My son (11) and I set out to the archery club today for the first time. I got him a recurve bow for christmas and this was our first chance to actually shoot due to severe laziness and cold weather (I wasn't going to drive him to a safe place and then stand around for an hour in the freezing cold).
The club uses the local community center during the winter months. They set up targets at varying ranges with a curtain behind them. Yep - there's a boar, a bear, a deer...
The two guys who head up the club were incredibly helpful and greeted my son like an old friend, which made him feel very welcome. They showed him a few things and let him loose and it took a few minutes but eventually he got the hang of it.
Things were set up just like over at the rifle range - a line, a range master, etc. Everything was very safe and under control.
I liked being able to see people use some different kinds of bows. The kids mostly had longbows/recurve and the adults were fairly heavy on the compound bows. I have to say I lean toward recurve, myself.
Here's the kid at the beginning of the session - he's struggling a bit to pull the string back. It was all a bit awkward at first:
About fifteen minutes into the shoot there was a commotion at the other end of the line. A little kid had just done a Robin Hood maneuver - shot one arrow and then shot another arrow right into the first one. The arrow didn't split (darn fiberglass!), but it stuck there. My camera couldn't handle the low light to take a picture of the arrows while they were still stuck to the target, but here's the kid and arrows after he pulled it out. You'll have to look hard to see them stuck together.
I only got to shoot four times. My son wasn't volunteering to give me a turn and I figured if I wrestled him for the bow it would disturb the other archers. I hit the bear once.
I'm going to pick up a wrist guard and glove for me this week and then I can borrow one of the club's bows next week. That'll be a lot more fun than sitting around watching. I think I'm going to ask for a bow for my birthday next month.
When the weather warms up they hold meets outside. John (one of the guys in charge) said they have full-size 3D targets of every mammal that lives here in the NW, and they have a bunch of African animals, too. They range them around in the woods and you have to walk around and find them, then take aim and shoot.
On Mother's Day weekend in May they have a weekend match with camping and a pig roast. Last year there were 200 participants from all over the province. I can't wait. I've been dying to go camping since we got here - it's been over four years!
Anyway, I'm stoked. Two to three hours of archery every Sunday? I'm in!