Characters such as Katniss Everdeen and elvish bowman Legolas, who play major roles in the popular upcoming films The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, have helped spark a wave a renewed interest in the recreational sport of archery.
Since the movies began incorporating the sport with their characters, the popularity for archery has grown. One way that is evident is in the upswing in instructor course enrollment.
The Texas-National Archery in Schools program has helped train more than 2,700 basic archery instructors, which include 1,600 classroom teachers. The instructors and trainers represent 161 counties, 63-percent, across the state.
The beauty of archery is that is can be done anywhere and there is more than one way to get involved. Archery ranges are available around the state and many host beginner’s lessons.
Those interested in archery also can contact their city parks and recreation department, the county AgriLife Extension office, Junior Olympic Archery Development programs, or a local 4-H Shooting Sports archery club. The Texas State Archery Association’s webpage also offers many resources.
Before heading to the archery shop, be sure to know whether you would like to do target shooting, hunting or bow-fishing. The recommended equipment will vary depending on what it will be used for. For information about equipment, be sure to read the Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine article, “Young Robin Hoods,” to help choose the proper gear.
If you are interested in starting a program in your community, contact Burnie Kessner at Burnie.Kessner@tpwd.state.tx.us or call (979) 862-7341. Also, visit the Texas National Archery in Schools Facebook page to see photos of past programs and more information.