A few weeks before Christmas, I was at a turkey shoot and with my trusty bow and arrow I GOT ONE!
Well, I did, but not in the way you think.
My son belongs to the Victoria Bowmen Archery Club (Victoria, BC), which has been around since 1949. In the last four years since joining the club, he has shot hundreds of arrows in practice and in competitions, gaining notoriety and ranking locally and provincially. He even tried out for the Canada Games!
So after a few years of watching him shoot in both the clubs’ indoor and outdoor events, it was finally time for me to shoot my first arrow – and I loved it.
I have joined the club and although I haven’t practiced very often (I’m a busy momma and my son is first and foremost in these sporting aspirations), and my shot is often a tad off the mark (practice makes perfect and all that), I am enjoying learning about the historic sport.
Recently the club hosted their annual ‘Christmas Turkey Shoot’ – a fun shoot for all members/all ages of the club. Archery games, prize draws and a potluck following the shoot make for a festive, fun event for everyone.
And, as the title suggests, some of the prizes are…turkeys! Archers don’t actually SHOOT the turkeys but various archery games have turkeys (purchased from the store), and other Christmas dinner fixings, as prizes.
I had been holding-out buying our own turkey for Christmas, in anticipation of this fun day. Even though I didn’t know what the games would entail, I was hoping our noble and accomplished archer would, as it were, bring home dinner for us with his own trusty bow and arrow.
As my lack of skill was an embarrassment to most, I stayed out of everyone’s way and left the skill-based games to the pros. I stuck to the general practice targets. I fumbled getting the arrow on its rest and my jangled nerves shook my bow – not good for lining up the sight with the yellow center of the target. I need glasses and my lack of experience and knowledge showed in my shot (I DID, however, get one or two ‘10’s,’ or in layman terms, a bullseye – so maybe I wasn’t THAT bad, after all). I am proud to say that at least I HIT the target, although from at half the normal shooting distance. Everyone participated in the games and, if I may be so bold to brag, my son shot right through a moving ping pong ball suspended in mid-air by an upturned leaf-blower – THAT’S how good he is.
The one game I DID participate in, however, was for the turkeys (or in this case, gift cards for turkeys). Various prizes (turkeys, boxes of stuffing, cans of cranberry jelly and so on) were written on post-it notes, the notes then stuck sporadically all over a big piece of paper. That paper was then placed on a target and another piece of paper was placed over the whole thing, hiding the post-it note placement. We each had to shoot one of our arrows randomly at the paper and hope it either hit, or was closest too, a prize. At the end of the day, with the arrows still stuck in the paper, the top paper was carefully peeled off revealing the prizes in relation to the arrows. Closest arrow to that prize/post-it note, won.
So first was the turkey prize. I glanced at my young archer/offspring, and silently sent a prayer to the archery Gods that his skill had served us well. But, you see, this game was not a matter of skill, but of luck. It was a ‘blind’ shoot – you had no idea if your arrow hit a prize, or not, until the covering paper was removed. Well with my husband, son and I each with an arrow in the running, we had a one-in-three chance of winning SOMETHING.
The turkey/arrow was the first prize up for assessment. One of the club members pulled out the arrow closest to the turkey prize, held it up and announced, “Whose arrow is this?”
It was mine! IT WAS MINE!
I can’t continue without mentioning that my husband and son DID win prizes – Christmas to/from gift tags for one and a big box of brownies for the other. Everyone was fortunate to leave with something thanks to the generosity and planning of the organizing committee of the Victoria Bowmen Archery club.
So when I throw the great bird in the oven on Christmas morning, I will pat myself on the back knowing that MY arrow – my ‘skill’ and expertise (or more specifically, LUCK) – was what fed my family that Christmas of 2014.
Bring on the next target!