Sunday, March 20, 2011

Introduce Someone To Archery - Check!
Yesterday was an exciting and almost very costly day. It began like any other day. Coffee, packing the truck up with my archery gear and waiting for a friend to arrive so we could hit the archery range.  Still, today was a bit different. If you think back to my 2011 Goals and Objectives, Goal #9 was to introduce someone new to archery and teach them to shoot a bow. Lucky enough for me, my friend Bobby wanted to learn. Talk about a God Wink, right?

Bobby is a great guy and is his wife, Jody, is a wonderful woman. My wife and I had the good fortune of being able to photograph their wedding back in 2009. We've stayed in contact, but had never found to opportunity to hang out, until now. Bobby asked me if I would teach him to shoot and immediately I agreed. After juggling some dates, we settled on yesterday to hit the El Dorado Park archery range.

We arrived at the park, set up our target and I explained the list of Do's and Don'ts to Bobby. I gave him a run down of what we were doing to do, let him know if he had any questions to ask and to just have fun. We were using a beautiful, handmade recurve that was given to me that I thought would be perfect for this. I didn't want him to be overwhelmed by a compound right away.

At 20 feet, the arrows started to fly and we were off. The recurve was a 50# pull and I purposefully did not bring a shooting glove. I wanted Bobby's fingers to hurt a little and be sore so he would appreciate using a release when we learned that in a future lesson. Not many people would teach this way, but I thought it would be effective. Bobby learned how to aim and find a sweet spot to anchor his hand. That was the toughest part and I figure I have to learn a better way of explaining. I don't think it helped that the bow was 50#, but that's the way the cards were dealt. We took turns shooting the bow, flinging arrows, talking about archery, life, trucks and had an incredible amount of fun.

On our second to last planned round of shooting is when everything went downhill. Bobby drew back the bow, held for a second and then "CRACK!" as the arrow fell off the side if the bow. Immediately, I thought the arrow had split and drove into his hand. My heart sank. Instead, the arrow was intact, but Bobby had a confused look on his face.

'What happened?' he asked.

'I don't know, are you alright? What was that noise?'

Then I took a close look at the bow and we saw what had indeed happened.

The bow split where the two woods met.

A close-up showing how bad the damage really was.

I don't think I have ever apologized more to one person. Well, maybe my wife, but this could have been much more serious that than it turned out. The bow split where the two woods meet and then the wood shattered right at the gripping point. If that piece of leather hadn't been there I fear that we would have been making a trip to the ER. Most everyone knows, but I am a firm believer in God. I pray often and this morning I had prayed to our protection out there on the range. I am very thankful that God was watching out for us, especially Bobby.

Photos were taken to document what had happened and I removed the string from the bow. I was a bit shaken the rest of the time we talked. Bobby was very thankful I took the time to show him the ropes and he kept apologizing for the bow. I repeatedly informed him that the bow was not a concern and that he needn't worry about that. Ever. He was the important piece of the puzzle here. He wasn't fazed and asked me when we were going to go out again. *Insert huge smile in my face here.*  We made plans to get out again to shoot and this time I will have a lower poundage bow and will definitely be praying before we go out.


  1. Wow I don't know much about traditional archery, but I would assume this is a HUGE issue, and probably as big as a shotgun blowing up while shooting it (it happens more often than you'd think). Glad you and your friend are okay. Equipment can always be replaced, but the fear instilled in a beginner cannot. Glad he wasn't phased.

  2. Yikes! That reminds me of a friend (who shoots a compound) telling about the time his string broke at full draw. No injuries, but the bow leapt out of his hand with ferocious power.

  3. Praise God he wasn't hurt! (Not that we need a special reason.)

  4. Wowzers! That is awesome that no one got hurt and wonderful that he wants to go out again! That's a testimony that the Lord and archery do indeed go together well! ;-)