I am in Rhode Island for schoolwork related to my job, I thought that I’d bring my compound bow along, something to do in the evenings after class at the local ranges. I was however worried about walking up the hotel’s front desk for check in with a black lethal looking compound bow and a quiver full of arrows and thought that having a case or bowbag would be a good idea. I looked around a bit to see what prices where but with my archery budget sorta maxed out I wasn’t hopeful. Then Laurel suggested why not make your own. In the past I’d made any number of different types of bags and other stuff usually related to boats and sailing.

Off to Joann Fabrics in Topsham for cloth, webbing, foam and velcro. The ladies there spotted me as the lost looking guy right away and helped me out. They were very knowledgeable and gave me a lot of suggestions on making the bag that I hadn’t considered.

This is Alistair and I sewing it up. It looks like that short stint in sailmaking finally paid off. Here’s a picture of the bag itself.

I’m staying just at the border of Mass and Rhode Island in a town called Westport, since I’ve been here I’ve had a chance to shoot at a couple of ranges. The first is Buckley Family Archery. This is a small start up family shop with 10 and 20 yard lanes, they are in the 2nd floor of an old mill in Fall River, Mass at 126 Shove St. Tel. 774.627.4091

Brian showed me around, set me up to shoot, and told me a bit about his business. He has an extensive JOAD (Junior Olympic Archery Development) program and lots of support from parents and families involved in archery. He also setup his chronograph and let me shoot through it to see what my bow was shooting for arrow speed.

Brian setting up his chronograph for me to shoot through.

The chronograph recorded 263 feet per second, that is with a 70 lb Bowtech SWAT that has been powered down to 50 lbs and a 364 grain arrow. It was really nice of him to do that, he didn’t charge me for it, although I’d gladly would have paid him, he just did it as we chatted about his range and plans, great guy.

Yesterday I went to Trader Jan’s Archery Pro-Shop, they have a full pro-shop plus 20 to 40 yard lanes for shooting plus a 3D archery shooting range. They are located at 288 Plymouth Ave in Fall River, Mass. Tel. 774.627.7743

40 yard shooting lane

Pro Shop

I’d spent some time shooting on the 20 yard lanes and I went to switch to the 40 yard lanes, I chatted with another archer who was shooting there, then picked up my bow, set up on the line and dry fired it! Dry firing a bow is to shoot a bow without an arrow. This is the biggest no-no in archery, as you can damage a bow very badly, the bow needs the resistance of the arrow to be ok.

I think I was distracted, who knows.. The string jumped the cams on the bow and broke some of the serving (tight wrapping around the bowstring) on the upper part of the string, it also distorted the peep sight, (small plastic circle on the string that helps you aim). Don and Jill at the shop were great, they put it in the bowpress right away and checked it out and told me they could have it for me the next day.

I went straight from school the next day and Jill had done a beautiful job, she also put on a new peep for me, she is obviously very skilled. Don seemed to be the front of the house and I watched him helping kids and new archers, giving them tips and setting them up, nice guy. He also showed me his Bowtech Destroyer with custom strings from Jill which he is selling, so if you need a bow…

Jill and Don

I spent an hour shooting at the 35 yard line, happy that I lucked out and the damage wasn’t great and that I’d been fortunate to be in good hands.


6 thoughts on “Travelin’

    • Studying technicalese marine systems stuff at a place called Ocean Options in Tiverton Rhode Island, I’ve been here since Sunday night and drive back to Maine in snow, which will be exciting for sure!

  1. Calls to mind a scene in Bhutan a few years ago(archery is their national sport -the only team they send to the olympics) – we were hiking up a long, steep trail around a box canyon & came upon a ledge…4-5 guys had a target set up and a couple hundred yards across the gorge was another ledge with a few guys & a target – they were taking turns shooting arrows at each others’ targets – they’d watch the arrows in flight and shoo them in to the target, being within a foot or two of getting stuck – but of course they had been doing this all their lives, so it was routine…
    sounds like you’r having a good ime ‘going to school’… see you pretty soon

  2. Neat story. I don’t know anything about those new fangled bows with pulleys and double strings. I’ve often wondered how much more can you improve a simple instrument or, weapon if you will, from a supple stick and string which gave birth to all stringed musical instruments. What may be next … arrows loaded with gunpowder, radio controlled arrows without the Bow ….??? Idle thoughts on a sport/weapon that dates back to antiquities.

    I enjoyed your story. Keep writing. Dad

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