After saying that I don’t like groups, I joined one! Wanting to find more to occupy myself through the winter I Joined the Parksville Archery club. Taking up archery is something I have always wanted to do. I did live in Nottingham for a few years so it must be in my blood.


Robin Hood at Nottingham castle.
When I lived there people were forever stealing his arrow.

The Nanaimo Archery Club, where I went initially, taught me a few of the rules. they showed me which way the arrow should point, what weight of bow I should use etc. stood me on the firing line and then ran for cover. I didn’t do too badly so I decided to sign up. When I got home I started to investigate the Parksville club as it had a range close to the trailer and their indoor range wasn’t much farther from home than the Nanaimo one.  It was also a lot cheaper, a prime consideration!  

I went there for a free night of practice. They loaned me their equipment and I shot some arrows for about an hour and became hooked. Next came the task of buying my own equipment. Both the guys at the Nanaimo and Parksville clubs recommended that I should go to ‘Buckey’s’ in Duncan as he would help me with what I needed. Also, he wouldn’t sell me stuff I didn’t need. 

I took Peter as my able assistant and someone to blame things on if I got the wrong stuff. We got there and dealt with Richard the archery expert/owner. He’s a very knowledgeable guy as well as patient with a newb like me. First, we selected a reasonably priced bow. This is a very technical sport and you have to have the equipment that fits you.

I needed a 35lb, 66″ take-down recurve bow. My pull length was 27″. Next came the arrows! He selected three for me and cut them to my correct length of 30″; they had a spine of 500, a 7.3 GPI and a 100-grain point. I asked him what the fear factor was but didn’t know what I was talking about. It took hours of research on Google to find out what all that meant. I selected an arm guard, a bow stringer, an archery glove and I was set. However, we got out to the car and I decided to get another three arrows as I was sure to lose the first three.

On the way home, we stopped for a pint so that I could face Rosalie when I got there as I went way over my budget. “If Robin Hood had to pay as much for his equipment the poor would have starved,” said Peter.

That evening I went to the indoor range in Nanoose to show off my prowess. The first thing they told me was that I had my arm guard on the wrong way round. (dummy!) 

I had been shooting for a while when one of the other members came over and pointed out that my shooting was good but my range protocol wasn’t. Not only is archery very technical, it’s also full of rules and regulations. Most are for safety so I guess they make sense. He also gave me some really helpful tips and soon I was hitting the target.

Archery is good exercise, you fire three arrows and then walk sixty feet to the target to retrieve them. You do this over and over. Also, climbing the ladder to get the ones out of the ceiling is quite energetic as well.

2 comments to Archery

  • Bill Neill

    Good luck with your new pastime! No doubt, as you become more proficient, you’ll be aspiring to try a “William Tell” with Peter! To make it more exciting (for Peter), perhaps you could attempt it one Thursday afternoon after a couple of Dunkleweizens at the Longwood! Can’t wait!

  • […] in the family. I’ve been a member of the Parksville Archery club since the spring. (See archery) I asked Rosalie if she was interested but she didn’t think she could pull the string back as […]

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