Monday, May 31, 2010


There are hundreds of stabilizers, and I like mine.  Unfortunately, I just tried one I like better. Not much for switching up equipment, but I've known for a while that my system wasn't quite cutting it. The Cricket kicks up when the arrow is released, but since I was shooting pretty consistently, didn't really see another reason to change otherwise. (You more seasoned archers are shaking your heads, I see you.) So it's this weird looking thing-a-ma-bob that looks like you ran it straight into the wall and then hung some weights on it. And it works. I actually had a half second on the spot to shoot before the pin wandered off in search of something else. Cricket stopped trying to bop me in the nose on release and stayed put. Huh.

...My birthday's end of July. Just sayin'. ;-)


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Aw, shoot!

Sorry to say I have been pretty lazy in the actual shooting department lately. This is my favorite time of year and the most energetic for doing other things. Going to bed tired and waking up when the birds kick it into high gear way before the alarm. Every day feels full to the max.

Been riding my horse on Sundays instead of tournaments, which is the best possible thing for my soul, head, heart and body. Yup, even more than archery. That half-hour conversation with something that doesn't speak your language, yet you know what they are going to do before they even think about it. Each stride, "Put your nose here, please, and balance now and more trot please. The dog will not bother you. Ignore your buddy making a racket. Attention, now canter." The stretch way down over the back after a tough session and the big sigh of relaxation. Ahhh. Neither of us are getting any younger, so the sessions are short and not as difficult.

The only archery related activity lately has been going to see Robin Hood last week. Lots of equine eye-candy there too, and a little movie archery stuff. Actually, I did finish a quiver that has been lingering and have a good idea (and the leather) to start another one. More on that before too long, I hope.

Cheers, A

Monday, May 10, 2010

Gobble, Gobble, Fftttp

I have been trying to figure out a way to sum up my first hunting trip on the drive back to New York.
Early. Cold. Windy. Wet.
But, that doesn't really cover it.

Hiked out in the evening to set up the blind on the property I grew up on and used to know every strawberry plant, chuck hole and rock pile personally. Looks so different now, big trees where there weren't any at all. The house across the street is gone. The trails are still there though. You could drop me off blindfolded and I'd know where I was by the smell of the Sweet Fern and pines. Michigan is sandy, piney, mossy, mushroomy and smells completely spicy. Dad's woods is 120 acres of beech, maple, oak mixed with witch hazel, giant stands of sumac and some of the prettiest rolling pasture ever. He's carefully cultivated it for optimum deer forage for 40 years and they are...everywhere.

The first morning was sunny and the gobbler up the hill on the edge of the field was making a racket before we even got down there. Set out the decoy and Dad started calling while I got settled in. The leaves were still crackling dry and you could hear something big, a turkey or a deer circling around the back of us. Eventually three jakes came in close for a better look right on the edge of where we could see around the blind, between a couple of skinny trees. I figured I'd better draw before they saw me, so leaned forward and took a shot, taking out the edge of the blind and the zipper pull while I was at it. Ooops. Guess I need to sit on a phone book next time. They looked confused but were standing still, so took another shot and ruffled some feathers. At that point, they'd had enough and strutted off annoyed. The decoy was cute, but not THAT cute. Adrenaline rush, yuppers. I really wanted another shot to prove that I could do this.

After that, the weather changed and everything just sat tight for the next few days. We went out anyway and moved the blind to another spot in the rain. Came in for lunch and scared Gigi with the war paint on. She got her own back by beating Mom and me in Scrabble. Twice. Gigi's 96 and still running the show. Later on, I got caught in a time warp eating homemade Mexican with my sis-in-law and her hubby surrounded by new CMU grads and their families. Got to watch the Tigers win and the Red Wings lose and felt a part of Michigan again.

I may have come home empty-handed, but I came home with a full heart.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Calling all Ladies!

Sorry haven't posted in a bit. Finding this blogging thing easy to lose momentum with. Have lots of ideas, but it takes me a little bit to organize my thoughts so I don't sound like I'm on Red Bull when I write. Just ask my sister.

Have found a new distraction with LinkedIn. Not so much to tag the people I see around here, but to talk to people I don't know at all. Am always amazed at what you get from people if you just ask. So last week I tossed this question to the universe at large - What are the barriers to women getting started in archery and is it different between the US and other countries? Yes, this is the type of stuff that keeps me up at night. I received some interesting and well thought out replies from Texas, Michigan, Chicago and Australia, the four corners of the world, and a nice answer from someone on Facebook who gave me his sister's name as a contact. Occasionally, the world feels like a nice, friendly place to be.

I didn't get any solid answers to why more women don't try this. My guess is just a lack of exposure and some predisposed ideas of the type of folks this attracts, but more on that later.

Professional 3-D female archer Tracey Sadler, supports her sport by mentoring girls and ladies to give back to the sport she loves.  Among other ideas, Tracey gave me this little nugget. "The NWTF released a study which indicated women are more likely to take their children hunting and fishing because women aren't as concerned about catching a fish or shooting a deer for themselves but would prefer children to experience as much as possible in the outdoors. When given the choice of staying home with their children or taking their children hunting or fishing, women jump at the latter."  Smart lady, Tracey. I hope I get to meet her at some point. Not being a parent, I hadn't thought of that.

Don Shultz pointed out that only the girls were taught archery when he was in school, apparently a holdover from the Victorian era where only men played golf.  I went to the driving range this weekend. I'll stick with archery, please and thank you. We didn't have archery at my school, which is very surprising when you realize that the first day of deer hunting was always a school holiday. 

It seems that archery has more of a following in Europe and other countries, maybe it's more of a traditional thing there? More research is needed.

If you have been following my rambling thus far, this week is the big turkey hunting adventure, so will post when I get back. The Cricket is ready to go, looking very unrecognizable. It needs a temporary Goth name for the time being, all wrapped up. Wish me luck!

Cheers! -A