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By Sara Seidel-Richmond News
Imagine standing almost half a football field away from a coin and propelling a pointed stick toward it – and hitting it.
To Julie Griggs, such a feat isn’t imaginary. It’s something that she, as an archer, accomplishes routinely, something that earns her accolades and trophies, something that fills her with a sense of pride.
“There’s something gratifying about being able to put an arrow in something the size of a half dollar from 40 yards away,” Griggs said.
Griggs, whose backyard north of Hardin includes not coins but targets, originally picked up a bow because she wanted to hunt. Her husband, Vince Griggs, always had a bow and encouraged her to take up his hobby. After their children were older, Vince bought his wife a compound bow, and she practiced shooting it in her backyard.
“I knew it was something I could really get into,” she said.
Vince then took her to a tournament to introduce her to shooting at targets.
“I liked the competition so much that now I rarely hunt,” she said.
Griggs shoots outdoors at 3-D foam animal targets marked with scoring rings and indoors at traditional targets printed with three or five spots, or bull’s eyes. Depending on the event, competitors shoot a given number of arrows within a specific time and earn points based on each arrow’s proximity to the center of the target.
Griggs says archers debate about whether indoor or outdoor competition is more difficult, and without really expressing a preference, Griggs says she’s experiencing success outdoors.
Outdoors, Griggs usually stands a known distance – 40 yards – from the 3-D target.
She uses a robotic-looking bow that features a peep and a scope that aid aiming, limbs that regulate the pounds of pull on the arrow’s string and a cam that helps propel the arrow. Griggs also uses a thumb trigger to release the arrow.
The components help as Griggs follows a pattern that includes, among many steps, firmly setting her grip hand, keeping it steady so shaky muscles don’t ruin the shot. She nocks the arrow – that is, she places its end on the string – and draws the string back, anchoring it against her nose and the corner of her mouth to ensure the draw length is correct.