Santa Fe Archery owner David Leining has enjoyed five trips to South Africa, hunting big game with his bow and arrow.
"I wanted a different environment and hunt different species of game," Leining
saves that honor for a North American beast - the black bear.
successfully harvested two black bears during his
first black bear hunt in Canada earlier this year.
"We had a bear try to climb the tree with us," Leining
"That was the most hair-raising."
Archery 'Real Easy To Learn'
A veteran archer, Leining
passion to his
business, providing a comfortable environment for archers of varying ages and experience to hone their skills.
Santa Fe Archery
, 13238 FM 1764, sells archery and outdoor equipment, repairs bows, offers lessons for $25 per hour and even books hunts as far away as Africa.
"We've got 16 people going to Africa this year," Leining
The business opened in 1999 and moved across the highway to its new building last year.
The facility boasts 16 20-yard lanes and hosts leagues from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.
League registration is $100 for 11 weeks.
"We've had five major tournaments here," Leining
Santa Fe Archery
also participates in the Mark Kilroy Foundation
S.A.F.E. Program, providing free archery lessons to youth who participate in the program.
"We probably had 60 kids last year," Leining
Archery, which is an Olympic sport, continues to grow, Leining
said, naming at least four archery clubs in southeast Texas, including Salt Grass Archery Club
at Jack Brooks Park in Hitchcock.
Archery can cost $300 to more than $1,500 to get started, depending on the type of bow.
Accessories can add another $300.
"The average cost is $800," Leining
"It's real easy to learn.
The physical part is the part people struggle with the most."
Drawing the bow takes some muscle, but Leining
said most people become comfortable within a couple of weeks.
has been shooting the bow for 30 years and has been exclusively hunting with the bow 20 years.
"A bow hunter has to let the animals come in closer," Leining
, 57, said his
wife, Michelle, 18-year-old daughter, Lauren, and 13-year-old son, Brian, are familiar with the bow.
"They've kind of pushed me out of the way," Leining
business plans to pursue certification via the National Archery in the Schools Program and wants to continue increasing interest in the sport locally.
"You can be as good as you want to be," Leining