In celebration of International Women’s Month, we wanted to change gears a bit and highlight a female member of our community. While the majority of our customers are men, many amazing women - be they mothers, wives, sisters and daughters, or simply a woman who enjoys the sport of archery or bow hunting - also come to us looking for service, equipment and advice.
Sharron Reed is one such amazing woman. She and her husband, Ernie, have owned a deer camp in Los Angeles, Texas, for 20 years. When they are in camp, the wildlife take turns checking out the humans – deer, hogs, even turkeys are regular visitors. It’s very peaceful.
While she’s been hunting for most of her life, she made the switch to bowhunting 9 years ago. And quite by circumstance.
Ernie, who had been bow hunting for more than 30 years, was retiring and his work friends bought him a gift certificate for Texas Archery (we were still BowZone back then…) After he bought a new bow, there was enough money left for Sharron to also get one.
“My husband says that’s when he ‘created a monster’,” Sharron laughs. “I have two different groups of ladies I hunt with. We’ve gone all over the United States. Some have been friends for a long time, some are new friends I’ve met on Facebook.”
She has met people from all over – Louisiana, Washington and even as far as Canada. A few of the groups she’s a member of are called Game Girls, and Sisterhood of the Outdoors. The numbers and the membership evolve as women come and go. Other Facebook groups Sharron recommends are: She Huntress, Women Bowhunters.
To Sharron, bow hunting it’s the most relaxing thing you can do.
“You’re In the woods, by yourself. And you’re one on one with nature,” she says. “You get to see so many things that other people never get to see; it’s unbelievable. We were just talking about watching a Mama bobcat teach her baby how to catch a rat.”
And how does she teach her own family?
For Sharron, bow hunting is more than camaraderie with friends; being at the camp is especially about family. Her three grandchildren have all taken a deer this year. They’re teaching the next generation the basics and how to take care of themselves and of nature.
“We want to be as ethical as possible to cause the least amount of pain and damage,” Sharron insists. “Anything you shoot, you eat it.”
They also teach the kids how to recognize (and take only) mature game.
“We don’t take anything under 4 years old,” Sharron explains. “You know when you see a mature buck, because every other animal defers to him. You can also recognize them by how straight their back is, how big their antlers are and the breadth of their brisket (chest).”
Why does she keep coming back to Texas Archery?
“When it comes to Texas Archery, they are the very best people I have ever dealt with,” says Sharron. “Richard and Joey had me hitting the bulls-eye in three shots, after getting my first bow. I send all of my friends there.”
Late last year, she called and told Richard she’d smashed up her elbow and needed a crossbow with a crank… Richard had one ready within an hour. She knows if they teach her that well, they’re going to look after all of her friends, too.
“Where else do you get that kind of service?” she asks.
What does she want to say to other women, looking to start archery or bow hunting?
Sharron has three observations, more than advice, really.
- Everyone needs to get their bow fitted when they first buy one. Each person’s draw length and poundage they can pull is unique, so a fitting is essential to use your bow to its (and your) full potential
- Get the family involved. Her grandkids are totally into archery and bow hunting. That gives you more family time: they practice in the backyard, having fun competitions and just enjoying each other’s company
- But mainly, Sharron talks about the friendships she’s formed
“We try to get as many women involved as we can,” she says. “It’s so wonderful to get out into nature and to share what we learn with friends. We love sharing our adventures – what we do right and what we do wrong. And you form life-long friendships with people all over the world.”
In fact, a group of the bow hunting ladies just went on a cruise together, because they wanted to do something different.
Bow hunting is a wonderful, supportive community and Sharron (and we here at Texas Archery, too) hope more women join us to better experience nature, appreciate more time with family and welcome the adventures that come along with it all.