NFAA: Ron, how did you get into archery? How did you involve your daughters?
Ron: When I was a teenager I went to a 3D tournament with a friend, and I immediately got hooked. I told my father, and then my father, my mother, and myself all began shooting all the time. We shot indoors, outdoors, hunted… you name it! I took a hiatus around 1995, but fast-forward to 2011 when I heard about a local money/fun shoot. I started bragging to my daughters about how awesome I was back in the day. My girls didn’t believe me so I entered the shoot and I won the steel bucket challenge and $150. After that I bought my daughters, wife, and myself brand new bows and we began shooting all the time.
NFAA: Do you all practice together?
Ron: We practice together almost on a daily basis, we practice either in our yard or at our local clubs and shops. We do a lot of different things for fun when shooting. The other day there was a fly crawling across our target and it wouldn’t leave so we just kept shooting until we hit it… that took awhile. Normally though we make creative challenges that involve ice cream as a reward.
NFAA: How many tournaments have you competed in as a family?
Ron: I don’t know exactly how many tournaments we have competed in, but if I had to guess maybe 80 or more tournaments. One of the beautiful aspects of archery is that almost anyone of any age can do it, unlike soccer or baseball, it’s an activity that a family can do together as long as they’re alive. At our state indoor shoot a few years back I remember a family representing 4 generations all shooting on the line together. I hope that our family can do that someday, although I’m not in a hurry for it.
NFAA: Do you coach your daughters during tournaments?
Ron: I don’t coach them much during tournaments. I try to make sure they have practiced and are on time for their line. We have a little tradition where before the first official scoring end I give the girls a little kiss tell them I love them and to have fun, make a friend, and enjoy the experience.
NFAA: Your family attended Vegas and Indoor Nationals this year, how was that?
Ron: We really enjoyed both tournaments. Vegas is big and there is plenty going on to hold your attention. I particularly enjoy one aspect of these two shoots. There are more than a few female athletes that my daughters can admire and emulate. Which is a crucial tool for a father of daughters. I am truly grateful to the female pros Like Dawn Keller, Emily Veyna, Erika Jones to name a few who don’t hesitate or avoid spending a little time with the girls. I really couldn’t be more grateful. There is Matt Stutzman who they also admire and of course Jesse Broadwater, who apparently is cute. We enjoy many aspects of these tournaments; I particularly like watching the pros shoot off. For me these shoots are great mainly because I have time away from regular life with my girls. I really believe a family that participates in archery is a happy family.
NFAA: Who do you think is the most competitive?
Ron: My second eldest daughter, Rachel, seems to be the most competitive, which is a surprise. At first archery wasn’t that important to her, until she won. Then she realized she likes winning and performing well so her dedication solidified a bit. My eldest daughter Hannah has always been strategic and dedicated, which has lead her to becoming a staff shooter for Bowtech.
Hannah: My sister Rachel is more competitive, she is a person who likes to win. We both have fun at tournaments though!
NFAA: What’s your favorite family archery memory?
Ron: We were shooting outdoors and the shot was 80 yards. The group of shooters in front of us elected to not shoot that far, stating it was ridiculous. I said, “My little girl could make that shot!” So Hannah, who was 11 at the time, had to stand on a large cut off tree stump and asked, “Dad where do I aim?” So we decided that 5 branches up the pine tree behind target might be close, and it was nuts because it was 15 feet above the target. So she aimed, then let the arrow fly and ten ringed that target! Then if that wasn’t enough the guys said it was a ‘lucky shot.’ So I said do it again honey, she did and got another ten ring.
Hannah: I can’t choose a top family favorite because all of my memories in archery with my family are my favorite. But one of the best memories is when Bowtech signed me up to be a staff shooter. That was awesome! Another great memory is when we got my three-year-old sister, Leah, a Bowtech Atomic with pink limbs and she started shooting it that day. She shot it as well as a three year old can, she was so adorable.