Archery: Not Only Fun, But Healthy

Weekly news, tips, trivia, fun facts and wild tales from the outdoors

Sept. 16, 2015

Are you or your children interested in trying archery? Well, you’ll be pleased to know it’s not only fun and rewarding — it’s great for your health! This week you’ll also read about a major government grant to support firearms safety, and much more!

National Field Archery Association says shooting archery improves focus, hand-eye coordination, upper-body strength, social skills, and confidence..
National Field Archery Association says shooting archery improves focus, hand-eye coordination, upper-body strength, social skills, and confidence..

Top 5 Health Benefits of Archery
The National Field Archery Association (NFAA) offers its Top 5 reasons why shooting archery is good for one’s personal health.

  1. Improves focus: Remaining focused during a shot is important for every archer. An archer must focus on their target, focus on their form, and ignore the distractions around them. By constantly being focused, it can help you focus and keep calm in high-pressure situations.
  1. Improves hand-eye coordination: Archery trains your hands to aim based on the feedback from your eyes. With continuous practice and repetition your coordination becomes better. The better coordination an archer has, the better the aiming.
  1. Improves upper-body strength: The arms, core, chest, and shoulders are all used when practicing a proper draw. Similar to lifting weights, an archer usually holds their draw for a couple seconds, which allows for tension in the muscles. Repetition of this action leads to muscle development.
  1. Improves social skills: Archery can be an individual sport or a team sport. When an archer competes in a tournament they are usually grouped together with other archers for scoring. Archers can get to know each other while they walk the course together. Teams are important in archery, too. Working as a team and supporting one another is important for the success of the group.
  1. Improves confidence: Archery provides a boost of self-esteem to archers when they see their mental and physical skills improving during practice and tournaments.


South Dakota Hunters May Carry Licenses on Smartphones
Before heading to the field this fall, South Dakota hunters, anglers and trappers may log into their state Game, Fish and Parks account from their mobile device to view their small game, fishing or trapping license and take a picture or screenshot of it.

For the first time this year, this electronic version is an acceptable method of carrying a license. If hunters, anglers or trappers choose to print and carry a paper copy of their small game, fishing or trapping license, that continues to be an allowed practice.

The license contains a bar code in the upper right-hand corner that allows GFP conservation officers to electronically scan it on smartphone devices (Android, iPhone, etc.) while in the field in lieu of a paper copy. This does not apply to federal waterfowl stamps, tags and licenses mailed from the GFP licensing office.

As technology evolves, the agency says it will remain committed to actively engaging with hunters, anglers and trappers across the state to provide them with the digital services that make it easier to do business.

NSSF’s Project ChildSafe Receives $2.4 Million DOJ Grant
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the primary trade association representing firearms and ammunition manufacturers, announced this week that it has been awarded a two-year, $2.4 million grant by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to provide firearm safety education messaging and free gun locks through its longstanding Project ChildSafe program to communities throughout the country, to encourage responsible firearm storage and help reduce firearm accidents, theft and misuse.

The grant award represents a strong endorsement of the effectiveness of programs such as Project ChildSafe, which since 1999 has distributed more than 37 million free firearm safety kits across the country and in five U.S. territories. Thousands of law enforcement agencies, hunting and conservation groups, and firearms retailers already participate in Project ChildSafe and have been instrumental in expanding the reach of the program’s safety messages. The new grant from DOJ will likewise be instrumental in making even more free gun locks available to more gun owners nationwide.

“We thank the Department of Justice for its recognition of this important program,” said Steve Sanetti, NSSF’s president and CEO. “We’ll work to build on previous efforts and further raise awareness of the simple precautions gun owners can take to store firearms securely when not in use.”

Oklahoma School District Paying For Staff Firearms Training
An Oklahoma school district is footing the bill for six staff members to complete a 120-hour course to qualify for state-authorized concealed-carry firearms permits, following the passage of House Bill 2014 and its subsequent signing by Gov. Mary Fallin in May, which allows individual school districts to make the decision to arm teachers and administrators.

Wilson Public Schools, located near Ardmore, Okla., is the first to move forward with permitting administrators to carry firearms for protection under the new law. Once they complete the course, the half-dozen staffers will be allowed to carry concealed sometime in November, according to school officials.

Having six armed staffers on the school’s campus will place one armed and qualified person in each of the district’s buildings. Each person will be responsible for providing and maintaining his or her own handgun for carry purposes.

“In today’s world with things that are happening, you have to do whatever you can to protect your school district and the children who come to school here … and that’s what we are doing,” Wilson Public Schools Superintendent Eric Smith told News9 television this week.

Quote of the Week
“Come live with me, and be my love,
And we will, some new pleasures prove
Of golden sands, and crystal brooks,
With silken lines, and silver hooks.”
– John Donne, The Bait, 1633


J.R. Absher is a freelance outdoor writer whose articles and columns appear in numerous national publications. He offers his unique perspective of the outdoors weekly for You may contact him at


Guide Outdoors Readers: Do you feel school districts should have armed staff members? Please comment below.


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