Taking shots with a bow


Theresa Kim shoots her first bow on Oct. 15. Photo by CHRISTINA KIM


I have shot a gun before, but I never shot an arrow before. I’ve always wanted to try, but was always nervous to try it. A bow is much larger than a gun and shooting would take a lot more concentration and stability. But nonetheless I decided to challenge myself and go shoot an arrow for the first time ever.


I drove over to Wilderness Archery on Pacific Street in Rocklin. When I stepped in I noticed the large variety of bows and arrows. Neon colored arrows to camouflage green bows hanging from the walls, not to mention the deer busts hanging from the walls. It was much different than a shooting range, most importantly at Wilderness Archery the workers didn’t have guns strapped on unlike the Gun Range. My sister and I signed in and we got our targets and pins to hang them on. At Wilderness we had to leave our driver’s license, belonging, or a $5 deposit in order to go out and shoot at the range. Once we got everything signed my sister and I walked over to the building next to the main shop in order to go shoot. The range was indoors and was pretty empty there was only one other man shooting. The worker then went over to the back and got two bows and five arrows for both my sister and I. The first bow that I shot was a 25, but the string was so tight that it was difficult to pull back the sting. He then switched my bow to a 20 making it easier to shoot.

There were a lot of things that I had to remember, I had to make sure that my left arm wasn’t extended to straight and that my elbows were high and that my right middle finger met my bottom lip. It was much more complicated than shooting a gun. It was also a lot harder to aim as well. I didn’t know what I was supposed to align with, with a gun there is a slight indentation where it has to align with the target but with an arrow there was no indentation. An arrow was a lot harder to shoot because I had to make sure my arms were still, but it’s not that easy when I’m pulling a tight string back to meet my lip and my elbows are bent. I tried to imagine the archers in the Olympics and tried to mimic their pose but it’s a lot easier said than done. Once I pulled the string back, the string was so tight that my arms started to wiggle and jiggle like jello.

It took a lot of trial and error with archery, I missed most of the time hitting the foam board rather than the target. It was frustrating because when I was shooting a gun I hit the target almost every time, but now I only got one out of six arrows. But practice makes perfect after 30 minutes of failure after failure I hit my first bullseye. The feeling was indescribable, I was screaming inside my heart. I was so happy that I finally got it, after so many failures. After my first bullseye I started to get the hang of it, I knew where to look and stabilize the bow and arrow. I felt like Katniss from ‘The Hunger Games’, I loved hearing the ‘ting’ sound that the string made and the sound of the arrow cutting through the air. We shot for an hour and then it was time to return the equipment and head back home.

There were many similarities and differences between archery and shooting a gun. Archery required a lot more strength and stability. The slightest movement could throw off the whole arrow causing it to move to a different location. I also had to make sure that the bow was stable and wouldn’t move around when I shot it. Archery also came with a lot more pain, after my one hour session my fingers were red and swollen from constantly pulling the tense string back. However both shooting a gun and shooting an arrow requires a lot of practice and concentration. Archery is also a lot less scarier than shooting a gun. When I first when shooting I was so nervous, I was holding a weapon that I heard about on the news almost every single day seriously injuring and killing people. On the other hand, a bow and arrow is only used for hunting and for competitions rarely do I hear about a person dying from and archer.


But I still had a lot of fun and would definitely go back again, archery may be harder to shoot but in the end is very rewarding knowing that I was able to shoot the target more than once.