The Weekend Warrior Archer
35-years ago, as a latch-key youngster, I was introduced to archery in a YMCA day camp. It was my favorite activity for several years until I discovered cars, and girls in high school, and later beer in college. Then of course came that thing we call life – which involved a career, a house and kids. Archery took a back seat, actually becoming non-existent for 35 years until I became a “Weekend Warrior” archer.
With the help of a friend, I recently rediscovered my love for archery and purchased a used Mathews SQ2 compound bow to get started. Part of my thought process was to select a fun, new hobby that I can enjoy in retirement.
De-Stressing with Archery
I find my time shooting arrows calming, relaxing and mindful, I calm my breathing, focus my thoughts and would describe the feeling to being “Zen-Like.”
Using a Compound Bow
Some see the compound bow as a modern evolution to archery, and they’d be right. The pulley system or “cams” on either end of the compound are what give the bow its unique “let-off” capability. A let-off is the point during the draw when a compound archer can hold less draw weight. It allows the archer to take more time in aiming and is especially useful in hunting situations.
To make a “let-off” analogy; a 60 lb. compound bow will feel the “peak weight” of 60 lbs. early in the string pulling action, and reaches the let-off point around 15 lbs., which is typically 65-75% of the original weight.
Draw Length and Poundage
Draw length is going to be important to you no matter your age or height. Because it is so important, you should have a pro-shop measure your draw length.
Have the pro-shop adjust your new bow for a lower draw poundage: compound bows can be adjusted to different pull poundage. As a beginner archer you will want to start at a relatively low draw weight, regardless of how strong you are.
Consider Used or Re-Built
I bought a USED Mathews SQ2 Compound Bow. The Mathews SQ2 bow features a compact design to make it easy to carry in different types of environments. It is also lightweight, helping you change targets as quickly as possible. It has decent power and fast speeds, and is also quiet to operate. The best part of this bow is it accuracy and small recoil. The SQ2 bow is designed for shorter shooters, but can still hold its own for a hunting bow.
Failing Eyesight – and Using a Bow Peep Clarifier
Over the last 15 plus years my eyesight, and hearing for that matter, has deteriorated. I am far-sighted, which means I need corrective lenses for seeing at distances. The problem with my corrective glasses is that I can see the target fine but the bow site is blurry. I installed a peep clarifier on my bow. A Clarifier is a lens installed in the peep that will allow you to see the target more clearly when used with another lens in your scope or sight. Clarifiers are generally preferred by older archers who have lost some ability to focus on objects that are close-up, such as sight pins.
There are approximately five different clarifiers available and this allowed me to clearly pick out a target at the distance that would normally be blurry.
The Weekend Warrior Archer
I feel like I’ve found a hobby that I can grow in. Just like that latch-key youngster, after all these years, I feel like I’m back at summer camp.