In another instance of life imitating art, young American females are taking up archery because of a movie – well, maybe that’s not so amazing.
In late November, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” a sequel to the “Hunger Games” movie, debuted. The flick has sparked interest across the country in archery, especially by teenage girls — or so says the archery industry.
The movie’s heroine, teen Katniss Everdeen, uses a bow and arrow to survive a brutal futuristic reality-television show life-or-death struggle. She kills one of the bad guys with a well-placed arrow because, the story has it, she learned bow hunting in the hills of Appalachia while growing up.
The dark plot — nearly everyone whom Everdeen likes gets killed, including a friendly 12-year-old girl, and the teen, of course, exacts revenge with a well-placed broadhead – “Catching Fire” has attracted a loyal following, and apparently, many teenage girls have become faithful copycats of everything Everdeen.
Izaak Walton League chapters offer archery classes to “engage youth in healthy outdoor activities,” according to an IWL news release. Funded by the Kaiser Family Fund, the IWL says “Children today spend half as much time outdoors as their parents did.”
The IWL also notes outdoors activities, including archery “decrease children’s stress, improve cognitive function, and help children with ADHD concentrate. According to the National Archery in the Schools Program, archery can improve student motivation, attention and behavior, plus help children develop character and self-reliance.”
Hunting down an enemy with a Carbon Express arrow makes teens’ lives more balanced. Who knew?
In real time, outdoor businesses also have been quick to jump on the bandwagon.
In Whitsett, a hunting supplies store, Buttermilk Creek Outfitters, has seen interest — and sales — of recurve bows like the one Everdeen uses in the movie and other archery equipment take a quantum leap.
“Even trying to get stuff from our distributors was near impossible because it sold out overnight,” said owner Carson Koury.
Eagle’s Flight Archery of Mebane also sells traditional archery equipment and has cashed in on young women wanting to participate in its regular Tuesday or Thursday night shoots at its indoor range.
“We’ve had probably 35 calls from people who have seen the first ‘Hunger Games,’ and probably 80 percent of them were young ladies,” said Don Ward, co-owner of the Mebane business.
During the nightly competitions, walk-in participants form teams.
“We had three of the girls shoot against three teenage guys, and the girls won,” Ward said, “and that’s the way it usually works out here.”