This week I got out of Anchorage and headed to Chugiak to take aim at a sport that has gained popularity recently thanks to a major book and movie series.
Archery is something I have only attempted a few times, but I decided to try my hand at it again this week with the Cook Inlet Archers, based in Chugiak.
The bow hunting club teaches the best ways to hunt for wild game in Alaska with a bow and arrow. Members do this by simulating conditions at their range that are similar to what you would find in the wild.
“We’ll analyze your shot, how you hold your bow, where were you aiming, did you look at anything in front of you? Give you tips so we’re always looking to helping to correct each other and make every person a better shot,” said club member Michael Quinn.
They let me take aim at some of the targets.
Had this been a real hunt, I likely would have gone home pretty hungry.
But the club members were very nice, and even made up some excuses for me when my shot was off, telling me I was “looking fatigued.”
If you are interested in joining the club on a shoot, all you need is a bow and some arrows.
Just make sure to do your homework on the equipment beforehand.
“Bows are like clothes. They are fitted to the person,” said club treasurer Vikki Gross. “You can’t just go into a secondhand store and buy a bow and it’s going to work for you. Bows and arrows are fitted to the person.”
The club has grown quite a bit over the years among both men and women.
Thanks to a popular book and movie series, Gross said kids are also showing interest.
“The Hunger Games have gotten a lot of kids out here whose parents don’t shoot. The kids get their equipment and mom and dad come out, follow them around, pick up their arrows, and eventually we’ve seen some parents get involved that way.”
While the ultimate goal of the club is to teach ethical hunting practices, Gross said it’s the people that she’s met in her 25 years with the club that keep her coming back.
“The camaraderie. You know, the hanging out. You know we cut up and laugh all the way around the course,” she said. “Sometimes we don’t shoot so well cause of it.”
The club has a shoot May 18 at Loretta French Park in Chugiak beginning at 9 a.m., and they welcome anyone who would like to shoot in the event or would like to learn about the club to check out the event.
Click here to learn more about Cook Inlet Archers.
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