Highland Bow and Arrow is an outdoor archery range that fundraises for the programs and services of Autism Nova Scotia. I welcome people to come to Highland Bow with their own bows and arrows (traditional or compound only) and shoot for a donation to this center.
This range is a friendly place for people of all capabilities and personalities to revel in one common thing: the joy of shooting arrows! You would be surprised how calming this sport is. If you or your child have sensitivities to noise or crowds I offer sessions outside regular operating hours.
This social story is another tool I invite you to use to prepare for your experience with archery in the Highlands of Cape Breton.
Sometimes the weather can affect us here. Things like wind, rain, sun, and high or low temperatures. Even mosquitoes or black flies.
Dress correctly for the weather when you visit. If you forget your sunscreen or bug spray, there is some at Highland Bow & Arrow that you can use.
There are rules to follow to keep you safe while you are here, everyone has to follow these rules:
- Jay will assign you the right equipment for your height and build.
- Shoot instinctively with both eyes open.
- Never dry fire! (drawing back a string and letting go without an arrow).
- Never surprise or distract someone using a bow.
- Tuck all hair, jewellery and loose clothing away.
- Don’t point your bow at anyone, even without an arrow. Aim forward.
- Point bow down when nocking your arrow (putting it on the string).
- Nock your arrow at the shooting line only.
- Listen carefully for when to shoot.
- Listen for when you put bows down and retrieve arrows.
Before you start you will meet Jay:
Everyone is different and needs different equipment. Jay will get the right equipment for your size. She will give you a safety guard for your arm and some protection for your hand that pulls the bow string. The rule is to keep them on unless Jay says to take them off. These are the rules to keep you safe.
Step to the Shooting Line
When you are ready, you will step to the shooting line. Others may join you and they may talk with each other while they participate. Before anyone picks up an arrow, Jay will explain the instructions to you and demonstrate how to hold you bow, how to stand, and how to achieve the right posture.
She will show you by telling you the rules, checking each person to make sure they are holding the bow correctly, and shooting an arrow. You will stand directly on the line with a foot on either side.
Then it will be your turn to shoot an arrow, following Jay’s rules. She will guide you through shooting 6 arrows at a time. You will hear the string "boing" back when you release the arrow. You will hear the arrow land in the target OR on the ground. It is okay if you don’t hit the target! With more practice you will learn to hit the target.
Collecting the Arrows
Once everyone has shot their 6 arrows, Jay will tell you when to put your bow back on the rest. We collect our arrows as a group. Jay will show you how and tell you when you can do this. You must listen to Jay and only leave the shooting line when she tells you it is okay. It is okay to get excited as long as you stay behind the boundary of the shooting line.
We will return to the shooting line, get our bows, and continue until we are ready to stop. Jay will tell you when to stop.