I have truly grown to love and enjoy Archery. The surprising feeling of the arrow driving a perfect circle into the X is glorious. I never imagined 8 months ago that I would even consider shooting spots as anything more than a desire to get better for hunting. Then I got hooked. The feeling of a pop as the release fires and the arrow leaving the string is only equaled to the thwack down range. The subtle quickening of the heart beat. The pressure building and the pin settles down and halts so very steady. The world draws down and swish the arrow leaves as if in slow motion. Wham the world returns and the room brightens. The next arrow comeâ€™s out, the stance checked and the process begins again. When it is happening itâ€™s almost better than momâ€™s apple pie.
Evangelizing archery is easy. Where else can you find a sport that is clean, healthy, and be able to do it at all ages? I shoot with my two local clubs, my kids, my wife, our friends, and enjoy the camaraderie. Iâ€™m no expert at this wonderful activity. Iâ€™m no pro-shooter and I doubt anytime soon Iâ€™m going to win a title. I am about paying back to the sport that this last year has given me purpose and relief from the tedium of mediocrity. This so simple task of arrow and bow is filled with drama and reward. Each arrow is another moment in time to succeed. The opportunity quotient is never ending as with each walk to the butts you find a rewarding task counting the score. Each target is the end of a chapter in a long story of shot preparation and concentration. Each target face mirrors how well I did on the line and reflects my increasing skill.
In the world outside and in the trees where the green sward meets the wild wood a man with a bow is silent wraith waiting in the trees or stalking on the ground. Melting into the trees and moving silently and stealthily the bow hunter is not an impediment to nature but a part of nature. When the hunter places the pin on the quarry the arrow is a silent deadly spectator to the short future of the quarry. There is no smoke. There is no report or bang. There is the silent swish as an arrow finds its way to the vitals of some prey. As pedantic as the circle of life analogy is the truth in the cessation of life in the pursuit of lifeâ€™s continuation is a truism. Unlike other hunting sports the bowman must be close to the target and respectful of the quarry. There is a long life in the simple pursuit.
An artist, a mechanic, a musician, or archer is the sum of the tools they use. Whether the archer is predator hunter or target fanatic others will be prompted to follow if the archer behaves with professionalism and works to expand the sport. In my world I have the finest tools I can possibly afford and already I see that others mimic my choices. It isnâ€™t that Iâ€™m the best archer for Iâ€™m far from that. People donâ€™t mimic or ask my opinion because Iâ€™m an expert. They ask because Iâ€™m like them. I shoot with them. I am learning like them. I have no specific agenda and though I have my preferences Iâ€™m about helping an archer find their preferences. Iâ€™m about helping the next person who asks about archery realize what a neat sport it can be for them.
Archery Talk is a community. Like any small town the different rivalries and joking among participants is the banter of like minded people. Archery Talk members share a common passion in the pursuit of Archery. Some are more skilled, some more able to learn, some are future Olympians, some are past Olympians, more and more are professionals who have made Archery their sustaining employment. Archery Talk is the glue that bonds the community of Archers. There are other web forums that are more topical, more streamlined, more focused, and maybe more open. But, Archery Talk isnâ€™t about being any of those narrow things. Archery talk is about archers helping archers. Archery Talk is about sustaining and growing the sport in an atmosphere of camaraderie. This happens when talking about archery, trucks, hunting, spouses, beer, equipment, travel, work, and all of the other topics that make us human. This splendid pandemonium of archery wrapped up in a chaotic community of like minded individuals with a singular similar interest. No matter what divides the community it is stronger in itâ€™s common bond. This I have supported into the late hours on many nights, this I have been rewarded handsomely for by the community, this community I will continue to support, and more importantly this vision of archers helping archers is worth supporting.