I can’t believe it’s snowing again in Virginia! Like the photo from yesterday’s blog, these sunny, warm-weather pics were taken at the TWRA’s John Sevier Education Center range during Saturday’s POMA conference in Knoxville, Tenn. They highlight the sheer fun of archery as outdoor media members joined bow manufacturer reps to test their products. They also show how anyone can pick up the sport and become proficient with practice as my husband, outdoor TV host Phil Phillips of “Phil Phillips Unleashed” on the Sportsman Channel, shoots with buddies from Brownells. [FYI, for those who missed my blog on Mar. 7, Brownells just launched Brownells Archery, a line of nearly 10,000 archery-related products, so some of the guys were on hand promoting equipment in multiple product categories.]
As we took turns sending arrows and bolts downrange, it was almost as much fun to watch as it was to shoot. Despite the high-tech bows onsite, the only one in these photos is the Mathews Genesis, the model showcased in the popular National Archery in the Schools Program—and the one that has singlehandedly gotten thousands of young people excited about archery. What makes this bow so great is that both draw weight and draw length are adjustable. Not only will kids not outgrow them, but adults can shoot right alongside kids—or each other!
Phil is used to practicing at long distances so when he noted the 3-D black bear target at 45 yards that had been set up for the crossbow shooters, I knew he couldn’t stand it. After a few shots with the Genesis bow at the 10-yard bag target, he flung an arrow at the bear. The Brownells guys were surprised he hit it so then they had to try it. When they weren’t having much luck, I heard Phil say, “Let me share a secret with you: I’m using the field point of the arrow as a sight, and for me it just so happens to be dead on at 45 yards. Give that a try.” As the group took turns shooting, TWRA Officer Joe Everett walked up, smiled and said, “Wow, I’ve never seen anyone try and shoot that far with a Genesis!”
Roy Hill, Brownells public relations specialist, is just getting into archery, yet once he took Phil’s advice and used the arrow tip as a reference point he hit just over the top of the bear. Phil worked with him on his form and his next shot was a hit. Roy was hooked. Every time the range safety officer yelled, “The range is cold,” he’d hurry to the bear target to grab his arrows and was still shooting at it when we left. Clearly, while the Mathews Genesis engages kids and enhances their motivation, this bow goes far in engaging and motivating the rest of us!
Phil got an email from Roy yesterday. “Thanks for the string-on-the-nose tip,” Roy wrote. “I was able to use that to help a lot of writers get hits quickly with the Genesis bows.”
As every shooter knows, getting a few hits is all it takes to get hooked. Then once we’re inspired, it’s “game on” as we seek to inspire others.