Archery is a bulls-eye

Sep 072005
Authors: Ryan Fedel

Trying archery may completely change your perspective on archers and the sport of bow shooting.

"It might surprise you," said Erik Mohrlang, a CSU Animal Science student and employee at Arrow Dynamics. "We have a lot of people come in here that say 'I did not think this would be much fun', and it is a lot of fun. A lot of people enjoy it."

There is confusion surrounding the sport of archery. Many believe individuals who like to hunt are the only ones who shoot a bow and arrow. The truth, however, is that there are a large number of bow shooters that are only target archers. Target archery is actually a competitive sport that is nationally recognized and even an event in the Olympic Summer Games.

"Oh yeah, target archery is big time," Mohrlang said. "That is the problem, everybody thinks that you shoot bow and arrow and you kill stuff. That's not necessarily the case."

Mohrlang believes one of the greatest aspects of archery is that almost everyone is capable of doing it, from kids to wheelchair-bound individuals.

"Even if you're not hitting bull's-eyes every time, it's a kick," Mohrlang said.

Getting into archery is not too expensive, either. You can get an entry-level setup, which includes a compound bow and some arrows, for about $200. A compound bow is typically a recurve bow coupled with pulleys known as cams. With a traditional single string bow the tension increases as the string is pulled back. This means that the bow must be aimed and shot quickly or the archers' arm will tire, leading to reduced accuracy.

With a compound bow, the fully drawn string tension is very light due to the cams. As a result archers are able to hold a fully drawn compound bow for much longer. The cams also allow archers to use much higher draw weights, tension on the string, than they could handle on a typical single string bow. Higher draw weights result in more speed and power when the arrow is released.

Let's be honest, $200 is not that much to get a full archery setup, but most college students don't have that kind of cash lying around to get into a sport they have never tried. A better option for someone interested in trying the sport is to rent the equipment first. Arrow Dynamics, an indoor range and archery shop located at 2536 Midpoint Dr., rents equipment for $10 and allows people to shoot all day long.

In the past, CSU had an archery club that was a great place for people to try out the sport, but currently the club is nonexistent.

"There is really no club right now," said Kathryn Thomas, a CSU student who is taking a semester off. "Most of the people who were in it graduated. We want to start it back up."

According to Thomas, the club would join with the National Archery Association and compete in collegiate tournaments. The club would be open to compound, recurve and long bow archers, anywhere from entry-level to experts.

Thomas has some old equipment she would lend out to people who are interested in the club but currently don't have their own bow. Thomas is even a National Archery Association certified coach who would be willing to help beginners learn about the sport.

"We would really like to get it started again, I love the sport," Thomas said. "I like teaching people and helping people out."

Only a few more people are needed to get the Archery Club back on its feet, she said.

Anyone interested in the CSU Archery Club is urged to contact Thomas by sending her an e-mail at

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