On Target with Archery

Varmint shootMy first shoot about a month ago was in the dark during what they call a “varmint shoot.” All our varmints were made of foam with reflective tacks set where their eyes were to simulate animal eyes.

It seemed like a crazy idea – I was running around in the pitch black with a bunch of people, all carrying pointy sticks. The air was muggy and buggy with spider webs tickling our faces as we squinted into the shadows looking for the glow sticks that marked the shooting spots. The moon came up, one of the super moons we’ve had so many of this year, and it took my breath away.

I hit one target one time, racking up a high score of 5. My proudest moment was being the only shooter to hit the ocelot… but it was the only thing I shot all night so I didn’t boast too much about it.

It wasn’t a comfortable experience, but standing in the forest bathed in moonlight I felt very much alive. I was having an adventure. It didn’t matter if I hit the targets, it only mattered that I was challenging myself.

Today was my second shoot, and I thought I’d go easy and do it in daIMG_20140823_110058_271ylight. It was what they call a “3D Shoot” because the targets look like real animals and they are hidden in the woods for us to find.

It was still muggy but being able to see the targets made a big difference to my score.
Where in the first shoot I scored 5, this time I made a more respectable 91. My proudest moment was making my first 12, or bulls eye. The most important thing is I haven’t lost an arrow yet. At $10 a pop, I’m a careful shooter.

Whether I lose a whole quiver of arrows or score another low 5 shoot, the whole archery thing is a keeper for me. Crazy as it sounds, surrounded by like minded people having a lark in the woods, fighting off heat, bugs and fatigue, is a blast.

Somewhere between the taut string and the arrow poised for flight I find an instant that bringsIMG_20140823_093753_282 me to the present moment. The past is the last target, the future waits ahead at the next, but in the temporary cooperative effort that is me, arrow and bow, I find an instance that is completely now and wholly mine.

That moment is what I am shooting for…


About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, publisher and author. Her first collection of poetry, In Favor of Pain, was nominated for an 2017 Elgin Award. Her latest novella, Bitter Suites, is a 2018 Bram Stoker Awards® Finalist. Currently, she publishes Space and Time magazine, a 53 year old publication dedicated to fantasy, horror and science fiction. For more information visit SpaceandTimeMagazine.com or AngelaYSmith.com.
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