Those who are looking for a challenging sport that won't put a huge dent in their pocketbook should look to trying archery.
That's the message from Scott Garrison, who is the president of the Carson Valley Archers. In its second year, the club has already grown to 55 members.
The goal of the club is to introduce those who are interested to competitive archery in a more low-key environment.
"We're doing pretty well for a club of our size, for the type of people we try to attract and the venues we have," Garrison said. "We're here for good fun and to introduce people to what competitive archery is like."
Besides all of its safety rules, Garrison said the only rule of the club "is just to have a great time."
Garrison also said many in archery are attracted to the club because of its relaxed setting.
They come out "and just have a great time," Garrison said. "The pressure is off."
Among the members of the club, Garrison said, is Dayton's Rob Spencer, who is a state champion on several levels. Garrison said the club has those as young as four and five, who come out with their sunction cup bows. Members who actually participate in archery shoots range in ages from 8 to their 70s, Garrison said.
Members come from the Reno, Carson City, Carson Valley and Lake Tahoe areas.
Garrison stressed that his club is not in competition with the other more competitive clubs, such as the Clear Creek Club of Carson City. He also said his club's members are encouraged to participate in other clubs' events.
"We just want to go out and have a good time," Garrison said. "We love the other clubs."
The club recently held a shoot at Spooner Summit and will hold another shoot at Spooner Summit on July 26 and 27. The club also has two other shoots scheduled in the Johnson Lane and Mound House areas.
"We set up a really challenging course," said Garrison about his club's shoots.
While the events are unmarked yardage shoots, those participating are welcome to bring range finders. Garrison said those participating are also allowed to move closer or father away from the targets as they choose.
"They can move anywhere they want as long as they're in the shooting lane," Garrison said. "It's more to challenge themselves."
Garrison said all it takes is to learn the fundamentals of archery to have a good time with the sport.
"It's not difficult at all," he said. "It's more of a discipline than it is a sport.
"It's probably 80 or 90 percent mental. When you get the basics down, it's a pretty easy sport to do."
Garrison said one can spend as little as $100 for a bow at Wal-Mart or as much as $800. Fees to enter the Carson Valley club's events are $15 or less.
"All in all it's probably one of the cheaper sports to get into," Garrison said. "It's pretty good exercise and in nice terrain and for the kind of price, it's tough to beat."
For more information on the club, call Garrison, (775) 721-0879.
Charles Whisnand is the Nevada Appeal Sports Editor.