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Next in my series of things to do when the winter visitors from out of state need to be out of your Florida house for awhile: Adventures Archery in Tampa. The location I visited is in Tampa on Highway 301 near the Selmon Expressway, almost to Brandon, but they also have a Lakeland location. I went there because I was looking for things to do myself during the hottest months of the year. I like to do things indoors with air-conditioning. This fit the bill.
Also, I’d been wanting to test my archery skills because I hadn’t picked up a bow since probably high school. I was pretty good back then, so I wanted to see if I’d lost my touch! My good photo phriend Paula and I headed to the place one hot day in August last summer.
The first impression I had was that there were a lot of pickup trucks in the parking lot. Plus I don’t think we were wearing enough camo, but they let us in the door anyway. Once inside, ferocious animals greeted us:
But the staff were friendly and didn’t roll their eyes at the two obviously out-of-practice archers entering their space. The young woman at the front desk was helpful and we were able to rent equipment and target range time for only $17/hr. It’s less if you bring your own equipment. She even gave us a rundown of the proper procedure and stance and even hung our targets for us. Fortunately they were in the mid-range, not the kiddie range. Still not the adult range, but I’ll take what I can get!
I think she rented us teen-size bows, too, but I didn’t care. They were super-easy to pull back. She showed us the arrow caddies we were to use:
Here’s what the shooting end of the range looks like (Paula always says she’s fat [she’s not] and not to take her picture, so I had a little fun Photoshopping her extra-thin in this pic):
The other two archers on the range that day were extremely polite and tolerant of us as well. They were preparing for bow season and had ultra-complicated-looking compound bows with scopes and triggers and stuff. Ours were, oxymoronically, basic compound bows with no bells or whistles.
Overall, I didn’t do too badly. I even shot a couple of bullseyes:
There’s nothing quite so satisfying as the sound of that arrow leaving the bow and slicing through the air to land solidly in the target. Here’s my end result:I did fairly well and am looking forward to doing this again very soon. We went on a weekday, so it was not crowded. If you go, check their schedule online because they have archery leagues, instruction sessions and other events on evenings and weekends which may take up the range spots.
Next time I’m going to ask for a stronger bow and for my target to be put on the big-girl range! Eventually I’ll get my own equipment. They sell it at Adventures Archery at good prices, too. Plus, nearby is Bass Pro Shops’ Outdoor World where you can also find bows, arrows and accessories. It was a fellow-customer there that steered me towards Adventures Archery.
See you on the range!
Photo for No Apparent Reason: