Archery is back outside, where it belongs

My kids finally get to go outside to shoot archery with their 4-H group. That, to me, is the true sign that summer is finally here.

I love this time of year. The bulk of the spring rainstorms have come and gone, and with any luck, the worst of the wind is behind us, too. But the best thing about this time of year is that my kids finally get to go outside to shoot archery for 4-H.

They’ve been practicing for a few months now, but inside. The good folks at High West Energy in Pine Bluffs take all their powerline vehicles out of their giant garage and let the kids practice in there when it’s too cold outside to shoot, and that’s great.

But when we get to go outside and shoot at the Pine Bluffs Sportsmen’s Club, there’s enough room for a few parents to shoot alongside those kids.

That’s led to a few friendly competitions, and my oldest son has been getting a little big for his britches. He’s been shooting well, but he’s been talking smack to his old man. He seems to think we should put a dollar on every 10-ring shot we make, and whoever has the highest score gets to go home with the booty.

I have half a mind to take him up on it, but there are two problems with that. First of all, I don’t want to turn the little varmint into a gambler, and more importantly, he might actually beat me. I realize he’ll start outshooting me consistently one of these days, and I’m cool with that. I just don’t want it to happen yet. I’m not sure my pride can take being beaten at archery by an 11-year-old.

Besides, those kids have been shooting pretty regularly for three months, and I’ve barely picked up my bow. I need a little practice before I submit to a shoot-off with that little Robin Hood.

At least now that they’re shooting outside, I can get that practice. If I accept the challenge one of these nights, I’ll let you know how it goes – as long as I win.