Shoot 3 Arrows, thaw

It was cold running this morning while running.  It is cold every winter. Nice things about winter and trail running are no snakes and no bugs.  During the run I was thinking that it will be cold shooting.  Most days like this one I try to shoot indoors.  However, I’ll be shooting indoors tonight in Social Circle and I didn’t want to spend the gas to make two trips.

River pausing during the run to take a sniff

This is how archery went:  Shoot three arrows, thaw, shoot three arrows, thaw….

Camo in the Gym

On Facebook there is a lady, among many, that is a personal coach.  Her phenotype is the stereotype of a personal coach.  In her publicity photo posted to recruit clients she is in a gym, expressing a seductive come hither poise, wearing Lycia camo tights and top.  My questions are: 1) Why does she feel it is necessary to wear camo apparel in a gymnasium and 2) if she is camouflaged is she trying to hide?

You don’t need camo in the gym.  If you are trying to hide camo in the gym is not a good choice.

Sports Equipment -Buying Speed or Points

You don’t need the best equipment to enjoy a sport.  If you enjoy riding a bike and fitness is a goal just about any bike will work.  You could buy a $150.00 bicycle at Wal-Mart and have a decent time riding.  But, if you decided you wanted to race that $150.00 bicycle you wouldn’t stand a chance even against athletes with less fitness.

Decades ago I trained and raced on a Litespeed bike.  It was not their top of the line.  That Litespeed Natchez landed me on plenty of podiums.  Then, my wife bought me a top end racing bike.  It was a bike that had been used by a pro (King of the Mountain winner) in the Tour de France.  The bike was over 3 pound lighter than my titanium Litespeed.  Riding it, especially climbing, felt like cheating.

Where I trained at the time was extremely hilly.  Climbs that had been tough became laughable.

Years after I stopped racing on the Velodrome I wanted to ride track again.  I bought a low-end track bike and had a blast racing it.  Then, I bought a used high-end bike from an ex-National Sprint champion.  I went from having fun to taking medals. In cycling, buying the right gear can buy speed.  Going from a road style bike to a time-trial style bike, which puts a rider in an aero position, can increase speed up to 3 mph for the same energy output.

Archery is no different.  Having the right equipment for a specific event can add points.  For example, if you compete using a hunting rig against athletes of similar skill who use long stabilizers, scopes, and longer axel-to-axel bows you’ll probably not come out ahead.  You’ll have fun; you’ll probably not win.  That’s fine if fun is all you’re after.  There may come a point when you decide you’d like to compete on equal footing.  That will mean making an investment on the equipment to help get up onto a podium.

Now, you can have the best gear and still finish near the bottom.  The gear isn’t going to make you an expert if you don’t practice.  If you do put in the hours the best equipment can help you gain points. (Buy the equipment after you’ve reached a point in your development where it will become a winning factor)

The best gear does come at a price.  From experience I know that when competing in 3D using a target style bow I score higher than with a hunting style bow at the same distances.  To transform my hunting style bow to a 3D target type requires an investment of over $1000.00.  That is a bit pricey.

Taking that same bow and preparing it for 3D competition in the hunter class (better stabilizers, light and weights) is less expensive coming in around $300.00.  As I considered what I’d do to “buy” some points in 3D I began to consider the return on that investment.

For the investment of $1000 I can compete in open classes and the ASA Super Senior class.  The $450 investment puts me the hunter class of men from their 20s to 50s.  There is no 60-year age bracket for ASA and no IBO, where there is a 60-year-old age bracket, in Georgia.

Even choosing the $450 option I’m am behind because lenses, which magnify a target, are legal in ASA hunting classes and that means more money. Lenses can be quite beneficial as we age.  (I didn’t price those while checking the costs)

Before I retired and had a hefty disposable income money wouldn’t be a concern. Living on a fixed income one needs to be a bit more frugal with cheddar.

More than likely I’ll not upgrade any of my equipment.  I may not compete in the top tournaments where had I made the investment I might have bought a few points.  At the top events a point or two does make the difference.  Paying the registration and travel expense to arrive at a major event with sub-par equipment isn’t a prudent way to burn cash.

The equipment I use isn’t the most expensive.  Most of it falls into the Litespeed Natchez category of gear.  Not the most expensive, in some cases not the best, but in all cases good enough to enjoy the sport of archery.

If you plan to compete against the best athletes there will be a point where the best gear you can buy (or get from a sponsor) will aid your performance.

Men’s Fashion Boots?

I wear boots.  They help protect my feet when I’m working on my property.  I wear them year round in pretty much all situations that require footwear.

When I was an executive I wore boots.  Those boots were exclusively Lucchese boots made in El Paso, Texas.  These were my ‘fancy’ boots and I didn’t wear them for working on property.  There are Lucchese boots I do wear for outdoor working but I reserved two pair for use with fancy clothes. (One brown and one black)

New work boots – a few weeks old in this photo (Inexpensive Durango work boots)
Here’s one example of a cap that comes damage right from the store

I also wear caps and hats.  A good cover on my head helps keep me warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  Caps and hats  keep the sun out of my eyes.  A baseball style hat will last about a year before it begins to disintegrate.  At Christmas I can count on my daughters to resupply me.

Decades ago a friend of mine visited and his hat was showing bare and torn sections on the bill of the cap.  I pointed out, “Looks like you need a new hat.”  He then replied, “I just bought this.” Wait a minute, what? I asked, “You bought a used hat?” He said, “No, it came new like this.”  All I could do was wonder.

Cap I am wearing was I write this. It didn’t come worn out like this. When I got it there was no damage. I’ll have to part with it before too much longer.

My friend had bought a hat that had been roughed up to give the appearance of having been worn during supposedly rugged conditions.  Now, I’d seen people wearing jeans that had been roughed-up or broken-in prior to purchase because somehow that had become fashionable.  But, a roughed-up hat?

I don’t buy jeans that come worn out.  I’ll ruin them on my on – I don’t need help.  I’ll also ruin caps, hats, boots, socks, shirts and all other types of apparel aside from suits and dress up jackets.  The suits and dress up jackets are reserved for weddings, funerals, and church.  As such, those last long time.  My wife has suggested those suits and jackets are “Out of style”  and I should get new dress-up apparel.

I don’t mind being out of style.  No one is going to look at me during a wedding.  If people are looking at me during a funeral it will mostly likely be because I’m the one that is dead.  At that point I won’t care about my suit. If folks are judging my suits or jackets at church then I’d rather they spent their judging moments with their noses reading over what Jesus said concerning judgment of others.

Now, you may think I am judging when it comes to others spending their money to buy worn out clothing.  You may be right – pray for me.  I admit right away I see no value in purchasing clothes that are half way to the recycle bin.

These are being sold ‘new’ in this condition
Still trying to figure these out. Wear these hunting with your buddies or during a 3D archery tournament. I dare you.

On Facebook, I was hit with an advertisement for “fashion boots.”  These are boots that look like they’re soon for the trash bin.  Let me add here I do not like Facebook.  There was a time when it allowed me to stay loosely in touch with friends.  Today, it is too hard to find what my friends are up to because of all the ads, political half-truths or down right lies filling up the FaceBook space.  But, when I saw an ad promoting the purchase of worn out boots I thought –how stupid is this?

(Oh, I periodically polish my boots so they will last longer)

So, I Missed the 1st 3D of 2020

Miami a few years ago (I won)

As with nearly every morning Sunday started with a run.  Before I retired I traveled a lot.  Travel outside of the US was common. Everywhere I traveled I ran.  I’ve run in 49 of the 50 US States and 20 of the 195 countries in the world.  I ‘ve ‘Officially’ raced in US, Italy, France, Germany, England and Japan.  Most of those competitions were on the road.  In England, a 10K, it was mixed trail and road.

10K in the UK (I didn’t win)

Running allowed me to see parts of the world I might not have had I not gotten out for a run.  What I’ve found is that running in cities is a great way to sightsee but running trails has really become a favorite.  I have found memories of trail runs in Australia, Japan and Malaysia. I never got lost on those trails.  I did get lost running in Toronto. Canadians are really helpful and the locals guided me back to my hotel. My morning runs here in Georgia are nearly 100% trail running.

Trails behind my house

Running has become an element of archery training.  I may not sign up for another race anytime soon.  That is unless I find a nearby trail run that happens on a weekend that isn’t filled with an archery event.

Had to hold my bow using a glove during this cold day
Ray, my father-in-law’s practice range

This weekend I missed the first local 3D tournament of 2020.  It was this past Sunday and I’d made plans without having the 2020 3D schedule at my fingertips. Naturally, all my friends who competed posted photos and bragged about how much fun they had shooting.

This is what you get of you aim at the same spot twice.
You can see the targets down range

I still practiced on Sunday and was thankful that my father-in-law has a nice practice range at his house in Tignall, Georgia.  It was cold over the weekend but the weather wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t get a nice long practice.

I thought I heard someone yell, “Get Him” in my direction

Despite missing the 3D tournament in Shady Dale, Georgia it was a good day to run and do some solo practice.

Sporting my USA Team kit for this charity run in Delaware (Not the hat, I don’t recall how I ended up wearing a South Carolina logo cap)

That Sponsorship Game

At the moment I have no sport affiliations aside from my local club, Ace Apache.  Ace Apache is based at the Ace Hardware in Social Circle, Georgia.  Primarily, I see the club as a well-coached organization focused on the community youth.  There aren’t many adults wearing an Ace Apache logo kit during tournaments aside from the Ace Apache coaches and me.

The younger folks on the team are frequently donning a kit for competition displaying their sponsorship associations.  For example, Elite signs many of the younger archers and those athletes wear the Elite apparel during tournaments. Still, the Ace Apache logo uniform is frequently seen on the backs of as yet un-recruited youngsters.

In the past I played the sponsor or “ProStaff” game.  That game is a marketing program were adults festered about for discounts on gear.  If an adult is selected those quasi-sponsorships require (of me) quarterly reports, booth duty if that selected adult is competing at an event where a sponsor had a booth and devotion to their gear. Much of what a “ProStaff” placement offered sounds like fun. I was happy to agree until the benefit versus detriment became too one sided.

Last year I didn’t make an attempt to regain another year’s worth of discounts.  Only one company continued and continues to recruit me as a sponsored athlete.  Their offers were too egregious for me to accept.

The persistent potential sponsor is happy to sign me up if I promised to spend X amount of discounted dollars on their gear. There is a discount, but there is also a required dollar amount of which there is no way I’d spend my money. As such I am unaffiliated.

Another sponsor explains in their ‘contract’  I must use their equipment and that is to be the current year’s model.  I do use their gear.  But I’d have to buy their new gear even though I have their older, perfectly good, gear. There would be a discount.

In some cases it comes down to not what you know rather who you know.  Or, in the case of sponsorship, not altogether how well you perform as an athlete in archery but who is your contact within an organization.  I don’t know anyone of the insiders who might offer a helping hand.

A friend of mine that does have in inside connection with one of my ex-sponsors and did get a great deal from them.  The company, now one of his “sponsors”,  loaded him up with nearly $1000.00 (retail) worth of their goods. No purchase required. Sweet!

(You immediately think, “Well, he’s probably better at archery than you are.”  Nope.)

Needing some new archery stuff I’ve studied the cost – dang! Since I don’t know anyone on any inside who might help I suppose I’ll have to fester about for a discount.

It Has Turned Cold – Again – and Time for 3D

Weather in Georgia isn’t too bad in regard to winter.  It is certainly a far cry warmer here in January than Cleveland, Pittsburgh or Baltimore, all cities where I’ve lived for enough winters to know.  Still, it can get cold and today starting out at 26°F was cold enough.  The cold can’t limit one to the indoors.  Especially, aside from the cold, it is nice outdoors.

Each day River, my nearly decade old Lab, and I run.  In the cold she’s too happy to hit the trails.  She becomes less energetic during the peak summer months.  River has jumped into water, breaking through ice, during the coldest times, just for fun.  She is built for it.

When it is cold I prefer to run, skip cycling (when temperature drop into the 30’s – something I didn’t do decades ago) and head to Ace Hardware in Social Circle to train on their indoor range.  This is perfect right now when preparation for 18-meter tournaments is on the agenda.

This is pretty nice and warm

Ace’s archery range isn’t open on Mondays.  I skipped archery in the morning and used that time to run errands and hit the gym.  This is my normal routine. It was also time for a haircut.

Here in Georgia our 3D competitive season is about to begin this Saturday.  During the afternoons, after the temperatures have risen a bit, I’ll practice 3D.  Today was the first time I shot my 3D targets.  I’ve been shooting the 3D bow at paper trying to get a feel for the lighter equipment.

I’d hoped to compete in the ASA Super Senior division in 2020 but that’s not happening.  My target bow, ideal for that class, is set for indoors.  I have just enough equipment for that bow to remain specific to 18-meters and enough to use my hunting bow for 3D. Sure, I could switch the sight around for the 3D arrow but that means taking a chance and screwing up what is right now working.

Plus, it isn’t simple.  When outdoor season begins I’ll use skinny arrows not 23s.  Switching back and forth between practices, outdoor target and 3D, with a single bow isn’t optimal.  If it isn’t simple, it simply won’t get done.

I’d considered buying more gear to assemble a 3D target bow to macth equipment in the Super Senior class but dropped than fantasy after reviewing the price.  2020 3D will end up another season of competing in the hunter class shooting against younger archers.

The light can the funny this time of year

My first day shooting the 3D faux-animals wasn’t too horrible.  Getting a feel for pins versus the scope I’ve been using has taken a bit of adjustment.  Plus, the lighter bow means really being careful to hold properly.

This bear is at 41 years. You know I was thinking I might end up an arrow short.

Generally, the practice went well. I shot for a couple of hours and scored a few 8s.  Mostly 10s where the score of the day with a few 12s for good measure.  There was one miss.

The bear turned out okay

The missed shot was 33 yards and I messed up with the pins.  For 33 yards, a yellow 30-yard pin sits on top of the ten ring and a green 35-yard pin sits on the bottom of the 10 ring.  I screwed up by putting the green 35-yard pin on the top of the 10 and the other yellow, the 40-yard pin, on the bottom of the 10.  It was a small boar target and the arrow bounced off the spine of the foam boar.  Fortunately, the bounce slowed the arrow; it smacked a branch and landed, undamaged on the ground.

The bad shot turned out to be a careless error at 33 yards

After a couple of hours in 36°F temperature I called it quits.  I considered a bike ride then thought better of it.

Canine Catastrophe in Colorado! What?

Judd Cooney wrote an interesting article published in the current issue of “Predator Xtreme”. (1) The matter at hand is the reintroduction of the Gray Wolf into Colorado.  The last Gray Wolf in Colorado was killed around 1940. (2) The Gray Wolf is on the Endangered Species Act but has been removed from that list is some states in the Northern Rockies. (3-6) It has further been suggested that the Gray Wolf has reached a population where the numbers indicate the animal should be removed from the Endangered Species Act. (7,8)

Cooney’s article caught my eye because don’t like wolves.  To be clear I don’t like the thought of being eaten by wolves.  On the other hand I know it is unlikely any wolf will ever seek me out, driven by intent, malice, curiosity, hunger, or accidental intersection and try to eat me. I have seen wolves in the wild on two separate occasions.  Each time we were at a comfortably safe distance from each other. Admittedly, of all predators wolves rank high among those I prefer to avoid.

The Predator Xtreme article, whatever my opinion of wolves in general, did fail a sniff with one particle word – liberal.  The word was written paired with ignoramuses.  While I would certainly not be considered a liberal neither am I a conservative.  No, if you’d feel a need to “label” me you’d have to choose “moderate”. In other words, I won’t jump on an issue without reading enough to allow me an informed decision.  In some circumstances I lean toward conservative and other a more liberal position.  So, when I read “liberal ignoramuses” describing some group I read more of the article.  Cooney’s article left me searching for more answers. So, I read the full text from the Colorado Secretary of State for the citizens of Colorado to vote in regard to the Gray Wolf. (9)

What I read, despite my lack of wolf love, seemed, well, reasonable.  Then, I looked at who supported both positions on the proposal.  Again, both side looked reasonable and each lacked an apparent ignoramus. Actually, both sides seemed void of any liberalsim or conservatisms as a whole.

The folks wanting the wolves seemed environmentally conservative and the anti-wolf folks leaned toward protecting against wolves’ appetites.  The proposed bill is actually a suggestion to study how Colorado might reintroduce the wolves and protect against hungry wolves.  It all seemed fairly reasonable.  So, why did Mr. Cooney make an attack on any poor ignoramus I don’t understand?

Predator Xtreme has a print circulation of around 82,000 and is published six times a year. (10) I don’t know how many people the digital copy reaches.  The print annual recipients of the magazine create less exposure than this website  [over 1.2 million visitor reading 2 pages per visit annually] (11) Cleary, the printed word isn’t intended for the ignoramus. (12) No, I think the article was intended for the voters of Colorado.

I know a lot of people in Colorado, not one is an ignoramus and most are not liberals although some are liberal. (13) In fact, most of the folks I know in Colorado are moderate to conservative by nature.  The State seems to be conservative as a group; not as liberal minded as is sometimes thought. (14) None of them fit into a class of ignoramuses.

The wolf reintroduction proposal seems well thought out.  Folks for and against the proposal appear, from their writings, pretty smart to me.  I expect the voters of Colorado will decide how this one ends.  I further expect a columnist for Predator Xtreme who lives in Iowa has about as much influence in the Centennial State as an archer from Georgia.

  • Note:  I’ve placed this is my category for Outdoor Adventure.  Should you be chased by wolves and you survive it would have been an adventure.

References:

(1) Cooney, J. Colorado Courting Canine Catastrophe. Predator Xtreme. Page 76 Jan/Feb 2020

(2) https://cpw.state.co.us/wolves

(3) Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, “Gray Wolf History,” accessed December 6, 2019

(4) Idaho Fish and Game, “Wolves Delisted: Idaho Perspective,” accessed January 9, 2020

(5) Idaho Department of Fish and Game, “Wolf Management / Status Timeline,” accessed December 6, 2019

(6) Colorado Independent, “What you need to know about a ballot effort to bring wolves back to Colorado,” accessed December 6, 2019

(7)  Fish and Wildlife Service, “Gray Wolf Proposed Delisting Questions and Answers,” accessed December 6, 2019

(8)  Regulations.gov, “Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removing the Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife,” accessed December 6, 2019

(9) Colorado Revised Statutes, Section I, add 33-2-105.8

(10) http://www.tswrural.com/media/predator-xtreme

11) GoDaddy.com

12.) https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ignoramus

13) Employed by the company that purchased mine, a Boulder company for two years, 2011 – 2013.

14) https://kool1079.com/colorado-more-conservative-or-liberal/

Gait and Competitive Archery in the Elderly

In the elderly population there is an easy observation that, to me, is suggestive of ageing and fitness.  You might think by looking, and you would be correct, you can guess whether or not a person is old.  Certainly a 65 year old doesn’t have the same youthful appearance, as does a 25 year old.

What if you put a mask over the face of a 65 year old and a 25 year old – could you identify which was the older of the two if they were walking past?  Maybe and probably because you might be observant enough to note other changes of skin tone, posture or by using some other evocative surveillance techniques.

What if you covered the 25 year old and the 65 year old from head to ankle (leaving some space between the ankle and the floor to avoid a fall in this experiment) with a burlap bag and had them walk across a room. Both wearing the same brand and model shoes and socks so that all you see is a burlap bag held upright by two feet per bag with all four feet looking the same.  Might you still be able to pick out the younger stealth walker?

Maybe – maybe not.

Generally, watching their gait one can select the 65 year old if you know for what you are looking to find.  As people age gait changes.  Older people will have both feet planted before the lagging foot lifts into the next step.  Younger people lead into the forward step with trailing leg the moment the front foot strikes ground.  Next time you are at a grocery store or the Wal-Mart parking lot watch folks walking into the store.  After a few minutes you’ll recognize the difference between a youthful walk and that of many senior citizens.

You may further find that there is no absolute.  You will see old geezers prancing along eager to grab the best shopping deals and you’ll see worn out youngsters huffing a puffing to get the electric cart in order to cruise toward their purchases. Still as a rule older folks do have an identifiable foot plant while walking.

Gait is something I watch during archery tournaments or during a group practice.  Your initial thought is this is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read.  (Over 40 years of health care work experience does take a toll.) Here’s where I let you know there’s more to the observation.

The individuals with an older gait lean toward lower relative archery perfromance score.  The statistical analysis comes a bit further along in this writing.

Can you increase your score by improving your gait if you are older?  Well,  that is a stretch – but in all likelihood, yes.

Ageing is characterized by a number of physical changes that contribute to a decline in the ability to perform daily tasks. (1) Archery is not a vigorous activity, however, archers do a lot of walking and a lot of standing for long periods of time.

If an archer’s ability to perform a solid walk diminishes then might the activity associated with that walking decline? I can’t say that is true, but it seems so. What I can further say is that generally there is an associated score difference with the groups exhibiting variance in gait.

Here are the numbers:  Over the past two years I’ve observed 12 archers placed into two groups of six. Group 1 is the group with a relatively youthful gait.  Group 2 are the archers with an older gait. The mean age for Group 1 is 63.2 years and Group 2 is 63.3 years. The difference is 0.14 years and is not statistically significant (p = 0.92, paired t-test).

Before I go further both groups practice archery roughly the same amount and have been performing archery for similar lengths of time.

Now the very interesting results: Group 1 out scored Group 2 by an average of 20 points.  The data includes indoor and outdoor tournaments over one and two days of scoring. Even so a Group 2 archer has beaten Group 1 archers but not as a rule (Once out of 8 matches).  So, I can somewhat rule out that Group 1 had better archers.  The single Group 2 win came during 1-day event.  Which suggests the Group 2 archers, as a set, with noticeably older gaits performed less well than more youthfully gait Group 1.  The results are statistically significance (p= 0.035, paired t-test).

From this I conclude that the Group 2 demonstrating an elderly gait was not as proficient at archery compared to Group 1 with the more youthful gait.

The elderly gaited group could improve their walking with exercise.  In a study of people, mean age 65.9, stretching was shown to reduce hip flexion contracture and increase hip and pelvis range of motion, thus improving gait performance. (1)

Over a twelve week program the test subjects were given supervised stretching designed to improve their range of motion. After 12 weeks they displayed gait parameters that were similar to those reported in young healthy adults. (1)

I believe that the gait observation, identifying an elderly walk, identified archers with a generally lower state of general fitness.  A simple exercise program may improve general fitness and this may reflect in higher archery scores. (2, 3) This might be more relevant in the older archer.

(Note: this is a small sample size.  A larger sample might change the results. I’ll go out on a limb and suggest this is accurate.)

References:

(1) Cristopoliski F1Barela JALeite NFowler NERodacki AL Stretching exercise program improves gait in the elderly. Gerontology. 2009;55(6):614-20. doi: 10.1159/000235863. Epub 2009 Aug 27

(2) https://www.topendsports.com/sport/archery/testing.htm

(3) https://www.bow-international.com/features/fitness-fix-for-archers/

Prime Time Archery

In the US there are 4 million people that annually take part in triathlons (1).  The Ironman World Championship is televised on NBC Sports every year.  Triathlons are exciting to watch.  For the athletes they are punishing.  If you are unfamiliar an Ironman it is an endurance event where athletes swim 2.4 miles, complete a cycling time trial of 112 miles, then run a marathon (26.2 miles for those of you that don’t know the distance of a marathon).  The three endurance tests are completed in sequence without a pause.

There’s a time limit to complete the 140.6 of 15 hours.  If an athlete fails to complete the total 140.6 miles distance in 15 hours they are recorded as did not finish.  Each leg of an Ironman also has time limits.  If an athlete fails to make it out of the swim or off the bike under the time allotted for any segment they are pulled from the race.

There are shorter distances for triathlons.  For example a popular distance is the 1/2 Ironman where each segment is halved.  There are still time limits for the 70.3 miles.  There are other triathlons that have a 1200-meter swim, 40-kilometer cycling distance, and a 10 k run to finish it off.  Some athletes prefer sprint distances like a 500-yard swim, 12-mile bike and a 5K run which are available.  Any distance requires a lot of discipline, training, expensive equipment and pricey entry fees. If someone is willing to pay there is a match for him or her in triathlon.

Archery on the other hand isn’t televised on NBC.  There are bow hunting shows on some paid cable network that are generally sponsored by a bow manufacturer and other hunting gear companies.  There aren’t shows for the big archery tournaments on major networks.

You can find big archery tournaments on YouTube.  Unless you enjoy archery odds are you aren’t searching the Internet for folks flinging arrows. People seem more likely to select golf should you enjoy slow moving sports.

Archery is slow. Golf is slow.  Triathlons are not slow.  Despite being slow golf is entertaining to watch even if you don’t play golf.  Watching Tiger Woods win his last Masters was exciting.  Woods repeatedly walked around pretty landscaping in Augusta hitting a small ball into a small hole better than other folks who were all doing the same activity.

In archery we shoot arrows into small dots or nearly unseeable rings on a foam animal.  Archery is hard to do well.  In an Ironman the top professional men will soar over a course and finish the 140.6 miles in around 8 hours.  The professional women aren’t far behind. An Ironman is hard to do well. An Ironman is also hard to do not well.

Should you watch NBC’s Ironman World Championship show not only will you see the blazing professionals but also NBC will highlight those in misery struggling to come in under the cut off time.  You never see some duffer on a golf course at 20 over par.  No one wants to see that sort of embarrassment. But, if you’re in an Ironman, shuffling along in the dark during the final leg of the triathlon having snot running down you face you are fodder for a camera crew.  The crews have to do something; those top pros have finished the race and gone home.

Archery’s top professionals are a marvel to watch.  The announcers on events found via the Internet do a pretty good job of keeping viewers (other archers) interested in the competition.  Golf’s announcers have done the same for audiences. The stories told about the golfers are often similar to those being uttered in hushed reverence about archers.

In America 25 million people play golf. (2) That is about 8% of the population.  You can find golf on television pretty much year round.  There are even paid channels, if you subscribe, devoted to golf.  If you look around you can also find an ample supply of triathlons with watch.  Should you be on of the 1.9 million triathletes in America you know where to find them.

If you are among the 18.9 million American, over the age of 18 that participate in archery your viewing options for archery aren’t in the same ballpark as golf. (The triathlon figure includes all participate aged 6 and above)  (3,4) Yet, the numbers of participates for the two sports, golf and archery, are similar.

There are differences in the wealth backing the sports.  Golf in the US has an annual revenge of around $23 billion dollars while archery comes in around $363 million. (5,6) Triathlons, which is a smaller sport than archery, has annual revenue of around $3 billion dollars, (7) None of those are in the athlete footwear ballpark of $72 billion annually. (8) Archery doesn’t even come close to the annual revenue of bicycles of $7 billion. (9) But, the King of sport is the NFL, which took in over $15 billion last year from fans. (9) Yes, that’s $15 billion earned by the NFL from adoring fans. Major league baseball earned about $5.82 billion (10) (NFL and MLB revenue does not reflect gear/equipment sales)

Archery isn’t “big” business.  I think it could become bigger.  Like golf there are stories for broadcasters to quietly share during televised events. Archery would certainly be easier for film for camera crews than triathlons.  But, archery isn’t going to reach the living rooms of most Americans if it depends solely on hunting shows.

Hunting is a large segment of the bow manufactures earnings and one where customers will buy the newest gizmo that promises to improve their skill as a bow hunter.  Of course, more practice would be a better investment.

I believe the volume of people in archery, about that of golf, is enough to bring the sport into mainstream.  I just don’t think hunting shows are the conduit. The conduits, in my opinion, are field, 3D and target archery.  But, then no one is asking me.

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