A Return to the Straight and Arrow—Traditional Archery, Day 1

First Target Shoot –all OVER the place….

Yesterday I decided to do something I haven’t done in nearly 30 years: target shoot with my 50-pound Bear recurve bow.

What fun!

What I was doing is called “traditional” archery…using a bow with no gadgets attached, no pulleys, no sights. Select the “traditional” link above, for a more complete description. But like the article says, I do like the nostalgia and the “history of it,” and one guy did comment “nice bow” when I was out there. I was the only one on the range using a recurve (my recurve has no gadgets attached, like stabilizers or sites, and is made totally out of wood).

I started at 10 yards (or the lady who set me up on the range put me at 10 yards–she likes “success” she told me) to get the feel back, then after a few “rounds” (don’t know what each “session of arrows” is called) moved the target out to 20 for the rest of my time there. As you can see, I’m kinda all over the place…pulling a little to the left, actually. According to what I’ve read, that could be any of a couple of things, like “plucking” the string (probably; right ring finger is pretty sore, making this fun to type), “pulling” the bow, et cetera.

I had such a blast, I wished I’d kept up on this all these years. Of course, after a good hour and a half, though, my bow arm was getting a bit “used” (and, as I mentioned above, my right ring finger is a bit numb), and I shot two arrows into the wall behind and above the target, literally missing the entire target sheet (I’d actually shot a total of three into the backstop [left an arrow point there, even with the help of an arrow puller…], but two at the end, in my last round, when I was getting tired, so figured it was time to call it quits).

I’ve always been interested in bow and arrow use, always preferring the recurve to any other. I don’t know why–I just like it, and like that mine is made of wood. I’m a “wood” kinda guy. Love the smell, feel, and heft of it. Love working it, the couple of times I’ve worked with it (only so many hours in a day, you know!). I’ve never shot compound bows (but have drawn them) or any other versions of bows (not counting the kid-version of the bow and their suction-cup-tipped arrows…), but would love to someday, but I really love shooting the recurve. It’s all you, baby.

Over all these years I’ve been looking to my bow and its case my Dad hand tooled out of leather, and kept trying to find time to use it, and well, “life” got in the way, I guess. Maybe reading The Hunger Games re-ignited my passion, don’t know, but I know I’d always promised myself one day I’d again take it out and shoot some arrows, and yesterday was that day.

And I liked it.

Liked it a lot.

If you’ve never tried this before, I highly recommend it. There’s something primal about it, especially after sitting behind technology all day, to go out and do something like this. To pull back that string and sight a target 20 yards out and let loose a projectile to see where it strikes. I’m not a hunter, so have zero plans in doing that, but I loved the fun of target shooting, and I seem to do so little just for the “fun” of it.

I’ve never had formal instruction, but next week, I have my first lesson. I’ll post that target and see if things got any better.  That near-perfect bull’s-eye was from 20 yards and toward the end of my range time, as I was finally really “getting” how to target the, uh…target, but my bow arm and ring finger both about had it. I think I had about 7 or so in the yellow, and about half each were from 10 and 20 yards.

But, damn, that was so cool.

A Return to the Straight and Arrow–Day 2.

A Return to the Straight and Arrow–Day 3.


About fpdorchak

Upmarket paranormal fiction author. I write gritty, Twilight Zone-like fiction. Please check out my website: https://www.fpdorchak.com/! Thank you for stopping by!
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6 Responses to A Return to the Straight and Arrow—Traditional Archery, Day 1

  1. Lune says:

    Generally, a “session of arrows” – shooting until you put the bow down and retrieve the arrows – is called an “end.” However, I’ve heard it referred to as a “round,” though that has other meanings, too.

    Wish you the best with your re-entry into traditional archery!

    • fpdorchak says:

      Thanks, Lune! Appreciate it! And I’d realized after the range (and post) that I’d been firing WITHOUT an arrow rest. I’d forgotten that the tab had decayed and broken off. I just replaced it the other day and am getting ready to go shoot some more–so, we’ll see if my targeting improves any, huh? :-]

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  2. Marc Schuster says:

    I haven’t tried my hand at archery since day-camp many, many years ago, but I remember the thrill of just hitting the target (a rarity, as I frequently missed it completely!). Actually, archery was probably the highlight of my day back then… I’ll have to try it again sometime!

    • fpdorchak says:

      Well, it still amazes me, too. It’s not like firearms, you know?


      As I continue to eye the shafts on their way down to the target (one must keep good form!), I keep wondering if maybe…they’ll have a change of heart on the way down, and decide to veer off in some other direction…and TOTALLY embarrass me.

      Yeah, I’m still amazed I’m actually striking the target! :-]

      Now that I’ve replaced my arrow rest (see above) I hope to have better luck. Stay tuned!


  3. Pingback: A Return to the Straight and Arrow—Traditional Archery, Day 2 « Runnin Off at the Mouth….

  4. Pingback: A Return to the Straight and Arrow—Traditional Archery, Day 3—Or Going “Obi-Wan” « Runnin Off at the Mouth….

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