on their archery ranges.
Sometimes the arrows need repairing, and it's an easy job with the right equipment. In some ways, it's like reloading. There's a lot to learn; and after you get the right information, you can build top quality arrows. Another friend of mine recently got me interested in building and repairing arrows. I've learned from several experienced archers, and I had a chance to shoot with one Hall of Fame shooter (Edgar Chattin). I've met many hunters that actually "prefer" to hunt with a bow instead of a rifle. Now that's going a bit too far for me, but I like the idea of two hunting seasons. I definitely want to do more hunting, so I'll keep practicing.
Select the right arrowhead for the type of target you're shooting. They just screw in, but be sure to choose the best one. Just like shooting different bullets, different type arrows will seldom hit in the same place even when their weight is exactly the same. Be sure to verify your sight settings when shooting broadheads. Archery equipment has come a long way. Arrows are now made of lightweight graphite. Bows have luminous sights and hair triggers. Give it a try. Don't wait for a generous friend to get you started - because it'll probably never happen. After you get hooked on archery, try to get new shooters interested. It's similar to rifle shooting. You'll probably meet some great people along the way.