ARC’s archery: Relaxing sport, lethal weapons

Chelsea Elledge shooting a historical Mongol Horse Bow. (Photo by Chuck Livingston)

He stepped up to the white line and drew his bow. He lined his arrow up with the target, aimed, and sent his arrow soaring through the air.

Archery is about accuracy and is the art of working with bows and arrows, shooting targets and is considered a competitive Olympic sport. Bows and arrows are used to practice target shooting and is considered a sport or personal fitness activity.
Archery is an interesting unknown class to many students across American River College campus according to Daryl Shelstead, a nursing major at ARC. Shelstead has decided to take archery this semester because he feels it’s fun and would definitely recommend it to others.

“It’s relaxing, not stressful. You don’t have to study for it and it takes away stress. It’s pretty rewarding when your arrows hit the target,” Shelstead said.

Student Vitaly Keznetsov, a computer science major, and Emily Martell, a philosophy major, have agreed that archery is very relaxing and believes that archery is one of the best classes on campus. “It feels good when you can hit the target. I’m glad they are teaching it here,” Martell said.

Doug Jumelet, a professor of fitness at ARC, teaches one of the two archery classes available on campus. Jumelet adheres to all safety regulations and teaches each student to adhere to them as well. Part of the course curriculum is the proper way to use and take care of the equipment. “Students enjoy it, it’s a fun activity that you can do forever,” Jumelet said.

Beginners are allowed to join the class and start with targets at a distance of 20 yards then move up to 30 yards later, while intermediates start at 30 and move to 40. At the end of the semester students are allowed to practice shooting 50 yards targets. “You can see the results pretty quickly, immediate improvement,” Jumelet said.

The class size is limited to 36 students because ARC only has 18 targets; two people are assigned to each target. Archery students are expected to provide their own arrows at a cost of $20-$30 for a pack of six. Bows are provided by the school, but students can purchase their own as well. Bows cost upwards of $200-$300.

One issue that has been addressed is the legality behind the arrows carried on campus. Currently there is no law against carrying around bows and arrows together, but students could face some problems if they take the Sacramento Transit Bus. Bows and arrows are considered weapons, so students should be aware of that if they ride the bus.

However, students are recommended to carry their arrows with them. The feathers and tips of the bows will melt if left in the car.
Students are encouraged to practice outside of class if they want to according to Jumelet.  Some places that students can practice their archery skills are River City Gun Exchange, in South Sacramento, or Wilderness Archery, in Rocklin. Information for both places can be found online.

Keznetsov said, “It’s challenging, it’s the most fun I ever had.”

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