FONDA - Following his passion for the sport of archery, Tracy Craig opened a small shop to sell bows and accessories. He found he was not alone in his passion for the sport.
With an eye on having other archers get together and have fun while honing their skills, Craig started a weekly league at his 2278 Hickory Hill Road shop and residence.
"I have been shooting archery since I was 15 years old, and that is what stimulated me to start this league," Craig said. "We had the shop down in the village of Fonda, but I shut it down and kind of missed it. This is a chance to get some guys together and have a good time. Nothing super serious, but there will be bragging rights in the end and everybody likes bragging rights. It is kind of a fun time and no stress."
Richard Leo of Amsterdam removes an arrow from a 3-D target Monday during league competition at Mohawk Archery by T.C. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
With the focus on keeping archers sharp for the fall hunting season, shooters compete on a multi-target course featuring flat and life-size, 3D animal targets. Competitors shoot 27 arrows per round and register their two 10 scores from the 12-week league for bragging rights and a chance to win prizes, including an APA Bow from Craig's Mohawk Archery by T.C. shop.
"This is going to be a weekly summer thing," he said. "You have to shoot daily or at least once a week to stay sharp for hunting season or just the sport of shooting. Archery is a growing sport again and schools are bringing it back in their curriculum."
Along with the schools teaching the sport, Craig said it had help from another area.
"The Hunger Games movie may have also helped," he said. "We get a lot of people looking for traditional bows, which I don't carry, but we can order them. We have had a couple of people come in recently and bought fishing bows. People are getting into bow fishing now."
However, the league is designed for archers to get together, have some fun and also to continue to promote the sport.
"That is really why I am doing it," Craig said. "I am looking to get certified to teach the classes for the kids; they are the future of the sport. Archery is coming back. Schools are teaching it and archery is an Olympic sport, so there is a lot more interest in it now."
Craig said people can come to the range and try shooting.
"You can come up and try it; I do have bows you can use, but it is kind of like a golf thing where you can use someone else's clubs, but it is not the same. I can size people up, check their draw line, then try to get them with a bow that is meant for them, whether it is a beginners bow or a single or double cam bow."
The league is open each night Monday through Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 to noon at a cost of $10 per week.
"I am carrying a new line of APA Bows out of Canada," Craig said. "We are the only shop who will have them in a 60-mile radius. I think they are unique and have a lot of features built in that others don't."
The store is open Monday through Thursday from 3 to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.