Straight Shooters

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Recently @ The Coalface were invited out to shoot with the Hunter Bowmen Field Archery Club. Located at Elderslie, you will not find a more beautiful neck of the woods to put your archery skills to the test.

The Hunter Bowmen Field Archery Club is one of nine clubs in the Australian Bowhunters Association Northern NSW Branch. These local Clubs are the backbone of organised archery and bowhunting in Australia, conducting field archery and bowhunting activities as well as sponsoring a variety of events including Club Championships.

The Hunter Club has been around since the 1940s. Justin Prummel is the current Club President and said they are encouraging new people to come along and discover what the sport has to offer.

“The last few years have been difficult for our Club. First there was covid and then with the move to our new location at Elderslie we’ve seen a big decline in our numbers, so we are very keen to get the word out about our Club,” said Justin.

“We are open to anyone. We’ve had members as young as 4 years old, right through to as old as they come. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never tried archery before, the great thing about this sport is that it really is suitable for anyone.”

Justin also shared how it is the perfect activity for the whole family to enjoy together. After all, what could be better than spending a Sunday in the beautiful outdoors, honing your skills while competing for bragging rights with your family.

Once a month, one of the nine Northern NSW Clubs will also host an invitation shoot where all the clubs come together for a weekend of camping, socialising, and of course, shooting.

“These trips are fantastic. It’s really a low cost way to spend a weekend in the outdoors with likeminded people and enjoy some friendly competition,” said Justin.

As for the competition, you might be picturing shooting some arrows at a bullseye target but it’s a lot more fun than that. The club shoots at both paper targets and very realistic lifelike targets made from foam. There are several different disciplines plus changing terrain to keep things interesting. As for bows, well that all comes down to your personal preference.

There are traditional bows such as a longbow, which is normally made from a single piece of wood with a basic grip area in the centre. These offer the greatest challenge as they are hard to master with shooting done instinctively without any sights.

A popular bow is the recurve bow. This is similar to the longbow except that the bow is shaped so that the tips of the bow curve upwards. A recurve bow gives a greater amount of energy and speed to the arrow and is great for beginners.

Then you have the compound bow which uses a levering system, usually of cables and pulleys, to bend the limbs. If you like your gear to have all the bells and whistles such as sights, a relatively high speed arrow and good control over firing that arrow, then this bow is for you.

If you’re like me and have never had a crack at archery before than don’t worry. First timers are welcome to come along with no equipment needed as the Club will be happy to lend you a bow until you’re ready to decide which is the right one for you. They also have a coaching program available.

Whether you are looking for a fun activity for the whole family or you want to try your hand at an age old pastime where you can demonstrate your skill and prowess, then check out the Hunter Bowmen Field Archery Club.

The Hunter Bowmen Field Archery Club shoots every second Sunday at the Club at 465 Cranky Corner Rd South End Elderslie. Follow them on Facebook to find out more or give Justin a call on 0459 826 132.

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