BY DARRIN CHRISTENBERRY
As far as I know, my archery career began about the time that 3-D was becoming a sport. I had no idea indoor archery existed until 1991. After joining a local indoor league and becoming familiar with what archery had to offer, several of the guys decided it was time to start a 3-D archery club.
Being and active member in a club had its advantages and disadvantages. The range was close to home, and being a member, I had a key to get in and see targets whenever I wanted. After a while, only a few people decided they had time to help set the courses and maintain the property. As my workload got a little bigger, my opportunity to work on my 3-D game increased.
Mowing the property, clearing lanes, moving targets and trying to strategically set a challenging course helped me understand the 3-D game better. After our weekend tournaments, the targets usually stayed in place for a few days until a few of us had time to take them down. I would take advantage of this and spend every second I could spare studying targets with my rangefinder. Before long, I realized I was learning a skill that would help me be competitive even if I was not the best shooter at the tournament.
When I combined what I had learned during my indoor leagues, with what I was learning in the woods, I was becoming a very competitive 3-D archer. I began traveling to National tournaments in 1994 and have continued until this day. Being a competitive, professional archer was a vision that I had early in my career. With a little determination and preparation, I have been fortunate enough to live a dream of traveling and competing as a professional archer. Archery has taken me to places around the world that, without it, I would have never dreamed of going. Archery has been a supplemental income for me and my family for a few fortunate years. Now, after investing all of my time learning archery, I work and shoot full time in the industry.
If you are looking to get started in archery or looking to live out your dream of becoming a professional 3-D shooter, take advantage of your local ranges or join your local archery club. You can find a local indoor range and join a league. You don’t have to be the tallest, you don’t have to be the fastest and you don’t have to be the prettiest to shoot a bow and arrow. You definitely don’t have to have a vision of becoming a competitive professional archer to enjoy the sport. With the internet and social media, finding a place to shoot or someone to guide you in the right direction should be no problem!