In 2016, the number of participants in archery amounted to approximately 7.9 million, and that number has only continued to grow. With so many people interested in this unique sport, there are many ways to get started.
Not to worry; there are plenty of simple tips and tricks to ensure that your first time on the shooting range is a good one. Whether you’re exploring the exciting world of bowhunting or are looking for a fun new hobby to enjoy with your kids, visiting an archery shooting range is an excellent way to get started.
Here are a few easy ways to make sure you’re ready to enjoy this exciting sport
- Choose your bow carefully: There are several main types of bows, each designed and used for a slightly different purpose. The longbow is the most traditional type, and also tends to be the hardest for beginners to use because of the strength required on the draw. The recurve is a slightly better option for beginners, as the curved design requires less force to pull back on the string. The compound bow is specifically designed for hunting; its unique pulley system allows the string to be drawn back for longer times to get a more accurate lock on the target.
- Nock your arrow: Before you let loose your first shot, make sure that the arrow is properly nocked, or it’s most likely not going to go anywhere when you release the string. If you’ve nocked it properly, you should hear a slight click; that’s the sound of the string settling into place. Once you hear that, you should be set to go.
- Relax: While this may sound like simple, cliche advice, your stress can actually impact your ability to hit your target accurately. Stress can increase your heart and breathing rate, which causes subtle shifts to your aim. Take a deep, slow breath before firing to help steady yourself. You’re far more likely to hit your target when you’ve taken a moment to relax beforehand.
Archery is growing in popularity among seniors
Archery is a wonderful sport for people of all ages. For parents looking for a fun family activity, archery lets kids play the part of Hawkeye or Katniss Everdeen. And the benefits of archery extend beyond fun. Long-term healthcare studies have shown that adults who engage in seven hours of physical activity per week actually have a longer life expectancy. Perhaps that’s why archery is also growing in popularity among seniors, too.
There are a number of archery competitions for archers over 50. THere’s an annual archery competition in Missouri for archers over the age of 50. Then there’s the National Senior Games Association, which includes archery competitions for older Americans.
Archery can seem like an intimidating hobby to enter into, but with the right tips and information before starting, hitting your first bullseye will be a breeze. Just make sure to practice safely on a range with proper equipment, so that no one gets hurt.