This morning, Earth Day, seemed like it was going to be a great day for some target archery. Temperatures reaching highs in the 60 degrees F., only partly cloudy, and very little wind (the major factor!).

So I reached out on Facebook to some folks who might be willing and available to check out Scioto Grove, the relatively new Metro Park that has the distinction of having a public archery range. Actually the park has two types of archery: the traditional, fixed range, and also trails that offer 3D archery, where you shoot at targets made of foam to resemble animals.

Here’s a map of the park, showing the 3 different locations for archery by the little archer symbol:

It’s also neat that there is backpacking available at Scioto Grove, as well as canoeing and kayaking.

These photos are part of the Park’s blog which is mostly about the 3D archery course:

The Park Ranger shoots a compound bow at the stationary range.
A Columbus police officer shoots at an animal target on the 3D course.
This is the elk target available to 3D archers.
A foam 3D target of a deer.
Two deer targets across the pond on the 3D course.
Some of the static targets on the traditional range, where we shot this morning.

First I Facebook-messaged my friend Janet, because she is an archer and I have shot with her at her backyard range, which is only a few blocks away from where I live. Here’s a picture I took of her a year ago on an amazingly warm February day when we shot together:

Janet VanMeter backyard archery Feb 2017
Janet at her backyard archery range target. She made the target, her longbow, and her arrows.

But she and David were about to have someone over today, so I racked my brains to think of someone else. Then I thought of Mary (of course!), who lives really close to this new park (which is only about a year and a half old), but hadn’t visited the archery range yet. So I messaged her on Facebook, too, and she was ready and willing! 🙂

We set noon as the time to meet at the park. In the meantime, we picked up several more local SCA folks through my post on Facebook about wanting to go there and shoot some arrows today. Halle, Kyle, and Camille all said they’d come, although they might not shoot.

Here we are:

L to R: Halle, Camille, Kyle, Mary and an unidentified compound bow shooter.

Janet had predicted that there would be lots of people there shooting compound bows. Of course, we in the SCA don’t use compound bows, because they aren’t medieval (although crossbows certainly are, and are very popular with Scadians). We also are required to use only wooden arrows, with real feather fletching. You know, the good old-fashioned way. 😉

But aside from the prohibition against compound bows, we can use recurve bows in the SCA, in addition to longbows. There are various restrictions on period archery competition which I won’t go into here. I hardly know what they are, anyway–I have yet to compete in a single event. I’m a rank beginner! 😛

Anyway, when Mary and I got there at noon, we had the stationary range to ourselves. Bonanza! ❤ So we set about shooting, after Mary helped me to string my bow. I had forgotten how to do it. Eep! 😛

A while later, a young woman with a compound bow showed up.

I managed to lose one of my twelve arrows today, on this their maiden outing, and to somehow lose the business end of another. So already I’m down to ten. People warned me this would happen!

Action shots–Here’s Mary shooting:


Mary and the compound bow archer retrieve their arrows.


The stationary range was really quite nice: a structure to shelter the shooters from rain and sun, stands for arrows and hooks for bows. Very well thought out, I think.

Here’s Kyle shooting Mary’s bow:


I was finished shooting by the time Halle, Kyle, and Camille showed up. I had forgotten to use my special compound for my arthritic, fibro-plagued, and nerve-wracked (literally!) hands before I left home, and I didn’t take it with me to the park, either. So I was already hurting at the end of the 25 minute drive to the park. Oh well! I loosed about 30 arrows, I think, which is 30 more than none! 😉

We won’t discuss how many or few of my arrows hit a target! 🙂

Once I put away my archery gear, I brought my binoculars back from the car in case there were any birds about. But it was too late in the day for good birding. My Pusheen hoodie was just perfect for the day, and you can see how I loaded up its kangaroo pocket:20180422_123639164001249-e1524447969906.jpg

Halle is so photogenic. ❤ She was wearing a scarf to die for. 🙂 Mary and I teased her about her constant affinity for Tim Horton’s coffee:


We all had a lot of fun. I look forward to returning there again soon! 🙂