Pennsylvania Game News - December 2012 - 53
Straight from the Bowstring
By Tom Tatum
Cinematic focus spurs youthful archery renaissance.
VER THE YEARS I’ve cultivated a keen and lasting interest in archery and bowhunting dating back to the 1970s. I’ve bowhunted whitetail deer, elk, caribou and bear with varied success. I’ve also competed in archery tournaments and leagues, as well as 3-D shoots over the past few decades. My experience includes longbows, recurve bows, compound bows and, more recently, crossbows. Heck, in my prime I even won a gold medal as a state champion in a field archery event sanctioned by the Pennsylvania State Archery Association (PSAA). But historically, aside from a small
cadre of devotees like yours truly, the sport of archery has remained, admittedly, a somewhat obscure pursuit with a limited number of dedicated disciples, many of whom were hunters like me who preferred the challenge of a primitive sporting arm when seeking game. A few women numbered among our ranks, but now, thanks to Hollywood, an archery renaissance is taking place, particularly among young ladies, with the emergence of numerous bow-wielding heroines depicted in recent major motion pictures and on TV. You might say that the resurgence really began back in 2009 with the release of the blockbuster movie Avatar, whose heroine, Neytiri (played by Zoe Saldana), saves the day with some expert archery shots launched in the heat of battle from her primitive longbow on the planet Pandora. Part of the movie also depicts Neytiri instructing her love interest, Jake Sully, on how to properly handle, anchor and shoot a bow, while she provides critiques on his form. But in the end, it’s the film’s leading lady archer who launches the two
Fiery redhead MIRIDA in Brave vanquishes male suitors in archery competition.