Range Manners – or the lack of them

Momma taught me, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” She and my father also taught me manners.  I don’t like to say things that aren’t positive unless I feel strongly about some interfering or bad behavior. Today, I must admit, there was some bad, self-entitled activity on the range, which wasn’t wonderful.

Shooting a lot 3D the past week or so I felt I needed to practice indoors. I drove to an indoor range for workout. It looked like I’d have a good session and the range to myself. Now, while having a range alone may be nice it isn’t always going to happen. I actually prefer shooting with other archers since that is more like competition.

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Area where I assemble by gear

After I unloaded my gear and changed my bow set-up from 3D to indoor I sighted it. Sighting took about 12 shots to bring the arrows from a bit left to the center of the 3-spot I was shooting. With that complete it was time for a sustained practice session.

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Well, my bow was ready

Shooting 12 arrows I had to pause while two young men, in their 20’s, used the range to sight their bows. This often happens and isn’t a big deal. Ten minutes later it was clear these boys where taking a bit longer than most to set their top pins for 10 yards.

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My two 3-spots ready

One of the boys looked at me when as I paced at 20 yards, wondering what was the problem. He said to me, “Sorry if we’re taking up your range time.” I was paying to shoot – they weren’t paying for the range. I responded, “Oh, no rush.” A polite response made after 10 minutes. At 20 minutes I was having some serious doubts about the sincerity of his apologetic statement.

The taller of the two shot well and was practicing with his freshly sighted bow when he paused to take a cigarette break. His buddy continued to shoot poorly blaming – of course – the bow.

At 30 minutes it was becoming clearer that these two felt entitled to the range and full attention of the shop’s staff. After 40 minutes, during which I paced, sat, watched, and was quietly amazed, I packed my gear to leave.

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After 40 minutes of waiting I packed and left

The shop charged me for the two paper targets I’d planned to shoot noting they couldn’t charge me for the range since I never really got to use it. What burned me was the two boys on the range acted as if they were entitled to take it over. Because they were shooting at 10 yards, I couldn’t shoot.

I’d have never acted in this manner. Momma and daddy taught me better.  After I paid and left, about an hour after the onset of the bow sighting, the two were still on the range firing away at 10 yards.

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