I’ve been shooting at my current target archery club for three outdoor seasons and two indoor. It’s the club that taught me the basics of archery and because of that it will always hold a special place in my heart but I feel that it’s now time to move on.
The motivation behind this decision boils down to three things: personal development, style and cost.
At my current club I’ve always gone against the grain choosing to shoot traditional bows over the Olympic recurve, that were enthusiastically offered, wanting to shoot instinctive instead of adding a sight or using other methods and anchoring behind the ear instead of my chin. This has led to me being left to my own devices by the club coaches with my personal development coming from attending external courses, reading books and watching videos on YouTube. Personally, the coaching element is only a small factor for me but my bow choice seems to have impacted on any extra coaching I may have received.
Shooting multicoloured targets at set distances is the ultimate test for refined, precise technique and the archer’s ability to duplicate each shot again and again with the only variables being the weather and the archer but after three years of doing this I’ve come to realise that it’s not for me.
The elements of archery that I enjoy the most are the shooting, being outdoors and the chance to unwind and relax. I do get these things from target archery but I’ve found that I get all this and more when I’m tromping around a forest with my bow. Nothing can beat being in a forest with the earthy smells, hearing the birds, feeling the weather whilst loosing and even lose a few arrows.
This one is a minor issue but if I feel it’s worth mentioning as everything boils down to money.
The target archery club costs
£107 per year membership. This includes the insurance and governing body fees. It also covers access to the field in the summer season which is two weekday evening and one weekend afternoon.
In the winter we shoot indoors and that is available one weekday evening and at the weekend. For the weekday shoot it costs £5 per session and £6 for the weekend session.
So if I went one evening a week on winter I be looking at £20 a month. The winter season is from October until March so that’s six months with a total of £120. So this coupled with my membership fees means I’m paying £227 a year and that’s if I don’t shoot at the weekends.
The field archery costs
£12 per year membership fees.
£25 per year governing body fees.
£5 per month club fee.
This gives you access to the indoor range for 3 evenings a week as well as the field next to indoor range. It also includes 24/7 access to the clubs 25 acre forest. If my maths are correct then the field club will cost £97 a year which is a difference of £130.
Hopefully, I’ve made the right decision. It feels right and the members of the club I’ve met seem friendly enough and there’s not a long rod in sight.