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Dauphin County Archers on Target to Expand Membership - abc27 WHTM

Dauphin County Archers on Target to Expand Membership

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To central Pennsylvania archery enthusiasts, the Harrisburg Archery Club sign along Roberts Valley Road in Middle Paxton Township says welcome, year round. Even a polar vortex, and the bitter cold that comes with it, can't stop this sport.

With old man winter lurking outside, club members sharpen shooting skills inside. Skills that have earned state and national titles for several members over the years.

And now there's something new at the club. There is the chance archery newbies to learn from experts.

Weekly lessons are offered to non-members in response to a surge in interest in archery.

Club president Ed Feese says the blockbuster movie 'The Hunger Games," which spotlighted the bow and arrow, is part of the reason for the explosion of interest in archery, but many class applicants say a friend or relative got them interested in the sport.

"We have a web site and we have people contacting us every week," said Feese, "sometimes a couple times a week, wanting to get instructions."

The one hour sessions emphasize proper form and safety, with instructors briefing newcomers on the proper way to hold the bow, proper grip and adherence to safety rules.. Some attendees are part of a one time group outing, wanting to try something different. Others plan to continue lessons for some time.

"Most people, like in most sports don't do everything the correct way and they need a little guidance," said Feese, while helping a first time archer grip the bow correctly. "And that's what we try to do."

10 year old Zackary Brookes, already a one year archery veteran, says he likes the pace of archery.

"It's very relaxing and you don't really have to be very competitive in the sport," said Brookes.

And with the last name Bowman, perhaps Harrisburg resident Rebecca Bowman is destined to excel in the sport.

"I really enjoy it. It's a good time," said the newlywed archer. "I enjoy shooting targets and learning from the experts here." She hopes to improve enough so she can shoot with her experienced archer husband.

Feese says class registration already exceeds capacity, but as slots open up, registrants will be contacted.

It appears the club's long-standing goal of encouraging non-archers to give the sport a try is right on target.

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