Monday, October 13, 2008

Getting it Back, and Getting Back to It: An Archery Play in Two Parts

Part I: Breaking and Entering

Finally broke into my archery case today. Took the case over to a locksmith down the block from the archery shop. Put the case up on the counter and as calmly as I could screamed "HELP!!!"

But in all seriousness, I put the case on the counter and said that one of the latches is jammed, and could they please help me get it open. After about 10 minutes of working one lock and comparing it to the other, the locksmith finally got it open. No need to lock the case until Thanksgiving, so I'll use it as an unlocked latch until then.

$88/hour for locksmith services, 15 minute minimum. Cost me $22 to get to my own equipment. And worth every penny.

Went down to the archery shop afterward, hoping to buy a target. Shop is open, but the sign on the door says the owner is at the range. Try his cell phone, and with no answer, I am still sans rings to shoot at. But at least I have access to my bow again, and can get some shots in.

Part II: 18 Arrows, 70 Meters, and a Feral Feline

Out to the range in Golden Gate Park. Both paved lanes are taken, but one of the field lanes is marked at 30, 50, and 70 meters. The 70 meter mark is all the way back on the path at the far end of the range, right up against the tree and vegetation line that separates the range field from the road. I get my bow set up for the first time in a few weeks, knock an arrow, draw back, aim, and see a small black cat, sitting on the hill that rises behind the target.

Now this is only the second time I've shot from 70 meters. I am relatively confident that I can hit the target, even from all that distance, but I am a little bit nervous that, on the off chance the arrow goes high, I may go bowhunting for the first time in my life, and totally by accident at that.

The cat disappears from my sight, and I figure he has gone up into the trees, so I let fly my first arrow of the day. It hits the target butt with a satisfying thump. And then the cat reappears. First he is next to my target, then sets himself down right in front of it. I walked over to the other archers, asking if the cat belongs to any of them. They tell me he belongs to the park, and not to worry about him. He'll get out of the way when he hears the arrows coming.

Still a little nervous, and not wanting to hunt some urban game, I still set up my second shot. The arrow flies towards the target, and the cat, flinches as the sound hits, far too close for comfort. The next arrow gets another flinch, and the next has him scurrying off up the hill and away. I saw him wandering around for a while after that, but soon enough had disappeared from the range completely.

Shot a pair of double ends and a pair of single ends from 70 meters, for a total of 18. Put them all in the target butt, in some interesting lines and wide groups. If I could get a target on there, I am confident that with a bit of practice, I could get some pretty good groups and some decent Olympic scoring rounds in.

Collecting my arrows at one point, I stopped to watch the other lanes shooting at their targets. There is nothing quite like the sight of an arrow, arcing toward its target. I first saw this on the range in San Diego, when I would arrive as Dakota was firing down range. It is rare to enjoy the view at an indoor range, because the distance and safety requirements limit viewing opportunities. But on the range in the park today, I was able to watch those arrows fly, and enjoy the simple beauty that is the arrow in flight.

A small bit of shaking in the shoulder late in the game, but Still got enough arrows in for a warm up double and a full Olympic round. Feels fine now, hours later. No soreness, and I did not even ice it, although I may regret that later.

Maybe I'll go back to Pacifica Archery, not for any shooting, but to buy a target. Surely they must sell 122s.

No comments: