Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Flight Archery Aims to Ignite Passion for Hitting the Target
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Sandie Acker-Martin loves passing on her passion for archery to others.
 
Saturday, September 7, 2019
 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

It’s telling that Sandie Acker-Martin named one of her dogs Arrow.

Acker-Martin’s passion for archery knows no bounds. It’s so great that she has even provided an avenue for others to try it with her Flight Archery, an indoor six-lane archery target range planted squarely on Hailey’s Main Street.

“I’m competitive by nature. I grew up in Salt Lake City where I was on swim team and in gymnastics and I missed that. I think archery is something you can do as you get older that fills that void. Yet, it’s something young people can do, as well,” she said.

 
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Sean Bennett, Ryan Bennett and George Heath use a variety of compound and recurve bows.
 

Acker-Martin’s interest in archery had its seeds in her husband Scott Acker’s bowhunting.

“He and his friends have 3D targets they place in their yards to practice with. I picked up a bow one day and was totally hooked,” she said.

Acker-Martin has traveled to competitions in Boise, Twin Falls and Salt Lake City. And she’s taken part in Big Mountain Shoots at places like Snowbird ski area where she and Scott have taken the tram up and shot targets resembling mountain goats and deer as they hiked down the mountain.

“I like that you get to walk in these beautiful places while challenging your skills to be the best that you can be,” she said.

 
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Erin Bennett says her form has gotten better and better.
 

Acker-Martin was able to get a good deal on a unique storefront that was owned by actor Bruce Hailey, who once owned a number of storefronts in Hailey, including The Mint and Shorty’s Dinner.

The long narrow venue, a butcher shop in Hailey’s early years, boasts brick walls and a wooden floor. And Acker-Martin hangs her targets on reclaimed barn wood.

The venue provides a place for unique birthday parties and business get-togethers for companies like Power Engineers and Scott-E-Vest. It hosts Ladies Night, shoots for Higher Ground and even school groups from Sage School.

John and Erin Bennett often bring their children Ryan and Sean to Flight Archery. Each cheers on one another as they aim the yard-long arrows towards the targets. Acker-Martin’s Australian shepherd Buster lies on the floor unimpressed by the friendly competition going on.

 
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Ryan Bennett has gotten pretty good at hitting the target.
 

“We moved here from California and we never had the opportunity to do anything like this there,” said Erin Bennett.  “It’s a great family sport. And, because we’re all beginners, we’re all at the same level so that makes it fun.”

“I really like it,” said Ryan Bennett, a 13-year-old attending Wood River Middle School.

“She really liked it and loved it so I thought I would try to learn. It feels good when I let go of the string,” added 11-year-old Sean Bennett.

There’s a learning curve to figuring out how to hold your arm. But it’s not as difficult as shooting a handgun. The important thing is to relax and open your chest, said Acker-Martin.

 
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Sean Bennett shows that you can always turn your bow into an air guitar.
 

“Poke it out,” she said. “Pull back the bow string and let your back—not your arm--do the work.”

Erin Bennett noted that her daughter has to read “Hunger Games” for school this year.

“So maybe the fact that she has knowledge of the sport will help,” she said. “I think it’s good for the kids in other ways, too. You have to concentrate on what you’re doing. You have to focus. You have to put your roots down and concentrate on form.”

IF YOU GO:

Flight Archery is located a couple doors north of Shorty’s Diner on Main Street in Hailey.

Hours are 2 to 7 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and 2 to 6 p.m. Saturdays. Additional times and private bookings are available on request.

Sandie Acker Martin offers group lessons for beginning archers for $22. that includes equipment, an hour of shooting time and instruction.

An hour of shooting time costs $10. And punch cards offering discounted range time are available.

Recurve bows, arrows and arm guards are available to rent for $10. Or you may shoot your own arrow.

Questions? Visit www.flightarcherystudio.com. Or, contact info@flightarcherystudio.com or 208-471-5220.

 

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