Following My Arrow

Written By: Robin Althhaver - Jul• 31•16


It was two years ago this week, after coming home from Girl Scout Camp, that my daughter encouraged me to try archery because she was so in love with her experience.

I remember it well, she said “Mom, there is nothing like a bow in your hands, you have to try it, you will love it”.  A couple of weeks later, we went to one of Michigan’s many State Parks for an Archery class. She was right-it was a pretty amazing feeling!


I loved watching her shoot at a local youth instructional league, but that program was strictly seasonal. As most parents would, I wanted to find a way for her to keep enjoying shooting.  That is when I discovered 4H had more to offer than poultry, cows or farming.-Seriously, who knew? It wasn’t long before I was completely immersed with 4H and their shooting sports program.  I spent a long weekend away from the family for training put on by the Michigan 4H Shooting Sports program.  Meeting other adults from all over our state that enriched the lives of young people into our sport with education, stewardship, safety and fun at the forefront.  By the end of the weekend I was a certified Archery Instructor, along with my co-leader Sherry, we planned our first meeting to introduce some kids we knew with an interest in archery to 4H and there the Wildcats 4H Archery Club was founded.Wildcats

Having outgrown my “see if you like it” bow pretty quickly, I made a trip to a few local archery shops in search of my perfect birthday present.  Hands down, the service I discovered with Dan at Spot Shooter Archery in Holly made me realize that this was the place to get the one thing I wanted for my birthday, the bow that picked me was by PSE.  Happy 40 something, you have a bow and you can shoot with kids, now what?


The Wildcats had a booth at Bowfest where a couple of people from Up North Journal approached us.  I remember one of them asking me, “do you know what a podcast is?”, and thinking I know I am getting older but I am sure I still look young enough to know what a podcast is. I share with them our club’s how we came to be story and then admit something I wasn’t expecting to say out loud, “I want to learn to hunt!” Our family spends a major part of our summer and early falls enjoying our love for outdoors by hiking and camping in National and State parks.   However, my husband has plenty of other hobbies he loves and really does not have an interest in shooting wildlife beyond a camera lens.  While he completely respects and appreciates those that do-he just has more hobbies and a “to do” list at home a mile long. That while my so called midlife crisis seems to be this archery thing, his was moving us from a subdivision in a home we built when our now 12- year- old was born, to a whopping 4 miles away to the “country” with a little bit of  land and a whole lot of fixing up that needs to be done. He got the barn he’d been wanting and we gained a space to shoot without worrying about association rules.


So began what has become a great friendship with those at Up North Journal, the mentors I needed and will continue to need, as I continue on with the “journey to the hunt”.  Come along for the ride as I figure this out, learn what I really need and what I could live without, what works and what doesn’t, and how to get through this next stage of life.
#JourneyToTheHunt #UNJ #PSE #SpotShooterArchery #Iam4H #Cabela’s

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