By Kaylie Krauzyk
A carved statue of a bear standing upright holding a fish in its mouth is tucked in the corner. Directly across, large cube and bag-shaped targets sit piled together adjacent to a wide counter filled with fishing hooks and lures. Bulls-eye mats and arrows made of fiberglass and plastic, some decorated with feathers, stand neatly packed in a row alongside carrying cases and totes. An entire wall is decorated with bows of all different shapes, sizes, and makes.
“Serving the Archery community proudly since 1991”
That’s the guarantee of Trader Jan’s Archery Pro-Shop where veteran shooters and newcomers like myself are encouraged to learn and grow in the sport of archery. This isn’t your typical gym class experience. Proper stance, head straight, fingers tucked, and opposite arm up and out are just a few of the many things to remember when getting into the groove. Aim too high, and your arrow whizzes right over the mark and into the wall beyond. Aim too low, and your arrow could just make the outer rim of the oval, or fall with a thud to the floor.
With careful, steady aim and a quick release, move your elbow as if you were nudging someone out of the way. Get this down and you could be hitting your target in no time.
Being at Trader Jan’s feels like stepping into a small scale version of Bass Pro Shops, minus most of the deer heads, hunting weapons, and all-terrain outdoor clothing. Various string, bow, arrow, and target accessories are available for purchase. Compound, long, and recurve bows are neatly hooked and tagged along the wall. This display reminds me of a shoe display from Olympia Sports or Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Archery isn’t easy. I can’t even imagine how a stunt double managed to backflip and jump around a training course in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie (maybe it was just movie magic?). I’d poke an eye out like Ralphie from The Christmas Story for sure. Your arms and especially biceps, get a workout from holding the bow steady while you practice shoot four arrows at a time. The indoor range covers 20 to 40 yards of space. And we’re going for short range targets here on first visits. Nothing like the woods decor and advanced hunting targets that are staged next to the practice area.
Trader Jan’s offers range rates are $10.00 an hour and $5.00 a half hour with your own gear, per person. $20.00 an hour and $13.00 per half hour with our rental gear, per person. Tuesday’s is their half price shooting day; the rates are $5.00 and hour and $3.00 a half hour with your own gear, per person and $10.00 an hour and $7.00 a half hour with their rental gear, per person. Off-season hours (from January to August) are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 4:30 PM to 8 PM and Saturday 11 AM to 5 PM. They are closed Sunday, Monday, and Thursday. Busy season hours (August to end of December ) they are open Tuesday through Friday from 4:30 PM to 9 PM and Saturday 11 AM to 5 PM. Closed Sunday & Monday.
A visit to Trader Jan’s Archery Pro-Shop could be the idea you haven’t thought of when it comes to making plans with friends or even for a date night. Staff are courteous and professional, facilities are well-maintained, and you go at your own pace. Be care with those long bows and arrows; you don’t want to put an eye out!
Trader Jan’s Archery Pro-Shop is located at 288 Plymouth Avenue in Fall River within the mill; it’s just floors apart from Lazer Gate and Straight Shooters Billiards. Call (774) 627-7743 or check out http://www.traderjans.com/ for more information on their offerings which include bow repair services, hunting gear, and custom archery equipment options.