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May 25, 2022

Hitting the Bullseye

While watching the documentary “This Changes Everything” on Netflix, I learned about the history of women in the film industry and their struggles for inclusion. One of the statistics included in the documentary about how films can influence us inspired this article.

In the Disney/Pixar movie 2012, “Brave,” the leading character, Princess Merida, was a skilled archer. Her prowess with a bow and arrow and those images caught the attention of girls everywhere that year, and it helped to increase the archery industry by 105% over adults.

According to one study by the Archery Trade Association, women comprised 36% of all archery participants in the United States—up from 22% in 2014. 

Hitting the Bullseye

Bullseye Archery Shop and Range is at 5299 Scotts Valley Drive in Scotts Valley. I was excited to visit them and learn if these stats were true.

My questions opened up a new appreciation for this sport and its business. They offered me an on-the-spot mini-lesson. After three tries and admitted coaching, I felt like Merida. My arrow went from almost hitting the ceiling to landing on the target board. Those few tips from owners Larry Spittler and Jeanne Burke told me why this industry is so popular with women and the general population.

The earliest evidence of archery dates to the late Paleolithic period, around 10,000 BC, says Larry, who with Jeanne has owned the business for seven years. Both were like historians of this sport, and I was all ears.

Their kid’s program starts from 6 years and older, and yes, lots of adults come for lessons, set up, restrings, arrow building, supplies and much more. One side of the building is their products and services and on the other side for practicing and lessons. Luckily, I met Chris, a regular customer there, who was practicing and gave me rave reviews about the sport and the owners.

Different Bows

I learned three significant types of bows: longbow (straight bow), recurve and compound. Did you know why the English lost to the Mongolians in the Holy War from 1095-1291AD? The English fought with the longbows, and the Mongolians had created the recurve bow. The major difference? The recurve bow outdistances the longbow, a massive advantage for long-distance shooting. It is more efficient than the longbow. And, in the 1960s, the compound bow, an American invention, is more accurate, robust and cleaner, meaning animals suffer less if you use this type of bow for hunting.  

About the owners

Jeanne has received over 30 archery awards and holds a record in the free-style hunting class on the State Board Archery, and Larry an active archer since his early childhood. Both were quick to share their enthusiasm and passion for this sport. They knew this business was something they understood, and Larry was quick to mention their business is fun. Their customers are “happy too.” Their business has had only four complaints since they have been in business for seven years. They do this business because “of the smiles, the sport and the fun of it,” said Larry.

Both are older adults, and the compound bow is perfect for those of us aging persons. These bows, designed to make a 30 pound pull easy and can shoot over 100 yards. You can go to their location and test out the equipment onsite. Of the six onsite ranges, the nearest indoor and outdoor ranges are at DeLaveaga Golf Course. And as Larry put it, “archery is much less expensive than golf, too.”

They’re open Tuesday-Friday from noon-6pm. Contact them at 831-346-6156 or visit bullseyearcheryshop.com. Thanks, Larry, Jeanne, and Chris, for a fun and informative time.

Janet Janssen is coach & trainer specializing in helping business owners and their teams increase their sales and customer services skills and helps improve public speaking and presentations. Contact her at [email protected] or 831-335-0553.


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