Archive for the ‘Archery’ Category

Why Archery Is a Great Sport For Your Kids

Parents and children bond through shared outdoor experiences. Camping and fishing are obvious choices for bonding time, but archery is another sport that should not be overlooked. Archery teaches children, and their parents, how to be patient, focus and build confidence.

A year-round activity

While camping and fishing experiences can be affected by the weather, archery is adaptable for any season. During cold, windy or rainy weather, take your archery equipment inside on a range, or use a gymnasium-like setting where you have greater control over the environment. Set your targets at reasonable distances (10 to 20 yards, for example). Without distractions, kids can focus and gain confidence quickly. During warm weather, head outside and increase the distance as your children progress.

Useful skills

Successful beginners learn to focus, as setting up, drawing and releasing an arrow requires the archer to follow a deliberate process. Kids learn that by following the rules and step-by-step instruction, they can achieve great success and have more fun. Even when things don’t go as planned, archery offers kids the opportunity to slow down, examine what they did right and wrong, and correct mistakes. This is a useful skill that goes beyond the archery range into their everyday life.


Make it fun

Archery isn’t just about hitting targets. You can fight off boredom by using different scoring games or setting up a course. It’s more interesting to navigate through the woods, looking for targets that may be partially hidden, moving or hanging in a tree. You’ll find them coming back for more and even inventing games themselves.

Don’t forget fitness

Archery is a wonderful sport to learn with your child and a great way to increase physical activity and concentration. Nearly all the upper body muscle groups (including the chest, back, and shoulders) are used and developed in drawing and firing an arrow.

During your next camping or hunting trip, consider teaching your child archery. They’ll improve their focus, self-discipline, strategy, and it will provide them with a great sense of accomplishment they can take into adulthood.

Archery for Beginners: Tips for Getting Started with a Compound Bow

Archery is one of the fastest-growing sports in the country. It’s fun, it’s challenging, and it’s rewarding to see yourself improve with practice. But it’s also important to start off on the right foot by getting the proper archery equipment for beginners. Here’s a quick guide explaining basic archery supplies and how to choose the right gear for the best results.

Determine Your Eye Dominance

Whether you shoot left-handed or right-handed doesn’t actually have anything to do with your hand dominance (i.e., the hand you to write with). Instead, it’s all about eye dominance. Test your eye dominance by focusing on an object far away, centering it in a triangle with your hands. Close one eye. Notice where the object is in relation to the center of the triangle. Now switch to closing the other eye. The eye that’s open when the object remains centered in the triangle is your dominant eye.

Measure for Draw Length

One mistake that many novice archery enthusiasts make is using a hand-me-down bow that’s not properly fitted for their size. Have an archery shop measure you for draw length, which is usually defined as the wingspan of your arms outstretched, middle fingertip to middle fingertip, divided by 2.5. A proper draw length will give you better shooting form and, thus, better accuracy.

Find a Comfortable Draw Weight

Likewise, the weight of your bow is important for proper form, especially since archery works a unique set of muscles. If you work with too heavy a bow at the start, you could strain your back and your shooting accuracy will suffer. It’s better to start with a lower poundage and work your way up.

Choose Equipment for Your Goals

Another important consideration when choosing archery equipment for beginners is what you plan to do once you’ve improved your skills. Are you an indoor target shooter, or do you plan to go bow hunting? Hunters spend an average $1,638 every year on the sport, so investing in a quality bow from the start will pay for itself after enough time and practice.

We recommend these compound bows for archery beginners:

  • Bear Cruzer
  • Bowtech Fuel
  • Diamond Infinity Edge Pro
  • Parker Lightning

Once you’ve gotten the proper equipment set up, it never hurts to take a few lessons with an instructor to make sure your form and technique are correct. Remember, as with any sport or skill, it takes time and practice to get better. So be patient with yourself, and keep on shooting!

Best Archery Bows for Kids

The popularity of archery among kids remains high. A bow under the Christmas tree will likely bring as much joy as Ralphie’s vaunted Red Rider BB gun in A Christmas Story.

But which archery bows are good for kids? Traditional bows make great starters for young children. They have a reasonable draw length (the distance the bow string can be drawn back) and a reasonable draw weight (a measurement of how much effort it takes to pull the bow string back, usually measured in pounds).

Here are three bows that would make a great gift for a child this holiday season, and you don’t need to spend a lot:

The first two bows are great for beginners.


A set from Bear Archery, $49.95

Includes two arrows, arm guard, quiver, finger tabs.

Best for ages: 4-7.

Draw length is 22-24 inches. Draw weight is 15-18 pounds.

Can be used left-handed or right-handed.


Bow only, from Bear Archery, $49.95

Best for ages: 12 and up.

Draw length is 22-28 inches. Draw weight is 30-35 pounds.

Can be used left-handed or right-handed.


gb_bow_orig_blueBow only, from Genesis

Price ranges from $189 to $210.

Must choose between left-handed or right-handed setup.

Comes in 12 finish options.

Original model draw length is 15-30 inches. Original model draw weight is 10-20 pounds.

This bow is great if your child is ready to take the next step in archery. Genesis bows look like a compound bow, but shoot like a recurve. Many youth leagues use Genesis bows because the arrow trajectory is the same no matter how strong the archer is. It puts a focus on instinctive shooting (not using sights), and is considered the go-to bow for teaching advanced skills.

Genesis bows are the official bow of the National Archery in the School Program (NASP).

If you have any other questions about archery for kids, call our Archery Shop at 727-576-4169.

Archery equipment maintenance

IMG_0353retouchWith proper inspection, care and maintenance, archery equipment can be kept in good working order for many years. Below is a short list of things to keep an eye on so your equipment will serve you well time after time. We recommend you have your bow tuned on a bow press and serviced by a certified bow technician on a regular basis.

Before each use

Inspect your bow. Scrutinize the limbs for cracks, bulges, nicks and twists. Carefully unstring the bow if you find any imperfections. Check any metal parts for signs of corrosion or rust. Look over the bowstring for fraying or tattered strands.

Inspect your arrows. These take the brunt of the abuse and need constant attention. Check to ensure the points and fletching are attached properly. The shafts should be free of cracks and tested for straightness. Look for cracks in the nocks.

Bow tuning/maintenance

Check the cams. Bows come in single cam and double cam. Single cam bows (ones with one teardrop shaped cam) require less maintenance, while dual cam bows (both cams are shaped like a teardrop) require timing checks. Because both cams in a dual cam system are rotating at the same time, to achieve maximum performance (arrow speed and accuracy), the timing should be checked by a qualified technician. Over time, the stretching of the bowstring and cables will affect the timing. Cams should be inspected to see that they are straight, aligned and oiled at least once a year.

Wax your bowstring. Properly waxed bowstrings and cables always will have a tacky feeling. Use a piece of leather or wax wacker to ensure the inner fibers of the bowstring have been waxed appropriately.

A good tuneup will also include inspecting the rest to ensure it is level.

Storing your archery equipment

You’ve invested a lot of money into your equipment. Ensure that it stays in good condition by storing your bow in a padded case, and prevent it from being subjected to extreme changes in heat, cold and humidity.

By Rich Kenda


A double-cam bow.


A single-cam bow.

3 New Sports to Try This Summer to Get Fit and Have Fun

Summer’s arrival means warm weather, vacation time and planning new adventures. And because summer also heralds swimsuit season, it’s also when many people start to fret about their fitness. Why not combine exercise and adventure at the same time?

So if you want to break from your gym routine, there are ways to work out and take in the great outdoors at the same time. Try one of these activities to work your body in a different way.


Get out on the water for a great change of pace and get an awesome workout in the process. According to the American Council on Exercise, an average-sized person can burn more than 280 calories per hour while kayaking. Though many think of kayaking as an upper body workout for the arms and shoulders, actually a great deal of the effort falls to the back and abdominal regions, the body’s core.  The proper kayak stroke also requires quite of bit of flexibility. On top of all that, it’s hard to beat the scenery out on the water.


Itching to channel your inner Katniss Everdeen? Archery has shot up in popularity in recent years because of the fit and ferocious heroine of the Hunger Games movies. The physical strength required to draw a bow and accurately fire an arrow develops upper body muscles in the arms, back, chest, shoulders and, of course, the core. It also requires intense focus and concentration, so much of what archery offers is akin to yoga.

Day hiking

You don’t have to lug a heavy backpack through the woods or mountains mile after mile, day after day to get the benefits associated with hiking. Day hikers carrying just a few items can enjoy a great cardiovascular workout in fantastic stress-relieving environments.  Day hiking can improve your blood pressure and blood-sugar levels while building up your legs, calves, glutes, hamstrings and quads. Because hiking is a weight-bearing activity, studies have shown it boosts your bone density as well. Then there’s the mood-improving factor of trekking along a shoreline, or through a wooded area or to the top of a scenic overlook.

So prepare for summer by trying something new that will also improve your body and spirit. Get started by seeking out the right equipment at a reputable outdoor retailer, who can guide you through the options and  put you on the road to fun and fitness.

Archery Equipment, Scuba Gear, and Other Fun Ways to Make Your Next Camping Trip Truly Special

Woman sitting inside tent by river

For millions of Americans, camping remains one of the best ways to leave behind the stresses of everyday life and spend quality time with loved ones. But some longtime or frequent campers fall into a routine during their trips, experiencing a sort of “camper’s fatigue.” Fear not, the remedy is no farther than your local outdoor retailer, a place filled with equipment and ideas to turn your next outing, and the ones after that, into truly exciting adventures.

About 84 percent of those who go camping participate in multiple outdoor activities, according to studies. So instead of using the same camping checklist when packing, add new types of equipment and include different activities into your trip planning.

The next time you’re browsing camping gear in an outdoor store, consider how fun it would be to try something new with your friends and family. Here are just a few of the many ways that you can turn your next camping trip into something extraordinary:

Archery equipment

Recreational surveys show Americans hunt about 228 million days per year combined, and archery has rapidly become one of the most popular options for both hunters and recreational shooters because it is perfect for camping vacations. Adults and children alike will enjoy learning the sport together, and there is archery equipment for beginners that can help you through the training process. A reputable outdoor retailer can guide you through the basic equipment needed and how to use it safely.

Scuba gear

If you’re camping near bodies of water, and you have a sense of adventure about what lies below the surface, try scuba diving or snorkeling. Divers and snorkelers experience a different world, teeming with new and interesting views and wildlife. The right equipment, properly sized (masks, wetsuits, fins, etc.) will enhance your underwater experience and keep it safe.

Paddle sports

Canoeing has long been a staple of outdoor adventure, but kayaking and standup paddleboarding have seen a surge in popularity as well, with people of all ages participating. Many a camper has wondered, “Where does this river go?” Well, with the right lightweight watercraft and paddle, you can be off discovering the answer for yourself. You could be gone for a couple hours, all day, or take a multiple-day trek.

Tent camping

Of course, there are many ways to sleep in the outdoors: from cabins, to RVs, to tents to hammocks. You could choose a campground complete with showers and facilities, or you could head into the backcountry for a primitive spot, maybe even one that has never been used before. So if you’ve been an RV or cabin camper, try “roughing it” in a tent for a weekend to get a different outdoor experience. A knowledgeable associate at an outdoor gear store can guide you through the pros and cons of the various styles of tents to suit the adventure you have planned.

You can tell your friends, you’re “going camping,” but there is no end to the list of activities that you can incorporate into the trip. Look for ways to make your next trip even better than the last. Check out your local outdoor store for this equipment and enjoy the endless possibilities of camping!

An Essential Guide to Archery Equipment for Beginners

archery targetHumans 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.

Advice and gear

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

Archery Bow of the Month for December 2015

This month’s Archery Shop Bow of the Month special is the Genesis Original (excludes camo and pink camo), the official bow of the National Archery in the Schools program. This bow has a draw weight of 10-20 pounds and a doriginal_red1raw length of up to 30 inches, perfect for youngsters learning to shoot.

This special package includes: the Genesis Original bow, a GenZ youth target, six Genesis arrows and one free pass to an open shoot at our archery range (a $15 value).

Normally this package retails for $264.65, but while supplies last during the month of December we’re offering this setup for $232.62.

Come in to check out this bow and many others in the Bill Jackson’s Archery Shop, and ask about our indoor archery range, open shoot nights and lessons. Call 727-576-4169.

Archery Bow of the Month / November 2015

apprentice3The Apprentice III from Bear Archery is our latest Bow of the Month selection. This easy-to-use and accurate bow is excellent for young archers because of its adjustable draw weight (15-50 pounds or 20-60 pounds) and draw length (15-27 inches). It comes in Camo, Pink Camo and Black finishes.

This package comes ready to shoot: the Apprentice bow, six Goldtip arrows, a pack of G5 Montec Broadheads and a Hurricane target bag. This setup would normally retail at $481.55, plus tax, but while supplies last in November, it is on sale for $389.71, plus tax, a savings of more than $90.

Come in to check out this bow and many others in the Bill Jackson’s Archery Shop, and ask about our indoor archery range, open shoot nights and lessons. Call 727-576-4169.

Benefits of Archery

archery targetMovies and television have elevated the exposure of archery, and consequently the sport has seen a sharp rise in participation numbers nationwide. According to an Archery Trade Association survey, more than 18.9 million Americans 18 and older participated in archery or bowhunted in 2012, and those numbers do not include those under 18 who have been inspired by The Hunger Games movies and The Walking Dead television series.

Archery is a sport of infinite possibilities and endless entertainment. Some people enjoy competition shoots while others see archery as a way for gathering food. With little more than a bow and arrow set as startup equipment, archers both young and old can enjoy the outdoors in a new way while reaping other benefits. Here are a few reasons why you should invest in quality archery equipment:


The first time you draw back on a bow to fire an arrow, you’ll be surprised at just how much resistance you’re met with. Archers put quite a few muscles to work, including those in the arms, hands, shoulders, chest and back. These upper-body muscles must be trained to take action, to hold a position, then relaxed.


In order to develop accuracy, archers work through a series of movements, from building a solid base, to drawing the arrow and finally letting it all go in the release. Finding proper balance and putting the muscle work together with good hand-eye coordination is crucial to success.

Mental focus

Archers learn to develop patience and focus. Successful archers block out distractions around them and clear their minds of everything but the task at hand. These mental skills can translate beyond the range as well and have a positive impact on your well-being.

Fun for all

Because archery does not require one to possess exceptional physical traits, such as being strong or tall, this sport can be enjoyed by kids, adults and seniors. It can be a social activity, for a whole family or even large groups. Likewise, someone who is more of an introvert can find great enjoyment in solitude.

When practiced in a safe environment, archery is a great activity to be enjoyed throughout a lifetime. Visit a shooting range to see for yourself.

The Bill Jackson’s Shop has a full range of archery supplies, an indoor range and lessons are available. Visit our range information page or call the Archery Shop at 727-576-4169.