My name is Rebecca Vogel, I am 13 years old and live in Thief River Falls, Minnesota. My goal is to become a professional archer. I got into archery because where I lived at the time (North Dakota) had over the counter archery deer tags. I really wanted to hunt and getting a rifle tag was a little tricky, so I started shooting in my local 4-H archery club. That was about 4 years ago and now I am a member of the North Central Elite Archers team and also a member of Form First JOAD. I have harvested 3 deer with a bow. My shooting skills have gotten so much better in the last couple of years after working with my coach, Lee Hetletved.
There is a lot of preparation that goes into any type of archery. Whether you hunt, use a compound or a recurve, indoor or outdoor, there is so much time and effort involved to shoot well at a tournament or to make a clean shot on an animal. I shoot 5 to 6 times a week and anywhere from 30 to 100 arrows a day depending on the shoot I am preparing for. I tune my bow and arrows with the help of my dad at the beginning of indoor and outdoor seasons. I practice on different target faces while also participating in my local archery club’s league. I run Lanny Bassham’s Mental Management System (with the help of coach Penny Hetletved) as well as keep a journal, so I practice that while I am shooting. I always have something I am working on. I consciously focus while I am shooting with my mental management. I also look forward to camps where I can learn new things and use some of what I learned to help me in preparation for a shoot or season. It’s also cool to hang out with friends.
I like to participate in almost all disciplines and tournaments because I get to learn new skills, meet new people, and have fun shooting my bow. My favorite tournament is the NFAA Nationals in Yankton, South Dakota. Field is my favorite of all the different disciplines because of all the challenges such as: every day is a new target face; you shoot at multiple yardages; and sometimes you have to work around or through landscape, trees, uneven ground, and wind. I also love field because you get to interact with your competitors, teammates, and friends differently than you do in other events. Last weekend I participated in the North Dakota State Field and 900 tournaments. It was so good to see familiar faces and shoot. I really enjoyed going to this shoot and wish there were more to attend. I am also really looking forward to going to a NCEA outdoor target camp this upcoming weekend.
Archery is just an awesome way to make friends, stay active, travel, and experience some really amazing opportunities. I love archery for all of these things. The people in this sport are incredible, not just by their shooting skills, but by how kind and nice they are as well. Archery is just an awesome sport. Now that I am aware of this platform, I will send updates. Next up- NCEA Archery Camp.