I brought a group of seventh-grade boys to Bwana Archery in Little Canada Saturday morning for the chance to do some shooting.
My 12-year-old son, William, was in the group. He has shot a few times at summer camp, and expressed the most interest in archery when I presented him with three options. The other two choices were swimming and bowling.
The person at Bwana who helped the 12 boys get set up was great. The shop has both a range for traditional targets and a video station, in which video of animals are projected on a large sheet of canvas and shooters take aim at the moving images. Then, the hits are scored. A hit to the outer edge of the vital area scores 5, and a hit to the heart scores 10.
I watched William shoot at both ranges and he did well. He was able to score a 10 on one of his shots at the video range. Later, when I talked to him more, he expressed a strong interest in doing archery. When I asked if he’d like to have his own bow, he said yes, but wanted a traditional recurve and not the modern compound.
The compounds have a higher pull weight and, thus, shoot arrows faster and flatter. I explained this to William, but he did not waver in his desire for a recurve. He said he likes the challenge of shooting a recurve, and also likes that it is more traditional.
I think this could be a great hobby for him. I may take it up, too. Then, we can do it together. The guy at Bwana said that it’s not necessary to spend $700 or more on a bow anymore. The companies are putting a lot of their effort into their less expensive bows, so the quality of those is going up, he said.
That’s good news for guys like me. I had an interest in taking up archery a few years ago, but the high prices of decent bows scared me off. Looks like I wouldn’t have to spend nearly as much. I have always thought about bowhunting, and I may try it.
Interestingly, when I asked William about bowhunting, he said he wasn’t sure whether he’d like to do it. He likes deer hunting, but at least for now, prefers hunting with a gun.
The beauty of archery is that it can be worthwhile even if you never end up going hunting with a bow. At Bwana, the staff put up animal targets, and even added balloons to increase the challenge.
It also increased the fun, and the boys had a great time!