Have you noticed that typically young people are not drawn to Traditional? There seems to be more middle age to older men who shoot traditional. As for me, I have come full circle, now here for the challenge of traditional.
I just turned 30. I've been shooting recurves and longbows since I was 6. I'm consistently the youngest person in my category, although it's starting to change with more young people getting into the single strings.
Previously that was definitely true. But with the movie inspired resurgence of interest in Archery, that all seems to be changing. Seeing a LOT more new, young, shooters in Recurves and Longbows.
At a guess I would say it is because most of the new shooters coming in actually have little or no interest in hunting, and are not looking to become accurate quickly and get out there hunting right away. Rather they are looking for a unique and challenging recreational activity that regardless of what you do with it is really pretty cool.
Depends on your experience. had little exposure to archery as a kid, we did it a few times during gym. Started in my mid-twenties with a compound. Caught the recurve bug after nearly twenty years of bow hunting.
Today there are more traditional shooters around, I think; or maybe I'm just more aware of them, because they're us ;-)
Seriously, I think young people are more goal oriented - hit the target, shoot the deer - than process oriented - master the form, tuning etc. As you get older you may or may not turn down that particular road.
Nah, I'm an 18 yr old guy who loves getting high on adrenaline. There's nothing 'cooler' than getting 20 yards away from game with nothing but a stick n' string. Compounds are for the sissy dudes. ;-) And rifles...no comment.
Our "civilization/society" has evolved into techno wizardry, immediate gratification and not taking responsibility… It's little wonder that 90% of beginning archers go to what is easiest and satisfies the quickest.
I've been a stick n string guy for sixty years…I get little enjoyment from a wheel bow.. But then there wasn't such a thing as a "compound" when I started
I grew up watching my dad and uncle slinging arrows at a hay bail on Sunday afternoons.
My first real bow was a Bear whitetail 2 in 1989. There have been a bunch since then. Shot a lot of dear and did the 3d thing for years. Really enjoyed the shoots and was good at it.
Picked up my Bear Grizzly about 15 years ago for 75 bucks and have enjoyed it around the yard. Only now am I starting to get serious with it. Archery to me is all about fun and my wheeled bow with its sights and peeps and release aids started to feel like work. It has been hanging on the wall for about a year now collecting dust. Don't see it coming down anytime soon.
I've started seeing a lot more kids at shoots, most with compounds but quite a few one strings, and our local archery shop is seeing more young people looking for traditional gear. The problem I'm seeing is that with the severe shortage of traditional shops they're shopping online or in the big box stores where true knowledge seems to be sadly lacking. They end up with too heavy a bow, the wrong arrows, and frustrated because they can't handle the bow.....
If they don't find a mentor or a program to set them on a good path there'll be a huge glut of 50# used bows hitting the market.....
Been in the archery game off & on since 19 & 56. My first bow a Ben Pearson recurve @ 45# Then a Ben Pearson recurve @ 55X for hunting, then one of the first Ben Pearson compounds 60# with a 50% let-off traded for in the early 70s, Then a Ben Pearson "Lord Mercury" target bow 35#[email protected] 28." A Bear Target bow(35#s) which was "willed" to me by a deceased friend. Now, a BW PMA with two sets of limbs, 47 & 50#s respectively two H.H. LBs 50 & 53#s respectively. A Horse bow, 58#s and a "Plains Indian" short LB @ 45#s. That sums up my bow "stable." Oh, gave the B.P. compound to my son, so it's still in the family.
I never was really interested in the X bow, neat gaget but not to my liking.
This can be a very in depth discussion as to a verity of reasons for the interest in traditional archery.
What is dad shooting? because of the times it is a compound. Boys like to follow in their fathers footsteps. Grandpa may have an old recurve hanging in the basement or garage or tucked away in the closet.
With todays results oriented society kids normally choose the path of least resistance.
The older generation grew up watching old episodes of Robin Hood today it has evolved all the way to The Walking Dead with a crossbow being the weapon of choice.
The expence of equipment has also become a factor, Tricked out compounds run in the neighborhood of 1000 dollars and so has a custom built recurve without arrows.
I'm 31 and have been shooting a stick and string for 25 years. I've maybe shot 2 dozen arrows from a compound in my life. I've recruited maybe 11 or 12 people around the same age as me to a longbow or recurve over the years. Speak soft and carry a stick and string and you'll peak peoples interests....
I just looked up a demographics report on fishing, because in my mind fly fishing is analogous to trad archery, requiring a big investment of time and practice to develop technique and proficiency. I also expected a similar age spread that's being reported in this thread.
That report had about 44% of fly anglers at ages 45+ and 12% at 18 years old or less. Compared to 16% for other <=18 yo anglers (fresh and saltwater anglers). One interesting statistic was that the most common income bracket for fly anglers is $100k+.
Anyway, not trying to hijack the thread into fly angling, but I wonder if any of the archery trade organizations have any comparable stats. Not sure if there'd be a wider age gap in trad archery or not.
My feeling about "why" would be less time spent between parents and kids, passing down traditions (like trad or fly angling) on top of a general trend toward easier, quicker results, convenience, and general lack of attention span. Hours of form work, tuning, etc don't fit into the new cultural obsession with immediacy.
I'm 32 and mine the knowledge here a lot, posting minimally. I always appreciate that there *is* this group of archers who have the patience and resolve to pursue this downright worthy sport.
I have been shooting single string bows for thirty years.my grand
kids all want to shoot the same ; granddaughters three of them , 21,14 and
11. grandsons four of them; 19,14,13 and 7. gave them the choice of wheels or single string.
lucky me they choose single string.
I'm a non-traditional college student (very non-traditional) and work with and talk to young people all day. The school I attend is in a relatively small town so there are a lot of hunters in the student population. I have yet to meet a young hunter that hunts with a recurve or longbow, but I also have yet to meet one that doesn't get interested when I mention that I do.
Most aspiring bowhunters, regardless of age, are going to choose a compound. Who can blame them, they are wonderfully accurate and are absolute killing machines. Most beginning hunters want to put a few animals in the freezer and a trophy on the wall and the most efficient way to do that is with a compound.
Target archery is also dominated by the compound, look at the numbers. An archer that has no interest in hunting but wants to participate in the local league with their friends would probably be shooting by themselves if they chose a recurve or longbow.
Add in the fact that unless they have an acquaintance who shoots a stickbow, most young shooters are not exposed to traditional archery except in a couple of recent movies. Even if they do get interested a lot end up on the road longrifle pointed out and start out on the wrong foot.
I think shooting stickbows is a lot like the fly-fishing comparison; shooting a compound is a means to an end, shooting a recurve or longbow is an end in itself.
I think most folks would concur that "traditional" and "fell off the slab truck yesterday" while not necessarily mutually exclusive, certainly are not typically synonymous. Heck, if you survive that fall and it didn't damage your brain enough to figure out you need to ride in the cab next time, you stand a fair chance of living long enough to become acquainted with things traditional!