Draw, Aim, Shoot: Getting into Archery (part 1)

Run up to it all

I can say that I do not even know, what I do not know about archery.

But this is not my first time getting into a new sport (or hobby, depending on how you look at it). The last time I went through this process I regretted not documenting the questions and thought processes I went through. Back then it was for precision long-range rifle shooting. By the time I knew enough to be somewhat competitive, I could not remember all the basic questions and decision dilemmas I struggled with on my learning journey. 

In the beginning, it is an information overflow, and it is difficult to work out who are the real experts are, and who are the keyboard experts (and there are many of those).

If the above introduction is not clear enough, I am no expert. This is a log of all my questions the processes I go through and the questions that came up for me. Your starting point and approach to learning new things might be different, so it might be completely different for you.

Why now?

At the beginning of 2024, I got the opportunity to take on a new role and move to Melbourne Australia. Not being someone who can say "no" to a new adventure, I accepted and relocated. At this time, my current sport was precision long-range rifle shooting. I shoot .22 indoor, .22 outdoor (NRL22 type competitions), Precision Rifle Series (PRS), Vortex Mountain Challenges, and F-Class to name a few examples. 

To pick up and continue with my shooting sports in Australia, I first have to apply for a firearms license in Australia. However the license application process in Australia is a pain if you are a foreigner who has lived in other countries for more than 1 year, as you need police clearances from each of those countries, and it takes a long time.

As with many other things in life, I have to make some decisions. Of course, I got stuck in the license application process even before I left New Zealand, but it was clear it was going to be a lengthy process, so what to do in the meantime? 

Is there possibly something else that I can put my time into that will scratch my competitive itch?

What could this "something else" be?

I always had an interest in trying archery, but in the area where I live in New Zealand there are not many clubs, and the waiting list to attend a "Come N Try" session is long (and always quickly booked out).

In Melbourne (and Australia in general) however, it is on a different level. No disrespect to New Zealand. We are a small country that is far away from everything, and for this reason, it is a stunning place to live. But for a sports club where you need numbers to make it sustainable for a club to exist or grow, it is a massive challenge. To put this in perspective, more people are living in Melbourne, than the whole of New Zealand.

One Sunday morning, after being a Melbourne for a while already, I was lying in bed scrolling through my Facebook feed to see what all my hunting and shooting friends back home were up to. And someone posted a picture of them doing bow hunting practice. 

And BOOM! Just there I had an A-HA moment. Are there any Archery clubs near me in Melbourne? A quick Google search later, and Yes! There were at least three within 30-minute driving distance, with one being about 10 minutes drive away.

So where do I begin? 

After navigating to the website of the club closest to me I found they had open spots and booked myself in.

And this is how my archery journey begins!