March 22, 2016
Humans have practiced archery for more than 2 million years. During the Paleolithic era, Earth’s earliest humans used a bow and arrow to catch dinner. In the time of knights and dragons, archery was a competition sport that even kings and queens took part in. Fast-forward to today, archery still holds a valuable place in our society.
More than 38 million Americans participate in hunting, accounting for about 228 million hunting trips every year. Millions of those hunters count a bow and arrow among their gear.
Practicing archery as a hobby also has benefits for the body. Archery improves one’s balance and posture. The act of pulling the string back and releasing it develops a variety of muscle groups in the arms, shoulders and back, and improves core strength. Archery is good for the mind, as it improves coordination, discipline and concentration.
If you are considering taking up archery, we’ve compiled a checklist of advice and gear a beginner might need:
Get lessons from an instructor. A qualified instructor can give you valuable insight into the sport, the equipment and how you can expect to develop your skills. Cost range: $45-$75.
Recurve Bow. Bows come in many shapes and sizes but the simple design of a recurve bow makes it easier to use. An experienced retail associate can guide you toward the proper bow size and draw strength. Cost range: $50 and up.
Arrows. The “spine weight,” or stiffness of the arrow, should match the bow. Wood is a popular choice for the shaft. Cost range: $4-$12.
Glove and arm guard. Archery is a repetitive sport, requiring a lot of practice, so your fingers and forearm will appreciate the protection from the bow string. Cost range: $11 and up.
Quiver. You have to put all those arrows somewhere. Cost range: $12 and up.
Bow stringer. This tool is designed to help you string the bow and prevent damage to the weakest part of the bow: the limbs. Cost range: $16 and up.
Bill Jackson’s maintains an indoor archery range, hosts open shoots and has a full line of bows, arrows and accessories to get started in this most ancient of sports.
By Rich Kenda