Aiming for The Bull’s Eye

Angie Zhang, Editor-in-Chief

Catching up on Season Three of “The Walking Dead,” one scene in particular just seemed to stick in my mind—I couldn’t stop snickering at the image of Haley attempting to kill a walker with a compound bow, and apparently failing miserably. I mean, surely it couldn’t be that hard, right? I set out to Hi-Tech Archery in Fullerton to test my assumption.

Prior to my visit, I had in mind a building with shining chrome walls and brightly colored targets—it seemed that my expectations were just a tad high. Hi- Tech Archery also functions as an equipment store, so there was a limited amount of space dedicated to the actual range.

Walking through a short hallway, I came upon a very warehouse-like room: brightly lit, air ducts visible, cardboard boxes stacked along one side, and what looked like cardboard targets arranged in a line on the far wall. It wasn’t that bad, but then I was directed to the ”beginner’s area” right upstairs, which was basically much shorter in length and had more haphazardly strewn targets.

Excited to finally see if my skills were better than Haley’s, I quickly got over my initial disappointment. Our instructors were friendly, knowledgeable, and energetic. After going over how to handle the bow, we were given one and told to line up in front of the targets. The only downside was that our group was large, so everyone had to stand close together—really close, like my-head-is-about-15-inches-from-your-head close (we were standing perpendicular to the targets).

“All clear!” rang across the room, and we were finally allowed to attempt a shot. I notched an arrow, pulled the string back (a feat easier than imagined), sighted the target, inhaled, exhaled and let it go…only to see the arrow land on the ground about nine feet in front of me. I let out a disappointed sigh.

“It might help if you pulled the bow string back far enough so that it touches your chin,” advised one of the instructors.

I tried again and successfully hit the target—that is, my neighbor’s target. “Sorry about that,” I awkwardly said to him.

My next attempts were substantially better and actually landed on the object I was aiming at. The lesson was basically self-governed, but you could ask for some help or advice if you needed it. At $15 for an hour, I thought it was a pretty good deal. Just keep in mind that lessons fill up on a first come first serve basis, so get there around 15 minutes before it starts (times can be found on their website).

In case you were wondering, none of the participants were seriously hurt during the lesson. My gravest “injury” was a small slap from the string, courtesy of a too-lowly-placed arm guard.

I wasn’t able to hit the bullseye, but overall, it was a great experience. Time flies when you’re shooting arrows, and now I can officially say that I should be able to nail a walker in the general chest area if the apocalypse comes. Emphasis on the should, not that a hit like that would even kill the thing.