- Families in Wisconsin usually pass down the family tradition of hunting. When kids start at such a young age, they need mentors to show them the ropes. A group of children met with old pros at Rib Mountain Bowmen to learn how to get better at bow hunting.
"We really want archery to be a popular sport for kids instead of waiting until you're an adult," said youth archery shoot coordinator Sonja Gasper.
Rib Mountain Bowmen in Merrill invites children to their facility almost every weekend.
"I get input from a lot of different people. Some have been shooting for years, some have been shooting for most of their lives. I'm using it as practice to get back in the swing of things in time for summer," said Sydney Goethel.
At 14 years old, Goethel was one of the older ones shooting on Saturday. Even though she was there to learn, she was also able to help those younger than her.
"I'm mainly just shooting but if some kids need help with sighting or just figuring out how to hold the bow, I'm usually there," said Goethel.
But most of the mentors have been shooting their whole life.
"It's a nice cross-generational thing as well, we like to see the older instructors with the younger kids," said Gasper.
Those instructors are watching and tweaking all the fundamentals.
"We really look to teach them how to stand well, how to relax when they're shooting, what to do when they're holding the bow and good safety practices when they're out when they're out in the field as well as on the range," said Gasper.
And once they perfect their craft, they can be a part of the family tradition.
"It's nice to see a lot of young kids doing it because it's an old tradition in my family, it's an old tradition in a lot of these people's families and it's good to see some of the new, young, fresh kids coming out and enjoying the sport," said Goethel.
Not only are they just enjoying the sport, the kids are potentially learning a life-long hobby.
"We want to put the bug in their ear and the taste in there so they continue to do it the rest of their lives, it's a life-long sport. You're not going to play football your entire life but you might do this," said Gasper.
Rib Mountain Bowmen
This summer Rib Mountain Bowmen will have an outdoor league every Monday night. For more information on those classes and other activities they have to offer, follow the link below to their website.
|Story By: Katie Leszcynski