I hadn’t picked up my bow, much less participated in a competitive archery shoot, in a year and a half. So going into the Sandia Crest Bowhunters Association’s annual traditional shoot, my expectations for myself weren’t high.
I figured my main goal would just be to have fun and enjoy a Saturday in the East Mountains, spending time with good people I hadn’t seen in too long. It was hard to believe that since my last archery shoot, I had gotten engaged, planned a wedding, gotten married, gotten a dog, and bought a house. Whew!
Looking at it from that angle, I should have been chomping at the bit to return to the simplicity of shooting an arrow from a bow, but I almost didn’t go.
“You have too many other things to do,” droned a tiny nagging voice in my head, like a mosquito.
Thankfully, good sense (and a little convincing from Robin Hood) won out, and Saturday morning found us rolling along the familiar route to the SCBA archery range. We were running behind, as usual, inhaling a fast-food breakfast, as usual…but! We had our dog, Ann, with us, and we were happy to be getting back out there. Ann was just happy for the car ride and the adventure.
We arrived in time to register and do a little warming up. There are a lot of great folks in the SCBA, and it was really nice to see them again. The crowd was small-ish, but no huge surprise there — traditional shoots, where compound bows aren’t allowed, are generally more intimate than mixed shoots.
I’ll do my plug here: Use a traditional bow! It’s fun!
We were assigned to a group, and began making our way around the 25-target course. The SCBA always does 3D shoots, which is fun, especially when the targets get a little, shall we say, whimsical:
I enjoyed myself thoroughly. Since it had been so long since my last shoot, I didn’t worry about the point value of my shots. I rated any hit on the target (i.e. not sending the arrow whizzing past it) as AWESOME. And the majority of my shots were hits, so hey, I was happy!
Robin Hood was also pleased with his performance — he shot within 50 points of the men’s winner. And Ann? She more or less behaved herself. She whined a little, but no one seemed to mind, and she looooved all the attention she got. Frankly, I think that pup relishes every chance she gets to play in dirt for extended periods of time.
All in all, it was splendid. What I particularly loved was being one of five women competing. For the SCBA traditional shoot, that is a LOT. It was such a cool, empowering feeling, and, runner that I am, I wondered if women who ran marathons back in the early ’70s felt the same way.
Hopefully, our numbers will continue to rise. I don’t know how Albuquerque compares to the rest of the country/world — are there any traditional archer ladies reading this? If so, are there many others where you live?