I Am A Young Archer
By Reagan Bryan
I am addicted to archery and devote most all of my time to the sport as it has progressed from being a hobby, to my future career. I stay very busy, from spending hours at my local archery range, attending trade shows, traveling for archery tournaments, and now filming for TV.
How I got started in archery was a combination of two things, National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) and my dad, who has been a bowhunter for over twenty five years. Although I’ve been in the woods with my dad since I was four years old, the first time I had a bow in my hands was in 4th grade gym class through NASP.
I wasn’t very good at all starting out, but I quickly fell in love with archery and wanted nothing more than to hit a bullseye. And the day that very thing happened, I wanted to do it again! It’s a good addiction to have. I quickly learned that in order to hit the bullseye, it took a high degree of focus, determination and confidence to make it happen. Archery has actually helped me in school by using the same techniques and applying them into problem solving.
By the time I started the 5th grade I was ready to step up my training at home. I told my dad that I wanted to practice because I really wanted to make the archery team again. He set up a target and told me to get to work. My first shot I hit the target. After that, I missed to the left and into the mulch pile stuck my arrow. Dad was raking leaves, but keeping an eye on me. The very next shot, a miss to the right and there stuck my arrow right into my bicycle tire. My mouth dropped and I started to cry. Dad stopped what he was doing and gave me a big hug and said not to worry about that old tire. That was an easy fix. Right now, lets fix you, he said. To my surprise, he had me hitting a pie plate sized group in just minutes. Now talk about being addicted! I was hooked for life! My training progressed from there. Dad began fine tuning everything one piece at a time, from my hand grip, my anchor point and even the way I breathed.
My scores were up higher than ever and I had so much confidence in myself. All of this soon paid off when the time came for my next big tournament. The end result, I was now a NASP Virginia State Champion!
A few days later we took a ride to our local archery shop, Amherst Arms & Supply and to my surprise, my parents bought me my first compound bow. A Bowtech Carbon Rose! Talk about a beauty! This thing was black and purple and more than perfect. Dad asked if I wanted to give bowhunting a try and of course I said YES!!!
So I began practicing for six straight months at targets at different angles and distances. I shot from elevated stands to better understand the arrow flight on steep angles. I even practiced on moving targets. Dad would make me belly crawl across the yard to get in range of my Glendale deer target. He kept it fun by pretending like the deer was real! Finally dad said that I was ready and that I had proved to him that I could do it.
The last weekend in September had come and it was opening day of youth season in Virginia. We headed up the mountain in the dark and got settled into our treestand. Within the first hour of daylight A buck comes walking by at 25 yards. I was so nervous, but knew what i had to do to make it happen. I took a deep breath, drew back my bow, slowly exhaled and put the pin right behind the shoulder and released! I watched the lighted Nocturnal nock disappear into the deer. And at that very moment, I lost all control of my emotions! That adrenaline rush cannot be topped! Dad caught that moment all on film and decided to post it online to share that priceless moment. Little did we know, that video would go viral all over the world overnight.
Anyone who has hunted understands that adrenaline rush. You get the shakes and you lose all control of your body. Because of this video, Parenting Done Right Outdoors Facebook group was created so people could share this video. Almost overnight, the group grew to 12,000 members. It was unbelievable to say the least! If you’re not already a member, please check it out. It’s a group where parents can share their proud moments with their kids in the outdoors. I highly recommend it!
The rest of my hunting season went well as I quickly learned all of the challenges you face, from using scent control with the wind to deer’s feeding patterns. I even had a doe a five yards and couldn’t seal the deal. If it’s a bad angle or a risky shot, I wont take it. I always know there will be another day and another opportunity. Bowhunting has so many challenges that keeps me going back for more. I ended up the season taking 4 deer with my Bowtech Carbon Rose and took part in the entire proccess. From field dressing and dragging, to butchering and packing the venison. What makes me most proud of all is not showing off my deer antlers. It’s when I sit down at the dinner table and look at my family and know that I am now a provider. That’s what it’s all about!
Please follow my amazing journey at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Reagan-Bryan/1501367803463840?ref=hl Thank you all and happy hunting!