Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games isn't the only person picking up a bow and arrow these days. Almost 19 million Americans participate in archery, one-third of those archers being women. Katniss shoots the Hoyt Buffalo, a traditional bow that was originally built to be a high-end hunting bow for anyone who wanted to shoot a lightweight, bow that was easy to carry and had classic traditional lines. Whether following Katniss' lead as a bow hunter, training for Olympic-style archery or simply enjoying one of man's oldest sports, archery is again trending.
Archery dates back as far as the Stone Age and as a cultural advance can be compared to the discovery of fire and the invention of the wheel. Bow and arrow have been essential to war, hunting and sport since war, hunting and sport were part of the human experience. Transitioning to a more domestic society, archery first appeared in the Olympic Games in 1900 but was contested in 1904, 1908 and 1920. Archery then appeared again, after an absence of 52 years, from 1972 to the present.
My love for the outdoors and specifically for archery has prompted my nickname, Katniss. I find an instant rush every time I pick up my camouflaged Hoyt compound bow, pull back the custom black and pink strings, sight-in and release my arrow to silently fly at my target. I am a 5'4" small female and have shot next to both avid hunters who resemble Si from Duck Dynasty and 10-year-old target archers alike. Archery is a multipurpose sport and is growing in popularity at an exceptional rate.
One of my favorite places to hangout in Boise is at Idaho Archery, located at 5669 N. Glenwood Street, across from Hawks Stadium. When you walk in you are greeted with a multitude of mounted wildlife, walls covered in Hoyt, Mathews, Mission, PSE and Prime equipment and usually a few regulars sitting at the bar-like service counter.
Owner, Michael Gallegos, has been running Idaho Archery as a full-service pro shop for four years. He is a level 2 certified coach through USA Archery and aside from working on bows and bow equipment, also teaches the majority of their archery classes. Classes are held in Idaho Archery's 10-lane, 20-yard indoor range and include a 1-hour lesson, all equipment and can be private or in a group setting.
Idaho Archery has also recently started a JOAD (Junior Olympic Archery Development) Club designed for youth archers ranging from 8 to18-years-old. JOAD is sanctioned by USA Archery and has both compound and recurve divisions. JOAD is an exceptional organization for all ability levels. You can find more information on JOAD at teamusa.org/USA-Archery. Whether you are a hunter, stay-at-home mom or even a youth on summer break, archery is a wonderful way to connect with your inner 'wild side'!